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Monday, November 18, 2013

world through my yeux...: Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 5~

world through my yeux...: Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 5~: M Y   W O R L D .......... Manifested ,  Planned ,  Destined Part 5  On Sunday morning, we left to meet our Destiny- Destiny Farm...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 5~

MY  WORLD..........

ManifestedPlannedDestined

Part 5


 On Sunday morning, we left to meet our Destiny- Destiny Farm stay. We took 2 hours to reach Destiny. It was the same road we had taken to reach ooty. It was an hour to ooty and the other hour to destiny. We passed singara again. A huge crowd of tourists had stopped there. People stood to take pictures. Though the view was scenic, it was covered and hidden by the passing clouds and mist. 
              We passed the wellington cantonment again. We spotted some men playing golf in the golf course. The road throughout the journey was clean, green and well-developed. On one side were tea gardens and the other was a valley. The view opened to vast areas of cultivation and agriculture. We had carried two bottles of water for the journey but were so enthralled; we did not even sip a little. I was puzzled, though I hadn’t had a drop of water throughout the journey, I wanted to use the washroom very urgently after we reached the car parking! 
          After an hour’s journey after ooty, we reached Emarald village, surrounded on two sides by the wide spreading Emerald Lake. The lakes of Maharashtra are small and do not spread over a large area; lakes here were vast, but clean and no effluents, of course, seemed to be contaminating these lakes; unlike polluted, stinky and filthy lakes of ours. I wondered why swimming in these lakes wasn’t allowed. But then I realized, swimming was allowed in our lakes!!! 
          I saw quite a number of vehicles on the streets, yet the streets were not engulfed and contaminated with any sort of smog or carbon-monoxide. Seeing clean roads are a rare sight for us, so we were amazed seeing sparkling tidy roads. As I earlier said, we never felt isolated on these roads as numerous tiny settlements past us at each third or fourth kilometre.
           People in Tamil Nadu seemed to be very friendly and kind; but obsessed in their own lives and work. Their clothing was different. People wore lighter and cotton clothes. Lungis and vests were common. I imagined myself wearing a lungi and moving about in the streets of Mumbai! The clothing was apt as on the part of the mountain we were, it was considerably warm.
              Now we entered the part of the Avalanchi Lake. The avalanchi lake was as huge and spread over an area as much as the emarald did. We passed a bridge, which had Emarald on the left and the avalanchi on the right. And what a 360 degree view it was!!! The serene green waters rippled to the tune of dried leaves falling into the waters. It was like if you jump here its the emarald and if you jump there its the Avalanchi. It was as if the two lakes were twins(because they looked alike) and were separated by the bridge. They crave to meet each other, and one day they shall pierce a hole through the bridge. I hope it never happens, but this is what I make of it!
           The road became denser, but this time we were not scared as it was bright enough. The leaves of the trees were wet and it seemed to have rained the day before. The road was not as well developed as before. The journey throughout that stretch was bumpy and jerky. The car had slowed down. On one side, at a distance we could see the Avalanchi Lake. On the other were creepers and wild shrubs grown automatically at an elevation. We could see purple and orange flowers. The drive throughout was like a jungle safari. Although we did not see any wild animals except small insects, it was almost like an African Safari. Each turn, each curve, each bend, each step of acceleration by Prabhakaran saw a shudder or jerk. The road was muddy and wet. The parking lot was yet some distance away. There were no settlements for  the last twenty to twenty five minutes. Finally, 11:42, sharp we sat in the shuttle.



