Faces from runway

Faces from runway

They say that the best thing about memories is making them. And visitors at the 11th edition of the Aero India 2017 left no chance to snap some crazy and candid pictures to fully capture the essence of this biennial experience.

There was a sizeable crowd in front of all the model replicas of aircraft as people patiently awaited their turn. The models were the most sought-after photo props as they gave a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for aviation enthusiasts and selfie-lovers to have their pictures clicked inside or alongside these legends of the skies.

Mimi Chatterjee, textile designer, says she was having a gala time at the show, which was her first ever. “It’s an awesome experience. I have seen one session of the aerial stunts and it was marvelous.”

Mimi, whose brother is also a fighter pilot, says that the aircraft models are one of the main attractions for the general public. “They are all so unusual and different. I have clicked pictures in front of almost all of them but the Tejas remains a personal favourite, followed by the Rafale.”

National pride and patriotic fervour were the common sentiments as was evident from the fact that the Tejas was the most in-demand photo prop. The hot sun and slow moving queues did not dampen the enthusiasm of some visitors who were determined to get a picture with the Indian hero.

“We are most interested in clicking a picture with the Tejas in the background. After that, the next favourite is the  Sukhoi,” says Gaurav Singh, student of mechanical engineering, NMIT College. Saying that clicking pictures was one of the main purpose of the visitors to the show, Gaurav adds, “We are going around the place and identifying the ‘clickable’ spots.”

His friend and batchmate Kushal adds, “Since we are students of engineering, we are interested in seeing the models of aeroplanes and the engines and understanding about their working. But snapping some unique photographs is also on the itinerary.

We will upload them on all the social media sites – it’s almost a ritual by now.”

Even the ones without a particular interest in photography could not stay immune to the charm of these eclectic props and the public adulation for them. Says Ankitha, an Accenture professional, “We are not really photo addicts but who can let an opportunity like this pass.”

Her friend Rachita M R, 1st PUC student of Jain College, adds, “We have been coming here regularly. Though there is a slightly lesser crowd today, there is always a long queue in front of the replicas.”

Ankita chips in, “We wish they would have put up more models of these aircraft. We have been coming back again and again to see if we can get a picture taken but the serpentine line always deters us.”

For the ones who have not been able to get into the cockpits, there are smaller consolation prizes on the ground in the form of cutouts and so on. 1st PUC student Kavya can’t stop gushing about the picture taken of her behind the bulky uniform lookalike, “There are so many things to see. We didn’t think there would be props like this at the show; we thought it will be quite a serious affair. But these make the event fun and give us a chance to see ourselves in the uniform, something which is so special.”

Her brother Jayant, working in Mahindra, says, “Everyone seems to be clicking pictures; after all, it is the one chance we get to come to these restricted places.”

Sanchita Mukherjee, who had come to the show with her sons Aionesh and Eshaan, says that the models served to inspire the younger generation and pique their interest in the armed forces.

“We were looking forward to getting pictures clicked in front of the foreign aircraft. My kids especially want pictures alongside the Grippen and the F-16.”

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