Flight from Frankfurt to Bombay


Did ‘Divine Comedy’ really link heaven and hell?
Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, is considered a masterpiece in world literature. Written in late Middle Ages, it reflects the famous Italian poet’s imagination of afterlife, of hell and paradise. The poem comes in three parts: Inferno (hell), Purgatorio and Paradiso (paradise). One of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the original poem is kept in the Asiatic Society library of Mumbai. Written in the 1350s, this book is rarely displayed. According to library staff, the medieval text is in excellent condition. It came to Mumbai through Mountstuart Elphinstone, a 19th century British antiquarian. It is rumored, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1930s tried to retrieve this manuscript and offered the Asiatic Society one million pounds, but they refused to part with it. Dante’s description of hell seemed to have resonated through Mumbai when the city was under a multi-terror attack, plotted by jihadis. The terrorists surely did not take a flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai, but were thought to have crossed the Indo-Pak border along a maritime route. Meanwhile, the Museum fur Moderne Kunst of Frankfurt displayed three themes of Dante — paradise, purgatory and hell with artists from across the world investigating and interpreting thematic sequences of The Divine Comedy. They discussed what Dante believed would happen to the soul after death and how he created an aesthetic difference between heaven and hell.

Learn stagecraft in Frankfurt, try your luck on Mumbai’s silver screens
Evelyn Lakshmi Sharma popularly called Evelyn Sharma is an Indo-German actress and model. Her father is Punjabi while mother is a German. She was born in Frankfurt and groomed on stage but later took a flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai to try her luck at Bollywood, the thriving film industry of Mumbai. While in Frankfurt, she participated in many theatres, that laid the foundation of her Bollywood career in Mumbai. Her debut British film was Turn Left in 2006. Next she stepped into Bollywood in 2012. She has acted in almost eight movies and even lent her voice as a singer. In August 2014, her first single music album Something Beautiful was released. Penned by her, the song speaks of Evelyn and her journey from Frankfurt to Mumbai.

Did you know Juhu’s aerodrome is hired for movie shoots?
The Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (DELAG) was the world’s first airline to use an aircraft on 16 November 1909. They built the first airport in Frankfurt in 1912, called Airship Base at Rebstock, primarily used for airships. This airbase was operational even after World War I and in 1924 a report questioned its possible expansion. Today, Frankfurt airport is one of the busiest in Germany. While Juhu aerodrome, previously known as Vile Parle Flying Club, located in Mumbai’s up-market residential suburb of Juhu, was India’s first civil aviation airport, founded in 1928. The first civil flight took off from this airport, piloted by Jamshedji Tata, considered Father of Indian Civil Aviation. Juhu served as the city’s primary airport during World War II, till commercial operations moved to a much larger airbase at Santacruz in 1948. However, during World War II, no flight operated between Frankfurt and Mumbai. Juhu aerodrome is occasionally used for film shoots these days. Mumbai airport happens to be of the busiest in India handling highest air traffic daily.

Why a marathon runner ran barefoot
Siraj Amda Gena, an Ethiopian marathon runner came to spotlight at the Frankfurt Marathon in 2009. Although he finished ninth, he set his personal best record with a timing of 2 hours 10 minutes and 41 seconds. The very next year he participated in the Mumbai Marathon and secured second position. It’s not known if he took a direct flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai to participate, but these two marathons played a significant role to shape his final victory at the Rome Marathon with his fastest ever timing of 2 hours 8 minutes and 39 seconds. He even ran barefoot for the last 300 meters to honor famous marathon runner, Abebe Bikila. Later, at Beijing International Marathon in October 2010, despite cold weather, a shivering Gena crossed the line to taste his second victory. He later won the 2013 Istanbul Marathon and 2016 Buenos Aires Marathon.

Your search for Eldorado might end in Mumbai
In the last ten years, the billionaire count (with $1 billion net worth or more) in India jumped to 78 from 18 with financial capital Mumbai being one of the richest cities of India. Currently, there are 1,094 ‘Ultra High Net Worth’ individuals in Mumbai. The city has around 28 billionaires and 45,000 millionaires. Total wealth in Mumbai comes around 820 billion US dollars. According to Global Rich, Mumbai ranked 6th in billionaire count and is the only Indian city to find place in top 15 rich cities of the world. Meanwhile, Frankfurt is Germany’s financial capital and home to many of the country’s 1,868 multi-millionaires. According to Wealth Insight, Frankfurt ranks 6th among cities listed for multi-millionaires and houses almost 217 millionaires. Rich businessmen often take a flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai on business interests.