You have to do it! Traffic to Air Control.”

A voice woke me up. Many a time, my slumber was broken by my Dad’s call uttering these words. Today, when I am moving towards a greater change in my life, I expected my Dad would be around.

I am not ready. My heart is racing, as the day has arrived when I will be sitting on the co-pilot seat of a Boeing jet. Although the training period has strengthened me as a person to handle the jet in any condition, yet I am not sure if my soul is ready to take a step inside that cockpit.

Six years, seven months, 23 days!

Yes, that is the number of days it took me to step to a commercial jet after the mishap that turned my life upside down.

24th December 1999
The date when the mujahidin terrorist killed my father in a hijacked Air India plane. I feared the flying aftermath of the incident and never took a jet after that for eight long years!

However, my bubble world burst when I found my father’s journal, and one of the entries uncovered wherein he mentioned his desire of attaining those pilot stars on my shoulders.

What an irony!

I had to fight two battles thereon, one was the challenge of getting in the white uniform. The second one was a fear regarding how to get into something that has taken my Dad away. But anyhow, I curbed my fears to take that entrance exam and passed it with flying colours, maybe because I had the blood of my Dad running in me.

However, even now, after having overcome both my fears, my body is trembling, with mind experiencing hallucinations of my Dad. I can see him telling me “With great responsibility, comes great power.”

After seeing his smile and affirmation, I felt courageous enough right then that I am on the right track!

And so, with the air hostess’ call, it was my turn for the pilot’s protocol. Thus, I proudly announced, “We can do it” along with a loud call “Traffic to Air Control“.

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