Wings n Wheels – “Shapers”

On my last flight trip, something amazing happened. My luggage came first on the carousel(Hip-Hip Hurray). There is always a first time and before someone grabs my bag I checked the name tag to make sure that it was really mine. There was a sense of Deja Vu and that is when I thought why not share a blog on what I had observed during my travel? I had heard about wings and wheels. Every time I step out into the car for my trip I open my iPad or Phone notes and start scribbling some notes around what I have observed and things that have caught my attention. Over a period of time, I have sensed that there is a certain routine and I would share some of the interesting anecdotes from these travels. So here is the first edition.

Meet Shailendra

On that day Shailendar was the man who made me feel good and chuckle. He asked me to come through the security gate as he was getting ready to do the security check. In his baritone voice, he asked me in Hindi, ” How are you”? I realised this is such a nice thing, somebody is asking me this question after years. Having slept well, read well, walked well, and thanks to breakfast on that day and hot coffee I was full of energy I gave an enthusiastic response, ” I am doing fine, and thank you for asking”. He then further went on to ask me where you are from and I mentioned where I am going. He mentioned some good things about the place I was going. As he told his name I told him it reminded me of the famous lyricist Shailendra who had delivered hits along with music director Shankar Jaikishan in the early 70s. His response was so nice, ” Aap Tho Music ke Shaukeen hai “( you love music). I nodded and thanked him for a well-mannered 1 min small talk and I went on to collect my accessories from the other side of the x-ray machine. When I am in that situation the only thing that runs into my mind is that will my bag be pulled out for re-verification. This time I was lucky. I took my bag, devices, water bottle, jacket, and belt and I was arranging my trolley bag and a carry-on bag. As I was about to leave for the gate, Shailendra who was free at that time noticed that I didn’t pick one thing from the tray. He smiled and told me, ” Yeh to Aap Ka Nahin Ho Sakta Hai” ( This cannot be yours). I burst out in laughter and gestured to him ” You are absolutely bang on”. So what was the thing on the tray?

It was a day when I was in full “josh” in the morning and I met a guy who was exhibiting a 10X energy level. Enthusiasm is contagious and I carried it that whole day thanks to Shailendra. In fact thanks to Shailendra I could address some of the concerns of my fellow passenger on that trip.

Meet Jindal

After the flight take off this gentleman fired a volley of questions for which I didn’t have answers. That was his first flight trip with his wife

  1. How does the pilot navigate through the skies?
  2. How will the pilot know the routes?
  3. How do we know the flight is moving at 45,000 feet?
  4. Won’t there be so many other airplanes flying at the same time in the same place?
  5. Why do airline staff ask us to insert the seat belt?
  6. Why is this smoke coming inside the aircraft?

I must confess that there were times when I felt restless but I got myself caffeinated again and tried my best to address some of his above queries. I wished I could google and get some of the answers. Even the air hostess had to do some explaining on his request for a ” bottle of Limca”. During the course of the journey, I understood their background and he mentioned his dream for his son which is to make him an engineer or a doctor. I was touched when at the end of the journey when he mentioned, ” Mein Tho Anpadh hoon, Is Liye mein man ki baat Bhola Hoga? ( I am illiterate and so I was speaking my mind)

That was a trip that had so much of animated conversations in a day and I didn’t have to dig myself into books, podcasts, and my writing pads. These two gentlemen gave me the energy levels to go through that day. I learned from Shailendra how much he loved his job. He was showing care, and attention and was doing his duty, yet he brought humour into the workplace. After a long time, I saw some person with humour in the uniform. Jindal made me realise to be humble and grounded. He invited me to his place and gave me his phone number. In return, since they had come to our city for the first time, I organised a drop with the help of our driver. We respond to people whom we see and we are shaped by these people whom we see. They shaped my core RICH beliefs…

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