It was bright, and sunny, clear blue sky above somewhere very high in the sky. Looking outside my glassy window, I was just thinking if I would ever make it to the earth and, whenever the whisper was “maybe”, I felt much more terrified.
This morning was different as I woke up thousands of feet above the ground level hovering, within my airplane’s back seat. There was a flight entertainment system that displayed distance to destination and estimated arrival time, and I was simply looking at it. As a Nepali engineer, the problems that I am trying to solve might not create ‘ripple effect’ in the entire universe, nor will it be covered by major media outlets, and who cares if I am simply terrified 5,000 feet above the ground level.
I know nobody cares, but I do care about my fear. While flying, I cannot simply hover around and look at the scenic beauty of clouds, but I always find myself mixed between these non-linking thoughts. There is a sense of anxiety while flying, which I was trying to smoothen with my life’s uselessness. Not only am I filled with ‘what if’ questions but also with the sense of tremendous fear and lonesomeness. Some alarming questions that pop-up in my mind: what happens if I die flying; what if I will never land on the ground; what happens to my life’s earnings; what happens to my poor family; who will take care of my beloved wife and what not.
No way, it was not my first flying experience. Many people suffer from the fear of flying. People say that they are fearful when they are inexperienced and when they travel more, it just transforms into a habit, and then they feel less anxious. However, my journey into the air has always just been the opposite. Unlike those who never fear flying, I have been most fearful while flying. There are unnecessary thoughts and feelings that are extremely difficult to eradicate. No one is left alone, either in the sky or on land. Everybody is part of this big Mother Nature, and we have to adjust our feelings based on the changing circumstances and requirements. Some consolation comes from reading recent flight traffic data: more than 30 million people fly every day. Indeed, I am not alone.
Roosevelt once pointed out that the “only thing we have to fear is the fear itself.” But every time I think of flying modern commercial airlines, I feel humankind has transformed.
Published: The Himalayan Times