Saturday, October 31, 2009


After three months of driness I finally have something to write! I'll write the significant things only! This is about my first journey on flight.

To attend my MPhil viva on 29th October, I had booked a flight to Cochin, from Mumbai, and due to shortage of leave, I had to cancel my train ticket and booked for a return flight ticket.

Since it was the first time, I was very afraid and kept dreaming almost everyday before the journey, about boarding a flight and wiered things happening in it. Everybody around me kept on consoling me, that there's nothing to be frightened of, but still I was afraid, my biggest fear being air sickness. Suman said "The atmost thing that can happen is that the plane will crash!" Mom used to tease me not to go and get into some other flight! Ho!
At last that big day came. On 23rd October, my uncle dropped me at CSIA, Mumbai. As per the instructions he had given me, I proceeded. There at the entrance a man, hearing me and uncle talking in Malayalam asked me whether I knew the procedures. I told him no, and followed him to the counter. He too was a passenger on SG 101, from Mumbai to Cochin.

In between i have to halt to mrntion that, my first flight had the pecularity of me travelling with only a single school bag with the least amount of luggage I have ever carried in my life (for I had unpacked many things at my aunt's home the previous day)!

So I get my boarding pass, my seat number was 2F. The air hostess had asked which seat did I want. I chose the window seat. My gate number was 6 and taking a cabin baggage tag, I looked for that man, and somehow found him. Then we proceeded for the security check and I to the ladies section. The police woman (she's a very young woman almost of my ge) told angrily at me to put my bag into the xray checking machine. (I was confused because it ws my first time and then put it there) she checked me and I got my bag security checked and with a tag of goindigo! :)

I went directly to the gate and sat on a seat right in front of it. I paid attention to every announcement there and sat very cautiously. I could see the screen at the gate and kept glancing at it every now and then. Finally I saw my 'instructor' arrive and sit on the other side.
I saw CCD on my RHS. : ) ( I found out that every airport has a CCD there. :) or atleast, CSIA and Nedumbassery have! ) A flight to Ahemmadabad was being boarded. Announcement for missing passengers was going on. I phoned home and almost everyone whom I thought I should call (though that amounts to less than five calls).

Truly speaking, my feeling was the same as I feel before an exam for which I haven't learned anything. i.e. It should start soon and end as soon as it can!
Finally, my time came and I proceeded to the gate, showed the boarding pass, my tag, and got into the airbus. Almost all passengers were Malayalis, and there was a family travelling with children, the grandpa took photos of flights taking off, and every child on the bus was excited! And the child who is 23 years old was also excited. I regret my lack of a good camera!

Finally the bus stopped at the entrance to the flight and I got in after showing the boarding pass. The beautiful air hostesses wished everybody goodmorning, and I found my seat Window seat of the second row on the right. An elderly lady, and a girl were my neighbours. I placed my bag in the cabin above and sat on my seat. Then I got cotton and a bottle of water from the AH. placed the cotton in my ear and sat there. I found the seat belt and tried it out! I was actually surprised to find that it was an abdomen belt. I fastened it and by some intution I unfastened it ( I was very happy to do so :) ). The door was closed and the main AH announced and there was demonstration of the safety measures to be followed. The flight kept on moving and waited for its turn in the line of other planes.

I kept looking out of the window and saw the runway and many planes parked far away. At that time, I saw a white bird, probably a crane, almost as a spot. My attention went to it, and I was thinking; "I'm for the first time in the airport, so I should watch planes, but why is this bird capturing my attention?" :)
I touched the solid wall near the window; to know how duralumin felt like; for I had learned in high school that planes are made using duralumin.

Then came our turn. The plane sped off fast on the runway and all of a sudden I was up! Against gravity! Within moments I was high above the sea. The pilot announced the route as west above the Arabian sea and then to south to Cochin. I saw the vast sea which I admire now a days, from above and boats as dots and finger length ships. :) (Those ships must be very large ones!) Then saw the blue of the sea mixing with the sky and at some point, I couldn't distinguish between the sky and the sea. :) Horizon had disappeared. Up at some 30000feet above the sea level, I was above the clouds, the place where I had always dreamed of going right from my childhood. There were clouds and clouds only, just like frozen sea waves. White and soft.

The AH announced that the seat belts could be opened. I went to toilet. I had to stand in a que and waiting there and looking over my shoulder I saw many people. I felt a stage fright sort of thing. Coming back, I heard that coffee would be available at Rs 20, sandwich at Rs 50 etc. Since my bag was kept up, I closed my eyes and started sleeping. I slept for sometime, and when I woke up, I heard that we were travelling over Goa. So I looked out excitedly out of the window, to see, sea and land which appeared just as viewed in a Google map.The altitude was approx. 11000 feet. I was under the impression was that it was Goa and kept watching only to realise that Bangalore and Calicut have passed. The AH was announcing that we would land in a short while. I think I saw Sahya Parvatha, and then I saw a land, from 4000 feet, with a vast amount of greenary, especially, coconut trees. :) The plane was slowly descending.It tilted sideways to change drn. I felt giddy and closed my eye for a while. When I opened them, I saw coconut tree tops, Crosses of two old Churches and atlast as a confirmation to the fact that it really was Keralam, a yellow private bus. :)

The plane landed and the doors were opened. The passengers stood in que to get down. I took my bag from above and got down from the plane. Walking freely towards the exit, I looked for Amma and Acha. I was just about to take my mobile out, and switch it on and call them, that I saw them waiting at the entrance. I walked out and joined them for the other adventures of the day. :)

PS : It took me almost twice the travelling time from Mumbai to Cochin, to reach Muthoor from Cochin. :) I said to Mom; "I wish there was an airport in Pathanamthitta district. It would save time."

PSS: Anyway my first flight was a memorable one. Though I was very afraid of flight at first, the main factor which prompted me to face it courageously was the curiosity to know how it would feel when one went against gravity. (Unlike in a lift.)