October 10th 2018, Los Angeles !
Let me say a big thank you to all“ my sky diaries” readers for rendering encouragement,and showing the excitement for the next blog page.
Before turning the next page, let me ask you!!
Did you thought that alarms which I set in my last blog failed to wake me up….or
Did you thought that my address which i confidentiality shared with the transport department missed a lane number?
Well!! You are right,the alarm didn’t buzzed,as I woke up well before time,and witnessed the clock struck 4:45 AM.Switching off all the other buzzers,I rushed to bathroom.Waking up at this hour in the month of January and thinking of taking shower seemed to be the worst thought ever but soon conquered over it and was fresh and ready to show all my VLCC skills and strokes.Hot tea goes very well with the make-up brush strokes but I wasn’t sure of being ready on time so ignored it.As I opened the bathroom door the kitchen light and mom with her best aromatic tea ☕️ shined upon me, and it brightened me up.Dad,a perfect late riser was sitting on the dining chair all snuggled up in his shawl (the shawl which has wrapped us with its warmth and the most comfortable sleep ever). Dad sleepy eyes widened up seeing me and mom’s cup of tea.Though,I wasn’t happy about their disturbed sleep, but their presence around me that day was extremely comforting.Parents are so supportive,whenever and wherever you need them they are there…can’t thank God enough for this blessing. Both mom and dad were equally excited, as I was the first among siblings to experience the first day at the job.My elder sister was studying medicine and little one was too little. Dad being an Academician, wanted me to complete studies, and so wasn’t convinced enough by my this decision.Though his everlasting support and love was always there.
Another interesting fact was the name Air hostess Kalpana”!
Air hostess KALPANA
An imaginary name given by my maternal grandfather (Nana) to my mom. During her teenage days of 70’s she got fascinated by a story character “Kalpana”a Flight attendant. Mom shared her excitement with her dad,and with due respect to the family norms and rituals of the society during those days,Nana could only promise to call her Air hostess Kalpana henceforth.When mom told us this amazing co-incidence,we were able to see her faded dream in my Wings!!
Taking care of all the tantrums of eyeliner and a perfect eye shadow,I was almost ready.My hair was short mom secured it pretty well,with hairpins.Soon my Aunt got awake and with the assurance of finding me snuggled up she rushed to room and was relaxed to see G.Verma(my roster name)with Air-hostess Kalpana,all set and ready!
Dahi Gud for a good day
It was almost time for the cab to reach, so Mom gave me a spoon of Dahi-Gud. Custom of having Dahi-Gud(Curd with Jaggery) before an important event has been in prevalence since old ages in India.
Science behind the fact
From the glass door of the balcony I was keeping an eye over the road,it felt cold in the patio and nothing was visible,as the thick blanket of mist and fog was widely spread.I love this smell of fog but today,I wasn’t enjoying it.The car didn’t reached and the clock hands was marching in full speed.Mom gave me some cookies to munch but since the makeup especially lips felt so heavy,i kept it in my sling bag and thought of having it later.
Thrice the process of saying good bye was performed,after the failed assumptions of hearing the car,once by me and twice by my ever excited aunt.My aunts mind was ready with all the steps which a Flight Attendant should perform in case she is late.😃( no she wasn’t in this job but carries an idea of it,or of almost everything) .
Suddenly the glass door sparkled by a white car headlight and an uniformed chauffeur stepped out with a paper in his hand.I knew this is the one,I picked up my tote 👜 and sling bag 💼 and hurried up from the stairs,the clapping of the 👠 heels on the stairs was cheering me up.In excitement I forgot to say 👋 bye and reached car.He said good morning and opened the door,before siting I turned and saw mom dad,Aunt holding my 10 yrs old little sister rubbing her eyes whom I promised to say bye before leaving for the flight (last night)were there.The presence of everyone there was indeed encouraging and these memories are will always be treasured deep in my heart.I gathered myself smiled at them and sat in carefully. A pleasing personality holding a radiant smile looked at me and said 👋 “hello”, she was over phone,so i just smiled.We didn’t talked but i was certainly relaxed to see an other operating crew in the car.I also took the phone out,tried getting busy but couldn’t so kept it back and sat silently.
