Sunday, September 25, 2005

My First Flight

Two months back I went to Bangalore to meet one of my friends from college. One of my friends had come back from US for around a month here and we two had plans to meet our common friend in Bangalore. Since we did not have much time, we had to plan for a flight. I was damn excited about this because it was my first flight (till now its my only flight). I had told my friend, while in the plane, that someday I would write about my flight experience. After a long period I finally managed to get some time for this undertaking.

We left our home at around 5.30 in morning and we had to catch the 7.20 am flight from Delhi to Bangalore and reached an hour earlier than the departure. We had done this to ensure that we could get window seats. And we did get those precious window seats.

We boarded the plane at around 7:30 am. The interior was nice except for the fact that the seats were somewhat cramped (not much to expect in economy class). When the plane was on runway, they started giving us some instructions which I did not care to listen (I was busy with my iPod). Contrary to our expectations, we were greeted by an air host (not hostess). Anyway this did not matter much, as I was overwhelmed by the sheer excitement of flying for the first time.

When the plane took off, I felt the acceleration, and the plane seemed to be tilted at some angle. The noise of the engines was not much audible, but I was thinking that it would have been thunderous outside. I looked through the window. That was the real thing. At once the scenes shown in AXN and Discovery channels became real. In minutes I was on top of the world. The land beneath looked something like the pictures in Google Earth.

Then I moved through the clouds and crossed them. The experience of watching clouds from above was exhilarating. The scenes of heaven normally shown in religious serials on TV are nothing compared to what is actually visible when you go over the clouds. Unfortunately we didn't have camera to record the experience.

I started talking to my friend about the human endeavor. The Wright brothers and a generation of engineers behind them. I was emotionally charged about the engineering profession which made all this possible. In the same instant I remembered John Galt. (Now don't ask me "Who is John Galt?". That immortal query is best answered in Ayn Rand's masterpiece "Atlas Shrugged".) I used to hear in childhood that "Sky is the Limit", but I think people have crossed that limit. These and many other related thoughts about human achievement were coming into my mind.

My friend wasn't that much excited because it wasn't his first flight, and besides he used to get bored during long flight hours from US to India. But I tried to keep him in high spirits through my talk on engineering and stuff like that.

Just after two and a half hours when I looked out in the window I saw land beneath. It was now time to land up in Bangalore. I couldn't imagine that in such a short span of time I crossed more than 2000 Kms from Delhi to Bangalore.

The 5000 bucks spent were worth the journey. I felt proud of myself that I am in a position to spend that much and able to witness the grandest engineering feat. Thanks to my employer for that. And thanks to the Sahara people who have invested in this business (engineering alone is not sufficient, unless somebody invests in it). And last but not the least, thanks to my friend Devashish who was there with me during this journey.

The return journey during night (8.00 pm) had something different to offer. First, we had luck having an air hostess. Secondly, when the plane took off from the ground, we could see lights in the city of Bangalore and these looked like small candles tearing through the darkness around. The lights moved as the plane moved, and it was great watching this. After some minutes, it was all dark outside. I guess we were above clouds again, but couldn't see outside. And then I turned to my iPod.

That was all I had to say about my first flight. Those who have had similar experience will relate to this post much better than others who did not have a chance to fly. To these other readers I would suggest to spend some bucks just for the excitement of flight. I assure you that it would be worth your while.


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1:07 PM  
Blogger Vijay said...

good going... but you can remove that link to google earth, I felt it more incongruous.

I have also ordered for Ipod nano.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi pandy
I am excited to read ur first experience. I too havenot witnessed the flight in my life but when i do i can sort of imagine the same feelings u had.
Thanks for writing about your experience.


9:15 AM  
Blogger Sandeep Shinde said...

Nice one man... I too had a similar experience of flying on my first flight, the diff was... it was an international flight and it lasted for 8 hrs...


10:01 AM  
Anonymous Sunil said...

It was really good.
What you have written is the exact experience.
Is it possible to add some more fun into it?

10:19 AM  

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