First of everything has its own charm, whether it is our first school, college, crush, love, salary, or your first born child. It was two years back, my daughter travelled by plane for the very first time.
It was her maiden flight, I myself was also travelling by air after almost five years.
Well, staying in small town makes you closely bonded with people around, but on the other hand it also in a way isolates you from the big good/bad world outside.
For so many years, buses or cars were my modes of commuting, as travelling was not required much, and very rarely i made visits outside the hill-station, and when few times decided to travel by air, the weather played the spoil-sport.
When i first landed in Delhi with my little one , it was a train journey from Kalka to Delhi.
After many years, i had the opportunity to travel by air , that too, with my young one. It was a small flight journey, of just one hour, from Delhi to Gaggal Airport in District Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.
Though it may sound strange to many, but look or feel through the eyes of a four year old kid or for that matter an adult travelling by aeroplane for the very first time!!! Isn’t it an amazing feeling!!!!!!! For a mother to see her child so eagerly and excitedly waiting for her very first plane ride becomes all the more wonderful as well as emotional experience.
Born in a small town and living there for three years, she often heard the roar and churning of small planes and choppers over her head , flying high in the sky .
She would leave everything on hearing these strange sounds, and would immediately rush outside to see the bird like objects flying in the air.
She often asked about these tiny flying objects in the sky .Expecting that somebody may wave back at her, she would frantically wave her hands; on being told that it was an aeroplane with passengers travelling in it. So many times, she also expressed her wish of travelling by the aeroplane.
And soon the day arrived, when she was going to be one of those sitting in the plane and having an opportunity to look down at the beautiful skies and sights.
Well for me as a mother it was not easy, as i had my own apprehensions, as what would be her reaction, when the plane takes-off, what if she feels uneasy, feels like vomitting or her ears tubes get blocked, etc.
I consulted lot of my relatives and friends ,but everyone laughed at me and just told me to take it easy. As it was my daughter’s first flight and her excitement was beyond words.
So finally, the arrived and we were all ready for our flight of fantasy.
Soon the reverie was broken as our taxi hurled at the Delhi Airport. The sky was overcast in Delhi, but in Kangra,- it was raining cats and dogs with thunderstorms as well.
I again checked the weather updates on my mobile phone. There were rain predictions but I still kept my fingers crossed.
I prayed to the rain Gods, not to pour, as it was my darlings first flight, she was all dressed in her favorite t-shirt and pajamas, and carrying her extra over-coat, as it was slightly nippy in the hills, we had made all necessary arrangements accordingly, and now only hurdle left was regarding the weather. And soon the message on my mobile informed me, that flight was in time. Hurray!!!!!!
She had hardly slept the previous night, whole night she was listening to the stories about the aeroplanes and wondering , ‘how it would feel like? to be in the midst of clouds, so high in the air’!!
As we made our way inside the Airport, she was all cheerful to see the mad-rush, every counter was bustling with people. On one side when i was checking the luggage, looking for tags and going in for the security checks and on the other side, my little one was admiring and gazing with her keen eyes every minor detail of the people and place around. Like a shining butterfly she spread her wings and instantly made friends with the two cute-little kids around her. Initially a bit hesitant, she coyly said ‘hello’ to them but then, there was no looking back.
Looking at the boarding passes and tags she reminded me to keep it properly and retain them, as it was her first flight.
When asked for the seat preference, she immediately in her soft and gentle voice conveyed to me about the ‘window seat’ as she was very about it and getting the confirmation she was all pleased and overjoyed
. Well these are the joys of childhood, how small little things make us happy and content.
Next, as we boarded the aircraft with each stair-step, my excitement was coupled with nervousness and fear.
On the threshold of the plane, my daughter saw a smiling lady all plastered with make-up on her face and was greeting us with folded hands. My little one also smiled back at her with folded hands and politely said hello to her, unlike many other passengers who simply ignored the air-hostess.
The air-hostess ushered us to our seats. Peeping outside the window, my little one got busy observing many other planes on the runway, and then suddenly our plane moved in a slow pace , the safety instructions were given by the crew and the little miss carefully listened to them. I fastened her seat-belt and so the plane was already to take-off. After a while she was uneasy with the belt, she wanted to move around have a look around, but the aircraft gained momentum,so she sat back.
Soon the aircraft was soaring at breathtaking heights in the sky, and she marvelled at the sight of wings of the plane and the running blades of the engine.
She wanted to take out her hands to feel and touch the white clouds.
After 20 minutes, the passengers were served foods and beverages, and as she was busy munching I decided to take a nap, but suddenly the aircraft shook a little and the air hostess made an announcement -“Ladies and gentlemen, we are encountering bad weather. You all are requested to return back to your seats and fasten your seat belts.”
Poor me! who was sleep deprived, now was wide awake with my eye-balls popping out, literally, till the time turbulence continued, but soon the rough patch passed and again the craft was gently moving. As i also tried to peep from my window, the concrete jungles had been long left behind, but one could easily see the clear demarcation from the above, between the concrete and lush green hills .
Few minutes later the 70 seat er aircraft descended to the airport located amidst the hills in the God’s own abode -Himachal.
While i moved to collect my luggage, my little one spotted her nana and nani (grandparents) waiting outside to receive us. Till now she was all behaving properly and was in awe of the plane and the journey, but seeing her grandparents, she just rushed to the exit door.
After giving them a warm hug, she wasted no time in telling them about her first plane ride.
Well first step , first day of school, first cry, first teeth, first birthday, the first of you and your child is always special. So cherish these very first moments of life. Stay happy first and always.