Monica is, simply, a beautiful person, inside and out, and as compassionate as they come. She loves a good chat about thought-provoking topics and always finds a different angle than most to look at things so she can see potential, opportunity and beauty in everything around.

“Born To Fly” has to be Monica’s prime motto. With a wealth of cabin crew and management experience in both commercial and VIP aviation, today she dares us to change our perspective on the way we, cabin crew, tend to judge India based on our experiences during the flights into the many subcontinent destinations.

Here is how it all began for her and her view of India, through the emotional, inspiring story of a young boy named S.

A tarot reader l didn’t plan to consult because l was accompanying a heart-broken friend looking for a way to get her lover back, left me flabbergasted….It was Italy in 1986, a year before l started flying. I just passed the first interview and was waiting for an answer. She told me that the reason we move to new countries is because we are either running from or running to something. I laughed and thought she was crazy. I just wanted a change; there was no rationale to my choice. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. I wasn’t just running from something, I was sprinting as far as I could. What I didn’t realize was that this choice has now started the foundation of my future. Just like a tattoo, that first little taste and you want more and more. No turning back.

I started flying in the late 80’s as an addition to the 4500 flight attendants of a company whose reputation made the whole of Switzerland proud: Swissair.

My first long haul flight took me to India. I was relaxed and receptive in mind and l felt that if l looked beyond poverty, the heat and the dust , the country would be capable of yielding many worth-while experiences and stimulating ideas.

I decided not to judge India by the standards of the countries where l grew up and to look at the spirit of the people.

Given the short duration of today’s stopovers, flight attendants today don’t have time to fully appreciate the complexities of the sprawling cities with populations of over staggering 20 million.

We westerners often misinterpret the belief that several reincarnations filled with suffering are necessary to fulfill the dream of a better life. Life and death are indeed meshed into one but everything that transpires into one’s life is part of a larger picture, transcending lifetime after lifetime.

We tend to label this hope rooted in Hindu faith as a behavior of resignation and indifference but suffering is necessary to fulfill the dream of a better life.

As we all know, India faces huge challenges with its overpopulation. Social and economic ills such as corruption are a long way from being eradicated.

Yet when l hear people saying that there is no place for improvement, for hope, l cringe.

This is why I would like to share here the story of a child of a government servant.

S was born in a family of five brothers. There was no electricity, no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result he didn’t go to school until the age of eight. S was home-schooled.

His father used to get transferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of the jeep- so the family moved from place to place without any trouble.

As a district officer, his father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the office so the jeep was parked in their house. His father refused to use it to commute to the office. Insisting that he would use it only to tour the interiors, he would walk to the office and allowed the children to sit in it only when it was stationary.

It was an early lesson in governance….

The driver of the jeep was treated with respect, it was more important to respect subordinates than superiors.

The days started around an earthen fireplace where the mother would cook for the whole family. There was no gas, no electrical stoves. Morning routine started with tea and the father asking the children to read aloud the local newspaper. They did not understand much of what they were reading but they learned that the world was larger than the district they lived in and their English improved.

Their father told them to leave the newspaper and the toilet the way you expect to find it.

The lesson was about showing consideration to others.

The mother planted flowering bushes that the ants destroyed but she’d never give up and planted the seeds all over again. Neighbors wondered why she was planting seeds to beautify a government’s house and she replied that she was given a place that she felt the next occupant should find more beautiful than what she had inherited.

The lesson: it is not what you create for yourself, but what you leave behind that defines success.

S’s father was a fervent believer in the British Raj and had doubts about the capability of the Indian parties to govern the country. The mother was the exact opposite. On major issues the parents had differing opinions. In them, the children learnt the power of disagreements, of dialogue and the essence of living with diversity in thinking.

Success is about dialogue.

SUCCESS IS ABOUT VISION. IT IS THE ABILITY TO RISE ABOVE THE IMMEDIACY OF PAIN. IT IS ABOUT IMAGINATION.IT IS ABOUT SENSITIVITY TO SMALL PEOPLE. IT IS ABOUT GIVING BACK MORE TO LIFE THAN YOU TAKE OUT OF IT. IT IS ABOUT CREATING EXTRA-ORDINARY SUCCESS WITH ORDINARY LIFES

This is what enables India to endure, when so many civilizations have crumbled….

Discover The Secrets To
Cabin Crew Interview Success

Pass First Time!

Learn From Recruiters With Over 25 Years Experience In Aviation

GET THE COMPLETE FORMULA

Comments

comments