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Up In The Air

Nothing can be a better example of "India Shining" than the fact that today I was on an airplane for the first time in my life - flying from Pune to Delhi. Low-cost airlines have made it really affordable for poor people like me to have enough moolah in the pocket to buy an air-ticket. Like first love, first job and various other firsts (which are left to the reader's fertile imagination), this was a special occassion for me.

The event was made even more special by the admiring looks that people gave me when I told them I was flying to Delhi. It was like having a mobile phone in  1995. The first reaction of people when they hear about someone's flight details is like "Oh! You are flying X airline. Y airline is much better. You know when I flew,.... blah.. blah.. blah". You just want to scream out, "Look I get it. You probably own an airline. Just let me enjoy my moment." So let's get on with my story.

Buzzing with nervous energy and excitement, I entered the airport. I had to proceed to get my boarding pass and then had to check-in - the two things which seemed more difficult to me than cracking the CAT exams. Like most first-time fliers, I too wanted to pretend that I was a frequent flier and knew all about it. So I tried to have a look of disdain on my face and proceeded to get my boarding pass. Luckily, I got a window seat (a first time flier's dream come true)! Next was getting through the security check.

The security personnel hand-held device kept on buzzing when he scanned my lower body even though I had nothing on me. Looking at his serious face, I got really worried. Still I maintained my composure (I was pretending to be a frequent flier for God's sake!!). Finally the culprit was found which was the little useless metal button stitched onto my Levis' jean's pockets (note the use of brand name) which serves no purpose. I cursed it under my breath and vowed to rip it apart once I reach home.

Next was boarding the aircraft. Again it was really nice to see an aircraft up, close and personal. My frequent flier attitude was still on and I disdainfully climbed up the stairs, found out my seat and disregarded the instruction to fasten my seat-belt; like a seasoned flier. When it became absolutely essential to strap myself in, I did it with a look like I was being tortured by American soldiers in Guantanamo Bay prison. The flight attendants made their routine (judging by the tone of their voice) announcements and like other passengers I pretended to pay no heed to them (although I was secretly listening to what was being said).

Finally, the flight took off and that was the most exciting part of the journey. After that it was like sitting in my company bus albeit withouht bumps and traffic jams. Two hours later, the flight descended onto Delhi and I was happy to be back on earth although my mind was still up in the air.

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