Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How I ‘flew’ and landed in Journalism


My entry into the field of Journalism two years ago was completely dramatic. Dumbledore would have said, “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” But well, in this particular case of mine, it was a matter of pure ‘chance’ supplemented with a very little ‘choice’ which I am going to talk about here. Exactly two years ago on this day, 30th May 2010, at 7 PM, I sat in the waiting hall of the Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar waiting to take my maiden flight to Delhi.

My boarding pass- Yes, proof!
The train tickets had not been confirmed and at the last minute tatkal tickets in Duronto Express had been booked for me, my father and my grandmother. The train would be reaching Delhi early in the morning of 31st and I had my entrance exam scheduled at 10 AM that day. A little research later, my uncle called in to inform us that this particular Duronto had the habit of reaching its destination around 6 hours late every time. This implied that I was going to miss my entrance exam if I took the train. Extreme last minute changes resulted in my ticket being booked in IndiGo flight 6E-258 from Bhubaneswar to Delhi for 30th, so that I could appear for my exam next day.


 My portfolio- Yes! That was the origin of the
name of my blog
I had been selected for the Studio Test at Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune after qualifying in the entrance exam. On getting the results, I had got to know that I had to make a portfolio which would comprise of my works till now. I had no idea what a portfolio meant and what it comprises of and in which format. And so, I had used my intellect and brought about this huge book, weighing over 5 kgs, into existence and called it my ‘portfolio’. I was determined to clear the Studio Test and Interview and get into Symbi. The Test was on June 2nd. I was in no mood to appear for more entrances. But my father thought I should have something as a back-up, just in case I couldn’t get into Symbi. And so, I was sitting here, waiting for my flight to Delhi. I had no idea how this flight was going to fly me to a field of study I had never given a thought to ever.

This was going to be my first air journey and as destiny would have it, I was travelling alone. With the check-in and security checks done, I was counting down the minutes till 7.20, when the boarding gates would be opened and I would be entering an aeroplane for the very first time. I had my backpack with my digicam and my hard work of the past week- my portfolio- my most prized possession till date, with me. I could have carried my small strolley bag as a handbag, but I checked it in because I wanted to ‘pick it up’ from the baggage claim black conveyor belt (exactly the way I had seen it in Home Alone!) Haha…

The boarding gates opened and I led my way through the crowd, clicking pictures of everything I considered worth clicking. I had never seen an aircraft this close. I climbed up the stairs and entered the plane, to be greeted with a ‘Welcome to IndiGo’ message from the airhostess. I looked for my seat ‘9F’ and took the window seat, which I had requested at the check-in counter. I had seen so many photos from friends and on the internet showing clouds below eye level. Although it was night time and nothing would be visible outside, viewing the ground and the lights from over 30,000 feet up in the air, shouldn’t be an experience to be missed, I had thought.

Yeah, it's proof I was there! :D
I sat at my seat, fastened the seat belt and looked out of the ‘small’ window. In a few minutes I would be flying and in just two hours I would be 1500 kms away from here- the fastest I have ever got to Delhi from Bhubaneswar (The Rajdhani takes 24 whole hours!!) It was soon time to move. The air hostess gave the demo-instruction and we were on the runway. The speed kept on increasing. The sound of the engines went up. And just when I thought how much more speed could be gained, we took off. I was flying!! Yes!

Once up in the air and almost half time gone, I thought I ought to do something worth remembering on my first air-journey. I had spent enough time gazing at the interiors of the plane and the activities of the air hostess. Now, I took out my diary and made an on-air entry. Next, I went to the washroom and clicked my picture there!! :D

Yes! Diary writing!
It was soon time to land in Delhi. Over the past two years, I had taken the window seat in my classroom at DPS Vasant Kunj and seen hundreds of planes swooping down past the school to land at the airport nearby. This was the time for the opposite action. I was in the plane and thankfully, on the right side (meaning both- correct and direction). As we geared up for the landing, I kept my eyes out of the window, to the Delhi lights. It was difficult to make out the roads. Only the moving headlights of the vehicles could be seen traversing along the many parallel street lights. I should be able to recognize the school campus, I thought. And yes, I did! The different school blocks, the tennis courts, the hostel building- the entire Kingdom of Heaven was easily distinguishable with the lights. I loved the view and captured the moment in my camera.
'Kingdom of Heaven' photographed but blurred by the movement
The aeroplane landed at IGI Terminal 1A. It was time to get down. My trip wasn’t over yet. I waited for most of the passengers to get down and then joined the queue towards the exit gates. As I reached the airhostess who was bidding us adieu, I smiled and asked her, “This is my first air journey and I want to make it memorable. Can I click a picture in the cockpit?” She thought for a moment and told me to wait as she went inside the cockpit to talk to the captain. She came out with the Captain and I made my request to him. He agreed instantly and led me inside his den. Save your head, he said but I had already hit my head on the low lying ceiling of the cockpit with the innumerable buttons, screens and switches spread everywhere I could lay my eyes on. I was greeted by the other pilot in there. The captain asked me to sit on his chair- yes, the pilot’s control chair- so he could click my picture. I then clicked pictures with each of the two pilots as they talked to me regarding my experience of the first air journey. As I took leave, I thanked them for making our journey safe and for allowing me inside the cockpit. This journey was surely unforgettable now.
Save your head!
On the control-seat

I exited from the plane, got on the shuttle bus to the terminal, entered the terminal building, reached the baggage belt no. 6, ‘picked up’ my bag from the conveyor belt and moved out of the terminal.
Baggage belt #6
Next morning, I went to JIMS Vasant Kunj to appear for my BJ(MC) entrance test. (I had filled the form at the last moment on the recommendation of my computer teacher at school) The test went well. I appeared for 106 out of the 150 questions confidently and left the exam hall one full hour before the scheduled end time of the paper. The results didn’t matter as my only concentration was Symbi. My father and grandmother who had taken the Duronto, reached at around noon that day. It was clear now- Had I not taken the plane I wouldn’t have been able to appear for the exam! A successful studio test and interview later, I was ready for admission into Symbiosis. But 4 days later, I was woken up by my father early in the morning. “You have secured the 23rd rank in the BJ(MC) entrance.” I was shocked. It was impossible. The exam hadn’t been so brilliant. But anyways, I was now sure of one thing- I had ‘flew’ and landed in Journalism! It wasn’t just chance, it was a choice well made.

10 comments :

  1. I have always been reading Akankshya's work...I can see the similarity...that distinctive flow with the thoughts..really enjoyed it..

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    1. Thank you so much maam. Glad you came by this post :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks ARK. I wonder why you always have to comment as 'Anonymous' and then mention your initials in the comment. Sidhe naam likh le na :P

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  3. Nyc Entry... Vivid description wid well-rememberd details indeed makes us imagine v r boarding d Flight... Haha... N many nyc n deciding things occur at tyms v dnt imagine dem 2...

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  4. wow this one is epic :D .. and you went into the cockpit the first time you were in the plane :O

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  5. good one :) next time i'll also request the captain for the same lets see what happens :)

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