Every time I take a long international flight, my admiration for seafarers increases. Think of the long months and years that the Columbus and Vasco D Gamas spent discovering new lands and frontiers. By contrast, I have still made it to New York in less than a day and am still fretting over a jet lag. I write this at 3 am in the morning, and incredibly, New York is quiet! I guess even the city that never sleeps needs an hour or two of rest.
The city, or atleast the Indian portion of it, awaits the arrival of prime minister Narendra Modi. A friend of mine tells me that tickets for Mr Modi's Madison Square Garden 'performance' on Sunday are selling in black. And that Jackson Heights, the New York suburb that is a mini-Gujarat, is dressed for the occasion. The NRIs have long since been strong supporters of Mr Modi, a certain long distance nationalism driving the surge. In a sense, this Modi visit is as much a coming out party for the politician who was denied a US visa for over a decade as it is for the NRI who would like to assert his presence in the US melting pot. Watching it unfold as a journalist should be interesting. If I have any complaint it remains the prime minister's steadfast refusal to take journalists with him on his flight. Not a junket, but a fully paid for ticket on Air India One. Sure beats travelling from Delhi to New York via Istanbul!