17 April, 2021

Homo Perfectus

For me, the greatest discovery was that water flows down the drain in an anti-clockwise swirl in the Southern hemisphere.

Homo Perfectus
'Ethiopian Airlines?' I grumbled as I headed for the airport at an unearthly hour. 'Does the country even have an airport?' Memories of refugee camps and starving Biafran children swam before my eyes. Like many Indians, I had a blind spot about Africa, convinced that it is beyond help and redemption. Darfur, Chad, Angola.... What is left to see in this Dark Continent that even the gods seem to have abandoned?

During our brief stopover at Addis Ababa airport, I realised my stupidity. Its gleaming, efficient terminal is far ahead of our surly-staffed, filthy airport. Instead of sweaty, uric smells, Addis is redolent with the heavenly aroma of Ethiopian coffee. This is the original Garden of Eden, for the first Man (Homo Erectus) rose to his feet here, I recalled from some old geography and history lessons, and looked with fresh respect at our long-necked Ethiopian stewardesses, whose graceful gazelle-like movements had effectively distracted us from the interior of their plane that seemed...

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