My First Flight…The Most Memorable One!


I have taken many flights of fantasy but this was a real one. I can still feel that sensation, that ecstasy and elation.

I still remember the way I announced…‘We are going to Srinagar by air’ as if I was already on cloud nine! And the beaming face of my mother is etched in my memory.

I could never write about it as the feeling is inexplicable, the rapture of delight is unfathomable…words can never describe some emotions yet I want to record them in whatever words I can find.

Married off at 23, I didn’t expect much as I had no idea what a blissful relationship it could be. Prejudiced against this overrated institution or ignorant about it… I was totally confused and carried on with all the traditions and rituals mutely.

One aspect was very clear in my mind that there would be what people called ‘honeymoon’ though this word too was obscure. I associated it with dream locations and picturesque surroundings.

I was given the opportunity to choose my favorite locale and I chose Srinagar.

Oh! The excitement. The preparations. The plans within my mind! The intensity of emotions that encompassed me kept me awake for long hours.

I was going to fly for the first time! Whatever travel I had known till then was either by bus or on motorbike. The thought of flying had never crossed my mind.

Those were the times when there were no online bookings and no smart phones. We boarded a train to Delhi, walked into the airline office to book our tickets, which were dirt-cheap, less than the tariff we paid for staying in a luxurious houseboat.5130140_12_z

Houseboats are dream houses, popularized by movies of those times and were preferred over hotels.

Next morning was the flight. I had nobody around me to share my overflowing emotions. A person of few words, my husband appeared to be very calm as if he had been travelling by air for all the 24 years of his life!

I asked him how was he feeling and he gave me a blank look. He didn’t even ask what I meant.

I told myself he doesn’t know me. Well, Mr. Calm…this is the beginning!

I told him I wanted the window seat and I did get it. All the time I was looking out of the little window (I wondered why do they design such small holes!)

You can’t imagine my amazement of watching the earth from above! No wonder people associate heaven with azure blue!

photo-2The clouds looked more like bales of cotton or soft snow, the sky peeping through pristine white sheet with hues of varied blues and the movement of clouds was mesmerizingly noticeable. My eyes ached but I couldn’t take them off from this ethereal experience.

Those were the days when snacks were offered free even for a one-hour flight but I had no interest in what the smiling airhostess was asking.

Lost in my thoughts, I was thinking about the birds who experience this feeling each time they fly, every single day. I was wondering what could be the thoughts of Wright brothers. I could almost feel their pride and deep down in my heart, there was a tinge of gratitude.

I got shaken out of my reverie when my husband shook me as he thought it was rude not to answer the question of the airhostess. Now each time we fly, he knows he has to tell my preference for a drink on my behalf also.

I have taken many flights after this. I must have flown many hours yet my penchant for a window seat has never waned and my wonder of looking at the clouds, the ocean, the roads and cars, which seem to be transported from the land of Lilliputians has never been quelled.

Today we are celebrating 39 years of flying together.

I wonder how people can sit on the aisle seat and bury their heads into their devices, oblivious of the beauty that sky offers from the windows of an airplane!

One of my friends doesn’t find flying fascinating. Fear grips her as soon as she enters a plane; she feels nauseated and therefore avoids flying!

Do you think flights can be enthralling? What emotions do they arouse?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

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52 thoughts on “My First Flight…The Most Memorable One!

  1. Lovely recollections, Balroop. I can feel your excitement. I dislike flying but do love that bird’s eye view of the beautiful world. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories 🙂

    1. Thank you Diana. I wonder what is there to dislike when we can watch such beauty! 🙂 Yes long flights, which I have to take to visit my home country can be very tiring yet few moments of delight keep me hooked.

      1. While I’m noticing the beauty, my imagination can’t help thinking about crashing, Balroop 🙂 I try to visualize angels holding up the wings and it’s not so bad.

  2. Such a lovely post. Many congratulations.

    I have had been on a number of flights this year. But the most expansive was my flight fantasy which I could do without.

