After having savored the little joys of the railways, road travels and towns recently, it is another day at the airport. Ho-hum, I think. Flights have become so drearingly monotonous that my foolproof POA is usually to sleep through the hours - before I know it, I’m at my destination. However, this particular flight turns out to be neo-exciting, thanks to the pilots who are generous enough to invite me in the cockpit & make me feel at home in the cramped environ.
The setup is imposing! There are switches, flip panels, lights, gears, dials, radar displays everywhere. The cockpit resembles a war room straight out of the dozen Hollywood movies I’ve watched. I am instantly impressed by these charming & sophisticated pilots- these brave, well-informed & focused men, who carry a great responsibility on their shoulders every single day, and who face everything, even the possibility of the loss of their lives with a smile & a to-die-for attitude. They explain how the entire system works – the auto pilot, the navigation, the de-pressurization etcetra and I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can. The icing on the cake is the view from the cockpit. . I wonder, if God would ever sit on the clouds and look down upon his creation, this is probably how the world would look to him, tranquil and peaceful (and I wonder, how, of all days, do I forget to bring my camera along on this fateful day!!!). I preposterously attempt to explain in words what my eyes witness that evening. It looks like the palette of Gods, with colors so appealing and the mergers so heavenly- It reinforces my belief that there is definitely a higher power which has created the beautiful world that belies description by the greatest of wordsmiths & philosophers. When the plane turns, so does the horizon, as if slipping off the slant of a table. The loss of orientation is unnerving and for a while, the definitions of up and the down do not apply anymore.
The clouds part way as we descend slowly, and the millions of city lights lay scattered across the landscape like tiny pieces of crushed glass. The descent creates a plummeting sensation which brings a lump to my throat. I recall a similar dread while on a Ferris wheel as a child. I buckle up & grab whatever I can to prevent myself from tumbling over, and the pilots reassure me with a calm voice & a charming demeanor. Once on terra-firma I’m the last passenger to leave, and I take away with me fond memories and smiles for miles & miles.