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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~ Part 1~

  MY  WORLD..........


Manifested, Planned, Destined

Part 1

  A cab would pick us up at 9 am. We woke up at quarter to eight. We were supposed to board the first flight of our lives at 12:50 pm. I, or rather we, were very excited. My heart beat fast. We had a quick bath and dressed ourselves. I was walking all over the house, checking taps, switches, windows, cupboard locks and drawers. My dad calls me the man of the house. I was filled with a sense of responsibility and did all that my father does while leaving the house for a trip.
         The cab was booked by my dad the day before on the net. Things have become much easier. I had gone with dad on a short errand to the taxi stand. It was disgusting. I was filled with concern because if the taxi drivers continue the ’aana hain toh aa’ attitude and rude behavior of theirs Mumbai’s not going to have a single taxi in the coming 5 years. Luckily, we have a number of private taxi companies which have efficient and punctual service and easy booking. We gave our address, our destination (domestic airport) and lo! Magic. The cab was ready on time to take us to the airport.
         A sleek Esteem was ready on our doorstep. In about 1 hour 45 minutes, we reached the domestic Airport. As we entered, an INDIGO aircraft flew over our heads. I was speechless then, I am speechless now! After getting the boarding passes and attaching the “handbag tag”, I looked at the time. Only 11:30! Someone told us we had to go to gate 6 at 12:20. Till then we had one veg. and two chicken sandwiches. We had a stroll by the bookstore. Ten minutes prior, unable to control our enthusiasm, we were standing on Gate 6. A huge bus would take us to the aircraft. I was surprised on seeing that though it was an airport, the people were standing like in a local bus. The aircraft had a capacity of 212 passengers and the bus’ seating capacity was not more than thirty. We could now see the huge Spice jet SG 109 about 20 metres ahead of us. We walked towards the front entry to enter the gigantic plane. We chose the front entrance when my dad suggested we peep into the cockpit. However, we had to enter through the back entry because our seats were towards the back. As we entered I spotted the Pilots who would be piloting our plane. We were a bit unfortunate that we got the two seats opposite to each other-22a, 22b, 22e, 22f. However, we got a wonderful view of the wing. The proximity of the aircraft amazed me. The huge 112 feet 7 inches wing cast a monstrous shadow on the people who were walking through it and entering from the back door. Then, we heard numerous announcements in different languages saying that the departure would delay because someone hadn’t reached the airport due to the usual Mumbai traffics. And then the aircraft moved. I released the breath I had held from the airport to the plane. Take-off Time.
RUNWAY AND TAKE-OFF
WHOOOOOOOOOOOFSSSSSSHHHHHHHH………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No! Not that easy.
As the plane moved towards the runway, the pilot, who seemed to be very interactive and friendly, gave us a little information about the sights we could see on the left and right. However, we knew that the pilot, himself, was getting the best view. I could see the wing move, some part of it opened, just like a Chinese fan.
My mom was beside me. She was tensed. I yet don’t know why. Maybe it was because she was sitting in a plane for the first time, and so was I. My heart thumped with delight, my toes bent with anxiety, my hands folded automatically with nervousness, my eyes closed with excitement, my calf muscles contracted with tension, I got goose bumps with fear. The plane was speeding up. I held my mom’s comforting hands. My tongue licked my lips with glee. The high speed of the colossal machine sent shivers up my spine. And then, suddenly I felt a sensation of being shot out of a canyon. My head ached. I felt drowsy. To my right I could see toy cars and a flyover, a number of buildings and in a jiffy all of it vanished. Now all I could see was the Arabian Sea leave the Juhu beach behind it. I couldn’t hear. A sort of blockage was felt within the ears. And then there was the dream come true. We would cover 1000 kilo meters in 2 hours which would take 27 hours by road and 16 to 20 by train. I yet was flabbergasted. Oh my, we are hundreds of kilometers above the surface of the earth. Below me I could see small patches of land and the vast sea. A moment came when I asked, “Have halted or taken a break?” it was rather a foolish question to ask. I could see only a white, stationary blanket of clouds. My father explained that motion is relative and I felt as if the plane was not moving because the clouds weren’t moving backwards. I could yet see my mother mesmerized. However, she became comfortable as the journey proceeded and began reading the magazine provided in the aeroplane. We were too excited and enchanted, we hardly were interested to eat or drink anything. Later, we exchanged places and I sat with my brother. He too, was enchanted with the scenic beauty. He explained very cutely the types of clouds from cirrus to nimbus to stratus. He always wants a window seat in the bus and in the plane too, he wanted to sit by the window.
             The best thing was that we weren’t worried about our luggage. It was safely loaded in the cargo. Normally, in trains we had to tie up our luggage with chains and my dad was so insecure about the luggage he hardly would sleep. But now we had no worries . And it was only a matter of 2 hours.
          A number of my friends said that the luggage checking is very strict. Though it was strict, it all happened easily. We had made about 5 to 6 calls to the Spicejet helpline and that had helped.
            After an hour, we all were absorbed into ourselves. Shahaan (my brother) was watching a movie on the Tab. My mom and dad were reading the magazine. I was seeing through the window and adoring the wonderful world from the stratosphere. the world up there was amazing. Serene, calm. No noise. Living up there would  be wonderful!
          At that time, a number of thoughts popped my mind. I thought of living in the clouds. I thought if God lives up, how "up" does he live if we are above the clouds. I was fascinated with the various professions I could take up in the aviation industry. I wondered "exactly how high are we!!!" How will the plane cover 1000 km in 2 hours. I thought about the temperature outside. I asked myself- if the plane passes through the clouds, why don't the wings get wet? How many states have crossed and how many are we going to?Where are we exactly?
          I got an inaccurate answer to the last question, when an announcement was made that we were about to land shortly, in Coimbatore.
          Five minutes later the pilot announced that a number of windmills are visible on the left. I had spotted those windmills much earlier. Some distance away I saw clouds. But these one weren't the usual. They were huger, larger. The aircraft entered the clouds, and all of a sudden, everything went blank. Then, we experienced a massive jerk and bounced twice. Maybe the plane was maneuvering through the clouds, or maybe it had hit them. I tightly clutched to my seat. It reminded me of the potholes of Mumbai.
          It was half an hour past the announcement and now we could see small settlements. We saw tall palms standing upright, but dancing with the sea breeze. We then saw houses. A lots of them. There were no buildings or sky scrapers. Only villas, that too, of bright, varied colours. We could then see an airport. Now we were sure to land.

          The plane slowed down. It ran, or flew for a distance over the runway. Then the wheels hit the ground. I felt as though we are going to take off again. However, the feelings and emotions and vibrations were not as high and enthralling as they were while taking off. It was, rather bumpy. It was as though a hundreds of speed breakers were  kept side by side. The landing then became smoother, and faster. Then, very slowly and gradually the SG109 came to a halt. We were asked to be seated till the plane came to a complete halt. We happily obeyed. I could see a huge board saying Coimbatore International Airport. Under it, the same was written in Tamil. I was surprised. Two hours back, we were in Maharashtra, and now we were in a new state all together-Tamil Nadu!
          Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 2~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


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