"First Flight", does it sound like a courier company's name? Or do you guess it to be "first escape"?
If you understood it as first air travel, then you got me. I did a google to find a better word for my blog post title. I didn't find anything convincing, has to finally zero on to this word.
While in childhood days, when we were playing football – if we hear the sound of an aircraft or helicopter, we would stop playing and look at the skies. Even if we are in a position to score a goal, we would just don't mind. It was actually a rare sight for us. Those from Cochin, please excuse me. When I say helicopter, I really meant helicopter only and not the mosquitoes. I heard people from Cochin used to call mosquitoes as helicopters. It is mainly because of their size and terrible sound that they make. I heard one of my friends cracking a joke on mosquitoes in Cochin. If you were sleeping on your bed in your bed room, you may wake up sometimes from sit outs. Yes these mosquitoes are capable of lifting a 75kg live pack of meat. I too agree they should only be called vampire helicopters.
Back to airplanes, so we were crazy to see them. All of my uncles were working in GCC countries and when they are coming here for a vacation, I always tried to get into the transit taxi. By the way, it is a custom in Kerala here. Majority of the families here would be having somebody in Gulf countries. And when they go back and coming, there would be at least two taxies shuttling to and from the airport. If you see a taxi or a car with big luggage tied on the roof, then it has to be understood as gulf trip. Whenever I see an airplane, I would be in my fantasies on my air trip. I believed sooner or later when I be a man my uncles would take me to Dubai.
I work with a company called ITTI Pvt Ltd, a software company based in Bangalore. We happened to work on project for ADSB, an Abudabi based ship building company. I was the tech lead for the project and it is understood that I've to go there for implementation. Believe me; we were working on a crunched schedule. At least 20x7 working hours for us. Somehow we completed the work and the day came for me to go for implementation. We were working whole night to do the final patch ups. The route was Bangalore – Mumbai – Abudabi. The flight is at 4.30 PM and I left the office to room at 1.00 PM to freshen up. I reached room at 2.00 PM, I got a call from Revathi (HR executive) to report in office by 3.00 PM (She knows, we were working the whole night). As I should be reaching the airport at least by 4.00 and she would be doing e-checkin for me. I just poured some water on my body, got into my best attire and rushed out of the room. Reached office by 2.45 and the cab came exactly by 3.00 PM. Got into the car and left for airport. Satish and other team mates were there at the office steps to see me off.
All those days were busy for me and I forgot to ask expert opinion from experienced peoples. I convinced myself I could do it without any problem.
The driver was so skilled that he took only 30 minutes to reach airport. I got down, checked the passports and air tickets in the laptop bag. I was wondering what to do next. I spotted a gate guarded by security personnel. I was sure that should be the gate for me to take. I decided to watch what others do and just follow it. I went and stood in the queue. I saw peoples holding tickets in their hand and the security personal were checking them. I pulled out the air tickets and when my turn came I showed my tickets to them as were am a frequent flier. When I was standing in queue, I tried to look at the ticket the guy in front of me was holding. A sigh of relief, man he is also traveling in 'Jet Airways' to Mumbai. I donno whether he would be in same flight. I decided to follow him.
I pulled my trolley and went were ever this guy went. He stopped at the baggage scanning machine. He put the bags in the machine. I did the same thing. He was walking; man I should not lose him. I followed him all the way to the 'Jet Airways' counter. I stood behind him watching his deeds. He gave the air ticket in counter, kept his bag on the weighing machine. He gave the Pan Card to the pretty lady in the counter. So am also supposed to all those. Now its my turn, I did the same thing whatever the guy did. The pretty lady was convinced. She wanted to know my preference for seat. Hey this question was not asked to the other guy. I just managed to say 'Window seat'. I was not sure whether it was correct. She smiled and did some typing in her computer, took the boarding pass print out. She took some more print outs, fixed one on my check-in bag and other on my boarding pass.
I am done, when I turned back, I couldn't see my guy. Oh man were should I search him. He was my guide. Aiyayyo what next?. Flash on my bulb!!!, there was another guy behind me at the counter. Come on I'll follow him.
I was waiting for the guy to complete the things. He is also done, he started moving. The pretty lady had told me to go for security check-in. What the heck is that? Hey why should I worry, I've got a new guide. He went to a coffe shop, what am supposed to do. Went there, he ordered for tea…hmm I ordered for coffee….Hows it? He had his tea. He started pulling his bag. Me too. Hey he is going to loo. He he he I also did it. Came out. Now we are heading for security checkin. He joined a queue. Me behind him. I saw him, putting his mobile in the carry bag. I also did that. He put the bag in the scanning machine. Me also. He went for check, I was watching what exactly he is doing. He took his purse out, kept it on the table next to the security person. He gave the boarding pass to the security person and lifted both of his hands. Got it, I will also do it. Now when my turn came, I did the same what the other guy did. I got my boarding pass sealed, took my laptop bag and followed my guide.
Now we were waiting for the announcement for our flight boarding. We are supposed to go through Gate 5 I guess. All the time when I was sitting there, I was searching for the gate now 5(the one with airway bridge). Announcement came, I saw my guy moving. Went behind him. The person at the gate was checking our boarding pass and the security check tags on our carry bags. We were allowed to go in. We walked through the air bridge to the aircrafts entrance. Guy standing there tore the counterfoil and gave us the boarding pass back. There was another pretty lady at the doors welcoming us. I smiled at her, am supposed to do that isn't it. I found my seat and got seated.
I was expecting the seat belts to be those found in cars. But this seems to be different. I did manage to lock my seat belt. When the flight is about to take off, the pretty ladies started their circus. I did find it funny. I was looking around what others are doing. All were reading something or looking somewhere else. Poor ladies they continued their dance moves.
The flight took off. I was pretty contended on completing my first phase very successfully though through apery.