No one can enter or leave the mountain-top airport at Mangalore without being affected by a string of emotions.
As we climb to the airport by road, we brace ourselves for an awesome view during take off. But not for a moment can we forget the price that Awesomeness often comes at; the tragedies and dangers that the table-top runway conceals.
The small aircraft seems to take a deep breath before its jittery, noisy, unsteady lunge across the runway for the lift off.
As the plane ascents, the terrifying gorge comes to view where a small human error in judgement had claimed lives just months ago. There is no sign to remind us of it, in case we do need reminding – the remnants of the disaster have long been swallowed by the ravine. Only a vague uneasiness remains in the viewers’ searching eyes. Yet, if for a moment we’re willing to forget the tragedy, we can allow ourselves to take in the breathtaking view as the aeroplane makes a turn above the cliff and heads towards its destination.
As we complete the turn and proceed on our way, I look back at the receding gorge, surrounded by green mountains, calm and ominous, now resembling ant-hills with a dash of pale green sprayed at the top, and could not but heave a sigh of relief that we’re leaving it behind to its unpleasant memories, and say a quiet prayer that there occur no more errors – human or divine – and that it holds no more tragedies on its lap.