19 June 2022

Speaking of my ignorance…

If you had asked me to draw Kuwait, I would fill it up with sand, more sand and to bring some relief, a few sand dunes. I am sure most of us who grew up with mental pictures of “Desert Storm” would do the same.

Flying over Kuwait today, I was struck by what looked like very large river basins. This picture was taken from 36,000 feet above sea level but you can see the whole intricacy of tributaries and sub-tributaries.

After reading up on Kuwait, I now know that all those get filled up by winter rain (and are called Wadis – remember the pictures from Jordan or Oman?).

I think a great adventure would be to just fly over all countries, take pictures from the air and remove a few more of the dark corners of the vast ignorance I have!

19 June 2022

A mistaken notion I had about the Persian Gulf

Living in the West, I have realized during my travels in the Middle East, how little we know of that part of the world. I would go so far as to suggest that especially in America, we have not only little but very wrong ideas about the people and geography of that part of world.

Here is one more from my own ignorance. I always thought that the Persian Gulf would be deep blue color – even near the shores. But the real color can match the Caribbean at places. Which makes sense. Because the desert sand is meeting the water, the slopes are bound to be gentle (not hard rock and quick drops).

Loved this view of a beach in Qatar.

19 June 2022

Took off from Kolkata airport

Every time, I take a window seat while leaving Kolkata hoping to catch the Howrah Bridge. But the flights always take off northbound. The one time it actually took off southbound, I was able to take this picture.

Today, one more time, we took off northbound and then banked gently left. You can see the Hooghly River. You can spot the Bali Bridge and if you look hard, you can see the faint glimmer of the Howrah Bridge. The straight well lit road is B.T. Road. You can the see the silhouette of Kalyani Expressway too (which is what I used to take every three months to go see my parents)