The US President lands in India

I am at Ahmedabad airport on 24th February 2020. A plane with US markings can be seen parked from the glass windows.

Prime Minister Modi lands in a blue and white Indian Airforce plane and people start gathering against the glass windows in the departure area near gate-4 of terminal-1, trying to catch a glimpse. Modi walks down to a welcome area nearby which is covered under beautiful striped canopy. In a minute or two he disappears from view. I can hear people remark that “Modiji aa gaye” (Mr Modi is here).

People keep gathering near the glass windows. When a line of black vehicles, including what appears to be the famous “beast” slowly drives down to a spot near the striped awning, there is speculation that the President of the United States has arrived already. But others are following live news on their phones and it seems that the vehicles are there in preparation of the impending arrival of airforce-1.

My own flight is delayed as the plane is made to hover while it waits for airforce-1 to arrive and land first. Then everyone is getting up from their seats as the famous plane, also blue and white like the IAF plane that brought the PM but bigger, is taxied in and moves toward the welcome area under the striped awning. Many people now rush towards the glass windows that face the area where the POTUS is going to be welcomed by the PM.

A barrier is broken when generally well behaved people now stand on seats and onto the arms of chairs to get a better view.

From where I am sitting nothing can be seen except the people crowding the windows. I could imagine they were there for a glimpse of Ivanka but am corrected when the crowd start chanting Modi’s name.

Airline crew is also caught up in celeb watching and they are blocking the view of the fans. So the fans start making a racket, banging on the metal grill and waving at the crew to move away. The restraint and discipline with which people normally behave at public places such as airports has totally disappeared.

Soon enough though, things have moved on and I hear the call to board the flight for Delhi.

Later, when landing in Delhi, I see three USAF planes, this time not blue and white, but more like greenish grey.

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