It was the night of February 28, 2023, and my journey to Saudi Arabia was about to begin. I had to travel to Hyderabad first since my flight was from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. This was my first time travelling alone, as I had never stepped out of home on my own before. I knew this journey would be unforgettable because I was going to face numerous challenges and solve them by myself.
After bidding farewell to my mother and family members, I entered the airport and went through the passport and ticket checks. Everything seemed fine as they matched my face with the photo in my passport. I then proceeded to have my luggage checked and went through immigration. So far, I was happy that I was doing everything correctly. However, a test awaited me when I had to find the Air India counter. The staff members directed me to go downstairs, but there were no stairs, and I had never used an escalator before. Feeling unsure, I approached a gentleman dressed in umrah attire who seemed to be going to Jeddah. I asked him if he was also going to Jeddah on Air India. He confirmed, and I explained that I was afraid of escalators and couldn’t operate elevators. Being an Indian, he kindly agreed to accompany me in the elevator.
The next scene took place inside the plane. As the plane took off, I felt nothing and thankfully didn’t vomit. However, after two hours, I started feeling
uncomfortable. Sitting by the window, all I could see was the sky, and it seemed like the plane was suspended in the air rather than moving forward. This made me reminisce about my childhood dreams of touching the sky, flying in a plane, and gazing at the peacefulness of the skies. But now, I realized that the earth was better than the sky. I no longer had such wishes; I simply wanted to be on solid ground. I recalled Newton’s law of gravity, which, to me, wasn’t just gravity but the “earth’s love attraction for humans” that keeps us happy and grounded. Staring outside continuously became boring, and I started feeling breathless. I longed to reach the land as soon as possible. When the plane was half an hour away from the destination, I began to cry as my ears felt blocked, and I struggled to breathe. It happened because the plane was descending from the heights, having spent many hours in the sky.
One thing I learned from this journey is that we possess hidden powers to face any situation. We can handle anything through “learning from experience.” We have the strength to overcome all problems.
The journey concluded with the beautiful view of Jeddah Airport, where Saudi nationals were exclaiming “hajja hajjahls” because my plane was filled with people on the Umrah pilgrimage. The indescribable feeling when I saw my husband can only be expressed as my life becoming eternally happier.