Air Travel Tale

‘A’ is the first letter of the English alphabet and our writing challenge begins with this letter.


I have always been afraid of travelling by air and preferred spending 24 hours in the train from Delhi to Bombay than flying down in 2 hours flat. I remember a family trip from Goa to Bombay on a propeller driven aircraft. It was a 24 seater and our seats were bang on top of the propellers, the noise was deafening and the claustrophobic feeling even worse. My son and daughter had been constantly trying to distract me while my husband, who is a pilot, had been explaining the rudiments of flying to me.

After we moved to south India, Kochi, Kerala, the train journey to Bombay became a 36 hour ride and not a comfortable one at that. One night, I received a call from my brother, about my father being in the hospital in Bombay (Mumbai). It was a 36 hour trip by train to Bombay and I didn’t have so much time as he was being operated upon the next day, a bypass surgery. Three of his arteries were blocked and he needed an operation fast. The kids had their school tests and my husband had to stay back with them so I had to travel alone by air to Bombay.

Everybody who knew me also knew about my irrational fear of flying. I didn’t think about the possibility of dying on the plane, like I always used to. No fear of suffocating, due to my claustrophobia or death due to crashing into the Sea, my worst nightmare. I just kept thinking about my Dad, who was in the hospital and was willing the plane to fly faster than it was going, unmindful of anything else.

Fathers have this effect on their children, especially daughters. A daughter forever remains her Dad’s little princess and he remains her Hero for life. I couldn’t eat anything enroute, and just continued praying to my favourite God, to keep him safe. I had always believed that my father was the strongest and the gentlest man on earth. The news of his impending surgery had stumped me, how could he fall sick? He was my superman father, My Hero!

All I remember of that plane ride is the take-off and the landing, everything in between is a blur. That day was the first of the many times I travelled alone by air and to this day, I don’t understand my fear of air travel. I have struck train travel off my list now and have become a seasoned high flier.


Sulekha Rawat



26 thoughts on “Air Travel Tale

  1. Hey Sulekha!
    Thanks for dropping by at my blog.

    I’ve been flying since I was a kid so I’ve never had a fear of flying – but I often feel a little queasy on the train! Glad you’ve gotten over your fear of flying.

    P/s I’ll also always be daddy’s little Princess =)

  2. Anna, Welcome to my website and thanks for your comment. I prefer planes to trains any day now, talk about having a change of heart and mind 🙂

  3. Hello Sulekha.
    This was a perfect story for A-Z "A". I've lost my dad too, so I can relate to this post.
    Thanks for sharing & good luck with the rest of the A-Z!

  4. Andy, you are a constant source of encouragement and support, thank you so much.I started blogging because of my Dad and can't seem to do anything without remembering him and feeling his love always. His blessings keep me going.

  5. I was always fascinated with flying…but, could not do so as we could not afford air travel and moreover we never did go out on any holidays back when I was kid. My first ever air travelling experience was…when I left home ( ran away)
    with my hubby…:P
    You are now married to a Pilot…that's so cool. Glad you over came your fear. We always overcome our fears when we are pushed to.

    1. Wow, Janaki…I didn't know this juicy tit bit 😉 Thanks to A-Z challenge, I now know your sweet little secret.Yes, we do overcome our fears eventually, when pushed into a corner or faced with a do or die situation. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  6. Hi Sulekha, I really like this personal piece. For someone who actually feels *happy* on the plane, this is an interesting perspective. And you are such a lovely daughter.

  7. Mood, welcome and thank you for your lovely comment. We do tend to overcome our fears when we are concentrating on other important things.

  8. Welcome to A to Z,…and a great way to start it. I've never liked flying, but I do have some fun memories. Looking forward to what you have for the rest of the challenge.,

    1. Stuart, Your post inspired me to join this challenge and I am so glad it did. This is bringing out the old, forgotten stories out in the open. Thanks a ton.

  9. I always feel that when you are travelling with your family train journeys are the best…..thats the best time when you all eat together,laugh together and sleep together.No phone calls,no messages,no computers. But during emergencies flight is the best…….and you know when it is for our parents we overcome all our fears just to be with them and every minute counts. I have one fear……hope am there on time.

    1. Sukhi, I know what you mean, happy journeys with family and friends are great but emergencies are a nightmare. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Great way to begin the A to Z challenge. I can't say I understand how you felt initially about flying (since it's always been easy for me) but I'm glad you were able to work your way past it. I also hope everything turned out okay with your Dad. Being a Dad myself (though with boys, not girls), this post resonates with me deeply.

    1. Eric, Welcome to my site and thanks for your comment. I am claustrophobic and have always had this irrational fear of flying. My dad survived the bypass surgery and lived a healthy life for 10 years after it but he passed away two years back. I miss him a lot.

  11. Awww that was really touching Sulekha! The bit about your fear of flying rang a bell because my darling father suffers from it. He is not a hard core agoraphobic but he has his inhibitions about flying and prefers not to take long flights. He also suffers from claustrophobia so I could really relate to what you must have gone through. He still hasn't visited me and my family here in Sweden while my mum has already visited three times – she's a tough one there. The bit about being daddy's princess, I can relate to that exceptionally well coz' I am one too and in my father's eyes I am still a wee little kid who doesn't eat well. He fusses over me when I go home and mum often tells me how much he misses me. Thanks to Skype that we see each other every single day! Thank you for your lovely write up. Loved it.

    1. Yoshay, Parents are the best gifts God gives the children 🙂 I am so happy that your mom visits you often and that you can see your dad on Skype every day. May God bless our parents and give them a long and healthy life.

    1. Margot, Welcome to my site and yes I was there before he was wheeled into the operation theater. thank you for the compliment.

  12. Sulekha, what a heart warming story!! Yes human minds are like that, we automatically process the more urgent fear, and disregard the lesser one! Loved it….

  13. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt memory of your father. I'm still one of those people who don't care to fly. I do it, but I don't like it. So glad you were able to conquer your fear of flying.

    Thanks for stopping by Books, Products and More!

  14. I've been flying since I was a kid but haven't been in a plane for many years now. We stick to traveling nearby and drive the family.

    1. Angi, Welcome to my site, I used to love driving with the family but now there is hardly any time for us to be together and flying seems time saving. Thanks for the comment.

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