How I hate Air travel .The very prospect of being caged in metal and so many miles above the ground is un daunting .Perhaps I am too in love with myself . I have often chewed and digested on the thought that ‘your life matters little to anyone but yourself ’,yet it has not made any dent in my psyche…because still I get my panic attacks and other phobias.
When I told my father about my misgivings he simply said,’ enjoy your journey’. Just imagine yourself in an amusement park with all sorts of merry-go-rounds, Ferris wheels, etc.
Armed with assurances of my family I made mental notes and decided to enjoy my trip…believe me I did.
Air bound in Air India on 10K window seat on the right side with a friendly red coloured fan outside my window .As I settled down in my seat I fished out the delicious Besan ki Roti my Mum had lovingly packed (she knows about my aversion to outside food- )and started eating to the roving eyes of the passengers,nodding my smiles to them.
Soon the plane started taxing I nearly chocked on my last morsel –the T.V. screen in front of me was beaming the important safety instructions ….i.e. how to make use of several devices in case of emergency (in my minds eye…flash of a crash …falling helplessly with flailing arms and feet …added to this grotesque picture is the nightmare of being a sole survivor … Castaway made a sensational impact) in a monotone –soothing to the ears but very fast for a good comprehension …I assured my nerves ‘all is well’(well anywhere is safer than Delhi roads!)… looked out of the window to witness a fleet of huge planes mainly Air Canada standing there a few were taxing further down and one took off showcasing all its glory on the take-off !The wright brothers in their own way have revolutionized the world I say!So many thoughts were coursing through my mind …the plane gathered speed and I got a thrill as the aero plane lifted –why ? well I imagined myself on a giant Ferris wheel … I could see the 401 snaking its way along with zillion cars I am sure was my brother’s whom I waved …the 407,409 ..the
,the Rouge valley…-the C.N.E. The wide expanse of the Ontario lake …Since it was cloudy we were surrounded by fog …the plane kept up its upward route and we were in clear blue skies with the sun shining and we were skimming over a fleece carpet absolutely pristine white . We seemed to be moving through a myriad patterns of seemingly stationary feathery clouds .Above I saw another plane zoom silently leaving behind a white trail. I marveled at the importance of the control tower and fervently thanked them for doing their job well. Inside ,suddenly the sign flashed to open up the seat belt while I was obediently fumbling with it the airhostess wheeled in the lunch cart dishing out meals curtly questioning each of the passengers vegetarian ?...non- vegetarian? Don Valley
I now planned to sleep ,in order to put out the noise of the droning I put on my earphones of the T.V screen and selected hindi music …For sometime the vibrant voice of Amin Sayani’s ‘Geetmala’ captivated me while I read the inflight magazine and copied copiously from an article on Santa Claus for the blog.
I chanced to look down from the window( I had elevated myself sitting on my jackets and scarfs )and there were gaps in the fleece carpet showing me the mother earth with colourful patterns made of green brown and blue .The poet in me wanted to do poetry had no time to scribble I just wanted to soak in the view and just did just that till the fleece carpet blanketed the view.
By 2.30 p.m. Toronto time …dusk came in beaming it’s vibrant colours on the fleece carpet .It was akin to the coloured light displays that changes the milky Niagra falls at night .The white fleece carpet underneath the plane was now pink,now orange,now orangish pink and then light grey and then granite –an ethereal beauty a must see when you are up there. One feels one has stepped into sheer splendid splendour of God’s Kingdom and it seemed walt Disney’s ?Tinkerbell and company would spring forth from some cloud . Since we were going East and the sun was going west the night set in …soon it was dark lit up with twinkling stars and the nearly full moon –I saw many a shooting stars !fervently wishing upon them –Hope and pray they come true !!!!!The scene outside seemed almost stationery only the fan outside seemed to be flashing it’s light and seemed to be moving.
