25th August 2011. Somewhere over New York City.
‘We can not land as there is an earthquake in progress’, announced the captain as my flight circled endlessly over JFK International airport.
Could this be it. The apocalypse that I have watched on endless apocalyptic films about New York. Always New york. The city has been ravaged and plundered by giant prehistoric predators, hundred foot waves, volcanoes, aliens, zombies, viruses, bad musicals, jay z…
Anyway, back to, could this be it? The apocalyptic destruction of the united states. As the city below me goes up in flames and cavernous splitting up of the earth my aircraft careens down with its 300 odd screaming passengers, I become the lone survivor?
‘We have been cleared for landing ladies and gentlemen’, crackles the speakers.
I clear the customs, which was a total let down. No immigration official on the other side with piercing blue eyes and a scowl. No interrogatory questions. No ‘ please step this way sir.’
Adventure and apocalyptic broodings were still in the air. Oh just you wait!
‘Hurricane Irene, yup.’
A hurricane in New york! This city was really spreading out its apocalyptic red carpet for me.
25th of august 2011. A sunny day in New york. Evening traffic inching its way to and from Manhattan. The newscaster on the radio shuffling between news about the earthquake that could have destroyed the city to the hurricane that was rushing towards the city to destroy it. And the emotion that I felt was glee. An unabashed excitement knowing that I was somehow a part of newscasts flashing across the world.
Chaos and confusion reigned with my cast and crew. We did venture out scouting locations in the intermittent drizzle always with the radio on. Parts of New york was evacuated treating me to a visual improbability. An almost deserted Manhattan.
We hoarded food and barricaded ourselves in our hotel rooms glued to TV sets and juiced on Jack.
Irene did come. Leaving us all a little wet and breathless. But she was reasonably gentle.
The shoot did get postponed. There was some tense moments in the shuffling of schedules of the entire cast and crew. But Irene gifted us two glorious days of magical sunlight to shoot with.
New York. Where nothing is as you expect.