A Meditation on Airplanes

I love airplanes. Should I call them aircrafts? I never know. I say aircraft sometimes because craft (something you craft) seems truer and more real and solid than a plane (imagine a point on a plane- hmm!). Anyway I think these machines that man invented are probably the most graceful of his creations. I once made the remark to my mother and she said that was because he had shaped it in the way of nature- to resemble birds. True enough! Probably the fact that something quite so mechanical with huge clunky engines could be so graceful is what makes them so attractive.

You could literally plop me by the side of a runway and I could spend the entire day just watching these mechanical birds take off one after another or land- the massive tyres kissing the tarmac – a screeching of rubbery hiss. And I could clap every time. I am not so fond of rockets, neither am I fond of helicopters or those military type aircrafts (definitely crafts- nothing as dreamy as a plane). I love passenger planes- especially the big ones- the bigger the better. Have you seen an A380 go from a lumber at one end of a runway to a graceful swan flight at the other end? And inside you feel the raw power of the engine- going from taxi to take-off- the engines roaring to life.

I would love to work at a small airport- be the person who does the wavy signalling standing as a huge aircraft crawled towards its brief point of rest.

It helps that I love travelling- that the surest sign that I am craving for travel is when I dream of a long flight that would take me to an unknown destination.

Look out the window and see the world look like a map on which your plane is being slowly dragged by an invisible string. Who said geography was boring?

With arms outstretched and bent like those of a dancer
With arms outstretched and bent like those of a dancer

Of course nature makes everything small so even the mightiest engines on the wings (how does the wing support the weight of the engine by the way?) rock like things lesser than paperweights when going through turbulence. You hold your breath- wait for it to pass. And it passes- mostly.

And then the slow descent, moving ever closer, the wheels awakening from their slumber, the thud, the feel of raw power once again before a slow down and a meek taxi back to the gate. What’s not to love?



6 Comments Add yours

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Me too!

  1. lav says:

    Have you seen them line up on tarmac, waiting to take off? I always think of them as birds waiting to fly….

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Yep! Love it!

  2. Nirmala says:

    Oh I love them too!! Esp when the plane is nearing a big airport like Atlanta where from your window you can see planes lining up on various levels waiting to land, I still get a thrill like a kid!!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Yes, these days even at small airports like Chennai at some points you can see planes lining up to land- it’s a good feeling!

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