When Nature Calls...

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By Neeraj Shinde
Pune, India

And now the crew had no choice than waking up the two-twenty-eight handsome headcount of guests onboard that were peacefully sleeping in the midst of the night. The lights were turned on and the announcement begun. This was not a wakeup call. It was the call of the destiny. A few of the on-boarders were already wide awake due to the last tremor of the thunderstorm that shook the Air France Jet. It was possibly a lightening that had embraced the air-plane so passionately that it could dissolve it within itself at any coming moment.

One of the steward started the announcement - "Air France feels sorry for making this untimely announcement but we are in a state of a huge emergency... Our aircraft has been caught in the midst of a turbulent weather. Guests are requested not to panic. Please fasten your seat belts and remain seated until further instructions. Guests are requested not to panic... I repeat, Please do not Panikk..... " The announcement was interrupted by an electric spark that started in the front and within no time propagated till the tail. That looked like an electric failure or probably an unexpected short circuit. The motion came down to 300 kmph and then further lower and then the path looked far from linear. Then it was dark, pitch dark, cries, yells and no sense of direction. Uncertainty haunted the minds. The jet was huge and it started to feel like a dark room caught in an earthquake. The flight attendent who a moments back appealed to remain calm was now visible screaming in the lightening that just occured. The cabin crew had lost their contact with the ground as the air traffic signals seemed far from reality. Some wise chaps took off their seat belts and struggled to fetch their seat cushions. They were now able to feel the pull of the gravity and the weightlessness due to it as they realized that the jet was crumbling down towards the untrespassed waters of the Atlantic ocean. The fear of the death gathered on every face.

The plane felt a spontaneous tilt towards the left and the people over the right were thrown on the left causing a torque that gave it a full round spin. None of them had a grasp over the situation. It felt like a black box filled with marbles that had unpredictable motion. And then a couple of spins more. And then one more as the plane was accelerating towards the gravity. The cries of panic now turned into that of pain - some seriously wonded, a few fractures and possibly some heart attacks causing deaths even before the plane could hit the ocean. Each one of them belonged to different backgrounds - a few businessmen, some artists, some techies, some old, some teens, a few kids, may be a newborn and even unborn. They all had one thing in common, innocence and the fact that they all were going to die. The same death.

In all this chaos, none found time to notice when the engines gave up without which the Airbus A330 was no better than a broken arrow racing towards the earth. None of them realized when the aircraft was a mere couple of seconds away from the surface of the Atlantic. The winds gave up the control of the machine and the water took it over. The aerial chaos ended with a huge splash that went almost unheard between the waves of the mightly ocean. The jerk almost shook their senses and the chilled water made every part of their bodies numb. A few strong rushed up towards the doors trying to make it out of the enclosure. A few of them found their way out through a vent that was resulted after a central part of the aircraft was dismantled after the collision. Their success however was short-lived as a huge wave further drenched them into the depths of the ocean - caught in the middle of nowhere, unable to differentiate between the surface and the ocean floor. Every attempt to swim proved futile. Although, a few kept trying, trying in vain with no ray of hope in the darkness that ruled the oceanic storm in the center of wilderness. The chaos ended as soon as these dignified men and women got transformed into corpses - all 228 of them. Some got consumed by predators and a few got dissolved into pieces - food for the smaller ones.

Somewhere distant from here there are noble souls hoping for some divine intervention, rescue teams toiling hard to get some news, some debris. There are a numerous mothers and wives waiting for their sons and husbands who have almost lost hopes of their survival. A few merely hoping to get the dead bodies of their dear ones - the least they could expect is their dignified burials.

Tragedies do happen - even when you are not bothered of them, least expect them. Your riches won't help and neither would you yourself. I felt sad about this incident and that's what a human can do!

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