Flying over table-top runway

As a frequent flyer airborne every now and then from the 60s, I have had variegated experiences under my seat belt. My flights have been re-scheduled,  re-routed, bunched, aborted,  diverted, cancelled yet mercifully not hijacked so far. Clear air turbulence (CAT) had vertically dropped me by several rungs in mid-air churning the airline grub in the gut, sudden  tailwinds had given brutal thrusts  to the landing aircrafts  and a field rat not in the passenger manifest, boarded the plane once and scurried looking for its seat.

A ruckus was made by a ministerial heavy weight, demanding two pillows for his thick neck in a thirty minute flight. Another who entered an hour late with his nose in the air at Calcutta was ordered out by irate passengers for holding up the flight. A retiring steward  on his last lap shed loyal tears  after giving a moving speech.

But the experience I had over Mangalore airport is more relevant at this juncture.
My flight that morning from Bangalore was going through the landing drill. Bajpe airport with its table-top runway laid on hilltop always looked to me like a shapely custard caramel seen from the skies. Heavy rains, typical  Mangalore downpour, under which even the tip of one’s own long nose will not be visible was lashing outside. The pilot circumambulated the table-top few times banking through fleecy clouds and attempted to land. But we were still in mid-air.

The dreaded announcement  followed. Since visibility was poor, the captain will be flying  us back to Bangalore.

“That is the way the cookie crumbles,” sighed the disgruntled businessman sitting by my side. “Instead of going down, we are going up, up and away. I  thought he will land, willy-nilly.”

“And end up in  the  valley?” I pointed out grimly.
“Heavens, no!” he said with a wry smile, “I was to meet my manufacturer. Not the Maker. Don’t you know there are only two palpable emotions in an airplane, boredom or terror?”
“Wisely the captain  chose to give the former,” I said, opening the Wodehouse tome that comes handy during air travel.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)