Like every other kid in my country, when I was young, I used to get excited when I heard the sound of an airplane passing by, and I would run over to the balcony and wave my hand. I remember those days, when I used to wonder how so many people could fit into something which was so minuscule. And how something could make so much of noise when it was flying. Come on, birds did not make such a huge amount of noise and so I realized there was something fundamentally wrong with the whole concept.
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As kids, we always ask “Why, How, Where, When” for anything that comes our way. I am sure my parents would have been more than willing to answer my questions, but I always made it a point to ask them when they would be busy with something. I just don’t know how I managed to pester them every time they were busy.( Perfect sense of timing, I should say!) So after being scolded at for disturbing, I used to go to my Grandpa, who had all the time in the world for me. He even used to stop reading the newspaper to answer all my doubts. Thank god for Grandparents, else I would have had to wait for Google for all my answers.
On one such day, when I voiced out my doubts to my Grandpa, he explained the whole concept which I thought was “Fundamentally Wrong”. He told me about how things, when far away from us appear small, and about how the entire “flying” process was carried out. I could not grasp everything he told me that day, but I remember listening to his words in awe, thinking about how it would be to fly in a plane. It was just like magic!
So I told my Grandpa that one day, even I would travel in a plane and tell him about my experience. I was waiting for that opportunity and it came a few years later. We were coming back to Chennai for good, after staying for four years in Cochin. We decided to take the flight back home. Akka and I were super excited about this, since it was always our dream to travel by plane.
Finally, the day had come. It was a day of mixed emotions. Though we were eager to come back to Chennai, the four years in Cochin, gave us some wonderful memories, and we got to meet a wonderful set of fun loving people. After a grand farewell, we finally, finally, finally, boarded the plane. We were in for a surprise. It was no way near what we had imagined. I seriously thought it would be an enhanced version of the KPN Air bus and what stood in front of my eyes was completely different.
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Soon after who-has-to-sit-near-the-window-fight between me and sis, we settled in, with the lovely Air-hostess asking us to fasten our belts, since we were the only kids in the flight then. That second, when the huge plane broke into a run , for almost 5 minutes, and suddenly taking off from the ground and soaring into the skies, still remains fresh in my memory. I was excited and so was Sis. For about fifteen to twenty minutes, we were just looking out of the window, at the clouds, their shapes, at what lay beneath, far away from us. The miniature version was just out of the world.
After the initial rounds of refreshments and chocolates, the Air-hostess came around and gave us a Jet Kid’s bag with some goodies in it and asked us if we wanted anything else. I was enjoying all the attention we were given, since we happened to be the only kids on board the flight. Who doesn’t enjoy attention? We then spotted a few magazines and immediately started solving the crossword for kids, which was in one of the pages. After about ten more minutes, we were treated to some delicious snacks and main course. We were enjoying every bit of it and savoring every moment.
Since it was just a one hour flight, we did not get bored. We had something to occupy us at all times. From cloud watching, to munching to solving crosswords and enjoying what was served, we had a whale of a time.We were happy that, after having waited for so long, this experience not only met our expectations, but exceeded our expectations in ways we had never imagined. We were not disappointed in any aspect. The experience proved to be worth the wait.
After watching what was outside the flight, we then turned our attention to the people inside the flight. The Gentleman who was seated next to us was eating his Dosa with a fork. And the lady seated diagonally opposite us probably felt she had to empty the contents of the make up kit she was carrying, since she was constantly busy with it. I distinctly remember the face of another person who seemed to think that it was necessary that everyone travelling needed to know what the conversation between him and his friend was. since we were not very skillful in hiding our laughter, we decided it would be better, and safe if we just continued to look outside, so that we do not start laughing, embarrassing ourselves and those concerned in the process.
Finally, after an hour and ten minutes, we landed in Chennai. The first flight experience ,coming back home to where the heart belonged , waiting to see the happy faces of our Grandparents, everything left us feeling happy. When we were about to alight, the Captain gave us a few more special chocolates and we bade Goodbye to the lovely crew and headed Home.
My first experience was indeed a special one. They were special because of many reasons, not just one and perhaps that was the reason for it being so very special. I’ve traveled a lot in flights after this, but every time I board the flight, I am always reminded of the first time I stepped in and that always brings a smile on my face. Today, it is not that big a deal, but on that day, It meant the world to me.
I’m eternally grateful to My Dad and Jet Airways for giving me such a lovely experience.