On Board Flight 001!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos

37 thoughts on “On Board Flight 001!

  1. Oh my, I remember my very first flight now- Coimbatore to Bangalore. Some wonderful memories indeed. Completely agree with you- how it is no big deal now since we've become so used to it, but on that particular day, it meant everything
    And wow, you stayed in Cochin before? That is one city I quite like!
    Nice reading your walk down memory lane, ashwini 🙂

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  2. Your uncle and then my boyhood classmate, TrS, directed me here to read your account. Nice chronicle. You are also appreciated for observing the netiquette by using only royalty & rights free images.

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  3. Some memories linger in our minds forever. You described your fantasy for flying and how that dream became a reality one day beautifully. And great that the first experience didn’t disappoint one little bit. The first memory of doing something always stays in our mind and I am happy that you had a wonderful first flight. Of course the goodies and chocolates are a great welcome bonus. I can read the excitement and joy of your first flight experience. In a sense, you reminded me of my childhood and its wonderful memories.

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  4. Aw good fun 🙂 loved your post… I always enjoyed flying as a kid, esp the toffess the stewardesses would serve and the food trays!!

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  5. Hi Ashwini

    I was in my early twenties when I took my first flight…Your mention of your fascination looking up at these winged birds in the bird as a kid brought back some similar memories…Nice post!

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  6. 🙂 naiceeeeeeeeeeee

    I love to fly, I know people have had problems etc etc but then that all the fun part of it , I have had so many in indian domestic flights but thankfull the long haul ones I have been lucky , other then once a change of plan due to bad weather in Germany.

    I have always been in love with flying since my college days when i had ncc and I took gliding , and then did power flying on those lovely Yellow Pushpaks single engine, twin seaters …

    Open letter to all Indians-Bikram's

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  7. you got me all nostalgic :)… my first flight was from Mumbai to Bangalore.. and yes Jet airways and I too got that jet kid bag 🙂 :)…once they gave me the food I wanted more of it..the greedy me 🙂 .. I went into the toilet and took forever to search for the flush 😀 😀 and then when I finally pressed that knob got hell scared with that sound hahahahahah…

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  8. That's a very lovely description of the memory of your first flight. I loved the way you wrote about your childlike innocence and how you loved all the attention there :)I haven't boarded one, though. I have no expectations about my first flight and I wonder if I'll ever board one.

    A great post,Ash and do keep blogging 🙂

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  9. Those good old days Ashwini. Even I loved Jet Airways at one point of time. Flight journey, for me, used to involve food (my plate, mom's plate), trading food items with my little sis.. Damn these low cost airlines! 😀 They have made flight journey similar to a bus trip! 😀

    But now, I usually travel by low cost airways (you see, money matters) 🙂

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  10. Thank you Sruthi 😉
    Yes, I was in Cochin for 4 wonderful years 🙂
    It's things like these, which we expect a lot and when they do meet our expectations, the happiness had no bounds!

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  11. Exactly Raj.The first memory of doing something special always remains fresh in our memory. Happy that this post reminded you of your childhood memories.It was such a huge deal for me you know 🙂

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  12. Thank you Mahesh ;-).Grandpa was really happy for me. Grandpa had travelled in a plane even before me but when I told him about my experience first hand, he pretended that it was the first time he was listening to it, so as to not spoil the excitement with which I was narrating the entire one hour travel :-). He was such a sweetheart you know 🙂

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  13. Thank You 🙂
    Yeah, speaking of problems, my sister was not that comfortable Initially, she felt a bit sick,but soon the excitement took over.

    Wow. It's always been a dream to be able to Fly, in the driver's seat that is. You are my inspiration again Bikram 🙂

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  14. Aww. That JetKids bag was awesome right? with all the goodies? I still remember it vividly :-). Yes, How can I forget to mention about the Food part, being a Great Foodie. Thanks to my sis, she was not that particular about finishing her meal, so I gladly obliged when she asked me to do the honours 🙂

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  15. Thank you Sowmya. Those days Dad used to travel a lot and I used to wonder how it would be to travel. So I guess that is what made me want to trAVEL all the more 😉

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  16. Yes Binu. Good Old days. Thanks to my sister, I always used to eat half of her portions as well. I loved to taste the different snacks and main courses that used to be served. These low cost airlines, seem to deprive us of everything now ;-). Totally agree with you 🙂

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  17. Haha…Nice one..I had been intending to read this since yesterday and believe me, I finished it today with an interruption for every 5 lines..Some memories are cherished forever..:)

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  18. Not had any such luck ! Travelled only once by a helicopter that too when the area was hit by flash floods. What surprised me was the zero movement inside so much so that not even a drop of water would fall out of a glass full to the brim .
    Nice post, as always !

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  20. Ashwin 😀 you got back so many nice memories to all of us 😀
    I remember being very jealous of my cousin who was the first to experience flight among us :d and how she explained things and how I felt super jealous LOL 😀

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  21. Wow! The post automatically took me back to my first memory! Well it was from Vishakapatnam to Bombay. I was just 5. The only thing I remember was that my ears ached a lot due to the low presure in the cabin during landing and take off.

    The next time I had travelled was when I was in Class5 , and this memory is very fresh because I had travelled only with my younger brother (5 years younger) and no one else! It was the east west airlines and the journey was from Bombay to Aurangabad. But I was sacredddddd!

    Lovely post as always Ashwini!

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  22. ashwini..when i travelled first time on air fm mumbai to delhi with some journalists, a pretty reporter asked me whether she could take my window seat..”heyy no prob..i keep travelling so often,” i bluffed..when the plane took off, i was so eager to look out and kept nodding my head…it was so embarrassing..hehe

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  23. Thank you Jenny :-). I guess even my sister had the same problem initially, but then the excitement took over and she forgot about it. Nice to know you got to travel all alone at a young age. That would have been thrilling indeed 🙂

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