City Hangout – Plane Spotting, Vasant Vihar
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One’s heart goes out to the rich people of Vasant Vihar. There’s so much noise pollution in the genteel south Delhi enclave crammed with gracious bungalows and apartments. The very air in this pleasant enclave buzzes with planes descending into Delhi Airport. The moment one plane disappears from view, its sound barely fading, another inevitably appears.
This means Vasant Vihar is an excellent place for plane watching binge.
In fact, long ago Delhi had a wildly popular plane-spotting spot on National Highway 8, very close to Mahipalpur. Plane spotters would settle down among the roadside rocks with their beer bottles and chips packets to enjoy the thrill. Sadly, that place got cordoned off for security concerns. But loitering in Vasant Vihar is a good alternative. Here, the planes descend so close that you can identify the airline’s logo. But you needn’t confine yourself to just one vantage point. The lanes around C-Block Market bristle with tall multi-storey apartments, providing several heart-stopping sights for plane spotters. First there’s just the sound, but now the plane appears so very close you fear for the rooftops themselves.
The plane is soon gone, but the brief brittle silence is soon shattered by another approaching aircraft.
Vasant Vihar is chock-full of embassies of small countries, renting a section of some great bungalow or perhaps the whole thing. If you want to fantasize a momentary escape from our fair city, it’s perhaps satisfying to witness a plane flying past the cute Eritrean Embassy. Or, if you hanker for the Americas, you can easily plane-watch outside the Ecuador Embassy. Wanderlust satisfied, for free.
Flying in the ‘hood