If there’s one thing that I will forever be grateful for, to my English teachers in school, is to have introduced me to the magnificent storyteller that is Jules Verne. And while I couldn’t put down Journey To The Centre Of The Earth up until I was reading the last page, it was the glorious adventure of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout in Around The World In Eighty Days that still holds my heart.
Thanks to a mother-daughter duo from Karnataka, it looks like my favourite novel is going to take flight, for real this time! Audrey Deepika Meben and her daughter Amy Mehta are all set to the first Indian women to take up the micro-flight expedition, attempting a world record while at it!
Finding their way around the world in 80 days, and flying up to 50,000 km in a micro flight with 60-litre fuel capacity tanks, the duo is all set to soar the skies starting from February 2018, with just one message to spread to the world - women empowerment.
“This is mission possible”, said Audrey to Times of India. “I have flown safely this far and I have taken good decisions on air. I will be starting my journey from Jakkur aerodrome and want to come back safely to Jakkur. It's a life-changing task and I can't expect better partner than my daughter. This initiative, Women empower, will give wings to more girls who aspire to take on the skies”.
The custom-made microlight aircraft ‘Mahi’ is capable of flying up to 4.5 hours continuously, at one stretch, and has two fuel tanks of 30litre capacity each. With a minimum of 54 landings across different countries, the journey is likely to take 80 days for completion.
The journey will begin from Jakkur aerodrome, Bengaluru and then on to South East Asia, Japan, Russia, Alaskan countries, Northern America, Iceland, Greenland and other European countries, Tehran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally returning to the origin at Jakkur, with an estimated total of 50,000 kms that will be covered.
As women, the challenges that we face on a daily basis seem overwhelming on days that we just can’t reach the glass ceiling, let alone smash it. For these women to go above and beyond to prove their merit and credibility in the open skies and the determination to conquer barriers of time, speed, and distance will be a magnificent feat for women all over the world!
Here’s wishing the mother and daughter duo godspeed, and bon voyage!
Images: The Quint, Times of India