Faisalabad Flights

Baby brother just landed in Multan and we were all surprised by the modern, shiny new airport whose pictures he sent.
Into flashback mode Dad went and began his tale of how small and lousy old airports used to be in the regional cities, especially in Punjab where the airports would be found in between crop fields.
Recalling one of his projects near Faisalabad where he stayed for over 6 months, he talked about going on a straight road out of Faisalabad until you reached a cross roads. A small sign on the right said “Jhang” and another sign on the left said “Airport”. You take that road and you’re led through rural fields until you suddenly notice a building in the middle of nowhere. That was the Faisalabad airport.
For the duration of the project my father made weekly trips home on the weekends. His tickets were booked and given to him beforehand in the form of a booklet, as done in the old days. Every time you had a flight you would tear off the ticket at the counter.
He had become such a regular on his fixed weekly flights that the whole crew at the Faisalabad airport started greeting him like an old friend. Compared to the large Karachi airport where the crew wouldn’t look at you twice as they catered to large international flights, the Faisalabad airport was so small that everyone started meeting him with a familiar smile. Even the porters who he never had to use since he only carried his briefcase, even they would come over to say Salam.
The clerks at the check in counter even had his seat reserved. He had the same fixed seat in business class on all his return flights. He was always placed on the window seat opposite to the direction of the sun so he could have a comfortable flight. Often times he would be all alone in the business class. He wasn’t afforded the same luxury at the Karachi airport but atleast it was still business class.
And that’s how he remembered the airport of old.