Stick the landing


I normally do not watch the Air Hostess’s safety demo before take-off.  After all what is so different? That day I made it a point to watch and listen. In fact, I also looked for all the safety exits.

I was in Hyderabad and as I was heading towards the airport . I saw a couple of calls from my mother and my wife. They told me about the hurricane “Ockhi”. I was supposed to take a flight from Hyderabad to Trivandrum. Like a brave man I said, “I will check in the airport and decide”.  My mother in fact told me ” you can decide to go to Bangalore rather than to Trivandrum.” That time I was wondering, she always checks when I am coming next to Trivandrum. Is the situation that serious?

After reaching the airport, I was also thinking if they are going to cancel the flight to Trivandrum. I was wondering  when is the next flight to Bangalore? But that again was depressing, as I was recounting the traffic jam from Airport to home today and home to airport tomorrow for the flight to Trivandrum in case I have to cancel the plan. Ironically, I decided to face the turbulence in the air instead of the traffic in the road.


To my utter surprise I got the boarding pass issued for ” Trivandrum.” Looks like the front desk had not got the information which my wife and Mother received. I breezed through nicely and already my state of mind is in a turbulent mood. Understanding that it would be a flight of turbulence I decided to have all the tea and snacks.

As I entered the aircraft the first thing I asked the air hostess was, “are you aware of hurricane.” She smiled at me and said that this is the first flight of the day for her and she is not aware. In fact, she added that she will check with the Captain and confirm. That information never came to me.

I googled for information and got the update. Yes, there is a cyclone prediction and winds of 45 km/ hr. That was it.

Before the start of journey, the captain in a very confident tone informed us that there will be turbulence on the way and there is this forecast of winds at a speed of 30km/hr and we will do our best to give you a nice flight. That is why they say, ” Tone of the captain is very important.” It helped me to calm my mind a little bit.

We had a lot of turbulence on the way and I had taken some books with me. Every page I was opening was very dramatic. I opened a page from a book and it had a line which went like this ” The inclement weather was the reason we had to cancel the play for the day.” I shifted to another book and I picked up a page just like that it was titled “Grief – The presence of absence.” I literally wanted the book “Joy on demand”. I decided not to look at any books and started looking at people around. They were all cool and fine. It was only me who got all the turbulence inside and outside. I understood that the rest of the people would not have heard about this cyclone from anyone, they did not watch the air hostess demo seriously and they may not have paid heed to the Captain’s announcement. That was a very interesting take for me as I recollected a blog-post I was browsing through just before the flight took off.  The title of the blog was “Tricks to Stick the landing.”

Stick the landing is a business term used during all phases of a business cycle which require great attention to detail to be successful. Yes, thankfully our Pilot and Co Pilot did negotiate the winds and they did stick the landing.

I was the last person to get out of the flight and the air hostess requested me to help them with the caps which was kept on the overhead cabin. I was more than happy to climb (being short) lean forward and give the caps to the proud air hostesses. I thanked them, and also told them to congratulate the captain for this wonderful flight.


After reaching home I told my mother about the turbulence before the turbulence and then I understood the seriousness. The fact was that Cyclone Ockhi did wreak havoc. I noticed how people in my native place were glued to the local channels watching the live ground zero reports. The pictures were very depressing and yes, I understood why my wife and mother were panicking.

Moments like these will come to us in life. This was a “Be like water” moment. Till this flight I had never thought about the airplane and crew who negotiate the turbulence every day and take care of passengers to reach their destination safely.

These are the moments when we will rely entirely on the external world to ” stick the landing”.


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