OTHERS

A dream realised

Bangalore Dec. 7. Mohammad Muzzakir's eyes glowed on Sunday. Of course, the sun did blaze down on the Jakkur Airfield at the time, but his eyes sparkled so for having had a long-cherished dream take flight.

Between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Muzzakir for the first time in his life, went up in the air, or to be more precise, he flew in a microlight aircraft piloted by Audrey Maben — "the first woman to fly solo over 2,400 km in five days, at November's Air Race."

Ms. Maben had read a news report on Muzzakir saying that though this 19-year-old boy dreamed of building aircraft and had built one from junk he collected in Shivajinagar, he had never been airborne. That prompted Ms. Maben to offer him his first ride in an aircraft.

Today's function was a family affair. It was organised by Ms. Maben's family and Muzzakir's father, Mohammad Samiulla, mother, Sayeeda Bhanu. His siblings too were present.

In fact, when the aircraft touched down after briefly circling the airfield and the land beyond it, all of them clapped loudly and Muzakkir's niece, Tehmina, ran toward the aircraft as she wanted to see him.

When asked how he felt after his maiden flight, Muzzakir found himself rather incoherent. It was a "good experience," he said and added "it was different." "You cannot understand standing here (on the ground). One has to fly to get that experience," he added. Asked how different Ms. Maben's aircraft was from the one he had built, he said his aircraft was much lighter. "She is a good pilot though," he added.

Ms. Maben, for her part, described the boy as a good passenger. She gave him a keychain shaped like a plane, as a memento.

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