How does it feel to be a first time flyer?

No one can forget their first flight experience so how would I? In 22 years of my existence on this planet, I have visited Jinnah International a gazillion times but I never boarded a flight. I always had a sense of curiosity for the persons who are going inside from the airport lounge. Why and where are they going, what are their stories etc? And yes if I would ever get a chance, what would I think at this exact moment?

So I finally got a chance of flying away, Sharjah was the designation. It’s a kind of hasty holiday program and I left all the important calls behind. The moment I came across with my visa and ticket confirmation, I fell into the flight fright situation.

Being a first flight traveler and that too when was voyaging alone. I needed ensure that it ought to be with no troubles. So at first few days before my trip, I began seeking about things to remember before loading onto the flight; the primary thing is to reach the air terminal no less than 1 hour preceding flight.  Arriving early at the airport can save from unnecessarily bothers, rushing to get on a plane can be frantic especially if it’s first time in an airport.

All my family said goodbye to me till the glass door at the entrance hall of Jinnah International. I experienced that going inside the hall moment. After scanning, a lady was checking my stuff, she asked me to open my laptop bag. When I opened my bag, first thing was a book that came out, “Raja Gidh”, she seemed so excited after holding that. Later on, she said, no need to unzip more pockets, you can go now to the upfront just because of Raja Gidh. It was strange but interesting part. Then I went to the airline counter and showed them the printout of my e-ticket. She issued me my boarding pass. Next, I saw some passengers were standing in queue, I followed them. My turn came; Officer verified my papers and took my e-visa with him. He told me to go another counter.

After that, another stamp check, some duty free shops and then I entered in the departure lounge. Another security check and I began to search the gate number 22. There were 5 levels of security clearance including immigration. I sat there and pondering what to do next. Later, I heard an announcement that travelers of Air Arabia are asked for to enter from gate 24. I made a final good-bye call to my mother.

An air hostess invited me with attractive smile. I was trying to look confident. I matched my seat number, she guided me at the second-front line. I was not primed to lock in the safety belt while taking off, as it happens with first time flyers, so I observed my co-passenger and much notice was required while unfastening it. Airhostess showed safety precautionary measures, and Security individuals requested that everyone inform their stuff to maintain decorum in the plane. Pilot declared takeoff.

The travel itself was not about as nerve racking as I anticipated. The take-off was, to me, the most amazing feeling: I was thrilled to feel the actual lift, being pushed back in the seat, I saw myself on the earth and in 5 seconds I’m actually flying in the air and seeing the world at an edge through the window. Turbulence was frightening in the initial moments, yet I was comforted by the passengers who did not appear to be fazed. Apparently aircrafts are planned to overcome all kinds of turbulence.

When you take off, things that you believed were overwhelming look weak. Everything from 35,000 ft. looks minor. High buildings seem small boxes and huge oceans look like little streams. All of a sudden, you feel supreme in light of the fact that you’ve dominated the sky. At another point a blast of wind throw your plane sinking and your nerves clanking. You then value that you say you’ve dominated the sky or a mountain; you’ll generally be at nature’s mercy. Only He is all-powerful.

We all have heard about incidents of Air Blue and Bhoja Air. Plane crashes seem horrible things to discuss and debate. I know that plane is extremely safest of all still it gets to be something absurd when run of control. But when something occurs in a road mishap, we may have a shot, however in that little rate if something turns out badly during an air travel that is dangerous.

I was keep telling myself that no one is anxious here I don’t need to either. Everyone I looked in the very flight throughout turbulence time. I had a feeling that even this moment they look quite relaxed, it’s nothing. I kept reminding myself that there’s nothing in my control. Being fearful won’t change this situation, so there’s no valid point. That thought’s actually a sigh of relief. If someone’s been decided to die in a plane, there is nothing you can do to stay away from it. Do not let fears conquer you because no one knows where he would finish the journey of life.

I also had a decent co-traveler along with me, so I discovered it helping I’m with to talk at me in departure as pleasing and peaceful. Also, Conversing with the people beside you (your momentary adventure partners), there is maybe a fascinating story alongside you and quite possibly new companion.

While sitting on plane, I was recalling a movie in which a woman was anxious to travel first time, a prominent senior actor was sitting next to her and advised her that there will be just first time once so ensure you have a fabulous time. Try not to prevent yourself from making questions around. Do everything, beginning from eating and drinking what they serve to watching films. Ask things when you don’t know where to go or routes of gateways of air terminal and cabin crew are there to facilitate you.

Landing was safe. And as soon as we landed, it was like touchdown. I had to wait for everyone to get off because people were in great hurry to go out. Then I put on my bag and walked through the passage to the eye-scan. The weird thing happened to me was, when I reached the counter, personnel asked me to show my visa, I didn’t have any. I tried to convince him that he took it at Karachi but he was helpless and told me to go to visa office immediately. I went there, showed them email of visa, my brother was already waiting outside, I called him from the customer service then he sent another print of visa to the office so they allowed me go. When I went down to get luggage, whole airport was silence, my co-passengers had gone and I seem to be the only passenger from Karachi after 1-hour delay in the process. I transferred my currency into Dirham and came outside. Though I think my return flight will be more relaxed as I surely know the actions.

There are few things that I learnt from my first travel that rushing is not a solution for everything. Watching others and observing them the way they are doing could make difference. Keeping an ear on messages and checking departure monitors can keep you updated in case of changes or delays.