                                   


It was a large, open air army truck. It had huge wheels, almost three and a half feet high. It was painted yellow and green and looked cute (though its size was monstrous) to us.  It could easily accommodate twenty well-built people. And it would easily carry us, as we were hardly 4. We had two companions, who were least interested in talking. Nor did they look out and enjoy the splendour of the view nor did they care to talk with us. But we were far too excited and thrilled and enthralled and delighted and overjoyed and charmed and enchanted and fascinated to get bored. We screamed when the truck bounced when it hit a rock, and we would wallop when the truck suddenly jerked. We took numerable pictures. The adventurous folks we were, we would put out our hands out and collect the flowers that fell on our palms when the gigantic truck banged on the barks of the wild trees. The road made us yelp and the gorgeous sight made us sigh.
              The road was so jerky that I nearly fell out when it bounced for the first time. Thereafter, I learnt my lesson and held tightly to the window sill.
         And each person who says Mumbai’s roads are jerky, have potholes more than any other city’s roads; here is my counter view!
                In precisely twenty five minutes we reached destiny. We entered destiny the same way we had entered De rock. We went down, past a hairpin curve and landed straight in front of the reception. An old man opened the door and we went at the reception after checking our luggage was safe. We were served a nice and cold but heart-warming orange juice. We were given our keys and went further down the reception, towards our room. Each room, apart from the room number; had the name of a historical character. Ours was Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to go round the globe. We had the best view, is what I feel. Through the portico we could see the entire property. It provided us with a sight of panoramic biodiversity…
     
 The pleasant Avalanchi Lake, huge fields of extensive farming of carrots and cabbages stole the centre.  A number of other veggies like Chinese cabbage, celery, lettuce, zucchini were also grown. Two bridges led to the gold pond. The gill pond lay below the first bridge. The higher altitudes of the nilgiris were visible faintly behind the clouds. There were no signs of pollution or impurities. I’ve already had made up my mind-nothing can stop me from coming here again; whether it be in a year or two, in my college days, with my wife and children or my honeymoon. I will definitely want to go there. If I am able to praise destiny in the humblest words, it would be-
“Agar Duniya Main Kahin Swarg Hain, Toh Yahin Hain, Yahin Hain, Yahin Hain….”

 Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 6~(<click)
to read part 1 of Manifested, Planned, Destined ~part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.

    

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 4~

MY  WORLD..........

