Last week I witnessed during my flight from Ahmadabad, what I have begun to term as ‘The Thrill of First’.
There was a group of young adults who boarded the flight at Ahmadabad along with me. Being one of the few early people to check-in I had the opportunity to observe this group right from the time they entered the airport, till the end of the journey. For most of the seasoned travellers; a 5:00 am flight is a price that you pay to maximise your day, a necessary evil of having to get up at an unearthly hour so that the remaining day is productive. But this group seemed oblivious to any such discomfort.
Everything excited them – the line at the counter, the plastic wrapping of the baggage, the questions at the check-in counter, the security check and even the wait for the aircraft. They had to inspect everything, pass opinions loudly for everyone’s benefit and chatter incessantly. On the flight, the steward had a tough time of reigning in the enthusiasm. Right from not taking their seats, fighting for the window seat, ordering water during take-off, not fastening their seat-belts, paging the air-hostess continuously, insisting to gather into a single group to chatter loudly through the nearly 3 hour flight – one ought to agree they did seem to be source of mild irritation to all other passengers and in-flight team.
As I waited to collect my baggage one of them walked upto me, shook my hands and said ‘It was really nice travelling with you. Have a great day!’ . And all I could recollect was the fact that I helped them with some minor details at the airport and for no particular reason was awarded a seat which was next to their centre of activities. As I saw them leave the Chennai airport with the same unbridled enthusiasm even after the three hour flight – I felt that if anyone had a great morning that day – it was them!
‘The Thrill of First’- had provided a freshness to every point of their experience.
‘The Thrill of First’ – had made them embrace the mild remonstration of the stewardess, the glares of the co-passengers, the smile of a child, the spotting of the clouds all equally amazing and fun.
‘The Thrill of First’ – had led them to shed their inhibitions, adopt a curious attitude, gave them the joy of discovery and made every aspect however small or big an equally beautiful one.
As I collected my bags and pushed my trolley out – I felt refreshed and touched in some way by this freshness, by this ‘Thrill of First!’
Did this travel have a more poignant message for me in life and business? I am sure it does. though I am not sure of what. But I intend to find out. I hope to share them with you as they develop and crystallise in the coming days..
Have a great week!