Now I selected English movies and saw ,heard a couple of movies in a sort of a planetarium meaning thereby looking out and hearing the soundtrack of the movie.At about 8 p.m Toronto time the air hostess wheeled in the dinner cart –I took out my mummy’s yummy Roti’s and relished them with the tasty yogurt they had served .I decided to sleep as I had seen enough of carpets and canopies .Before settling my jacket on the little window sill to be a pillow …I slipped up the shutter to a breadth taking view down below .There were no clouds whatsoever! There was this exquisite pattern of yellow light’s carpet on the earth .A kaleidoscope of a vast expanse of resplendent twinkling patterns .That was man’s creation of stars on earth. What a beautiful carpet !sleep just vanished .I felt right on top of the world!When I had extended my ticket they said I had been upgraded to the Queen’s class . I didn’t see much difference between the economy and Queen then .I did feel like a Queen slowly cruising between God’s starlit night and 3/4th moon overhead and
Edison’s earth lit night below!Soon the apparition was a blur and I was staring into darkness so the movie took over my interest and soon again came across another intricately shimmering earth carpet.I could also see lights shimmering on the`water perhaps it was a port .Thus it went on as the rotating of a kaleidoscope new patterns of carpet’s underneath emerged much to my visual delight!I could not sleep a wink though I felt a little tired the wonder and expectantly waiting to see a new shimmering intricate pattern was too much to give a miss by sleeping over it ! Suddenly God’s grey fleece carpet came in and obliterated the earth so I once again planned to sleep ….Not to be –for at the horizon (where the fleece carpet and the space met) I could see a faint light .I looked at my watch which still had Toronto time said 10p.m. Hues of dawn came into being as in the introduction of motion picture –it looked so unreal ! breathtaking ! so beautiful …just the music of the orchestra was missing to show the onset of the radiant lights coming to fill the space . I could not see the orange orb of the sun but I could picture it vividly as the red fan ..next to my window caught the glow and reflected the brand new orange colour and the tarmac carpet below caught the colour of orange and soon it took on the different rainbow colours and finally it settled to a white fleece carpet . The movie had almost come to an end and I pulled down the shutter and settled for sleep …I must have caught my forty winks I awoke to the sound of the clutter of the breakfast cart with the lizard eyed airhostess mechanically dolling out trays emotionlessly …Robots will be a better proposition I am sure !
I slid open my window and to my delight saw a large expanse of the earth far away I could see what I thought was white and black clouds deep down closer to the earth we were around 39,000 m above the ground ! When we came almost above them I recognized them as mountains .They seemed like clay models we as kids made for our geography project . one could see pencil drawings of rivers ,some gorges even from up there they looked menacing…In the gorges were pencil thin lines –perhaps a river I could not see the water . Further I came across a lake in which the reflection of a mountain was there!The mountain range was white like cement with black in between them to me it did not look like snow. The whole range looked very bright …I could feel the discomfort of the glare in my eye hence I relaxed.A steward came in with declaration form a signal that we were close to the destination . I asked him where were we ?
he said I gazed down at my neighbour country all I could see was a photo like Mohonjodaro and Harrapa. Pakistan
After some time the pilot’s voice filled the aircraft saying Delhi was round the corner … would start descending …it was a comfortable gradual descend down below I saw unclear air yes!
had arrived with pollution ,smog and all …then I saw the shadow of our plane gliding over a patchwork carpet of an entire township …I could see high rise buildings ,small ones huddled together unplanned green patches,slum ,rail tracks …as we came nearer I could see trains moving ,Leo toy like cars racing along side the green and red buses of the D.T.C.(Delhi Transport Corporation) could see the Metro shooting off some place. It was all so cute! I was transposed to my childhood days at Delhi Poona where my Dad would take us for long walks to Deccan Gymkhana where there was this working model of the Railway set complete with tracks,trains,signals station and what you will. Our eye candy which we never were tired of seeing .
Before long I felt the wheels touch the runway racing on the airstrip … back to the pavilion ,after a magical time spent air bound in the sheer splendor of experiencing a fourteen hour poetry in movement! What are journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!