ManifestedPlannedDestined

Part 4

Next day, the breakfast was huge. Idlis, sambar, rasam, khichdi, toast, bread, butter, jam, coffee, were on the menu. Then, we were off to Ooty. We limited our journey to the boat house, toy train and Botannical garden. We had had a very bad site seeing experience in Simla, so this time we decided to not do the usual site seeing. And anyways, Ooty was too crowded.
      Our new driver, Anthony, left us at Coonoor station. We took the toy train to Ooty. Although we had a ticket for the second class, we were seated in the first class. The train was decorated with flowers and full of tourists and locals. The front engine had banana leaves on it. We had another small family with us, who, were also from Mumbai. They too, were going to Ooty.
        De Rock is quite away from Coonoor city. So, the rain that we experienced the previous night had not occurred in Coonoor city, which was absolutely unbelievable.
      We were scheduled to reach Ooty at quarter to twelve but were destined to reach there at twelve. The train journey was thrilling. We passed valleys, tea gardens, villages, green houses, forests, stations and tunnels. We reached Udhagamandalam (ooty) and were off to the Boat house. The boat house complex was crowded. Hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and other southern states had come in buses and private vehicles to visit the famous Lake of Ooty. We managed to get a four seater pedal boat. We had a nice, calm boat ride around the lake, with me and my dad doing the pedalling. We bought some home made chocolates and left the crowded boat house after feeding on some fresh (or maybe not) pine apples. Next, we headed to The Botanical Garden, which was not far. We ate some truly fresh carrots from a stand opposite the garden. We fed the leaves to a baby goat. The botanical garden had a variety of flowers. It was well preserved. No one dared to litter. The glass house had a variety of flowers and plants. At the center was a colonial bungalow. It was a sight where you could not miss to take a picture. We lay under a shady cedar which spread its branches wide open. Next, we headed back to De Rock. On the way we stopped at Bangalore Iyengar's Bakery. We had a puff. The chicken and veg rolls were piping hot and delicious. We managed to order them twice.the Sauce was complimentary! The fillings were delicious and melted in the mouth. Stations that we saw in our journey to Ooty passed us. The one I can never forget is the Wellington Cantonment Board. The roads were spic and span. Pavements were built on both sides. That area belonged to the Cantonment board of Wellington. If the whole country is given into the hands of the Cantonment board then the country would definitely benefit a lot. The area was well developed and maintained nicely. There was a golf course too. We saw a number of men playing there too. Although the area was developed, neither the scenic beauty, nor the natural surroundings were affected. Actually, the natural beauty was enhanced. We also visited a tea estate named Singara
          From there, we bought chocolate tea(130), orange pekoe tea(200), green tea(600), heena oil(600) and gauther oil(380). Later, we came to know that we were charged extra. Chocolate tea(120), orange pekoe tea(150), green tea(550), heena oil(500) and gauther oil(280) were available at lower rates at other places. The driver took us there (as Prabhakaran said) because they get 15% commission for taking tourists to them. I feel sometimes its better to go and enquire at two to three places before purchasing anything. We all were agitated. However, the cool environment cooled us down and we managed to get out of the agony of being cheated. we cursed Singara and headed back to De Rock.
       We were back to De Rock by mid-afternoon. It had grown quite dark by that time. We ordered for some coffee and went into the tea gardens. We did not find any bisons or monkeys on our mini tour and we were grateful for that. We walked past the thick, green bushes. Some rays of the sun fell upon us and made us warm. We smelt the strong scented tea leaves. They almost made me sneeze. We walked down the tea gardens and reached the lamb rock view point. We skipped the 500 meter trek and decided to return to De Rock. We walked up towards the salad garden and returned to our rooms. We ordered for some coffee. There were tea gardens all around, it was a shame we ordered only coffee. My dad did justice by ordering tea twice.  However, the coffee was the best. Later that evening, we also ordered for cocoa milk. It turned out to be even better than the coffee. We spend the rest of the evening reading our books and playing cards. At eight, once again we were served hot soup. This time it wasn’t carrot soup. It was corn soup. The corn was first boiled, and then grounded well. We enjoyed the soup. It wasn’t the usual sweet corn soup. It was totally different, but extremely delicious.
                    At eight thirty, dinner was ready. That day (oops! night) the menu was pulav, rasam, dal, salads, roti, lady’s finger, plain rice, curd, chicken curry (but of a different type). I licked the rasam off my fingers again! I also relished the curry, with both rice and rotis. The dessert was again, the best. This time it was “Gaajar ka Halwa”. It was topped with grated cashews and almonds and a tulsi leaf. It tasted a bit different from the usual gaajar ka halwa because it was made in jaggery or some sugar free sweetener instead of sugar; and there was no milk used. I took two helpings. We then took a stroll by the tea gardens to digest our food. We couldn’t resist seeing the beauty of the tea gardens hiding behind the mist. However, resistance collapsed when Shahaan felt very cold and we had to get back to our room.
             The next day would be relaxed, peaceful, calm, no hurries, no running, no site seeing. We would just snuggle into our seats and read a book. We did not have any plans to go to any places to do anything. “

“Nothing was planned, lots was manifested but even more was destined”

On second November 2013, we woke up at eight thirty, feeling happy, relaxed, but excited! We had “bed-coffee and were off for breakfast. We had missed lunch the previous day and were ready to have a binge on the breakfast, atleast I was. We had ordered omelettes separately. I had three. I, then had three idlis, two bowls of sambar as a supplement to the idlis, a toast with butter and jam and coffee, “no coffee please!”
We lay stress-free, hassle-free, tranquil and undisturbed for the rest of the day. I read through the pages of Ruskin Bond’s stories while my brother watched a movie. My dad read his Secrets of Meditation and mom read her Aroma Therapy bible. We all lay, in the peaceful atmosphere, with clouds passing through us and the mist embracing us. The air was cool and composed. The aroma of the highly enriched tea tickled our nostrils while the gentle winter breeze swayed the grass in the most enchanting way, which was a sight to sore eyes. Away from the noise, away from the crowd, though peaceful but not isolated, we sat amidst the most beautiful part of the Nilgiris; admiring the creations of the Almighty, and the manifestation, planning and organizing abilities of our very own dad.