  3. I always dread getting on an airplane, as I do get nauseous and uncomfortable. However, I also am always in awe of the amazing view from up high, and I get pretty annoyed at the people who close the shade so we can’t see out. I think we should always have the wonder of that Birdseye view. Happy 39 years of flying married to you. 💜

    1. Thank you for the wishes Pam, welcome to Emotional Shadows and sharing your emotion of fear, which is quite natural. We all feel that fleeting fear during the rough weather but it is worth the wonders we can see. 🙂

  4. Happy 39 years of flying, Balroop! Your first flying experience sounded like a very smooth one, and I smiled when you said snacks on the plane were free back then. Not always the case these days 🙂

    I too like the window seat best. Some might say it is inconvenient when you want to get up for a stretch, but there is nothing like seeing the world from above. Clouds look like cotton candy, or one big magic carpet. I get a bit sick on planes, but a window seat usually helps 🙂

    1. Thank you Mabel…I have never found the window seat inconvenient and prefer it even when the number of the seat is not allotted at the time of booking. (in some domestic flights) At such times I have to go to the rear seats and feel the tribulations all the more.
      Once the flight was very early morning and I could see the changing hues of the sky from grey to pink to wonderful shades of ochre, blue and orange! 🙂

      1. That early morning flight sounded like a kind of rainbow sky you saw there, changing from colour to colour 🙂

        You know, each time I ask for a window seat, I always hope it will be a window seat. I’ve read some stories where some passengers will ask for a window seat and they end up sitting beside a wall with no window 😀

      2. Yes Mabel, it was a spectacular sight. Often we regret when we book an early morning flight because that means waking up in the wee hours to get ready for it but the rewards make you forget that one day of inconvenience and sleep deprivation! 🙂

  5. 39 years? congrats! Although it may seem like many years in some countries, but in Asian countries people don’t get surprised with long years of wedded bliss!

    It’s great to read about your first flight experience. I can’t really recall any specific instances from my own life. All I remember is that I took my first flight when I was 12-13 years old and I traveled alone for the first time. Now a days, I do prefer to take a window seat for the views and photography! But sometimes I don’t get this privilege. It is quite frustrating when I have an aisle seat and the passenger with the window seat decides to bring down the window shade during landing or take off. Well, it’s his choice, he has every right to do so…my bad luck! 🙂

    1. Thank you arv…marital bliss doesn’t descend from heaven. It has to be created and nurtured despite the differences, arguments and ups and down, which are a part of life…how we handle them and respect each other contributes to this bliss. 🙂

  6. Thirty nine years of regular flying after that first flight may be enriching, Balroop, if it has fostered flights of fancy at greater frequencies. I wish that you continue to remain on your creative wings. More frontiers are still waiting…

    1. Yes Raj, you are right…experiences do enrich our lives and togetherness has become a habit now. 🙂 Creativity is a natural gift, which can only be embellished when we look around at the blessings of life.
      Thank you for sharing your reflections. Stay blessed.

  7. Thank you for sharing this moment of your life Balroop. I felt the same the day I left France for Ireland. I had taken a plane before when I was a child. But this time I was much older (26) and ready to enjoy the ride. Since this day I am so excited when taking the plane and I tend to chose the seat near the window always – the sky is the only limit!
    Best wishes to you and your husband and many more flights to come! For your pleasure!

    1. Thank you for such sweet wishes Marie. 🙂 I am glad that you could connect with this story. Stay blessed and happy dear friend and have a nice week.

  8. Aw, this is such a sweet memory, Balroop. Your husband was ‘calm’. Did he remain that way for 39 years… 😉 I like the change in perspective on my life I get when flying. Looking down at how small everything is from up high makes me feel my problems are also very small. Nice post, Balroop!

    1. Thank you Lisa…I love your perspective…how inspiring that problems seem lesser from above!!
      Not only did he remain calm most of the times but unconsciously passed on this virtue to me 🙂

  9. Such a great recollection of memories in this post, and congrats on being together for 39 years. I’m sure most everyone has a first flight story they could tell. It’s typically a strong memory, and one of my first as I was just over three years old the first time I flew on a plane. I was deathly afraid of the swirling blue water in the toilet of all things!

