For most of us, getting on board the plane and flying amidst the clouds will be the mixture of thrilling, scary, delightful, and fabulous experience that we must be fond of having it for myriad times. What more astonishing would be the bird's eye view of the picturesque locations from the air and if you are a Tamil, how delightful you would be if you hear the in-flight announcement in your mother tongue and how cool would it be when your pilot turns into your travel-guide?
That would be one of your best and fonding flight experience, unequivocally. Recently, people who traveled on the Indigo flight from Chennai to Madurai had that experience of relating the travel very close to them. The credit goes to Indigo Pilot, First Officer Captain G Priyavignesh and the video of him making the announcements had gone viral across the social media has become a talk of the town.
He has been receiving tons of praise from the netizens not only for making announcements in Tamil but also becoming a travel guide for his passengers explaining the city on which the flight is flying and the historical and famous sites that the passengers can see from the sky. When the flight is flying above Trichy with the altitude of 16,000 feet, Priyavignesh reads the altitude in Tamil and becomes a travel guide to his passengers and informs them that they can see Lord Ranganathan temple of Trichy in Tamil and he also informs that they can see Azhagar hills forest area when the flight approaches Madurai.
Announcing in Tamil has never been heard in any of the flights in India and a pilot turning as a travel guide for his passengers is pretty new that would become one of the best flight experiences and when trendsetter Priyavignesh was in the rounds of applause, we spoke to him to know what set him to set a trend and what's behind it. When asked about what steered him to make the announcements in Tamil, he says it was during his training on the in-flight announcements. 'Initially, we made the announcements in English. Our trainer asked us whether you have thought of making announcements in your mother language. He gave us five minutes to make announcements in our mother languages during which I made the announcement in Tamil for the first time'.
'When I joined as a pilot, I made announcements in English and when I traveled with Captain Abhijit Doval, whose mother tongue is Marathi, he gathered some of the important Tamil words from me and made announcements in Tamil. After witnessing a Marathi captain announcing in Tamil, I thought of trying to make announcements in Tamil and that was the starting point'. Priyavignesh says that he made announcements in Tamil for the first time when landing in Thoothukudi and he has also made such in Chennai and after receiving a commendable welcome, the first officer has kept it as his routine.
When we asked about the response from his company Indigo airlines, Priyavignesh divulged that 'They are very happy and permitted me to give interviews and our senior captain has asked me to continue the announcements'. For our question of what motivated and aspired him to become a pilot, Vignesh shares, 'I used to wonder by witnessing the birds and planes on the sky. I was at 3 and my mother used to explain to me about the airplane and I have aspired and dreamt about airplanes'.
While he shared his aspirations, Vignesh had also shared how he achieved his feat. He recalls the challenges he endured while cementing a strong base for achieving his dream. "My father was a merchant who had a roadside stall in Trivandrum, Kerala and my mother was a school teacher. Our family is a middle-class family and we still reside in a rental house. For my first level of training, I have spent my mother's savings and we mortgaged our land and one of my family members had mortgaged her own house and provided me financial support. Through the support, I have completed my first level of training successfully'.
'However, for the second level, I was in need of 20 lakh during which hotel owner Murugan, who ran his hotel opposite to my father's shop, offered me Rs 15 lakh and without seeking help, my aunt and my father's friend Murugan had helped me and I am indebted to them who were very happy after seeing this video and its response'. It's certain that Priyavignesh has set a trend, a lovable and welcoming trend of Tamil flyers.
Flying in the midst of clouds would be a delight and if you are a Tamil and if you have Priyavignesh as the First Officer of the flight that you're in, it would be a double delight for you as you can easily relate and get close and fond of your travel experience. Priyavignesh has taken Tamil so high on the sky and in his flight, Tamil can be heard both in dawn and dusk.
Watch the video of Priyavignesh making Tamil announcements: