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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

On the wings of a dream

Neeraj Sharma, Hindustan Times   November 26, 2013
First Published: 09:54 IST(26/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:00 IST(26/11/2013)

There's always a first time for everything we do. I can never forget my first flying experience. It came when I got the opportunity to travel to 'aamchi Mumbai' by air.

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I understand for many commuting by air may be a routine affair but for me it was not less than a dream come true. My family and friends were equally ecstatic when they learnt I would be flying to the country's commercial capital. They were literally living their dream through my experience.

The sheer size of the aircraft left me awestruck. I had never been to an airport so I felt I had already been transported to another world of glitz.

Once on board, the raucous engine amplified the excitement in the air. I felt like a royal seated to savour a rich experience. The elegant airhostesses in attendance, offering delectable delicacies and according immense respect, made it nothing less than a king-size experience.

As the plane taxied before racing on the runway, my heartbeat surged. Within seconds, we were aloft in the air and a glance outside the window showed people, roads and vehicles shrink smaller and smaller. Minutes later, the entire city was visible, while vehicles turned into toys like in a child's world of fantasy.

Suddenly, I realised how small our worries and how petty our fights were in the larger scheme of things. Human beings appeared even more mortal and mechanical, going about their everyday chores.

Earth sure looks very different from up above the world so high. I felt on cloud nine, literally. I smiled like a child as we flew over cotton-like clouds that formed the base for a picturesque panorama in the sky. Flying above clouds brings one face to face with the shimmering sun. It was a heavenly feeling.

When the clouds cleared, a peep below revealed gigantic mountains reduced to folds on the earth's surface. Rivers snaked through dense forests and vast expanses of land resembled varied patches on a quilt.

My puerile behaviour even forced me to go to the washroom with a purpose to answer nature's call at such a height. I was apprehensive at first but soon felt relieved.

Amid the scores of sophisticated passengers, many of who were engaged in reading or working on their ipads, only two things ie the plane and one person seemed unsettled.

Finally, when the plane started descending, I realised we were hovering over our destination. Skyscrapers gave way to blue tin roofs of slums as reality dawned that it's a world of the haves and have-nots on terra firma.

A massive board announced, 'Welcome to Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai'. It felt like the entire Mumbai metropolis was welcoming us with open arms.

I'll always cherish memories of my first flight.

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