          That day was amazing; but 3 days were over. The best part was; that 3 days were left! We had a light lunch, the same with the dinner. Today we had been served potato soup; well-boiled, well-mashed, well-blended, well-cooked and well-served. We had curd-rice and salads for dinner. The dessert was coconut coated fudge-like sweet. It was not the show-stopper then, the salad was. All the vegetables were from the salad garden. Some herbs were sprinkled on them (maybe basil). And finally, the white-mayo, which had mixed impeccably with the veggies, and it was the only day I had eaten only the salad (not mentioning the curd-rice and dessert). Don't imagine me surviving on salads for 12 hours!!!
The next day, we would be off to Destiny, and yes, the name stands for what it is!
Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 5~(<click)
to read part 1 of Manifested, Planned, Destined ~part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.

    

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 3~

MY  WORLD..........

ManifestedPlannedDestined

Part 3



   The serenity, calmness, silence (not eerie) and cool atmosphere made the stay beautiful. Our room was parallel to where Prabhakaran had parked the car. We said bye to prabhakaran and appreciated the place. It was pitch dark, except the light glowing in our room. The room was kept ready and cleaned well by Anita (Anu Aunty) and her husband, Subhash. We entered the room. It had a lantern in the corridor at the entrance.  The room was totally made of wood and bricks. The table and beds were piled at the base with bricks and layered with wooden plies. The beds were loaded with heavy blankets. We did not have a sit out but 2 wooden sofas. Our room had three windows. One opened up to the cage where a pair of turkeys, a couple of hens and a few black and white rabbits. One opened up to the sit out made near the tea gardens. The last was the best and gave a view of the vast tea gardens, the salad garden which had pigeons in it, the lamb rock view point, at a huge distance the Coimbatore city and Aerodrome. The lights of the city sparkled and made the view even more wonderful. The vast tea gardens spread over the whole mountain. The jungle we left behind us was pitch dark. And there were no fans. Fans were not needed, yet it was unbelievable for us Mumbaikars to see no fans in the room.
     And the time? Oh! We had not known the time; we were mesmerized with the beauty of the place. We guessed the time. Seeing the darkness, I said 8:30, Mom guessed 8:00, dad said 9:30. And the time was just half past six. We were shocked. We confirmed the time with all our mobiles. Yes, it was dark. Yes, it was silent. Yes, it was the same as 4am in Mumbai, but it was only half past six.
 At quarter to eight, we got down to sit by the tea gardens. It was chilling cold and we all had our sweaters on. There was a huge dilemma, of whether we are going to Ooty or not the next day. However, coming to south and not visiting Ooty wouldn't be a very nice idea.We dropped the argument and sat in the sit out, enjoying the scenic pleasure nature had to offer us.
  Nature got the best of us , and we, too, got the best of nature.
          At eight, we were served lovely carrot soup at our sit out. The carrot had mixed beautifully and gave a wonderful taste. It was a much needed appetizer. The soup also warmed up our bodies, and tremendously helped us to bear the cold. At eight thirty we were ready to have dinner.




