‘Simple Plane Love’ is the journey of Captain Meera Khanna, a 28 year old girl who wanted to fly before she learnt how to walk. She chose to go to Philippines and fly a small aircraft over flying bigger jets for the love of flying. She didn’t want to fly from one airport to the other in a fly by wire jet engine. She went just for the experience of it.
And one hell of an experience it turned out to be, it changed her life forever. From flying in the worst kind of weather conditions to helping in the mass evacuations done before and after the typhoons hit the country she was doing something she had never done before. Just when she thought she had done it all, there was an engine failure on one of her rescue flights.
She came out of that experience humbled by nature, with a stronger sense of living, and a few torn ligaments. She was grounded for fifteen days and was stuck on the ground in a country where she barely knew anyone. So she made a call, to her best friend Diana.
Diana had a high flying career as the chief editor of the top fashion magazine in India. She had lived her life on her rules and didn’t think she had any space in it for love. Her skepticism about love was that one thing that she and Meera never agreed about. Other than that they were eerily similar to each other. She came to Philippines to be with her best friend Em; during the time was grounded.
The all girl adventure in Subic Bay that they had planned, took a twist when Captain. Aryaman Rajput bumped into them. He was a captain of a merchant ship and sailed all around the world. He believed in living every day like it was the last day of his life. His carefree attitude was exactly opposite to that of Diana’s. In the four days that they were together, he showed her a life that Dee had never known.
They belonging to different worlds got them closer. Love made it presence felt. But the reason that had gotten them together was why they couldn’t stay together. A fish had fallen in love with a bird. They lived a dream for the four days they were together, then Diana flew back to her reality, and Aryaman sailed back into his.
After being a slave to gravity for a fifteen eventful days, a few physiotherapy sessions, Meera got back into Nefertiti, her aircraft! She now has had everything she had ever dreamt of, a sea facing house, a BMW, a job that she loved. She had made her mother proud and her friends very happy for her. She had become the woman on top just like she had planned.
The cherry on the dark rum cake was that Diana was getting married to Aryaman. They had figured a way out to live their lives together. She flew back to India to be the Bride’s maid. There she met Aditya after more than a year.
Aditya was just like the meaning of his name, the sun, the source of strength and warmth in Meera’s life. They had known each other ever since they remembered, stood by each other in the worst of times. Cried at losses and danced all night at joys, shared the first glass of alcohol and discussed crushes and flings too.
Aditya had been dragged by Meera to innumerous shopping escapades and forced to learn the difference between Mauve and wine. In revenge he had made her sit through a crazy number of Hindi movies which made no sense, but helped his brain relax! She hated the south Indian movies dubbed into Hindi the most. He knew that, and those were his best picks. They had grown up together.
He had now become an investment banker, and a one of the most sought after ones at that. Meera trusted his judgment on things as much as she trusted hers. Aditya had a big role in Meera being where she was today.
The wedding was a picture perfect event hidden in the mountains at Dalhousie. After four days of sheer fun, Aditya drives her back to Delhi so she can fly back. On the way, he asks her the question that had been on everyone’s mind at the wedding, “would Aditya and Meera get married to each other?”
She tells him she her idea of marriage is two people who are in love spending a lifetime together, and that even when he was her closest and best friend, she wasn’t in love with him.
She flies back to the life she has made for herself. Everything is back to being like it was. Diana is happy with Aryaman, and Aditya is back to being his fun self, but there is something that is making Meera sleepless in Manila. Endless conversations with Dee, discussion with her mother and deliberations with Aditya failed to solve her problem. Each of them gave a different explanation to what they thought was happening to her.
On one of her appointments with the sunrise it dawned upon her that the apartment she was staying at was the best house on the street but yet wasn’t home. What would make it home is the warmth and presence of people who loved her. She had waited for love to happen to her all her life. She had thought when it would happen to her, she would be swept off her feet and fall into the arms of the man she loved. Little had she known that love didn’t always make a loud entrance, sometimes it just silently crept in and stood by, waiting patiently to be noticed.
Captain Meera Khanna had made her final call, she was now homeward bound!
Author Priyanka Luthra’s Bio
Captain Priyanka Luthra was born in Pune and is an engineering graduate. She believes in living life laterally because living in a straight line would make it extremely monotonous. She is a quintessential dream chaser, and has been chasing and fulfilling them, one dream at a time.
After working on a desk for a year, a geeky looking Priyanka went through a transformation to interview as a cabin crew with one of the leading airlines, just because she was told “she wouldn’t make the cut” From there started her love for airplanes.
One year of looking glamorous, mastering the art of smiling right and saving enough, she went to California to chase another dream and train as a Commercial pilot. This chase took her all around the world, and would have taken a lifetime if she hadn’t learnt how to fly!
After completing her training she chose to fly small planes, to places that are less known and exotic, over flying fly by wire jets from airport to airport. She went to Philippines on an assignment, had the best experiences anyone could have while flying a plane. She stayed there for over a year.
She now belongs to the minority community of women pilots in India which has its share of fans and cynics. Everyday has a new experience waiting for her in the airport lounge and beyond.