It’s probably four in the morning and the alarm hasn’t rung. Am I waiting for it to ring or hoping that it never does; in the sense that the moments stay where they are and never end? It is gonna be my first in many ways – first time being completely independent, first experience on foreign soil with complete strangers but above all; my FIRST FLIGHT.
My so-called journey started with the scheduled flight being cancelled and loosing my insurance details only added to my troubles. However, by 1 am everything was calm and under control as I slept before my all-important day.
I finally got up; I wouldn’t say I woke up because I don’t think I slept. Going through with the chores, I got quite shaky…the moment was oh so very near. I got to the airport, the first time for myself, and was greeted by two very dear people. I couldn’t have waited longer; it would only get more dramatic. So, I decided to leave almost immediately. Bidding adieu I walked inside the airport. The check in was smooth and I got on board in about a couple of hours.
What if there was a technical problem, air turbulence, bad weather, worse still a hijack? All these and various other wild thoughts ran through my head while reading the safety measures. There were life jackets but surely no parachutes. Barely did I calm my self, did the captain announce that the flight has a technical problem. Wow! The problem though was a technical fault with the door not being able to shut, and so the flight would be delayed by half an hour. I hadn’t slept, so decided to do just that. Eventually, the heat and hunger woke me up. It had already been an hour and took another half-n-hour before we took off; quite an experience for a ‘first flight.’
We finally moved. 55 seconds of full throttle and I was flying a blue dream. In seconds, we were above the Arabian Sea. It was amazing that in minutes we were thousands of meters above the ground, way above the clouds. 30 km into the stratosphere with an air temperature of -63 degrees and you are comfortably seated in your pair of jeans merrily eating and drinking; wonders of modern science that I have learnt very late. And yes, that’s exactly what I had, enjoyed my meals and caught up on some desperately needed sleep.
When finally I woke up, we were flying over Istanbul. I decided to take a walk to get some much-needed blood circulation into my legs. Out of a first flight fear, I had earlier opted against the window, a decision I probably regretted later. After a small stroll, I stood besides an emergency exit. It was simply one of the most breathtaking sights I have seen; at 30 km above sea level, it looked stunning. The layers of the terrain, some light and some dark, offered a view that I'd never seen before. The sight got even more beautiful, when we flew over UK. We were descending, getting closer to the surface and the sights were starting to make more sense. The bird’s eye view of London made it seem to be a beautifully planned city with classy structures sans too many skyscrapers – a sight that I would always remember.
Somehow, till date, I still have a percent of aviophobia in me.