Pushing my seat back in the comfortable aircraft of Malaysian Airlines, I smiled a bit to myself as the lights dimmed. I was happy for three reasons – one, I was finally going abroad after virtually six months of no international travel ; two, Malaysia was my first stamp on my brand new third passport and three and the most important , I did not have to fly via Mumbai and could take a direct flight from home. Every time I got an invite to an international destination, my biggest grouch is that I had to fly to Mumbai and then take a long flight to any of the European countries. I have no problem with long flights ; but I would love to take them from home and not from Mumbai.
Luckily Malaysian Airlines flies out of Chennai, Bangalore and even Hyderabad, besides Mumbai and Delhi. Good to know that there are 54 flights connecting to Kuala Lumpur from India with Chennai taking the lead with 14 flights a week and more than 30 flights are out of South India. I often realize that most airlines think India means Mumbai and Delhi and very few flights operate out of South ; this hopefully will change soon !
I was in Kashmir when Tourism Malaysia contacted me. Initially they invited me to Sabah, but the dates were not feasible. So, when they called me again to attend the Colours of Malaysia event which had over 200 travel writers, bloggers and trade delegates from across the world, I immediately said yes. My first trip to Malaysia had been over 20 years ago and my last trip was about eight years ago..I did look forward to this one.
The flight was of short duration - under four hours and there was little time to watch a movie. Kareena Kapoor's Heroine was on the video but I chose to grab a quick dinner and doze off wrapped in a couple of blankets. As the lights dimmed, I realized in a couple of hours while all of India slept, Malaysia would wake up and the sun would be shining...