“I would like to fly home first”
"When you make your first commercial flight, which destination would you first prefer to fly?" I ask her. "If my base isn’t Delhi, I would like to fly home", she replies without batting an eyelid. "But we don’t exactly have a choice", she adds. That is quite understandable, since she is unlike any other 18-year-old-plus girl, as she knows ins and outs of the aviation industry; basic and finer details picked up from her father and granduncle, both pilots. But given the choice that she has picked up, knowingly or unknowingly, she has etched her name in her home state’s aviation history.
Meet Capt. Tanvi Raina, the first and the youngest girl born of Kashmiri Pandit parents, Mrs Jyoti and Capt. Kapil Raina, to have attained commercial pilot licence. Home is, apparently, first thing on her mind, even as she wasn’t born in Kashmir – a testimony that it is your blood that binds you to your roots; the very DNA that you are made up of. Today, and undisputedly so, she has made her home state proud and we must all revel in the glory that she has gotten for herself. And us all.
In doing so she has only carried forward the legacy left behind by her grandfather, Late Shri. Jawahar Lal Raina of Karana Nagar, Srinagar, who gave the state its first, foremost and the most famed Bharat Transport Co. (BTC), the large fleet of its vehicles has been seen trudging length and breadth of the state since last seven decades; the first one soon after Partition, when he migrated from Lahore, Pakistan and founded the company.
Tanvi was born and brought up in Delhi, did her schooling from Jesus and Mary Convent, New Delhi and took up training to fly from Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Karnal. While in school she was also trained in Kathak Dance and has gained considerable versatility in the same, while having done some concerts too. But that is on ground.
On air, she says she would explore aviation management while continuing flying. And if possible, read English literature. What, however drew her towards flying, was the “butterflies she got while having the first flying experience”. Message for girls back home? “Follow a passion, nurture a dream, follow it without getting distracted and you will get exactly what you want”. Asked had she not chosen the passion to fly as her profession what would have been her second best choice? “Some sort of field-work”, she says. “Maybe an archaeologist or a kickass profession of being an agent, a CBI agent or thing”. Perhaps she stops short of saying Bond 007. But since she is flying now, she has anyway become one.