Monday, June 30, 2008

Cleared for landing

St. Thomas Mount is well known for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is the legend of it being the site of St. Thomas' martyrdom. There are many lesser reasons - one of which will appear tomorrow - but for me, the hill is associated with two images.

The first is of a huge cross, at the crest of the hill, almost at its very edge. That's my first memory of any kind of Christian image. But what was exciting about going up the hill was the wonderful view it gave of airplanes coming in to land - you stand at the the east end of the hilltop, sight the silhouette of the approaching plane, wait for it to go past you and then run across the church yard (more about the church another day) to watch it drop onto the runway of the Meenambakkam airport. Thirty years ago there were probably 4 landings a day - but during last week's trip up the hill, we saw 4 in the space of about half-an-hour.

And we watched this Sri Lankan airlines flight from Colombo, coming in from over the Bay of Bengal to the east, all the way through the last stage of its flight. There is not much of Chennai that can be identified in this picture, but I'm sure you'll take my word that it is indeed the city that was Madras!

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