In picture: Captain Rashmi in the cockpit
It gives me goosebumps to hear ‘Captain Rashmi Sharma’ even today.
Being a pilot was never my career plan - growing up in a traditional Indian household, becoming a doctor, engineer or an IAS were the only accepted career paths. This was partly for two reasons - first, being a pilot was an extremely unconventional job with unconventional schedules and second there weren’t too many women doing it anyway. There were many who dissuaded me - apparently being a pilot wasn’t a profession cut out for women. But my father has been by my side throughout.
In Picture: Captain Rashmi Sharma
Qualifying to be a pilot is a long and tedious process with no guarantee of a job placement at the end. Even then, he used up his entire life’s savings just so I could pursue my dreams.
In Picture: Rashmi with her parents
I did my pilot training in the US. I distinctly remember the day I completed my training - I took my father along for my first solo ride! We sat on this little Cessna plane and embarked on a city tour. He had come all the way from India just to witness this moment. He was clearly terrified, so terrified that he couldn’t even look down, but his eyes twinkled with pride. All through my training months, I used to speak to my father every night and tell him about the things I learnt. In a way, he learnt along with me. Once on ground, I could see him beaming. I had made my father proud!
In Picture: Rashmi in front of an aircraft
Today I'm a captain flying people to far away cities and countries. I've been juggling work and family perfectly well - I'm a wife to a pilot and mom to my son Manraj. Quite literally, I'm conquering the sky!
I just want to tell every little girl who dreams to be a pilot someday - Keep dreaming big! The sky is not the limit.
~ Captain Rashmi Sharma ( Pilot, Mom)