India - Delhi (Not) Singing in the Rain, by Ralph Glazer (1964)

Heavy rain – the first of the monsoon – was forecast. I had been on the parking apron, checking our nightstopping Boeing for doors left open, and had almost reached the office, when it started to rain. But not only rain: a cyclone, having scooped up a shoal of fish and other creatures as it crossed the River Jumna, was now dumping its catch on Palam Airport, and I had to struggle through torrential rain, gusting winds and fish falling from the sky, to reach the office.

Meanwhile, in the office all was calm: no more flights before morning, and the night shift was settling down to a quiet time, when I burst in from the apron, soaking wet. So wet, some thought I had fallen into a storm drain.

And then, a fish jumped out of my shirt pocket, and everyone fell about laughing. Just Like That! Tommy Cooper could not have done better.

The rain which had brought the fish to Palam Airport also reached the many insects sheltering below the surface from the extreme heat of Delhi before the monsoon. As the water reached them, the insects came out and, seeing the runway lights, crawled and fluttered towards them. At sunrise, the insects were clustered around the lights when the first birds saw them, and crowded in for a feast. They were quickly joined by more birds, and soon the runway was heaving with birds in a feeding frenzy, soon to be joined by vultures, attracted by the many smaller birds injured in the scramble.

At this point, Air Traffic Control declared the airport closed until further notice.

Other pages:

This is the text-only version of this page. Click here to see this page with graphics.
Edit this page | Manage website
Make Your Own Website: 2-Minute-Website.com