Airplanes have always fascinated me, right from the time i was a kid. Actually I had seen only a helicopter till the time I was 15, it was only after we moved to Bangalore that i saw an airplane, one flying up in the sky. I got the opportunity to travel by one when I was 18. I’ve spent the first 15 years of my life in a small hilly town named Pithoragarh. I was an innocent pahadi girl who never knew of a life beyond those mountains. It was a small world, things like airplanes only existed in dreams or in movies. Rarely we would get to see helicopters, sometimes on duty for the ministers or for the people on the way to Kailash Mansarovar. But these rare sights were a reason to celebrate for pahadi kids like me. We would all run out of our homes, into the terrace and shout, ” Helicopter tata, tere peeche Lata.” which roughly translates to, ” Goodbye helicopter, there is a psycho following you.” We would all wave our hands and scream as loud as we could.
Once a helicopter lost its way due to some fault in its signals/radar and was flying at a really low altitude. Our moms urged us to come inside as they thought it has lost control and is going to collapse. We were excited to see it from such a short distance. For a moment it started flying so close to me that i could actually feel the wind from its wings. It was a breathtaking experience for me. It is still one of the most memorable moment of my life, even more than the day i actually travelled by an airplane.
My first flight was from Bangalore to Delhi, i was a little scared and very much excited. I was actually visiting my native town after 4 years. The biggest story in my neighbourhood was that Mona is coming alone from Bangalore and that too by an airplane. I was literally a star. People still ask me questions like, how does it feel to be so up in the air, weren’t you scared, how does the earth look like from above, and i find it great to answer them and see their expressions, their amazed eyes.
I’ve travelled a lot by airplanes in these 4 years. I’ve missed flights and spent some really memorable days of my life. I like airports the same way people like Taj Mahal or The Grand Canyon but none of it equals the joy i used to get while waving at those helicopters. One day while i was still in Bangalore and was sitting with a friend, I saw an airplane cruising through the sky, my eyes brightened up, i got up and traced its way till the time it vanished in the sky. There was a constant smile on my face. My friend asked me, why was i behaving like a villager, i just said that i liked watching airplanes. I actually wanted to jump out of joy and scream, aeroplane tata, tere peeche lata, but everyone would have thought me to be a lata ( psycho), so i held back my emotions.
Every time I see an airplane, I want to be that little girl again, wave my hands, enjoy those special moments life offers us, forgetting all its complexities. That little girl never dreamt of travelling by an airplane back then, yet she was happier way more than she is today.
I miss that little girl, I miss that happiness…