Friday, September 9, 2011

Ranthal love

On one of the street shopping days in India, a cousin and I wandered into a small shop and came across hurricane(ranthal vilak in my language) lamps in multiple colors. I bought the green one for about 150 rupees. It was as big as my arm and I had to make space for it in my carry on bag. (which kept getting heavier). It was all sealed and covered so I just had to put a few clothes in with it. Due to last minute flight issues, I had to stop at multiple airports. 

First Bangalore. They asked to open my bag after screening. I kept my fingers crossed while one security officer asked the other if they can let it through. The other guy said its ok since the lamp is covered so well. Phew. 

Then Dubai. My bag stayed on the conveyor belt a minute longer than the rest of the bags but then they let it through and did not even bother to open it.

New York. Of course, they opened my bag. Tore off the airtight plastic wrapping. And opened the lamp. And the damn thing smelled of kerosene. They said I will have to throw it away. I must have looked crestfallen (and of course I told them how I had brought it all the way from India and been carrying it for so many hours), because they let me go back to pack it in my checked in bags and then go through security once again. And that was easier said than done. My bags were somewhere in the basement of the airport waiting to be loaded on the  plane. But the love for the ranthal kept me  going, until I tried to fit into my already overflowing luggage. Some of the people working there came over to look and saw my 'lovely sarees' and 'beautiful lamp'. I ended up putting a lot of stuff in my hand bag and wrapped the lamp in clothes.And went back to security check in.

Home. There was no glass on the lamp. It had shattered into a zillion pieces. But my lamp still had a body, thankfully. And then two days later, he buys a $5 red lamp from Ross. Made in China.

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