By Ramjee Chandran
It is said that all frequent flyers, at some point in their mid-30s, develop an irrational fear of flying.
It ranges from a sick, lurching feeling in the pit of one’s stomach to outright attacks of blind panic.
It is a demanding enterprise to take a train from Bangalore to Belgrade just to avoid flying, so some folks pray during take off and landing.
My friend Krishna is not one of them. Not given to propitiating the gods for profit nor pelf, he devised a couple of tricks to overcome his panic as the plane bounced through the clouds.
One was that he’d look at the faces of the cabin crew. If they didn’t worry, he didn’t worry.
One dark and stormy night, Krishna’s plane was in bad turbulence. And the pilot had ordered the cabin crew to strap themselves in, out of sight.
Krishna’s second trick was to speak loudly to his fellow passenger. It calmed him.
The plane pitched again and Krishna’s guts were in knots.
So, he turned to the guy in the seat next to him to engage him in a comforting conversation.
But the gentleman had his eyes tightly closed, furiously counting the beads off a rosary.
And under his breath he was going, “… mumble mumble… hail Mary… mumble mumble…hail Mary… mumble mumble…hail Mary…”