Stepping off the plane used to be the first hit of the smells of India. The dust, a faint whiff of diesel, and the pungent naphtha whenever passing a lavatory in the dimly lit hallways of the airport while walking the long stone corridors which echoed with footsteps.
The new airport is now open, a good as any in the world, I’m told. and indeed, stepping off the plane, you have no clue where you are. The sealed doorway efficiently keeps the night air out; the carpeted hallways with moving sidewalks and the brightly lit shopping arcade with all the same brand name storefronts could be anywhere, on any continent, in any time zone. So there is no doubt that Delhi airport has finally arrived, arrived into the timelessness of the shopping mall which all airports have become, cloned identical twins of the arcades of Las Vegas, with the menace which only the security apparatus of the state can provide now comfortably hidden behind the glittery invitation to consumption.