It was an unusual sight as Captain Balwinder Singh walked in. The briefing room was filled with an utterly silent yet brave souls of Flight attendants and unusual crew members whose lives were normal like anyone else, just an hour ago. Little did they know, they would be called for this “once-in-a-life-time” mission and their feelings were mixed with pride, apprehension and empathy as this new found purpose was unique and hard to sync-in.
Three hours later, the Boeing 747 flight took off with largely vacant passenger seats and only the mission crew on-board.
“May I come in, Sir”, asked Tanya, the comparatively new flight attendant as she knocked the Pilot Cabin.
“Yes, Please!”, came the response from Co-Pilot Rathore who was seated to the right of Captain Balwinder.
As she served some orange juice and cookies, the Captain noticed the grim and concerned look on Tanya’s face.
“What’s the matter Tanya?”, he asked.
“Sir, If I may….”, I totally understand the purpose of this mission and how important this is for our country and country men, but I am a daughter of a single mom and the only bread winner of the family. “What if…something happens to me and I don’t return …?” or worse, “Even if I return alive, there is no guarantee that I or mom will be safe!”. I am concerned about the peculiarity of this mission, Sir!
After a bit of pause, Captain responded calmly, “Mhmm, that’s a valid concern, Tanya, but have you looked at this way?”, he continued.
Look at this glass of orange juice. I see this as half-full, but you are looking it as half-empty. To be frank, when my higher up’s chose me for this mission, I reviewed the profile of every team member accompanying me and yours caught my eye in particular since you are the youngest in this whole lot and have got this historic opportunity at such a young age that only few people can dream of.
Look at me, I am retiring next month. Although I have done many successful flights, but people will remember me for this one trip for a very long time. History will laud this trip, of all. It took me 60 years to get such a unique opportunity and serve the country. You must consider yourself gifted!
For a moment, put yourselves in the shoes of people waiting there for this flight to arrive and get rescued. “What would be their prayers to God, now?”. They all would be eagerly looking up the sky for the God’s messengers to show up!
“God Chose us, Tanya!”, He will take care of our safety and don’t worry we have all precautionary measures on board to take care of any situation.
Tanya felt energized and her lips widened a little as she went to back to her seat. After several hours, the destination was visible in sight at a far distance through the windows. The whole city was having a deserted look with empty roads as if it was a curfew situation and the airport felt almost locked down or non-operational from a distance.
“Tring, Tring…. Came the Captain announcement…”.
“Dear Crew members, Please fasten your seatbelts. We will be landing in the Wuhan International airport of China shortly. We have several hundreds of fellow countrymen eagerly waiting for us to pick up and head back home, after the deadly virus outbreak! Let’s bring them home safe to their loved ones. I am proud of your service. A BIG SALUTE TO YOU ALL. JAI HIND!”.
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