In my first abroad journey, I have fallen intensely charmed with seeing the world. This enthusiasm for travel has energized my desire to get out and explore with other same passionate people en route. It felt as though I had done an extraordinary and bold thing to go via plane. However, I am in no way, acting as if I’m a practiced on air travel right after first visit but needed to contribute on a couple of my understandings that it might be useful to somebody.

So I would recommend, every one’s experience is exceptional. If you haven’t travelled yet then simply appreciate the trip. Try not to fuss over things that you have just heard and are yet to appear. Would not be the situation with you and those who have travelled almost whole world still might have some glimpses of their first travel.

Bon voyage!


Tour of England and Generation Next

One day we will tell our generation next about England tour where we went to No.1 in tests by startling win at mighty Lord’s and finished the whole journey by marking incredible success in all designs. We will tell them that how a player took Pakistan cricket team to new levels of celebration, how he managed to triumph over the Lord’s where we felt extreme shame six years back at the same place, how he made whole nation proud by just paying salute and press-ups. He was old but gracefully leading the team without complaints. Yes one day we will them about the silent conqueror, about Misbah Ul Haq.

We will put them in the picture about a man who was effortlessly building the Pakistan batting region by making elevation of runs. The man who faced intense criticism over his age, batting style, aggression and not scoring runs in the crucial matches. The man who never look back after entering into cricket, the man who had seen every possible decline of Pakistan cricket but never lost faith in his team, the man who lost his blood relations while on the field but continued fighting with his bat. He was survivor, he was warrior, he was Pakistan’s highest runs scorer, he was cool looking iron man because he was Younus Khan.

We will say to them about a reformer who was disgraced on ground, charged on fixing, sent to jail and refrained from cricket for five years. Also, about his dream comeback on the same spot, with more power, more line and length, more talent, more attack and more wickets, yes we will tell them about Amir.

When they will question us about our reliable strength then we will let know them about the roaring shaba shaba. The man, who was declared victorious just after appearing in his first trial as a leader. His team made highest partnership record, highest power play score records and most chief point to list here is that his team totally outclassed England in T20s. He was underrated Sarfraz.

We will let know our children about the consistency of Asad, thunderbolts of wahab, talent of Hasan, swings of Yasir, surprises of Rahat, steadiness of Azhar and clever captaincy of Sarfraz. We will tell them that we at last achieved the mark of 300 in ODIs in this tour. We will inform them that ups and downs were part of this team but they always showed courage to stand out and fought against the odds by avoided any major controversy.

Pakistan Super Duper League

The glittering boundaries and ultimate show of superstars has come to an end with the captain’s style finish of Pakistan Super League. The inaugural edition of PSL T20, undoubtedly, has proven itself the biggest cricketing event of Pakistan. Fans madness, city rivalries, the passion of ruling others, supporting favourite foreign players, fireworks while chasing a high-total, crowd’s contribution and of course, finding emerging talent for future backbone are few glimpses from PSL. In short, PSL hooked up every Pakistani for three weeks. People, largely followed it through live streaming around the world to witness the first ever self-made league of cornered tigers.

There were total 5 teams in the competition; Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi, Lahore Qalanders and Islamabad United who brought us the ultimate nail-bitters. The first match of the tournament was played between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators so was the last, final. The difference is that, in that first match on 4th February, the underdogs Gladiators under the leadership Sarfraz Ahmed shocked everybody by clinching the first victory from the top favourite United and continued their winning streak until Lahore Qalanders beat them. Quetta was on top of the table till the play offs. Inclusion of Kevin Peterson, Luke Wright, Ahmed Shahzad, later Kumar Sangakkara, Grant Elliot and two newly emerged players Muhammad Nawaz (all-rounder) and Bismillah Khan made Quetta the strongest opponent for every team.

The second top scorer in group stages, Peshawar Zalmi, of our vern own Shahid Khan Afridi proved to be the fantastic bunch of perfect combination. The captain Afridi, Darren Sammy, Tamim Iqbal, Wahab Riaz, Brad Hodge and Muhammad Hafeez created troubles for the opposition. How could we forget the Wahab-Ahmed rivalry on the pitch. it shouldn’t have happened but it’s a game of cricket you may expect everything from everyone. Further, the third scorer, the mighty United, who grabbed the elegant first PSL trophy, had lost initial matches but after the inclusion of Azhar Mehmood, they bounced back and started their winning streak by thrashing Karachi Kings and trend continued till lifting the trophy.

Now, the two position from down Lahore Qalanders and Karachi  Kings, who were the most expensive and top two teams from two biggest cities of Pakistan, bit disappointed the fans on the main level. Karachi Kings beat LQ in both head to head matches. While LQ won only two games in entire tournament and both from top two teams Quetta and Peshawar. It was real dramatic situation while going through play offs. Both teams LQ and KK had 4 points on the table but decider was gone on Kings’ side.

The best match of PSL, IMO, was 1st play off between Peshawar and Quetta. Both teams struggled hard for next level. Match was going in Zalmi’s favour until Nawaz bowled outstanding over and got 2 for 2 and swapped the whole situation. The 2nd play off was bit one-sided. Karachi had failed to set a good target even after the change in captaincy and Islamabad easily got them and made it to the final. Final match was played and Misbah Ul Haq was declared as the first man to lift the first ever PSL trophy at Dubai Stadium. Team Quetta played really well but it was United who got victory at the end of the day.

We, Pakistanis, are so much thankful to the Najam Sethi, who took this idea from paper to the stadiums of UAE and all the managers, organizers, sponsors, viewers for making it successful. Now we can say proudly say, without fixed matches and dancing girls, we can offer interesting cricket to the cricket lovers.