Thursday, December 16, 2010
A MOMENT THAT KILLED HUNDREDS
It’s a nightmare that I always wish to discard from my memory. Never in my life had I thought of such unexpected accident. It was all unexpected. Today, even as I sit here, I reminisce the exact feeling that I had when the plane was swirling down like a wingless bird.
The morning of the day I was to journey was awesome. I got up a bit early to pack the things that I left out the night before. Even as I was packing my belongings, a genuine sweetness of meeting my dear parents ran in the nerves that spread like tributaries throughout my body. Hastily, I ran to the kitchen to have something for the breakfast. I filled my water bottle and left to catch the flight that was scheduled to take off at 9am. I reached the airport with a close friend of mine whom we worked together. I had been working far away from my parents and we haven’t met for almost 7 long years except over the phone. It was this lengthy gap that sweetened my journey. I knew no bounds of my eagerness.
The plane finally took off on time as scheduled. We were asked to fasten tightly to our berths. It hardly took few seconds to take off. In a moment, we were soaring; soaring high into the air beneath the blue sky. We were flying above the clouds and sometimes through it with a little jerk. The air outside, as I saw from the window, was calm and cool. The sky was almost clear except for some clouds below.
The air hostess who was in a blue-collared shirt had just got in to ask what we wanted. I had a heavy breakfast and did not need any food. Moreover, I would arrive to my homeland in a few hours’ time and there was nothing I couldn’t wait for. I wanted to have it with my loving parents. And it was just like keeping one’s belly empty to fill with some lovely goodies with our loved ones—after a long time. My friend next to me ordered for a cup of tea. “What would you like to have, Madam?” the hostess had asked me. “A cup of coffee please”, I promptly replied as I searched for my handkerchief in my hand bag.
A moment later, the airhostess, with a broad smile brought me a cup of hot coffee. I had drunk a few sips when I heard a high-pitched noise like that of chiseling—when it drills something hard. The noise that originated from the rear pierced into the ears of all the passengers. Many of them flung their hands quickly over their ears. Those who had taken a nap were woken terrified to the sound. One of the air hostesses who was at the rear ran to the pilot in utter fear. I did not know what the hell was happening. The pilot yelled over the phone. There were lot of commotions in the passengers and the pilot’s words could hardly be heard. I stood up, still, with the coffee cup in my hand to see the pilot. The co-pilot was busy searching something in the box— perhaps tool box. I turned back to see the passengers behind and saw an old man, over 70s in tears. I knew something was wrong. I sat back on my berth coldly. “What is happening?” I asked my friend almost in tears. She covered her face with her hands and broke in terrible sobs. As I leaned over to keep my cup, I sensed a rapid fall that almost cut my breath—throwing me into a sizzling death crunching my heart. My heart sank down to the bottom of coldness and remained cold. Everyone in the compartment screamed in great fear. By then the plane had lost its balance. The air hostesses ran through the rows shouting for “emergency”. People hugged each other as they sobbed. Some prayed. Some screamed. Some yelled and wished they had never come. I could not control my emotions. I fastened myself to the berth. I bent down in utter agony. I felt like vomiting my soul out. I remembered how sweetly I had felt the morning in the thought of meeting my parents. And now it was on the half way that I was going to disappear; disappear for ever. Tears ran down my eyes like a river. My heart broke out in terrible pain.
At one moment, the plane bent to the left side in the air and the standing airhostess was overthrown hitting the ceiling of the plane. I remember her shedding blood once the aeroplane took its position. People too were overthrown screaming into wilderness and pain.
We flew down to land; perhaps not on the helipad but somewhere in the middle of the forests of Mangalore. How I wished for the natural death than such unusual and uncertain one. I closed my eyes and bent down to my knees as we fell down. I had no time to pray; no time for even for a swift wish. All I was heading for was to die—to die. I thought that I would be thrown into pieces when the plane crashes like an egg. I thought my parents will not even have a body of their dear daughter to mourn over.
I can hardly remember what happened next. The last thing I felt was at my feet. Something strongly hit the deck that sent my legs into numbness. I heard the sounds of breaking boughs that hit the plane. People who were at the back seats rolled to the fronts. I held strongly from the berth and was lost.
When I gained my consciousness, I found myself being surrounded by green people. I was admitted in a hospital and my left leg had received 30 stitches. When I remembered that I had had a plane crash, I died once again. Hundreds of them had died on the spot and a few survived. My friend had also succumbed to death on the spot. Somehow they have saved me, before my breath was cut-off. They said that I was intact with the berth and was safe under the wing of the plane. I jumped in joy to see my parents who had come in search of me. My mother was into terrible sobs when my father sat aloof. I thanked the God for pulling me away from the death’s scary mouth.
Written on behalf of one of the victims of Mangalore Air Crash.