         It was a complete buffet. There was a lot of variety. Salad. All the vegetables, leaves and herbs were from the salad garden. The salad was blended with white mayo. Then, there was cauliflower. Rasam and rice was the item I loved and enjoyed the most. I licked the rasam off my plate. Then there was chicken curry. It tasted wonderful with the rotis. All items said and done (and eaten), the dessert was the show stopper. It was a brownie served in a small bowl. Cream, blended with orange peel, kiwi and guava was the topping. We were first told by Anu aunty that it was beetroot, however, Mr.Christopher, the cook told us what the delicious delicacy was made of. I tried out the dessert once more. I tasted it very carefully this time. First, the orange peel touched my lips. Next, the cake melted with the cream and kiwi in my mouth. The guava, somehow, came nowhere.
       The dining area was the coziest, cutest and warmest dining room I had ever seen. It had three tables. A four seater, one six seater and the third ten seater. The dining area was snuggled into the last corner of the property. It had dim amber lights, giving it a warm and comforting look. The buffet was well aligned on a long wooden table. Opposite to it was the dessert table. For younger children, Anu aunty happily served. And you always would want to go there again and again, because the room was beautiful and the food was delicious.
          That night it rained cats and dogs. The lights went out. We had no choice but to sleep. And suddenly, someone knocked hard on the door. Who was at the door at this hour? We opened it. Subhash uncle had come to give us an LED torch light. We gave a great sigh of relief. The rain drops fell on the roof, scaring us tremendously.I strongly feel Mr.Charles should have electricity backup as it is highly inconvenient. An intercom system should also be there as calling from the window for anything and everything is not very convenient. I silently slept, with a smile on my face and happiness and pleasure in my heart. 
Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 4~
to read from the beginning, click> ~Part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.

    

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 2~

  MY  WORLD..........


ManifestedPlannedDestined

Part 2


We were asked to take our luggage from Belt 2. Very easily our luggage was loaded into the the trolley. We freshened up a bit and went near the exit, where a crowd of taxi drivers, family members and drivers awaited the arrival of someone or the else. The Coimbatore airport was smaller in size, lower in standard and less crowded than Mumbai's airport.
          We passed through the crowd, reading the boards like which read names of who had come for whom. We searched for Prabhakaran, our driver.
          Then, suddenly an old but smiling face walked up to us and asked my father-"Mr.Nozzer?" My dad promptly replied yes and we were off to De Rock Jungle Living, Coonoor, owned by Mr.Charles. Prabhakaran uncle asked us different questions about how is Mumbai and how was our flight. I was seated besides Prabhakaran uncle. I usually sit behind and let my dad sit ahead, however, I felt more comfortable ahead. In about thirty minutes, we had covered quite a distance. We were very hungry because, since morning, we had eaten nothing except the sandwiches. We wanted to try something local and not the usual pavbhajis and Chinese. Prabhakaran told us he knew exactly the restaurant we wanted. He parked his car near a South Indian nook called "Lalithas". And mind you, it was really a South Indian nook.
          The food was served on Banana leaves. My brother's first instance was Idli. In Mumbai, Idli is eaten anytime, breakfast, lunch and dinner. But there, it is importantly a breakfast item. We ordered for Rawa dosa, Masala dosa, Sada dosa, and Menduwada and filter coffee. All these came in sumptuous quantities. The filter coffee was the best of all. It was perfectly made and was the best coffee I have ever had. The sambar was piping hot. The coconut chatni blended perfectly with the masala dosa. If by any chance Lalithas comes in your way while going to Metupalayam or anywhere, do not miss it.
          From Lalithas, we took 45 minutes to reach Metupalayam. The road had tall beetlenut trees on both sides. Metupalayam onwards, the road was mountainous. However, we had a very comfortable journey. Prabhakaran drove very safely and slowly. The other vehicles too, drove with discipline. Rules weren't written anywhere, but were followed. In Mumbai, rules are written everywhere, but hardly followed. There were small settlements at each 5 kilometres, so, we did not feel deserted at any point of time. The other drivers drove slowly, with caution and absolute care. The cold began to seep into our bodies, as we went higher. We encountered several monkeys on our way, uphill. They were cute and absorbed in their own life. Some of them just stared at the advancing traffic (actually, there was no traffic. Lets call them vehicles).     
          After one and a half hour, we reached Coonoor city. We were then, twenty minutes from De Rock. De Rock seemed to truly be a jungle living, because the road from Coonoor to De Rock was a jungle. The shady branches of the huge trees cast shadows on the road ahead of us. The forest became denser and it became darker. A number of tea gardens passed us (we discovered them the next morning) but were not visible to us. We saw faint milestones or boards leading us to De Rock.
                      We reached a hairpin curve, and reached in front of a small bungalow-like structure, which was DE ROCK, JUNGLE LIVING, COONOOR(finally!!!).
                Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 3~(<click)
to read part 1 of Manifested, Planned, Destined ~part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.

