Life · Photography · Travel Writing

Up in the Air

As I sink into my new job, I realize that I keep coming up short on a single dimension of my life – Time. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, I asked for it in fact. Yet there are moments I wish I could distract myself – to get my mind away – moments of longing, for the past, for the days when my life was simpler, relaxed certainly.

And then I remind myself that life is what you make it to be. If I do not have my DSLR handy, I surely have my phone. If I do not have the time to hike up the Himalayas, surely there is an occasional visit somewhere – its only a question of looking out the window and clicking a few – to celebrate the Here and Now. Beauty, like good fortune, is lurking around the corner, under the proverbial bushes that hide faeries and goblins- its upto the seeker to find it.

Commercial Air travel in cattle class provides far fewer photo-ops than a leisurely train ride or a dedicated long photographic trip. But not all is lost- when we were taking off, a massive cloud covered the horizon. The runway looked so dramatic at that blue hour with lights having just switched on.

Massive cloud over a runway


A slight drizzle against a fast darkening sky settled on the window panes. The mast lights created dramatic diffractions –

A beautiful evening


So thick was the cloud that as I went onboard, I wondered what it’d look like from up above? Far more innocuous – I tell you. They’re almost like cotton puffs, a quilt without the cover – just freshly batted cotton. I had seen this a few days earlier, while coming in.

Cotton puff cloud sheet


Once inside the craft, an hour or so into the flight, a kind of lull descended – we were at an altitude of eleven and a half kilometers. Passengers had settled down into their seats, some snoozing, most busy on their smartphones – conversation killers as I call them. The cabin crew created a wall of sorts with the trolleys, to secure the cockpit I think and when I looked up, I noticed a spectacular reflection of the cabin lights lining the aisle.

Eleven kilometers high


An uneventful flight later, as metropolis came into view, I couldn’t help but photograph what I have done dozens of times, world over. Somehow, the charm of viewing a city from up above never leaves me. I love looking out the window, traffic crawling along the snakelike routes, wondering who those people have to see. Same for each of the tiny houses one can see from the air – the warmth, hope, dreams all radiating from their windows – lighting up the hazy night.



I was first off the craft – and saw the ground staff bring the ramp close to the craft. I photographed it for the first time! It reminded me of those moments in the movies where they say ‘police line, do not cross’.

Police line – do not cross


After the descent and into the bus meant to transport us to the terminal building – I noticed more dramatic lighting. A long, slow exposure shot of people descending with high masts lighting up the horizon was given a focal point by a single young woman on her cellphone.

Busy on the way down


I ‘found’ all these frames on a few plane rides this week- on a rainy day. All were shot and edited on my phone (that should explain the terribly uneven watermarks on the photos) and then the post written on it too. Come to think of it, I’m turning into a phone-blogger. As always, please leave a comment if you liked the post. Also a quick shout out for help – If I upload a photo on instagram, how do I link it back to the blog here for display purposes?


4 thoughts on “Up in the Air

  1. Sadly, you can’t link an instagram photo to your blog. You can put the link in the caption, but it will be plain text, and anyone wanting to use it will have to copy and paste it.
    What I do, and what most people I’ve seen do, is have my website/blog in the website part of the bio. Then, when I post a new blog, I share a photo from it on IG, and in the caption, say something along the lines of “check out my new blog about baking the best pie in the world” Then I tag it #ontheblog, as well as whatever other tags I want.
    I’ve seen a number of complaints about this problem, so perhaps IG will improve it at some point. and let you add links to your captions or comments.
    Hope this was at least somewhat helpful :~)

    Liked by 1 person

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