I remember that day quite vividly.
I had come back home in tears, because at a discussion in class I had learned that girls can’t be Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force. At dinner my father tried to console me – there are a million other things I could do with my life. But I didn’t care. You know how twelve year olds can be; on the cusp of teenage and hence always in the mood for drama. Everything that goes against their wishes, is the end of the world. I think I took quite sometime to get over it all. I had lost a cousin while in the final week of his Fighter Pilot Training, just a few years ago. And I was quite sure, that is why my family had conspired with my teachers and come up with this lie. But how could I confirm it? Those were pre-Google days…and so something I like to say all the time – “Jiska koi nahi hota, uska Google hota hai” (Someone who has no one to seek answers from, can always count on Google)…didn’t quite apply.
Years went by and I went through quite a few other phases. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to learn a few languages and be a translator. But I don’t think any dream was as close to my heart or any pain stayed with me, for as long as the pain of being told that I can’t be a Fighter Pilot, did.
Looking back now, although, I sometimes wonder what made me even think that I could have been one. How could a girl, infamous for her travel sickness – who cannot even journey up to a hill station without throwing up a few times or one who handle a flight longer than 5 hours – have dreamt of doing a Defensive Split or a Wingover at supersonic speeds. And so I had almost convinced myself that my whole Fighter Pilot phase was nothing but a childish tantrum.
But as this news appeared on my newsfeed today… Women to be inducted in IAF as Fighter Pilots…. with the rush of these memories came back a feeling that confirmed that my dream was indeed true and quite deep-seeded in my heart. That even though I didn’t know if I had what it takes to be a Fighter Pilot, I really, reaaally did want to be one.
I am so #happy and #proud of these ladies. And I am #thankful to God for this opportunity they got… for the opportunities many others would now get.
What a blissful feeling it is, to connect with someone you don’t know and perhaps would never meet through a feeling this strong. It is almost like my smile with which I type this post, would reach them, if i stare into their eyes in the picture published with the article, long enough.
Okay, that came out sounding much creepier than it had sounded in my head. 😛
Anyway…Yes. It has been a #happy day. And I am #thankful for all that it came with. 🙂