When two French Monteglofar brothers sent up a balloon filled with hydrogen into the air in 1783, thousands of people watched the flight with great interest and curiosity. As the balloon was descending, the riders-a dog and a cat jumped before its landing. An amused spectator remarked;
“Oh see! It is raining in cats and dogs”.
The idiom is still used for torrential rains. Now air travel has become a common experience. A network of air routes join all the parts of the world. Air travel is comfortable, easy and quick. Aeroplanes belonging to different countries are on flight round the clock.
Quaid-e-Azam Airport in Karachi is the biggest airport in Asia. About 120 planes land or take-off during the day. If you visit the airport, you will see one of the greatest wonder (plane) of modern civilization. The Lounges present a busy scene at the time of arrival of the plane. Large member of friends and relatives visit the port in order to see off and receive the passengers.
Lately I went to Karachi Airport to receive my younger brother who was arriving from London by PIA flight. I reached the port an hour earlier, but the plane was late by half an hour. Therefore, I waited in the lounge. Only some leisurely persons were been here and there. Gradually the airport building began to be swarmed. The plane was supposed to land at 6 p.m. The stalls, the coffee house and the counters were soon busy and crowded. As the time of arrival of the plane drew nearer, some busy persons in uniforms were seen moving about. I heard the announcement ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the PIA London flight is about to land’. The people began to move up and down. The commotion of people, the fashionable faces, their anxious looks and unusual hurry gave good feast to my eyes and ears.
The air echoed with the whirling sound. The plane landed safely and drew up to the allotted pathway. All eyes were turned towards the plane. As the passengers lined out, people began to wave their hands and handkerchiefs. Another PIA flight was about to leave for London and New York. About hundred people were seen trooping out to enter the gigantic airliner. People in the other lounges were waiting for their respective flights.
Soon the passengers joined their friends and relatives. After warm embraces and shake hands were over, the passengers were busy in custom checking. Some bargainings through the porters for tips and onward bribe were witnessed. A few curious reporters were seen taking interviews in the VIP Lounge. After half an hour the hustle and bustle, and hue and cry subsided. Only some unfortunate passengers who failed to negotiate were held up and detained for harassment. A few foreigners were detained for questioning in connection to illegal traffic in drugs. The taxi drivers demanded fat charges. Soon the relatives and taxi drivers took charge of the passengers. Till next flight there was calm on the scene.