Monday, June 9, 2008

Nikita speaks...

A vision of delight, a memory planted permanently on a mind. A sight to behold, a display of nature’s beauty. Nikita Prakash experienced, quite literally, what it could be to be in paradise. Over the clouds and, quite literally, above the hassles of everyday life. On the 25th of March ’08, she spoke. And I wrote. I was astonished how she could describe every tiny detail of the great panorama of the beauty she experienced. And so I wrote and I kept writing.

Today, on my blog, Nikita speaks.

Place: Flight SG 257. Delhi to Goa

Time: Just before sunset.

An orange streak in the sky. It looked vaguely like a city. I dunno what the best way of putting it is, but the clouds sure looked like buildings from far away. Almost like the city of the dead. Sounds cheesy, but it quite literally looked like heaven, if it really were above the clouds, like they say. I could see only silhouettes, anyway. Maybe that added to the beauty. The mystery, the imagination that unlocked the world beyond the darkness was what was so fascinating. Veils shrouded the city, and I doubt it could’ve been any more beautiful. The calmness was nothing short of eerie. I wish I could say the clich├ęd “calm before a storm” thing, but a storm’s not the best thing to expect when you’re in a plane. I just kept looking…

The level of orange kept dipping, insipid to an extent. We were losing altitude fast, and suddenly I found clouds above us too. It was all becoming very creepy. There was a sudden layer where there were no clouds. Clouds above me, clouds below me, but a scary void where I was. At this point the sky decided it was time for a show. Lightening, nothing short of intense orange to my right. Instead of the expected chill down my spine, I was amazed. If this was nature’s idea of a pre-landing performance, it was working. I didn’t know what to think. My mind suddenly flew to Physics class about some plane getting electrocuted, but the people not dying of shock, thanks to Faraday’s shielding theory. A man next to me was ready to argue on my physics doubt. Not exactly the best thing to do, methinks. A lady next to him was visibly terrified. There was a general stunned silence in the plane.


We started receding more. The clouds were actually making the plane bump around. Wasn’t a very happy experience. There was still a continuous tinge of orange behind me, and I could still see random orange patches around me, even though it was so dark. That particular colour was definitely the colour of the day. I got a strange sense of being in a Biblical story. There’s heaven above me, earth beneath me. All those Biblical stories of Apocalypse showed up in moments where they’re best forgotten. The clouds were forming a tunnel, until all I could see was clouds. The kind of feeling you get when a tunnel closes on you? When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Well, it was actually a pleasant feeling this one time! Almost gave me a sense of security! The lights inside the plane were off, and we were fully emerged in the cloud. Suddenly, the plane grew all silent. What we all had mistook for lightening a few moments back was actually the flickering of the plane lights. I wasn’t the only one giving a sigh of relief. My feet were cold. It wasn’t just because I was wearing slippers.

Going through the clouds gave me vivid memories of the Konkan railway, with all its tunnels. I remember counting the tunnels with my bro. One memory led to another, and I almost forgot for a while where I was.

The plane was dropping all the time. Suddenly, it grew all dark, and the clouds that were once above me in the form of a city was now a massive water body. Only moments later, there were no more clouds, and behold! There was a real water body right below! I saw what I knew was the sea, but couldn’t really see it. The only reason I knew it was the sea, was the boats. The barges that carried ore to and fro. They were just points of light back then, later to be seen as what they were. It made me wonder how the boatmen managed to tame the rough sea. Reminded me of the Indianapolis Navy accident documentary I’d seen on the discovery channel the previous night. Uncanny how these things happen right at the time when they’re in context. Since then, the sight of the barges in the dormant sea hasn’t failed to creep me out. I’m certainly more scared of a cruise than a flight. I dunno why people are scared of flying, to me it seems like the safest and most obvious way of travelling.

The guy next to me started boasting how he was a frequent flier and how we’ll see the campus right now, and now, and now…and next thing we knew, we’d landed! Somehow we ended up missing the grand view of the campus that we’ve sold to so many sponsors. The plane screeched its usual screech and we were there. On the airport, back to earth and away from what I’d seen! Everything up there seemed like an El Dorado, somewhere there, but hard to believe it was…

Spicejet pilots really haven’t a clue how to land. Every single time a flight lands, the plane takes jerks. Massive ones. You are actually aware of your seatbelt, and the guy doesn’t take enough time to stop. One thing’s for sure, they aren’t the best pilots.

I realized how restless people get in the flight! Phones get switched on jus when the air hostess says- “Apne mobile phone vimaan se utarne se pehle ON na karen”. You can hear excited chics going “Yeah dad, I’ve reached, I’m in GOA!”. Baggage comes down. The warnings are for a reason, aren’t they? Amazing how people don’t care for rules, and amazing how many people have Nokia phones, and amazing how many messages they keep getting all the time!! I just sit still where I am, and wait till everything’s simmered down. I mean, why the rush, why the hurry? Those few minutes aren’t gonna help you much in the rat-race, are they?

We got back, plane landed, and my phone finally got switched ON. Read everyone’s messages. Felt all nice and wanted. :)