First flying journey-blog post of Akshata Shanbhag


I have a vivid memory of my inaugural flight: a journey from Bangalore to Chennai in January 2011, accompanied by my husband. The purpose was a Visa interview for our travel to the United States of America.

Taking a day off from work without disclosing the reason, I was newly married and enthusiastic. My husband had an opportunity for work in the United States, which was thrilling for both of us as it meant traveling to a foreign land, a first-time experience for me.

Scheduled for an evening flight, the interview was slated for the next day, and our plan was to return the same night. Filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension, I felt a bit nervous. Having never been on a flight before, my only exposure was through movies, leaving me with a somewhat fantastical idea of what air travel would be like.

Upon arriving at the airport, my eyes were wide with the curiosity of a child. After check-in, while waiting in the lounge, we caught a glimpse of Lucky Ali passing by. Dressed in white, wearing glasses, and carrying a guitar, these sights, though common at airports, held a sense of novelty for me.

As the boarding announcement sounded, my heart began to race. Taking our seats within the flight, I opted for the window spot, my favorite. My husband, being familiar with air travel, seemed at ease. The flight was operated by Kingfisher Airlines, with well-groomed flight attendants.

Once seated, the air hostess provided the customary safety instructions. While some passengers paid no heed, I was captivated by her every word. After fastening seat belts and making necessary announcements, the plane began to taxi. My heart pounded as we gathered momentum. Turning to my husband, I confessed, “I’m nervous.” He comforted me, advising me to stay calm and look outside the window.

As the plane picked up speed, a few seconds later, we were airborne. A sigh of relief escaped me. It was fascinating to be up in the sky. Gazing through the window, the world below appeared miniature. We spent several minutes among the clouds during the brief 20-25-minute flight.

Before I could fully acclimate to my surroundings and the excitement, it was time to disembark. After retrieving our baggage, we headed to the hotel. It was also my first visit to Chennai. The entire experience left a positive impression, a memory I will treasure.


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