CAPTAIN Avani Shetty — the story of a pilot
Soaring through blue skies, 39,000ft above ground, I can say with full confidence that my office has the most magnificent view.
As a child, I was mesmerized watching pilots in their crisp white uniforms at the airport. Naively I would tell people, “I’m going to be a pilot when I grow up.” Most would just smile and nod, humoring what they thought was a pipe dream. But not my parents.
Despite having no idea what it took to become a pilot, they wholeheartedly supported me. Even though I didn’t land my dream job as a pilot for six-year after getting my Commercial Pilot License, thanks to the recession, my parents didn’t waver in their support. It was this same unwavering support that also helped me excel in sports. As a national level swimmer, I learned the importance of being mentally and physically healthy as well as being tenacious. These qualities held me in good stead on the road to becoming a pilot.
It’s now been three years since I’ve been flying with Air India as a First Officer. I still feel that same sense of awe I did as a child when I put on that crisp white uniform.
But that’s not where this story ends. As a part of the Vande Bharat mission, I’ve gotten the opportunity to serve my nation. I was anxious about signing on for it. After all, no one wants to bring the COVID-19 virus back home to their family. But Air India appeased all my worries with the protocols that they’ve put in place concerning testing and quarantining. I’m proud to be an Air India pilot and to be of service to my fellow Indians in these trying times. And as I’ve said to myself whenever I was going through dark times, this too shall pass.