February 3, 2005

How often do you look from the Sky?

The First Flight
For a Bangalore to Mumbai Indian Airlines journey, I was there in the
airport 2 hours early (The flight was delayed by another 1 hour, after
that ;-)). Mainly, I didn't want to disappoint all of my friends who
came to Airport to see me off (that to on a Wednesday!). I wanted to
spend some time with all of them – most importantly to convince my
father, mother and sister who already looked dull and down (I will
bring them here and show this all, one day!). Actually, my parents
were surprised to see – I have got so many friends!

So, after spending all the 3 hours, I sent all of them off and went in
– I tried to calm down myself, but couldn't. When I went to weigh my
luggage, I was a bit more nervous – I had never checked the weight
before! (I was damn sure that, I had nothing to match for 40 Kg...
unexpectedly (?!!), it showed 41.5 kg in total – they security looked
at me and said – No Problem, Chalo! I was already thinking what might
happen when I board Qantas at Mumbai. To my worry, the cabin baggage
also weighed a lot now – I thought it may also cross the 7 kg limit.
With all those worries in my mind weighing down – I boarded IA.
Everything went off – when I saw my seat number – a Window Seat – This
is what I wanted!!

How often do you look from the sky?
Before the flight started, the air hostess gave us a safety
demonstration (with dead faces!), nobody bothered to give a look to
them except me, who watched in astonishment. The flight started in the
runway and climbed very smoothly as it was climbing a flyover! The
plane was inclined to 10-15 degrees and got into a normal position in
5 minutes. I have seen a lot of satellite pictures / aerial
photographs, breathtaking views taken from the sky – I had seen very
high resolution satellite images showing cars, buses on the road. But,
none of them matched the view what I was seeing. All the rural roads,
trees and lakes – so clear and wonderful. After some time, the flying
height was still higher and we were moving in midst of thick, puffy,
white clouds. It was looking like the icebergs of Antarctica.

We were served lunch at 2.40 – I found it was not that bad as told by
friends. It is always like this, a thing will look good until you find
a better one. The food was good really. They asked me Coffee or Tea -
I said Coffee - She poured only a black coffee and left. I was
wondering what to do - than I found that Milk powder was given already
in the lunch pack. (I use the other way in home, Coffee powder and
liquid milk, here's it other way - Crazy people!) I was reading the
in flight magazine, Swagat (I was used to read these – as one of my
friend Ashish's father used to bring these!), and Indian Airlines was
celebrating it's 50th year of operation, it seems. When arriving
Mumbai, the captain announced there is traffic (jam ??!!) in the
airport, so the landing will be delayed by few minutes (35 minutes
went in air!). Thankful to that, I had a wonderful view of Narmada and
Tapti rivers and Vindhyan Mountain ranges in three dimension (we
create digital terrain models like that in computer using softwares) –
it was an absolute delight – a Geographer's Delight!

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