Winter morning rush at the Airport
Soon,we entered the airport terminal,as I could see the rush of cars,the parents were struggling holding babies with all those heavy winter jackets and caps,trolley carrying luggage,mixed emotions of happy and sad faces all over.
While I was enjoying the busy airport the lady was replenishing her make up, which I could not do.I decided to keep my eyes glued on her now on wards,so we wore the id card and stepped out.She looked tall,bright and beautiful.I proudly walked with her till the entry gate and paused to see the long queue of passengers.I was still there solving the maze and this smart lady was at the gate,I quickly turned and few twist! turns! and excuse me! took me till the“Crew only”entry gate.She was there waiting for me at the elevator,were few other flight attendants of different airlines were waiting.They all looked,happy,well groomed professionals.Looking at them “I recalled to carry the perfect walk and best smile”of our grooming instructor.So I quickly transformed into a right posture.
My new World
The elevator took me to the 2nd floor,I stepped out in a different world and got surrounded by scintillating scent which took me on an olfactory sojourn.We signed the book and headed to the crew room,it was a small room with few chairs and couch,a mirror and a water filter with newspaper and Aviation magazine, basically a place where the operating crew waits till the flight gets the clearance from the “Flight dispatch”.The other 3 crew members also joined us,along with the my check crew.She looked kind and generous,I went ahead and introduced myself she smiled and said..
Me and the Check crew
“Yes !!I know, your first trainee flight, so be attentive all the time and there will a lot of work and less time so ask questions, I won’t be telling you all by myself”,it was a little more in response to a short introduction,she sounded so professional.Heading a full flight and accommodating one new person in the small galley(the kitchen of Aero plane),familiarizing a new crew with everything along with many other chores was certainly not an easy job.Being cabin s head,taking care of the welfare of all 119 passengers on board with newborn, wheelchair and old passengers,is a big responsibility.I understood and nodded with respect and assurance.
Pre flight briefing
It’s an important procedure among the operating crew of the flight.The head of the cabin allocates the forward and the aft galley duty as per the seniority.Second most senior will be responsible for the aft galley and its catering.The food services and attending the pax call button is equally shared.Third senior will be helping in the forward galley,which will be directly communicating with the cockpit,catering,ground support, UNM, and so many other important things.The no 4th will be responsible for the aft galley.
Flying time of Del-Rpr was 1 hr 45 mins and I was working in the front galley with the senior most.The head checked my manuals,TPR,and asked me few easy questions,briefed me the importance of pre flight checks and debriefing,and then The other crew members seemed to be kind and co operative.The briefing lasted for almost 10/12 minutes and mom called twice in between😑, and my senior reminded me of keeping my phone in silent mode during briefing and switch off during the flight both the times,I simply nodded.
Captain of the Flight
And than I met “The Captain”of the flight.A tall,and well-built man in his late 50 s in well ironed black pant,white shirt, black shoes,tie and double wings and straps on shoulder.Wings and straps comes with so much of responsibility.We had a small conversation after my introduction and he said “ Enjoy your first take off”,which I was totally awaiting,he informed that the visibility is not so good and the ATC ( Air traffic control) is taking time to clear the flight.The flight was getting delayed and now I was hungry and remembered securing those cookies in my bag which mom offered have eaten those cookies 🍪which mom offered,but when I checked it found it in its powder form.Now !!not sure when and what will I eat in flight.
- Amidst of this,the flight was announced and we all checked ourselves in the mirror,hanged the sling, took the signed flight papers and headed to the medical room for the breath analysis test which is DGCA requirement for all the operating crew.I blew the tube,passed the test and proceeded to the tarmac where the crew car was waiting to take us to VT-EGF our chariot for our destination Raipur. For others it was a normal Raipur flight for me it was Special,I inhaled deep into the cold air and quickly called mom, “Boarding the flight will take off soon!! I’m gonna fly mom,and I could feel the excitement in her,which she carried from past so many years!Mom said “We gonna fly”…I switched off until landing.
see you all soon in my next page!!