The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
How does it feel to fly?
Well, I can give a one sentence answer to this and end the blog; and then hope to see my name beautifully crafted in the next issue of the Guinness Book of World Records, for creating world’s smallest blog! But I think destiny has something else for me and for you too, my beloved readers!!! ; ) So, here goes the anatomy of fly-feeling……………..
It’s 11 at night. By this time, my mom usually sleeps off. But it was a special day. She has called me up for the seventh time and her latest advice is something like this – “Give me the ticket number. I’ll ask your brother to cancel it. It’s not that urgent for you to come. Don’t feel so homesick, my dear. Tomorrow morning itself I’ll book a Tatkal ticket and will go there and see you.” It was the day before my first flight-journey and the ticket fare was Rs. 6000/-, non-refundable!
Wright brothers have invented airplane centuries ago – everyday, lakhs of people fly around the world – every year 2-3 Bollywood movies release with at least one of their characters working as a pilot/flight steward/air hostess – 1-2 novels/magazines are written every year with a pilot-air hostess love story; but my fantasy about my first flight journey was pretty oblivious to all these earthy facts!!! There I was….one happy soul (it’s really tough to be happy after spending Rs. 6000/- at one go; but I tried my best :| )……..lost in wild imagination about a plane ride……..
First of all, how does a full size aero plane look like? I mean, how big is it? How are the windows? Can I really open it and stretch my arms out? (there was one comedy movie where a would-be father-in-law advises his would-be son-in-law not to keep his hands out of the window; who was going to travel abroad for a business purpose. I got this doubt after watching this movie! So, don’t laugh at me…) Then, how to fasten a seat-belt? In movies I’ve seen, a girl, flying for the first time, is struggling with the belt. Then a guy, tall-dashing-handsome, seating next to her, helped her out. They started talking to each other, kept talking throughout the journey; gradually fall in love…..etc. etc. Will this happen to me also? My God! What if the guy is not from our caste? How’ll I marry him? How’ll I convince my parents and relatives!!!! Oh no! I should have thought about all these risks before booking the ticket! Trouble!!!
I was not very sure what to carry and what not to carry in a flight. When you don’t know something and ask people for help, advices galore. I was receiving overdose of advices and at the end, got totally confused…. Frustrated, I decided, enough is enough. I’ll carry whatever I feel I’ll need and then, if the checkers suspect me as a terrorist, they should resign from their job.
My flight was at 9 o’clock in the morning. The fastest and cheapest way to reach the airport from my house was via train. So, I took the train. Over-crowded with students and office-goers, the train was a menace! Somehow I managed and arrived at the airport just in time. Now, the airport itself was an undiscovered island to me. It was so huge! People moving around in all directions with travel bags and trolleys. I couldn’t understand where to go to get the ticket. Thankfully, there was a friendly fellow who guided me and I collected my ticket.
I was waiting in the lounge for the flight to come. The mob around was quite different from that in a railway station. Here it is a bit sophisticated, well dressed, carrying laptops, speaking English…. I was actually expecting to notice someone in the Tata-Birla category any moment!
The airport was two-storied. For some flights, passengers were asked to go to the first floor to board the plane. I was wondering how it is possible. Two alternate options came to my mind. One, those flights might have an extra sliding door on the top. The door would open and the passengers would be asked to jump inside! Or, there might be a make-shift staircase to climb down. Passengers would toss their luggage down and the air hostesses and flight-stewards would be catching them! But the idea appeared to be too local bus or local train-like and people here were coming in own private cars! So, in an afterthought, I chucked the idea. The second option was more realistic. I thought the plane might come and stand close to an open balcony in the first floor and the passengers would directly walk inside. Believe me, till my second flight journey, I was in complete faith to this idea! I got to know the actual reality only when I boarded a flight from first floor…
After waiting for almost 15 minutes, my flight came and with a heart full of mixed feelings, I started walking towards it. We were taken near to the plane by a bus. The plane was quite large, with two doors – one at the front, one at the back. I entered through the front door. A pretty air hostess bearing a fake smile greeted me. I mirrored back and took my seat by the window. A while later, time came to fasten the seat belt. I tried once and I succeeded! Disheartened, I looked up to see the guy sitting next to me. :( He was…….well, not like what I had imagined. So, my parents and relatives have nothing to worry, I thought. But no! there he was! Tall-dashing-handsome! He was one of the flight stewards. But….but…….does he worth a fight with parents and relatives? After all, he didn’t even help me in fastening the seat-belt……..confusing!!!!!!! :|
The flight started moving toward the runway with the speed of a bus stuck in pick-hour traffic. It came to complete halt after reaching the runway. My local bus experience told me the plane is gone and we’d soon be asked to empty it. Then we’d be put into the next flight and would have to travel all the way standing! But, even standing in the middle of the sky is not a bad experience! So, I was not complaining. But to my utter surprise, suddenly the engine roared and the plane started running as if it has been chased by a dinosaur! Within seconds, it left the runway and started rising up in the air. Reaching a certain height, the plane started bending left…….almost in right angle! I was about to scream thinking the pilot has lost control; but people around me were surprisingly calm! The plane bended to the right then, again in right angle almost and finally it became steady. I sighed in relief!
When in midair, it’s quite dull inside the plane. You can’t even feel that you are flying. Only one constant murmur of the engine, or the AC; couldn’t figure out what actually it was but it was quite annoying. I was getting bored. I tried experimenting with the window for a while; I wanted to see whether it actually opens or not. The guy sitting next to me was trying to sleep; my research activity disturbed him and he gave me an annoying look. So, for the sake of public interest I had to abandon my activity…moreover, the window was also not opening!! :(
Outside the window clouds were passing by one after another. Sometimes the plane was flying through the clouds….piercing them into pieces!!! The cities, the villages, the roads, the rivers down under were looking so tiny…..like in cartoon films! But my eyes were searching for something else. In Ramayana, Mahabharata and in many other such serials telecasted, I have seen Gods, wearing expensive ornaments, moving around in clouds. I wanted to see them. I wanted to see one of those God vs Demon wars live!!
After two and a half hours floating in the air, the plane made a safe landing………again ran madly till it went out of reach of the unseen dinosaur and then finally stopped, drawing the curtains to my first flight journey without much fuss........ I couldn’t open the window, didn’t start any love story up in the air and most of all, couldn’t even see the Gods!!!! :( But why didn’t I see them? Might be the pilot has taken some other route. He didn’t want to let me see all at the very first visit. It’s all business……….
In the sky also!!!!!!!! :O