Heathrow airport in London

Columnist Parth Shiralkar takes time to reflect on the new decade and the passage of time. Shiralkar points out how oftentimes, people rush through life instead of appreciating every moment.

Traveling to India is always a mixed bag of emotions that is accentuated by the unearthly hours of travel that these trips require of me. I wrote this column from the Heathrow airport in London, where I spent a solid chunk (eight hours, give or take) of my time before catching my second nine-hour flight of the day. Or is it days? I can’t really tell.

Steven Spielberg directed a great movie with Tom Hanks called The Terminal (2004), and Hanks has captured the essence of feeling trapped in an unfamiliar setting very nicely. Of course, he finds love and other sought-after things in the airport as well, like decent and reasonably-priced food, which I haven’t found yet. Spielberg knows how to use cinematic liberty, that’s for sure.

Sitting in the company of loud families, surprisingly polite babies and spotty WiFi, I reflect on 2019 and its mild ups and downs, which I’m grateful for. Much has changed,  but much remains the same, not just in aspects of my life, but also aspects of who I am. New opportunities presented themselves and old ones gave up on me without warning, but alas, such is life. Odd, how time passes so quickly when you’re not stuck in an airport.

Owning to my affinity for activities that involve doing nothing, I am not in the habit of committing to New Year resolutions. However, since it is a new decade — and not just a year — looming on the horizon, I have been trying to convince myself to eat healthier, work out more and spend more time actually meditating than setting reminders to meditate.

I spent Christmas in the airport for the first time. I loved how everyone’s so busy getting from point A to point B that there are only a few people in the holiday spirit, as far as I could see, apart from the flight crew people who were all wearing Christmas hats and headbands. Which begs the question, are we really just going from point A to point B in our lives, not taking out time to pause and breathe and maybe set a reminder to meditate?

I am by no means promoting more layovers, no; rather, I implore readers to cherish the small joys in life. It seems like only yesterday that I was getting on my long flight back home. I am also reminded of my first few weeks in 2019 in a vivid spurt of memories, which is nice.

I wish readers an adventurous new decade; may this new year bring you chances of earning what you yearn for.

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

Why did you go through Heathrow? There is a direct flight to Mumbai out of Newark, NJ. You’ll see the sun set twice in the air. The entertainment system on board is fabulous. You can pick any of seventy different movies to watch on your seatback monitor. I watched “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag” (Journey of a Woman) three times. It’s opening song was terrific. I’ve watched it over and over: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x_dql1nDWPI

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