Neerja

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Neerja

Quote of the day:

“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.”

 -Ziad K. Abdelnour

 

Neerja_Bhanot_(1963_–_1986)untitled

Neerja-Bhanot_1

I saw the film last week and it’s DEFINATELY worth the watch! Neerja is a true story about Neerja Bhanot, a purser for Pan Am, based in Mumbai, who was shot and killed while saving passengers from terrorists on board the hijacked Pam Am Flight 73 on September 5th, 1986. She became the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.

It’s unfortunate such hero’s exist and nobody knows about them until Bollywood makes a film about them. On the positive note, at least this way, we get to know about them and then they are the most googled person ever afterwards! I have been reading a lot about this beautiful girl. Sonam Kapoor completely did justice in this role! This story hit home a bit more for me, because Neerja is originally from my hometown, Chandigarh.

Neerja was the senior flight purser on the Pan Am flight 73 flying from Mumbai to right here at JFK in NYC. The flight was hijacked by four armed men at its layover in Karachi, Pakistan. The aircraft was carrying 361 passengers and 19 crew members. The terrorists wanted to fly to Cyprus and wanted to release some of their team members from jail. After the terrorists boarded the plane, Neerja alerted the cockpit crew.

Neerja quickly alerts the cockpit and unfortunately the American pilots escaped the aircraft through an overhead hatch in the cockpit per their training so that the aircraft could not be forcibly flown. Neerja, being the most senior cabin crew member remaining aboard, responsibly took charge. The hijackers told Neerja and the other crew members to collect all of the American passports, which she slyly hid.

After 17 hours, the plane lost power and the lights went off. The hijackers then opened fire and set off explosives. Neerja  opened one of the doors, flung open an emergency chute, and assisted passengers from the aircraft. She could have been the first to jump out when she opened the door but she decided not to and was shot while shielding three children from a hail of bullets.

This incident happened just two days before her 23rd birthday. Not only had she ensured the failure of the hijacking by preventing the plane from getting off the ground, but also saved the lives of hostages in those long hours of incarceration. She is a true hero. I cannot even imagine what I would have felt if I were her in that position, especially as a 23 year old girl. One can never imagine being put in such a situation until it happens. This was not your typical Bollywood movie. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider it “Bollywood”.

I definitely encourage you to watch this film. This is not one of those things where anyone can say something like “oh I can’t watch stuff like this” – please. This young girl is a hero and deserves more than that type of response. This could happen to any one of us, but no one of us will take charge and be as brave as Neerja. She is an inspiration.

Another fun fact – I didn’t really want to say this out loud because I thought people might give me crap about it (lol) but the main terrorist, Khalil, played by Jim Sarbh – wow. I am glad I wasn’t the only one who thought so! I saw sooo many articles about how other women were gushing over him lol. #imprettypositivethereallifekhalilifthatsevenhisnameinreallifeisanuglybastardothough

In conclusion, I love flying. It usually means I am going somewhere fun. You try not to think something of such will happen when you fly, I hope this never happens to me or anyone I love, or anyone period, but we can’t tell what our destiny will be. Neerja is an inspiration. Some say she is an incarnation of goddess Durga (Goddess of Power). May she rest in peace and love.

Please watch the film & bring a full box of tissues.

 

 

 

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About kbahri114

Hi! I'm an outgoing, bubbly New Yorker of Indian origin. I grew up in a Punjabi home and was raised with Hindu traditions in America. I am extremely in touch with my Indian roots and am thankful to have had been taught about my culture while growing up, which is why I have a great appreciation towards my culture and like to share it with others as well as learn about different cultures. At one point in my life I came to the realization about how we have been blessed with the gift of life on the planet earth. When I'm 90 years old lying on my death bed looking back at my life, I want to make sure I took full advantage of my life and explored this amazing world we live in! I knew traveling was something I had to start doing. I'm not the type to live in a bubble my entire life. I've always been intrigued by the world and different cultures. I have always wanted to explore and see as much of the world as I can! Life is all about experiences, meeting people, learning new ways and concepts and taking risks. I'm also very fond of photography, fashion, shopping, having fun, being loud, laughing and cracking crazy jokes, music and dance (I used to dance traditional for festivals back during the school days). This blog is meant to be fun & entertaining but it also provides my personal experiences and what you might expect to discover while traveling. It also will include random thoughts and stories since a kaleidoscope is meant to be a colorfully shaken mix of happiness! I hope you find my blog interesting, fun, funny & informative, but most of all entertaining!!

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