‘Don’t put your hand outside the window and play’ says my brother. I roll my eyes and ignore him. He is busy munching chips and teasing me (His favourite pastime huh!! These siblings I tell you!!). He continues ‘Don’t try to put your head outside the window and look outside’. I turn and give him if you don’t stop I will kill you look. ‘Hey I am just trying to cool your nerves. Look at you how tensed you are’ he says. Yeah I have to agree with him I do look tensed after all this is first time I am travelling abroad and icing on the cake traveling first time in aeroplane. Flying in so much height and for so long leaves me nervous. I have to admit I have trust issues with these flight journeys.
‘Hey that is such a good news. Wow!! A good move in your career’ my friend says when I tell her about my work assignment abroad. ‘You must be very happy. Get me loads of chocolates’ says my baby cousin. ‘I am so proud of you. You have made the family proud’ says my dad. Now if you ask me how I am feeling? Nervous!! Tensed!! Goosebumps!! Butterflies (Any more you want me to add: P).
It is holiday season so flights are running full hence I am asked to travel from Bangalore to Mumbai, Mumbai to Dubai and from there to England. My town being close to Bangalore there was never a chance for me to travel more than 3 hrs and now I have to travel across cities. I could see my Dad is also tensed this makes me more nervous. The day has finally arrived. #Suitcase packing episode starts. My Mom is busy packing my suitcase. She is trying to fill my suitcase majorly with all sorts of eatables she thinks I will need. I pull the suitcase away from her and say ‘Mom!! Please don’t keep so many things. I am not going to eat all of those. I am not going into jungle where I won’t get anything.’ My Mom pulls a face with #IAM THE MOM expression and says ‘I am not born to you. You are born to me. I know what is best for you’ seriously!!! How on earth can only Moms come up with these kind of logics? I am sure even Superman’s Mom would have told him such logics (Imagine Superman in his costume ready to go out to save the world and his Mom says ‘You are my child first later superman to world. If you go out without finishing your food I will ensure you regret it for rest of your life or Beta wear your underwear inside not outside’). My grandmother chips in and says ‘Why don’t we add some homemade medicines. They will be useful’. My brother says’ What if you lose your luggage?’ My Mom says to my brother ‘Stop scaring her. See I have made these colourful ribbons which I will tie to your suitcase so that you can recognise it easily’. I am going nuts now ‘Noooo!!! Mom please I don’t want those crappy ribbons for my suitcase. They won’t look cool’ I scream. #IAM THE MOM expression comes again on my Mom’s face. I say ‘OK!! Do whatever you think is right. My dad who now looks more nervous than me says ‘Shall come with you till Mumbai?’ My Mom who always accentuated on how girls should be fearless and independent does not like my dad’s proposal. She says ‘She is not the first human to travel abroad its ok she can manage’ (Atta mom!! See how Mom’s logic changes conveniently here!!).
Finally with colourful ribbons tied to four sides of my suit case and my name written with bold letters on the suitcase, I start to airport with my (In) sane family. I can see the cab driver smirking huh! I Love my family I Love my family I keep repeating to myself.
We reach airport on time #boarding the flight episode starts now. I can feel butterflies in my stomach. I go to check in counter with my luggage. I hand over my passport and ticket to lady sitting in the counter. She asks me ‘Do you prefer aisle or window seat?’ I say to her nervously ‘It is my first time in flight’. She says ‘Ok Madam. Do you prefer aisle or window seat?’ She does not see my nervousness. ‘I am nervous I am scared of heights ‘I tell her. She looks bored now. May be she thought next I will tell her about all my fears and complexities, before I could say anything else she says ’Please take your boarding pass Madam I have given you a window seat’. I thank her and proceed to security check. Once I am done with my security, I proceed to gate to board my flight. In front of me I see a huge aircraft. This is the first time I see an aircraft so close I am fascinated by this sight. I take out my phone and message my Dad ‘Daddyyy the flight looks soooo huge. I am excited and tensed both’. My dad replies ‘Ok’. My Dad replied just ‘OK’!! Huh!! I message back ‘Dad I will miss everybody. I want to go there also but want to stay here also’. My Dad replies back ‘Then like Sri Vishnu vamana avatar keep one leg there and one leg here’ (Vamana Avatar is fifth avatar of Vishnu who descends to teach a lesson to King Mahabali). I reply back ‘Ha Ha funny!! He replies back ‘OK’. Arggghhh this ‘OK’ in text messages should be banned!! Gate opens and we are asked to board the flight.
