The last time I was on an airplane I was 11 years old and yes I did chat with the person sitting next to me – my dad! Mom was sitting next to a lady in front of us and I was sitting next to the window as we headed from Kuwait, which was our home for many years (mine for the first 11 years of my life)back to India for good. I remember that trip very well which was preceded by a lot of farewell dinners and parties hosted by family friends, mostly Indians living in Kuwait, lots of tears from my folks and from our friends. I was quite happy to be going to India and was looking forward to be living in a big house where I had my own room and the promise of a dog as a pet if I was good.
I haven’t been on a plan since but for the first 11 years of my life I’ve traveled from Kuwait to India and back; every year coming home for the summer vacations to spend with my cousins and relatives. That was the norm as most Indian families didn’t want their kids to be idle in Kuwait during the long summer holidays and most working people also managed to get a lot of days off during that time. So summers were spent in Kerala and I enjoyed them a lot. I also liked plane rides, always got a window seat, always waited patiently for the airhostesses to come and ask what we wanted to drink and always asked politely for a coke.
I even remember one time my sister and I went to the cockpit and spoke to the captain and his co-pilot. That was cool and amazing. I must have been 7 or 8 at the time. I miss flying in planes, haven’t been in one since – that’s 25 years! Sheesh – have they changed much?