    1. Thank you Jeri…sure stories from our life are the best only if they are told honestly. Some memories get entrenched in our minds due to their unique element! You made me smile with one such memory 🙂

  10. Funny you ask this question as I’m just returning in legs from Ireland to Boston, yet to fly to CA then home to HI. It’s been a long journey of weeks. I, too, love flying and gazing out the window. We live in such times of distraction – even the taxi we took to my friend’s house in BOS had a TV screen glaring into the back seat – something I’ve never seen before as I live quite happily in a world without taxis (or television, for that matter). And I always take photos of the sky out of those tiny windows, usually rimmed with a bit of frost. When I’m asked to lower my window shade so whomever can watch whatever on the neon screens now placed behind every seat back, I wonder how it is that we have so utterly forgotten miracles. Happy 39th year of flying, Balroop! Aloha, dear ❤

    1. Thank you Bela! So glad to know that you have been traveling and meeting your dear ones too 🙂 So nice that you too love to look at the blissful beauties from high up… Stay blessed dear friend.

  11. Exactly my thoughts too!

    I love flying and remember the day I was looking at planes from the fence and thinking if I would ever fly. Since then, I have flown 53 flights (I counted all of them).
    I too long for window seat still 😊

  12. Happy anniversary Balroop! You painted a most beautiful story of what it was like in the ‘good old days’ to fly, before traveling became so expensive and cumbersome. I love to travel and miss the days when I also looked forward to the journey to the destination. Nowadays I just want to get through the hassle of traveling and get where I’m going. 🙂

    1. Thank you dg. Traveling has never been a hassle for me though I have to fly 17 hours to meet my mom every year! Tiring no doubt but I always look forward to journey as well as destination. 🙂

  13. I can’t believe how closely your feelings about flying mirror my own. No matter how many times I fly, I am always mesmerized by the whole experience. The concept of traveling five or six miles above the earth, seated comfortably in a chair, while looking down past the clouds to the earth just takes my breath away. I feel sorry for those who are so jaded that they take this true miracle for granted. I hope I will never find flying to be boring. Just imagine what the Wright brothers would think of today’s aviation industry.

    1. Hi Joe, I am glad you could connect with your own memories while reading mine. Even after flying innumerable times, the experience remains fresh, that’s why I could recall it after so many years. 🙂 Thank you for understanding and endorsing my sentiments.

  14. This story of your first fly had me flying too, dear Balroop 😉 💫 … I like your retelling, so vivid and evocative at the same time… Sending love and all my best wishes!. Aquileana 😀

  15. Beautifully told story Balroop 😊 I also love flying and if you ever get the chance, travel in a small plane or even a helicopter, either is a superb extension of the flying experience- for me, when I look out the window, way above the ground, I wonder is it possible that anything horrible happens on such a magnificent place. If I could have one super power, it would be the ability to fly😊 The closest I come is the occasional dream in which I can fly like a bird….. I love those dreams. I wish you at least another 39 beautiful years of flying 🙏 Thanks for sharing..

  16. First it is so good to be catching up with you Balroop and Do I detect a change in your theme, or is it because I have been away for a while.. Lol.. Anyway let me also say I love your new Logo picture and that beautiful smile..
    Congratulations upon your 39 years of Marriage dear Balroop.. And I loved your description of your first experience on flying.. Yes I prefer the window seat.. And get excited each time I fly..
    My first experience still remains vivid in my mind also.. And I can so relate to your thoughts..
    Thank you my friend for sharing.. And wishing you many more happy enjoyable hours in flight.
    love Sue xxx ❤

    1. Thank you dear Sue for so many wishes. Love and hugs. 🙂 I am glad my thoughts stirred some memories…often they lie buried but it is good to relive them sometimes. Many thanks for reading it so well 🙂

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