Sunday, June 17, 2007
Fasten your Seat Belts
“Sir, would you prefer a window or an isle seat?” the lady at the check-in desk asked me, and a smile crossed my face. “Window,” I said. I have flown so many times before but the silly fascination of sitting on the window seat watching the action out of those tiny vacuumed glass cubes remains unchanged from what it was when I took my first flight. An airplane always brings back the kid in me.
I especially was not going to miss this opportunity because, it was late afternoon, and this is the time when you get the best view. After the security checks and a cup of coffee, I boarded the plane. As always, I was as eager as the maintenance engineer to find out what was happening in that open turbine cabinet and the hydraulic shafts and kept catching glances from the corner of my eye.
I so hate waiting in anticipation of a good co-passenger. So far, on most occasions I have been unable to find that vivacious person with whom you can strike an interesting conversation during the course of the flight to save yourself and hopefully, him or her from the boredom of flying. Reading is always the redeemer. This time though, to my surprise, the two seats besides me were empty. I thought rather not have a companion than having an unpleasant one! Life isn’t binary after all.
The safety demonstration and instructions got the “yeah, yeah, we have heard that before” looks from most passengers. In the meanwhile it felt like the plane had been taking rounds of the around the take-off strip for ever. I was beginning to get bored.
Finally that loud roar of the engines, the rudders sloping downwards and the wings raised a notch above the horizontal like a bird taking off, my surroundings appeared to be sliding backwards at a rapid pace and I was soon (my chronograph showed 35 seconds) off the ground after what felt like mild tremors.
Now coming to the point why I am writing the blog? I am sure everyone has traveled by air before and I shouldn’t be bothering you with tit-bits you already know. I am going to describe to you what I saw.
As the plane grew in altitude, I saw the most amazing view of Mumbai and its coastline. Cars looking like ants and local trains like serpents in a maze. It looked like on of those images you see on Google Earth, but way better in clarity. The cabin in-charge has mentioned that photography is prohibited, but I couldn’t resist sneaking a few photographs in.
As we moved higher, all we could see below is clouds stretched over the blue sky, like ice-bergs drifting in the ocean. It was breath-taking. On the clouds, I spotted the reflection of my plane, and realized how big the cloud actually must be in contrast to the plane. Besides, like the cherry on the cake, we even sighted a rainbow. I so wish I could push open the glass windows so that I could actually capture that sight, but sigh, it wasn’t possible.
But nonetheless, it gave me some more pass time in the plane in the form of writing this entry. Hope I have a safe landing. Bon Voyage to all my engineering pals who are traveling out of town this vacation!