The plane dipped, tipped and hopped happily on, ducking under the clouds. The streaks of rain-water on the windows cleared up quickly. The sky turned a brilliant blue. The small green dots below unmerged from the vast sheet of blue to form little jewel-like islands. Tiny tongues of white surf reached up playfully. We squealed in delight, and then, immediately after, gasped in fear, as the plane swooped straight down into that impossibly blue sea! As we watched breathlessly and helplessly, the beauty of the ice-cream sundae like islands and at least fifty shades of blue and green around them completely forgotten, the plane continued to dive, until suddenly, a runway miraculously appeared below us from nowhere, and we missed the water’s edge by just a few feet!! The grinding bump and thud of landing on firm ground was never more reassuring 🙂 That’s how ALL flights land at this charming and sleepy little airport! What a welcome to Seychelles!
We had a few moments to take in the ‘sea-runway’ at the tail end of the plane and the thick overgrown wall of a hill right in front of the aircraft’s nose, before being whisked away into the VIP lounge with smiling faces and warm handshakes making us feel instantly at home. Lack of sleep forgotten, Sivamani, the unstoppable world-famous percussionist, hefted up a shiny, black suitcase and started drumming away a lusty rhythm on it’s plastic surface. Tanmoy Bose, famous musician, joined in with a classical rap. Super star Madhavan flashed his charming 1000-watt smile (through a newly grown moustache and beard for his upcoming film), and popular singers Benny Dayal, Akriti Kakkar, renowned flautist Naveen Kumar and actress Anjana Sukhani joined us in hooting, clapping and cheering along. No sooner than we had touched down, we had touched the hearts of the Seychellois people. India had arrived to celebrate Seychelles India Week!