Finally I applied for passport last week. Shocking right! Yes, while my friends have travelled around the world, I just sat on my chair and scrolled through their pictures on Facebook. The story of my melancholy doesn’t just end here.
I have flown only twice in my entire life, a to and fro 45 minutes flight from Lucknow to Delhi. It was forced upon me as you know democracy has no voice these days. The moment my boss came to know about my fear, he strategically planned a trip for me to Delhi. And in order to prevent any midair scene I was accompanied by my colleague. I gave all sorts of excuses to avoid the situation but the whole world stood against me. Even my husband ensured that I boarded the flight by dropping me to the airport.
I think I was the only audience to the Hostess’s safety instruction. I stood up to make sure that the emergency exit door did exist. As soon as the engine roared, I clutched both the arm rest and started chanting life-saving “Matras”. The big bird thumped shook and went up. For a moment I felt no heart-beat in me. God was too in playful mood so before I could get my pulse back the monsoon shower came and bumps and turbulence complemented my whole journey.
This phobia was the reason I had my Honeymoon in the Royal Rajasthan. Goa and Kerela were out of question as the train journey could have taken 36 hours. While my friends proudly share their honeymoon photos of Maldives, Koh-samui , Los Vegas , Europe on Facebook I dumped all my honeymoon photos in the hard disk so nobody can peek into . We have some 300 photos out of which 236 photos are of the various museums, artillery, canons and forts of Rajasthan. Looking at them gives me a bitter flash back of those moments when I had preferred to sit on the stairs all tired while my husband had followed the guide taking mental notes of each maharaja and their methods of war . After that we preferred to not going anywhere.
My phobia has made me miss all of my friend’s weddings at Bangalore & Chennai . One friend was considerate enough to get married in Raipur from where we visited Kanha National park. It was the peak season for weddings but an off season for the tigers so all we did was to sight wild bores in the morning and listen quietly to the jackals howl at night.
By the end of 2015 one of my friends wrapped up her year through a FB status update saying “76th and the last flight of 2015”. Reading this I sulked into my well. Soon I came up with 2016 bucket list and the irony was, I had ‘Japan’ on my list but no ‘apply for passport’ on my to-do list.
Now something was seriously wrong with me and some actions had to be taken. This vicious cycle of watching and sulking was pointless. In my recent ‘step-by-step nirvana’ sessions under the Bougainvillea pot aka Banyan tree I decided to overcome the problem. The best way to do was to confront your fear therefore I am here jotting down all this. Then I thought what is it I fear? When I took that flight, I realized that the height didn’t make me nauseate, and the takeoff and landing were nowhere closer to the roller coaster rides as I had thought. I enjoyed the clouds and the bird’s eye view of the city. It was so beautiful from the top. So what is it? Is it just my excuse to move out of my comfort zone or I enjoy the pitiable life I live?