Nervously I enter the flight find my seat and settle. A gentleman comes and sits beside me. Before I could stop myself, I say ‘Hi. Is this your first time in flight?’ He gives me a strange look. Why did I ask if this was his first time? If I am travelling for first time it does not mean everybody else is. ‘No. this is not my first time’ he says. I think he felt insulted. Throughout the flight he does not look at me. I keep myself busy looking outside the window. As the flight is in night I am not able to see much and everything looks dark. We land safely in Mumbai airport. I get down the flight stairs and see a small bus waiting to take passengers to the airport from runway. I see many people carrying suitcases. Where should I get my luggage from? Oh!! May be it works like how they do in buses? May be I have to show my boarding pass to somebody from cabin crew and they will take out my suitcase for me. After getting down the stairs from flight I walk towards the rear of the flight. Somebody from the crew is shouting and trying to say something. I ignore him and walk further. A guy comes running to me and says ‘Madam you are not supposed to come here please walk back to bus’. ‘I have to take my suitcase. I have to catch my international flight next’ I say. He looks totally confused and says ‘Walk back to bus madam you will get your suitcase. ‘But I have not taken my suitcase still if I go back how will I get my suitcase? I have to catch an international flight next’. He looks pissed off now. ‘Madam is this some kind of joke? Are you not aware that you are not supposed to walk under aircraft and on runway?’. ‘This is my first time flight. All I need is my suitcase. I have to catch an international flight’. He looks as if he want to hit me now. He keeps his face as if he is talking to a kid and says ‘Madam you need to walk back to the bus. It will take you to airport and you will get your suitcase there in baggage line. Now will you please walk back to the bus so that you can reach on time to catch your international flight’.
Did he stress on ‘International Flight’ Huh!!!!! Whatever!!! I walk back to bus by now all the impatient passengers are looking very angry and give me stern looks. I reach airport collect my baggage and proceed to check in for my ‘International Flight’ (See now you guys also stressed on it Phew!!!).
I walk into aircraft and settle in my seat. It is a long journey to reach my destination. I immerse myself looking outside the window. After sometime I see I am flying in between clouds. My friend and I always spent free afternoons in childhood lying down in our garden and looking at clouds. I see in one part of the sky sun is setting and another side of the sky it is still bright. What a lovely colour it forms in the sky.
Suddenly I feel like flight is going on series of speed breakers. If you have travelled on the roads of my city you will know this experience. I never thought they have speed breakers in sky also. I ask my fellow passenger ‘Is it speed breaker?’ He looks confused and says ‘What are you saying?’ Suddenly the flight makes sounds THUD…THUD…THUD… and jerks. ‘This’, I say to him ‘Is this jerks because of speed breakers’. He says a small prayer to calm his temper and says to me ‘Have not heard about turbulences in flight journeys? Now let me go back to sleep’. Passenger announcement says ‘Please wear your seat belt and remain seated we are passing through turbulence’. This is it sounds like world is coming to end. I am dead scared. What if the flight collapses? I think about my parents and friends. This is answer to all my sins. I pray to god and as if my prayers are answered the flight is out of turbulence and the jerks stop.
It is announced that we are about to land. I can see green landscape with beautiful view. The flight lands and this time I know where to get my suitcase so I proceed inside the airport. Once I am done with my immigration and I get my luggage.
First time ever I am going to live on my own in an unknown country. I am nervous at the same time excited. I feel all grownup and responsible (On second thought let us leave grown up aside ;-)). I might be lonely without my family. I might miss them terribly but I know now I have to fly with my new found wings. I promise myself that I will have best time in my life. Looking ahead for all the fun and crazy times I will have (Me being “ME” crazy is assured for sure, I walk outside the airport.