I looked outside the window with my sleepy eyes – it was a balmy summer morning in Mumbai. My thoughts wandered to the past week, which had made me push myself to my limits – 6 back-to-back exams! 9 semester-end exams in 13 days is the best record my University has set yet. My thoughts rolled back to the sight outside my window soon. A good chunk of the view outside was occupied by a huge wing. In the background were a bunch of vehicles and a short but an expansive building called Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) Terminal 1B.
It seems like only yesterday that I had joined college, and in the twinkling of an eye, more than half my course is over. Time sure knows how to drift away. Coming back to my impending journey, I was seated on a window seat overlooking the wings and I was really happy. Somehow, most of the times I manage to get a seat near the wing. This journey was really special to me – not because I was travelling alone for the first time, but because it symbolised the beginning of one of the most interesting adventure of my life yet.
The plane was jam packed. I felt a little jerk as we were being towed to the runway. The feeling was replaced soon by the adrenaline rushing. We began to gather speed and I welcomed the tingling sensation in my spine as the wheels left the runway. I was feeling a million emotions at once – it was mostly excitement and happiness, along with a tinge of loneliness (although my family was less than 15km away at that instant), and a bit of worry for the uncertainty that lay ahead. The sleepiness was replaced with the feeling of wonder as I observed the movement of the flaps on the wings. I have carried that feeling with me for a very long time – I just don’t seem to get enough of it.
The surroundings began to shrink in a matter of seconds, and soon we were up in the clouds. My heart sank a little as I bade goodbye to the only manmade landmark of Mumbai I could identify from the plane – the Bandra Worli Sealink. I felt a little cheered up talking to the lady occupying the seat next to mine. She expressed her excitement about travelling by plane for the first time, and about experiencing the beauty and bounty of Karnataka with her family. Getting to talk to someone was a delightful experience – made the journey less lonely. Talking to her really brightened my day.
I knew that the journey was pretty short – two hours at max. Although the departure of the flight was delayed a little due to traffic, we managed to land before the scheduled arrival time at the Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru. Picking up my suitcase from the carousel, I stepped out of the airport to see my aunt waiting for me with a big smile. Keeping aside the fact that I wouldn’t be seeing my family for a couple of months, I think it was the best morning I could have possibly had.