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The Hijack

August 27, 2013

I stared at the radio with amazement. What was there to panic? Then I heard sounds of gunshots from the cockpit.
“Oh, My God!” I exclaimed, “Is it a hijack!”

By Ram Kumar Ramesh

“My eyes were on the Boeing 747 aircraft while I made my way through the immigration office, at Dubai International airport. My mother was ahead of me and she got the papers cleared. I had flown on a few occasions, so the novelty had worn off. I thought the flight to Mumbai would be as boring as on previous occasions. So I got hold of book to read during the journey. The blurb said that book retold some of the hazards posed to flights, detailed tales of crashes and hijackings.

Airplane

The plane took off. Soon it was airborne.

The book would provide me exciting reading; so the flight won’t be boring. Holding on to the book, I made a beeline, with my mother, responded to the greetings of the airhostess, while my mother moved ahead to ward our seats. She sat on the aisle seat and I took the window seat.

I looked out through the window and noticed a black BMW parked near the runway. I saw airplanes belonging to KLM, Air India, Royal Jordanian, and two Emirates planes dotting the area.

Then my eyes fell on the glowing lights in the dark night. They could well be stars, on the earthly plane, but these stars didn’t blink. They shed light continuously.

“You are no stars, not even shooting stars,” I sniped, before another thought struck me. Shooting stars pierce the atmosphere and burn out. What about the aircraft? I wondered how such a heavy metal-cast bird could fly, carrying hundreds of passengers.

The plane took off. Soon it was airborne. I started reading the book. Suddenly, a deep voice broke in: “This is your captain speaking. I have an important announcement to make.”
I looked at my mother, who was listening keenly on the radio, amongst the murmur of the crowd.
“Do not panic.” the captain’s voice could be heard again.
I stared at the radio with amazement. What was there to panic? Then I heard sounds of gunshots from the cockpit.
“Oh, My God!” I exclaimed, “Is it a hijack!”

The voice of the pilot came again. This time it sounded a little stern. “The plane has been hijacked. Our course has been altered. We are now steering left, because of the damage of the rudder. Some masked men are…” A bang could be heard. It was clear that the hijacker had hit him. “We are now heading for a different destination.” I realized that I had to do something fast.

I am a very good mimic, I managed to copy the pilot’s voice and run to the cockpit, shouting in the pilot’s voice all the time and ignoring other’s warning looks. Some people tried to get up and stop me, but I was too fast for them, I hid behind the cockpit door.

The door opened. A burly masked man, holding a pouch of strange powder and a rifle. He went round, spraying the powder on the passengers; and instantly they fell asleep. I didn’t know what to do. I searched for a weapon, found a heavy log of wood. I grabbed it. When the hijacker tried to get to the cockpit, I brought the log of wood on his head with a mighty swing. He fell down, unconscious. I sprinkled some of thee powder he carried on him and then entered the cockpit.

Another man was standing there, masked and all. This time I used my book to bang him on the head. And lo, the criminal was knocked out, even though the book was not heavy at all. The pilot grinned. Suddenly, a man came up behind me and banged me on the head. I cried “Waaaah!”

“Ramkumar!” a voice said. “Sleeptalking again? Well you are very late for school!” It was my mother. Oh, It had been a dream after all!

This teen story was first published in Meghdutam.com (between 1999 to 2002).

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