Some wishes take very long to get fulfilled. For a 106-year Nepali man it happened on Tuesday when he flew in an aircraft for the first time in his life.
Bote Rai, a resident of Dhankuta in eastern Nepal, got his final wish to “fly like a bird in the open sky” before his death fulfilled due to media reports and intervention by a Nepali airlines.
The 35 minute flight which the centurion undertook from Biratnagar to the country’s capital Kathmandu makes him one of the oldest persons to fly in an aircraft ever.
In 1987 a 110 year-old British woman Charlotte Marion Hughes had flown across the Atlantic Ocean in a Concorde — making her the oldest person in aviation history to fly. A few days back when members of a local NGO and media persons visited Rai to learn about his health as he was bed-ridden with flu, the centurion was instead more interested in flying.
“I have always wanted to fly but could never afford it,” he told the group urging them to arrange for a flight.
With news of his desire appearing in local papers, Yeti Airlines, a Nepali operator, stepped in to fulfill Rai’s last wish and flew him and his nephew Man Bahadur Rai, 75, to Kathmandu. On landing the 106-year-old expressed happiness at having his wish fulfilled. He liked the sweets offered by air-hostesses during the flight but complained that he didn’t feel as if he was flying. “My wish has come true, but I didn’t feel like a flying bird. Now I have had enough and want to go home,” Rai said.