We were Kolkata based, so we used to operate flights mainly from there , and sometimes Delhi too. Kolkata as a base station was my family’s prime consideration while I was applying for this job. The airline was introducing new fleets from Kolkata too few more major cities and also to the beautiful hills of North East. I was always enchanted by the “Incredible Northeast” by their advertisements and I always wanted to visit them. The frequent visit to these beautiful places are the perks of this job. And to add more to it as a cherry 🍒 on a cake my sister was doing her MBBS from CMC and my hometown was just an overnight train journey from there. So all was good, and this “City of Joy” has offered all the joy to me.But finding accommodation for a single girl here was certainly a tough nut to crack, as for my grandmother and mom this refined search is defined as a “good and safe” accommodation, preferably a Paying Guest with a reliable neighborhood.
Now how do I find a reliable neighbourhood..!!!!
The meaning of good and safe was explained in numerous ways, and this was now a challenge. Though , I have been away from home in hostel since my Graduation days but for them “this is different” ,and I was allowed to shortlist just a few before the final clearance from the elders for which the tickets were already booked.
Here in Delhi , after one more fam and a check flight , I passed my test and got the stamp to fly as an Independent crew. My “well done” check flight was actually a somehow managed mess…A mess because unfortunately I didn’t received any “Flight confirmation” from the roster Department until that very day.. the day when I was into full hair and skin care mood with oil in my hair and finger dipped in face pack, the phone flashed “Dispatch calling”. I was happy to get my check flight call finally ….but that shaky voice over phone said something which meant that I have to operate a flight to Jaipur and Udaipur right now and car will be there in about 30 mins and it’s supposedly my check flight. My confused “ok” was acknowledged and phone got disconnected.
so it was confirmed and I was operating a flight in an hour!!
It was a family mission now to get me ready for flight. Managing my oily hair with some hot towel treatment (VLCC tricks). While I was applying eye shadow my Mom was trying to do my hair…followed by a real quick Saree draping along with sister buckling my heels 👠 . With a good team work , I lastly checked my emergency book and was ready. With a big relief after sitting in the car, I recalled “ its my check flight” and started reviewing questions for the test today. Luckily all went well Chief Commander signed my TPR and said “Welcome to the World of Sky, its Beautiful”. I smiled , looked out from the cockpit window and said ” I am sure it is”. That moment in the cockpit was one of the cherishing moments of my life, and I will preserve it forever.
After I reached home,we laughed and rolled recalling all about the morning circus, which was hilarious.Even today when i recall “it” , it brings back the same giggles 🤣.
So today s story is the story of the day when I was trying to settle down with two of my colleagues in a Paying guest at Salt lake city. The room was small for 3 of us, but somehow the other criteria of “ Safe and good” was matching the family expectations thankfully so we adjusted. I had started flying comfortably now , enjoying tea over gossip, checking out crew members, dealing with ABP’s, taking care of all the eyes which follows you, I was growing up with every take off and landing. But still waking up for early morning departures , makeup/ hairdo was a challenge.
So after a day “off” I was rostered for CD 7727 to Portblair ( Andaman Island) , the sector which every crew loved for all the reasons
– adds to the flying time bank 4 hrs ( more flying hours = more money 💰
-you are home at 11 am and free for the rest of the day .
– And super delicious breakfast on board .
the only problem was the departure time 5:40 am for which the crew reporting time was 4:40, Transport pick up 4:10 am and getting up during those days at 3:10 was not so easy for me ! Three alarms at 3 mins duration was the only key to it… till that day!!
I took my dinner and arranged all my makeup perfectly on the small dresser with a big mirror, uniform and 👠 was well at place,in short everything was just ready. Now , only I had to “get up on time”. To feel fresh and glowing in the morning, I went to bed around 10pm and at 11:30 or so my mind stopped calculating the hours left to sleep and slept!
Just after few hours of that,my phone started vibrating, I ignored first but lastly when I saw “office calling”,I received. I was sure that this is to inform me about flight cancellation. But, still I picked up looking at the screen with one closed and one open eye .Both my pupil dilated when an annoyed voice bursted on my ear drums and I ran to the window , where I saw my office car waiting!! So now the situation was
I’m in pajama,
the car with one other crew waiting for me, for nearly 20 mins outside my gate
and the clock was happily marching towards 🕟 4:45 am.
Im LATE… rather Very LATE…
Mr .Sanjay asked me if I can manage in 10 mins, they can wait… but I was way too messed up , I said I can’t… and started 😭.The phone got disconnected.
I don’t know what happened, to my alarms…to me..the tears were rolling down and I was highly disappointed. The fear of loosing my job just after 2 months of flying high… had left me shaken. The morning was dark, I drew my curtain and slept again.
Nearly at 9 I got up with swollen eyes and dull face.My roomies thought the flight got cancelled , until I surprised them with the breaking news. We started our speculations of all the undesirable consequences of this goof up but nothing was clear until I decided to call our In Flight manager, “come what may”!!
She picked up in one ring , as if she was waiting for my call..
I started and concluded the one-sided conversation full of apologies , but the only sentence that came from her ,
Manager :Can you report to the office in an hour??
Me: Yes Mam!!
Both my friends were sad 😔 and not ready for this undesirable moment, I was ready to pack my bags! I looked at my luggage which I emptied just few days back.
With all the thoughts 💭 I took a cab to the airport!! It will take few minutes for me to reach there, till the time you stay tuned, safe and curious for the next page on my sky diaries!!
As I was heading to the airport ….I was recalling a famous quote..of Henry Ford
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,this time more Intelligently.
And Yess….if you are putting an alarm than pls get up on time , as the clock ⏰ runs faster when you want them not too!!!
“Time isn’t the main thing,It is the ONLY Thing !!