    






Manifested, Planned, Destined ~ Part 1~

  MY  WORLD..........


Manifested, Planned, Destined

Part 1

  A cab would pick us up at 9 am. We woke up at quarter to eight. We were supposed to board the first flight of our lives at 12:50 pm. I, or rather we, were very excited. My heart beat fast. We had a quick bath and dressed ourselves. I was walking all over the house, checking taps, switches, windows, cupboard locks and drawers. My dad calls me the man of the house. I was filled with a sense of responsibility and did all that my father does while leaving the house for a trip.
         The cab was booked by my dad the day before on the net. Things have become much easier. I had gone with dad on a short errand to the taxi stand. It was disgusting. I was filled with concern because if the taxi drivers continue the ’aana hain toh aa’ attitude and rude behavior of theirs Mumbai’s not going to have a single taxi in the coming 5 years. Luckily, we have a number of private taxi companies which have efficient and punctual service and easy booking. We gave our address, our destination (domestic airport) and lo! Magic. The cab was ready on time to take us to the airport.
         A sleek Esteem was ready on our doorstep. In about 1 hour 45 minutes, we reached the domestic Airport. As we entered, an INDIGO aircraft flew over our heads. I was speechless then, I am speechless now! After getting the boarding passes and attaching the “handbag tag”, I looked at the time. Only 11:30! Someone told us we had to go to gate 6 at 12:20. Till then we had one veg. and two chicken sandwiches. We had a stroll by the bookstore. Ten minutes prior, unable to control our enthusiasm, we were standing on Gate 6. A huge bus would take us to the aircraft. I was surprised on seeing that though it was an airport, the people were standing like in a local bus. The aircraft had a capacity of 212 passengers and the bus’ seating capacity was not more than thirty. We could now see the huge Spice jet SG 109 about 20 metres ahead of us. We walked towards the front entry to enter the gigantic plane. We chose the front entrance when my dad suggested we peep into the cockpit. However, we had to enter through the back entry because our seats were towards the back. As we entered I spotted the Pilots who would be piloting our plane. We were a bit unfortunate that we got the two seats opposite to each other-22a, 22b, 22e, 22f. However, we got a wonderful view of the wing. The proximity of the aircraft amazed me. The huge 112 feet 7 inches wing cast a monstrous shadow on the people who were walking through it and entering from the back door. Then, we heard numerous announcements in different languages saying that the departure would delay because someone hadn’t reached the airport due to the usual Mumbai traffics. And then the aircraft moved. I released the breath I had held from the airport to the plane. Take-off Time.
RUNWAY AND TAKE-OFF
WHOOOOOOOOOOOFSSSSSSHHHHHHHH………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No! Not that easy.
As the plane moved towards the runway, the pilot, who seemed to be very interactive and friendly, gave us a little information about the sights we could see on the left and right. However, we knew that the pilot, himself, was getting the best view. I could see the wing move, some part of it opened, just like a Chinese fan.
My mom was beside me. She was tensed. I yet don’t know why. Maybe it was because she was sitting in a plane for the first time, and so was I. My heart thumped with delight, my toes bent with anxiety, my hands folded automatically with nervousness, my eyes closed with excitement, my calf muscles contracted with tension, I got goose bumps with fear. The plane was speeding up. I held my mom’s comforting hands. My tongue licked my lips with glee. The high speed of the colossal machine sent shivers up my spine. And then, suddenly I felt a sensation of being shot out of a canyon. My head ached. I felt drowsy. To my right I could see toy cars and a flyover, a number of buildings and in a jiffy all of it vanished. Now all I could see was the Arabian Sea leave the Juhu beach behind it. I couldn’t hear. A sort of blockage was felt within the ears. And then there was the dream come true. We would cover 1000 kilo meters in 2 hours which would take 27 hours by