Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Up in the Air...my first Journey alone on an airplane

"Just two thousand?!!?" It costs me almost the same amount for an AC class train ticket to Delhi. I will go by flight I thought, not realising that it would the first time I would be traveling alone on an airplane. I traveled once before but that was when I could comfortably stretch my legs in my seat without the occupant of the seat in the front warning me not to hit his legs! This time it was different. Because, all I knew about catching a plane was that it was no train journey where you could do the 'a minute before departure' arrival and jump into the train!

All I knew was to watch a flying airplane open mouthed. On my first journey when I was a kid, my mother took all the necessary steps for a flight journey and I only remember watching through the window, the vast green, brown and black blocks below. But as I sat inside the plane for the second time in my life, I realised how beautiful and worse a flight journey can be. But one thing always drives me crazy. The fact that at six in the morning, I am in Hyderabad and by eight, I am in Kochi or Delhi. It took me sometime on both the occasions to realise that I was hundreds of kilometers away from Hyderabad by the time I was fully awake. One fact that equally scares me is that if I get used to traveling by air in future, I might find train journey strenuous! I love both modes of transport and I haven't yet traveled in a ship!

Since this is my first time on a flight alone, I was in the airport by 3:30 AM to catch a 6:05 AM plane. As the 'metal bird' carrying me accelerated, my whole body warmed. As it took off, I felt nothing. But as I saw the things I felt huge on the ground gradually become small, I realised I was high in the air. I felt I belonged to the air. 'What a take off!! Maybe everyone felt the same.' I thought and looked around only to see that half of the passengers deep asleep and the other half reading the newspaper or waiting impatiently for the coffee trolley. My neighbour was angry about the sudden and hard take off!

The sunrise was spectacular. I did not care to close the window flap to watch it. It was not like the one at Kanyakumari but it was new and nice! I started taking pictures of whatever I never saw from the top. Hills, forests, clouds, reflection of the rising sun in water bodies and airplanes! The air hostesses were performing their routines trying their best not show their bored faces, hiding them behind smiles! The pilot was detailing us about our journey, turbulences and the time of landing and announced that we were just few minutes away from Delhi and would landing soon. Wow! So fast! It felt nice. What a journey!! I guess I belong to the air!

No. It did not feel nice. It started just then and it felt like hours. Ear pain! I have never experienced pain in my ears to such extent. Then I remembered that my mother stuffed cotton in my ears last time and gave me chocolates to chew. My thoughts were again interrupted by stinging pain in my ears! This vehicle does not even have a chain to pull in emergency!! I occupied the window seat and could not even move into the aile because the two persons beside me were happily sleeping. How!!? People were still were drinking coffee happily and chatting. How!?

We descended over Delhi, my ear throbbing at its maximum. The morning Delhi was already on the move on the ground. And none among them have ear pain. I could hear nothing through my right ear and I was sure it would remain so for atleast a day. It did too. Maybe I belonged to the ground. Then we landed which I thought was the hardest thing for me that day!!
'Now, that's a smooth landing,' said my neighbour. 

Sunrise amidst the clouds

Reflection- water bodies