To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you are truly wireless.
I have been deeply moved on three occasions in my life.
The first was when I stood on the top of a snowy peak in the
Nilgiris. Secondly, my first sight of the sea which moved me very deeply. Thirdly, my first flight in the air was the most exciting experience in my life. I took a journey by air. How many people have the good fortune to travel by plane? I was one of the fortunate few.
It was a Sunday in the month of December. Our examination was just over. My parents arranged for an air trip from Calcutta to London. I had never made a journey by air before. So I availed myself of the chance.
A chance to go to London by air was an exciting thought.
I was traveling from Calcutta to London by air. Previously, we had been going by car and now came the day when I could experience the feeling of being airborne. After the checking in and the baggage formalities, we waited for a while before our flight was announced. The British Airways, an airbus, was waiting on the runway. I entered the airplane in the morning. It was like getting into a car or bus. But the noise of the machine-made us feels that it was different. Soon I found myself on board. After fixing my seat belt, I looked through the window and waited for the plane to take off. I was extremely excited. At first, the engine roared, Then I felt the plane moving. It was still on the runway as it accelerated and then, in a flash, we were lifted off above Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Dum Dum, right into the clouds. Soon the plane rose in the air higher and higher. The buzzing sound which had fascinated me continued. When I looked down things looked tiny.
My thrilling experience:
It was a thrilling experience as I looked down and saw houses that resembled miniature toy-houses. Then, as we headed towards the hills and the forests, I was struck by the sight of the winding rivers and the lush green tropical scenery below. The plane rushed fast through the air without a bump or a jolt. All of the sudden bad weather overtook us. The plane began to swing from side to side. The pilot was a little troubled in controlling it. But I felt happy like a bird swinging in the air. Due to abysmal weather, some of the passengers felt sick. Some slept in their seats but I sat still to enjoy. I took great pleasure in looking at the scenery of the different places as we passed over. After flying for a few hours, we were told that we were passing over a big desert which looked like a meadow from the air. It was a lovely sight. The sun was just setting in the distant horizon. The ships below looked like toys floating in a tub of water. The blue sea was simply enchanting.
Night halt at Cairo:
We stopped at Cairo for the night halt. The coming down of the plane was quite pleasant. The plane had made some peculiar movements while landing. I was told that it was due to some engine trouble.
Meeting with the plane crew:
During dinner, I was introduced to the members of the plane crew. There was the chief pilot who commanded the plane. Then there was a Co-pilot, a radio officer and three officers belonging to the plane. One of them was an engineer, another radio expert and the third radioman. There were also pursers and air hostesses to look after the passengers. We retired for rest very soon as the plane was to take off very early in the morning. But I could not sleep. If ever I closed my eyes, I was awakened by a constant buzzing sound in my brain. I began to think again of the lands I had passed over.
My father woke me up. Soon we took off again. It seemed to be a big dash through the air. I was very anxious to get a glimpse of Paris. But when we were approaching France, strong winds overtook us. Fog blinded our view. I was badly disappointed. Our plane finally touched down at Heathrow Airport, from where we drove off to a hotel in the heart of London.
The total flight had taken us nearly twelve hours, excluding the night’s halt at Cairo. From Delhi to Karachi it was about two hours’ flight. Then Karachi to Cairo took us about five hours, from Cairo to Paris for about four hours and from Paris to London for about an hour. It was a very interesting and exciting journey in my life indeed.