road and 16 to 20 by train. I yet was flabbergasted. Oh my, we are hundreds of kilometers above the surface of the earth. Below me I could see small patches of land and the vast sea. A moment came when I asked, “Have halted or taken a break?” it was rather a foolish question to ask. I could see only a white, stationary blanket of clouds. My father explained that motion is relative and I felt as if the plane was not moving because the clouds weren’t moving backwards. I could yet see my mother mesmerized. However, she became comfortable as the journey proceeded and began reading the magazine provided in the aeroplane. We were too excited and enchanted, we hardly were interested to eat or drink anything. Later, we exchanged places and I sat with my brother. He too, was enchanted with the scenic beauty. He explained very cutely the types of clouds from cirrus to nimbus to stratus. He always wants a window seat in the bus and in the plane too, he wanted to sit by the window.
             The best thing was that we weren’t worried about our luggage. It was safely loaded in the cargo. Normally, in trains we had to tie up our luggage with chains and my dad was so insecure about the luggage he hardly would sleep. But now we had no worries . And it was only a matter of 2 hours.
          A number of my friends said that the luggage checking is very strict. Though it was strict, it all happened easily. We had made about 5 to 6 calls to the Spicejet helpline and that had helped.
            After an hour, we all were absorbed into ourselves. Shahaan (my brother) was watching a movie on the Tab. My mom and dad were reading the magazine. I was seeing through the window and adoring the wonderful world from the stratosphere. the world up there was amazing. Serene, calm. No noise. Living up there would  be wonderful!
          At that time, a number of thoughts popped my mind. I thought of living in the clouds. I thought if God lives up, how "up" does he live if we are above the clouds. I was fascinated with the various professions I could take up in the aviation industry. I wondered "exactly how high are we!!!" How will the plane cover 1000 km in 2 hours. I thought about the temperature outside. I asked myself- if the plane passes through the clouds, why don't the wings get wet? How many states have crossed and how many are we going to?Where are we exactly?
          I got an inaccurate answer to the last question, when an announcement was made that we were about to land shortly, in Coimbatore.
          Five minutes later the pilot announced that a number of windmills are visible on the left. I had spotted those windmills much earlier. Some distance away I saw clouds. But these one weren't the usual. They were huger, larger. The aircraft entered the clouds, and all of a sudden, everything went blank. Then, we experienced a massive jerk and bounced twice. Maybe the plane was maneuvering through the clouds, or maybe it had hit them. I tightly clutched to my seat. It reminded me of the potholes of Mumbai.
          It was half an hour past the announcement and now we could see small settlements. We saw tall palms standing upright, but dancing with the sea breeze. We then saw houses. A lots of them. There were no buildings or sky scrapers. Only villas, that too, of bright, varied colours. We could then see an airport. Now we were sure to land.

          The plane slowed down. It ran, or flew for a distance over the runway. Then the wheels hit the ground. I felt as though we are going to take off again. However, the feelings and emotions and vibrations were not as high and enthralling as they were while taking off. It was, rather bumpy. It was as though a hundreds of speed breakers were  kept side by side. The landing then became smoother, and faster. Then, very slowly and gradually the SG109 came to a halt. We were asked to be seated till the plane came to a complete halt. We happily obeyed. I could see a huge board saying Coimbatore International Airport. Under it, the same was written in Tamil. I was surprised. Two hours back, we were in Maharashtra, and now we were in a new state all together-Tamil Nadu!
          Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 2~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.

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