Soaring High, Touching The Sky !

I recently visited the first love of my life, a place which will always hold a piece of my heart, the city of lights, the city which never sleeps, my dear Bombay which is now known as Mumbai. A place which is safe for women to step out and work shoulder to shoulder with a man, a place where sky is the limit for the one with ambition, a place which has its own charm, a place which blesses those with abundance who are ready to work hard for it.

On 18th of February in the morning,on our way to the Mumbai airport to take our flight back home, our cab driver was one with a knack to talk. The moment we sat in his car he began to talk and the talking continued till we reached the airport. On the way a car ahead of ours took a turn to the right without proper indicator which irked the driver. As he leaned and saw a woman driving that car, he instantly said with a sarcastic smile, “ oho, yeh toh ladies driver hai, yeh toh aise hi chalati hai” (oho that’s a lady driver, they always drive like this) This incident reminded him of another incident which he witnessed on one of the nights when he was traveling from Vashi to Chembur. A young girl had apparently banged into a car due to over speeding right in front of his eyes. He spent the next 15 minutes elaborately describing how irresponsibly the girl drove and how incapable the women are in reality to drive.

Now here I was, sitting at the back seat of this cab, super annoyed to hear from a person in Mumbai of all the places in the world commenting like this. As angry as I was I did not want to get into a discussion with an opinionated human and was silently thinking of when would this ride end. I felt let down to have experienced this here. I thought to myself how easily gender bias existed in the society and how quickly women were judged for everything they undertook even in a place like Mumbai, which is a metro city in India.

My flight UK-960 of Vistara airlines was scheduled for 11:55 am departure from Mumbai and was to land at 2:00pm in Delhi. As I boarded and settled in the flight I heard the captain of the aircraft announcing the names of the cabin crew and introducing herself. ‘HERSELF’ ! Yes, now that’s what cleared the annoyance in mind and brought back the smile on my face. The pilot of the flight that day was co-incidentally a woman. For the record we obviously took off, flew and landed safely without any problem.

On my way back home in Delhi I thought to myself that while a handful ignorant, judgmental few sat judging, commenting and stereotyping a woman’s capability to drive on the road, the ambitious and courageous women were already kissing the sky with their proven abilities beyond doubt !

The smile on my face lingered on thinking the sky isn’t always blue, at times it is pink too ! 😊

-Sonali Bakshi

21/02/2022

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