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.
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!
The 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?
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