A fleet of colourful airplane models parked on Joy Varghese’s desk might appear odd, but the logistics firm owner purchased them for a purpose.
“My children, like most children, want to become pilots. The planes could inspire them,” Varghese said.
Aviation souvenirs are soon becoming part of the city’s home and office décor. Brijnath Kathuria, a top executive with a city-based IT firm, for instance, picked up a wooden propeller, which doubles as a table clock. “I have had a passion for planes since childhood. These mementos take me back to the days of reading about air wars in Commando comics,” Kathuria said.
Similarly, Taufiq Baraskar, an executive producer with a filmmaking firm, recently acquired a state-of-the-art simulator-compatible software game.
“I am eagerly waiting for the shoot to get over. I have been told it is like virtually flying a real Boeing 747 aircraft,” said the 51-year-old hobby flier.
The growing passion for aviation-related merchandise explains why Rashmi Patil acquired expensive retail space in Goregaon’s Hub Mall to open a store, Mach9-The Pilot Shop, aimed solely at aviation aficionados in July.
The former airhostess with Air India said it took her four years of research to start the store, the first of its kind in the country.
Aircraft models, coffee table books and simulators that give a virtual feel of steering a plane, are some of items occupying the display space in the store. “Since such stores are only available aboard I badly wanted to start one in India,” said Patil.
The aircraft model collection covers a range from a turboprop to an Airbus A380, which is the biggest civilian plane, and fighter jets. “All the aircrafts replicas are certified by the manufacturers. So, they look exactly like the real ones.”