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Random thoughts about a place I find magical.

Every place has a distinct aura. When I say place, I mean a place in our modern society that has a specific function and a purpose. A hospital for example. A mall. A park. Each place has a different spirit and soul.

The ‘medical’ scents accompanied with those beeping phones. Almost all hospitals have the same ringtones isn’t it? The corridors almost have the same sounds and smells. These sights, sounds and smells will be common in all these structures found across a society.

In a mall, there’s always that one kid tugging at his mother’s shirt, pulling her back to some shop. In the food court there’s always one table with loud laughing occupants. The occasional couple is also seen. There’s a group of girls giggling at an ice-cream roll shop.

I just stated very generic observations. But have you ever been fascinated by it? Have you ever taken a moment and detached yourself for a few minutes in all these places? It’s not easy. Most often because you’re very occupied nowadays anyway. Maybe you’re at the hospital because your father has an appointment here and you came with him. And then you just become part of the ambiance. Part of the hospital aura as the person in the waiting hall scrolling on his or her phone.

I have started this exercise lately. Detaching myself from the environment for a few moments to become a wallflower, an observer. Sometimes it can be a wholesome experience. You get to see how awfully similar humans are and how awfully similar the society acts. Anyways, I’m no expert on social sciences or human behavior.

The reason why I wrote the above lines was to give a preface of sorts to what I’m about to write next. How for me, an airport is a magical place.

The airport….. I might be biased because I have a love affair with airplanes and hence, anything related to airplanes since a while now. But bear with me.

An airport is so magical. The announcements, calling for boarding. The constant noise in the background which is a culmination of the various machines across the airport from the jet engine on the tarmac to the coffee maker in the airport cafe.

Outside in the parking or the drop lane some very emotional good byes are said. Very real hugs are seen. The parking and ‘arrivals’ becomes a place for joyous reunions. Real tears. A son coming back from a year abroad into the arms of his mother. Some kids running towards a father that just came back from serving abroad.

Go inside. The waiting passengers. Passports and boarding passes in hands. Suitcases, all sizes. Some nervous, some excited. Some sad, some overly happy. Maybe someone is flying for the first time and is absolutely terrified of the idea. Maybe someone didn’t sleep last night because of the sheer excitement of flight for the first time.

A person going home to a funeral. A person going to attend a wedding. A devoted believer going to a place he holds sacred. The newly weds who just cannot wait to begin an adventure together. I could go on. There are so many stories converged here at a single point.

And then there’s the people that make sure all these stories proceed without delay and proceed according to plan. The smiling handling agent at the check in counter. The disgruntled immigration officer. The cleaner that looks like he has big dreams. The overly smiling stewardess at the end of the boarding bridge as you board the airplane.

Look outside now. The people on the tarmac with the radios and lists pointing to everything on the airplane. Making you feel the airplane is being looked after. Operators around the airplane operating various machines serving the airplane.

And there are several airplanes. And there are several airports. And there are millions of stories. And those stories are every day. It’s beautiful what humans can achieve when they come together. Commercial aviation and airports are an example of it. Regardless of politics it has united. It’s magical. Airports are places of genuine love and emotions. And they are a hallmark of human progress. They simply fascinate me.

I wrote these thoughts in my mind and then on my phone, as I waited in the parking of the airport of my city.

May your luggage never be lost and may your flights always be on time. Amen.

Liked what you read? Check out this short story I wrote a while ago.

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Bilal Zia

I was bitten by the aviation bug when I first traveled by air in 2015. Ever since then, it's been a love affair between me and fixed wing aircraft. I'm training to become a licensed aircraft engineer. I'm a student member of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Young Persons Group. I also want to become a pilot, a flight dispatcher, and probably an airline owner. Sadly, I only have two hands and a few years to live.

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