“My fairytale is not about once upon a time instead it starts with I have come a long way from that blue uniform to white shirt and black pants, from no wings to one full wing, from handbag to flight bag and from high heels to flying shoes……”
When all you dreamed was to fly and you worked all your life to get all the aids that’s required to fly …. and then life hits you hard .. there I was applying baggage stickers ….
It was my first day at Indigo and I joined as a Customer Service Officer. I used to wear that Indigo cabin crew blue uniform when I used to work at the boarding counters. I used to work an 8 hours shift. I remember how I used to tie my hair in a bun and apply makeup and wore those grey coloured heels. It was so painful when I used to see pilots at the airport. I used to feel jealous of them. I so wanted to wear the pilot uniform and fly that was killing me bit by bit each day working on the boarding and ticketing counters. I was working there as God hasn’t dropped the pilot’s job yet in my bag of ambitions.
Indigo gives opportunity to pilot license holders, that if anyone holds a pilot license, they can join Indigo as ground staff for a year and then the company will give you an opportunity to appear in internal pilot vacancy.So that’s how I started my aviation career. And suddenly after writing this, so many realisations ran through my mind.
I feel where have I reached? and how? and how I could’ve done all that? and is the struggle really over? will I always make it? I should embrace this. I should never forget my roots. I should never forget the journey behind this.
A short-haul of 10 months at Indigo has taught me the most. How to turn your helplessness into zeal to achieve? How to look directly into the eyes of your far-fetched dream? Why is struggle important? I learnt the value of money. Importance of professionalism. And the best is to never let the fire sleep in you. Keep running behind your goals until you achieve them. Even aircraft have to reach takeoff speed to get airborne. So keep running until you reach your takeoff speed and then only you will fly. I ran for 7 years until one fine day, Maharaja welcomed me.
Maharaja was my first love
Air India was always my dream company. I still remember when I was 3 years old, my parents took me to Kathmandu in summer vacations. We chose Air India then. As and when I saw the Maharaja mannequin at the airport, I ran towards it hugged it and gave him a peck on the cheeks.
Full circle of life..
When I finally ended up in the cockpit for the first time, I had mixed emotions. I had watery eyes, and my heart was pounding hard of delight and excitement.I got goose bumps when I saw the magnificent runway while landing. That was the first landing which I saw sitting in the real cockpit. Cherry on the cake was, I was about to land a national carrier on it.
After I got released as the first officer, got the print of my first flight plan and that was from [Mumbai] to [Indore]. I couldn’t believe the destination and still wrapping my head that I will be landing my first flight at Indore.
10 years back when I did my pilot training from Yash Air Ltd, Ujjain.My first landing was at Indore while I was getting trained on Cessna 152 A.And my first flight plan as first officer has Indore as destination ……That’s how I completed the full circle.
My near and dear ones stopped me too. Even they doubted me but yes one man who was and is always there for me and who believes in me more than myself is my father. I owe this life, this job and my never die attitude to him. And I always remember my father telling me that
“whatever you become in life never forget to be a good human first”.
The hope of getting into the cockpit and flying that beast never let me stop from trying again and again. Hope had given me wings. Hope had ignited the fuel in me to fetch my dreams.
Never let the hope die in you. If I can do it, anyone can do it.Today, you know more than you may give yourself credit for. But, when you get still… and listen to your gut… and make a choice from that place – no matter how scary – you will be guided to something even better.
Hope you had a happy flight with me !
Signing off Capt.Priya Jain