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Heathrow In Line

Date: 23-Oct-2019

British history would be so copy and paste types. Visit a place, start business, establish colony and rule. Only the latitude and longitude would change, rest of the story remains the same. Britishers of the past had insatiable desire to rule.

The explorers looked for two things in whatever nook of the world they visited – Riches of the place for them to plunder. And, brevity of the intellect of local population. They were not disappointed most of the times.

They portrayed English language as power tool of a slick tongue and a slicker brain. It was a God’s gift to them to make other people feel un-endowed and rule them. We are still struggling to master the language that is part of their genes.

Divide and rule was the operational guideline. Task was easier in India- they just had to rule as it was already divided. As I learnt from Manoj Kumar movies, history books and ultra-patriotic people, British treated their subjects like shit. 

In the process of visiting different parts of the world being ruled by them, along with wives, horses, artillery and booze, and of course coming back, they by default developed journey routes from the Queen’s land to the faraway slave lands.

Soon the world and the slaves, learnt the magical language. Actually, the English rulers taught it to slaves so that they could communicate with them and pass the commands. With English came the enlightenment that the rulers from the Queen’s land had no power extra to their own. That was the beginning of the end. Soon all the colonies and the slaves drove the Britishers out and back to England. What was left behind, was traffic routes from all over the world to England. When translated to air, it made Heathrow one of the busiest airports in the world. Not only the erstwhile subjects came to pay a retaliatory visit, they used it as a transit point to hop, skip and jump to the other parts of the world.

Join the dots and you get a line. Join thousands of lines and you get Heathrow.  Even the pilot was joining the lines. He announced on take-off from Delhi – “we are aligned to reach Heathrow in 8 hours and then join the line in air to land.” We were placed in an orbit for half an hour before we could land.

Planes were landing continuously with their blinking lights as if some kind of nonstop streaming on a LED screen. ATC people develop early arthritis, in their thirties, from moving cards of queued planes.

There is so much activity at Heathrow, it shows as a red hot spot on heat sensors aboard international space station. Its actual name was Heat Throw. Simplified to Heathrow.

English taught the world how to stand and move in lines. They are totally lost when they are alone at any counter. They can’t make out when and which way to move without a line. There is so much rush at Heathrow, one has to stand in a line even to window shop at various branded outlets. Lines at windows are so long and the counters inside are deserted.

Want to eat something? Stand in a line to find a chair or table to sit in the open-air cafeteria.

Need to move to other terminal? Go to basement and stand in a line to board underground shuttle line.

Security check-in? stand in line. Hold line of clear Ziplock bags displaying line of toiletries.

Eaten and digested and time to go to restroom? Stand in a line. Wait can be agonizing sometimes. May be, they can install some pressure measuring instruments – people displaying more pressure get the priority. One has to wait in a line for a lavatory that is already not overflowing. Housekeeping people also join the line to clean the lavatories – that’s the only way they can get in to clean it.

Board the plane and wait in line for take-off. I coined the term for airplanes standing in a line – Airpline.

I guess it is named very aptly. Heath-row.

Overflowing lavatories made me wonder if all the people from different nationalities come to Heathrow to payback in shit for all the times when the English treated them like shit.

One bright side – British Airways crew treats you well. I wont mind traveling with them again. In a line.

October 11, 2019.

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