Wild birds were effortlessly abundant in our community. Unfortunately, they presented an easy target for young village boys who harbored an affinity to master basic hunting skills. On a fantastic day, I could roast two birds on firewood flames. That would be a precious source of proteins. On quagmire days, I would just return back to the loosely thatched houses carrying tired arms. It was not an easy task to precisely swing a small stone to hit a bird either in its natural motion or temporarily resting on a tree branch. Birds seemed to know the limitations of village juveniles and therefore they luxuriously decorated the air and had the audacity of producing deep-throated poems whose words remained extraterrestrial to human beings.
“How do they manage to fly?” my inquisitive cousin named Tyson asked the other day. “It is because birds are small and have feathers” responded Peter, Tyson’s brother, with a chubby sweaty face that threw an even-toothed extended smile. It was a less convincing response but adequate to calm our innocent shallow brains.
As the behemoth seemingly recently acquired aircraft delved into a thick blanket of clouds, I reflected on how we grew up wondering how it would feel to fly. I was walking slowly but methodically in one of the aisles from the tail end towards the cockpit direction. Women’s faces looked sleepy and unusually handsome. Several men were yawning widely and generously with one or two subconsciously coordinating the yawns with lengthy arm stretching. The other observation was that there was an attempt to create two worlds in that plane. One small section had spacious collapsible seats to allow resting in a lying position. A few computer screens were breathing in that low density designed area. The other section simply referred to as ‘Economy class’ was much bigger and significantly less spacious for each allocated seating slot per person. As I tried to deeply ponder about the existence of different worlds in one plane, a very audible husky voice superimposed itself on all other smaller sounds, “Good afternoon, this is your Captain speaking, can we all be seated and buckle up. We will be landing in the next 30 minutes. Thank you for flying British Airways”. Everybody instantly obeyed and as the artificial partial silence took control, I imagined an exciting opportunity to meet once again with Tyson and Peter so we could carry on with the conversation started dozens of years back; this time around nobody will be allowed to shoot any bird!