Tuesday, December 12

Hero,an Unsung American Pilot

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17 missed calls! Whatwould have happened!! I called back; no answer. Got a little irritated also. Teachinghigher secondary children is a herculean task which I do , ofcourse have been paid for that.I teach In a coaching class where we getthe post higher secondary level studentsready to appeardifferent types of competitive, exams of state level as well as central level. Ijust reached my classroom. Before starting my lecture as a routine habit I wasabout to switch off my cell phone I saw these unattended calls which were from sachin .I started reciting hanuman chalisa(a prayer) in my mind.Sachin is my husbandand he was on an officialtour to central India as he is a regional manager in a MNC. After completing my scheduled classes I rushed towards my home.My daughter told that father had called up ,he is fine and coming in his scheduled flight .I breathed easy .He is supposed come from Bhopal to Indore and from there to my hometown Ahmedabad.Thank God he is safe.Now a days the whole world is connected with such a precession that you could move across it within 80 days, but you can’t give a safe homecoming guarantee after8 hours work at your office. After 10-15 minutes I called up again.He told me that they are coming through the emergency exit as the flight caught fire .My heart started sinking, I felt like dropping dead. I called him up throughout that night again&again.The scheduled time of the flight taking off from Bhopal is already over.He informed me after half an hour that they have to stay back there that night, will be back tomorrow. I wept whole night praying at the almighty for saving him with other passengers. They are now supposed to come the very next day. The airlines refused to refund or rescheduled the flight ,passengers have to arrange on their own. Next day morning when I switched on TV ,a lots of buzz was there about so called statement given by a Hollywood hero rather superhero regarding Mumbai known as India’s Hollywood. The so called hero had given a statement reflectinghis willingness about the participation of Pakistani cricket players in forthcoming IPL MATCHES which annoyed a particular political party who thinks it is the ultimate savior of India & its rich cultural heritage. As I wait for my husband to come back I sat the whole day in front of TV hoping some news must be there about the flight and the emergency exit of passengers as my husband didn’t detailedme about their doing so. To my surprise a small running line appear ‘’passengers of …airline had a hairline escape; all of them are safe. Pilot landed safely as both the engines caught fire. No casualities.’’ I waited my husband to come; whole day & night listening to the useless, insensible , irritating news aboutarguments and counter arguments,analysis,panel discussions,views&reviewsblablaabout the same rotten story of the controversy between the bollywood hero and the savior political party.

My husband returned at around 10.30 at night and he unfolded the story in front of me .As per schedule the Bhopal (a small town in central India) to Indore (another small town)flight took off at right time from Bhopal airport .After only a few minutes there was a unusual sound like an fire alarm.One crew member said that every thing is OK;because it is a low cost airline& if the luggage is more than capacity this type of sound is often heard and she informed this quite conveniently. Again the same sound was heard this time with more volume. Seconds later a small child shouted ‘’fire’’’’fire’’…….everyoneis shocked to see that the whole wing of that flight had already burning with heavy flames.Imediately the copilot requested to all the passengers to keep calm and shut down one engine. Now the flight started gliding down, again the pilot tried to start the first one.This time both of the wings started burning like anything .Then came the announcement’ please bent down on your knees, hold your foot tightly until the next announcement you may have a crash landing’. This is the moment he called me up 17 times to say his last goodby,he told me.He continued calling to say me that he may never meet us again, to remind me not be very strict with my 10 year old daughter as he always think that Iam a very strict mother, to say me how much he loves us, to say me that he will die with a regretthat he will not be able to see our daughter growing….but I didn’t pick the phone as I had switched of before taking my class. Suddenly the main pilot announced his name and tried to calm all the people on board there with an American accent. It was an airlines owned by a foreign company. Now a ray of hope is visible to the passengers that they may survive because in India we people have a lot of confidence on American skills in every technicalfield. The pilot did the same thing repeatedly .First he will manage with one engine with one wing, when it starts gliding down he willagain start both the engines; now it will catch fire again then he will switch off the flamed engine and try to land with one engine. Single handedly he brought that burning plane near about 10/15 feet above the runway. Here the landing came to an end as the plane banged on the runway .It might have skidded througha few meters but both the tyres burst and the plane became standstill. Few fire safety people rushed towards the sight. Passengers rescued safely one by one. Some of them were even unconscious. But the airlines pulled its hand giving the plea of a low cost airlines to refund the money or making an alternative arrangement. All the people not at all worried about their monetary loss thanked the almighty and all of them signed in an memorandum thanking the pilot who saved their lives .they wrote there ‘’you are a real hero’’.On the other side the verbal war between the so called superhero & the savior party continueddays more. My husband asked me the next day’’ any elaborate news about that HERO,the pilot on TV?’’I said ‘’no, nothing more than that running line below on the TV screen, that only for a few seconds.’ THIS IS A REAL STORY OF AN UNNSUNG HERO.

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