The Fateful Flight.


There is something about the airports that makes your head buzz, long after you’ve left. The energy radiating from all the bodies, charges every system of yours. As I left the airport three months back, that is exactly how I felt. I drove home, trying to figure out how to go about the task at hand, finish it and catch the next flight to Islamabad where my family would be awaiting my arrival. They had boarded the plane without me that day. Due to an urgent duty call I had to cancel my seat.

Around dusk as I performed ablution to offer my prayers, the door bell rang. It was my best friend Farhan. Farhan hugged me like he never had, before. There was something about his tense body that worried me. When he finally let go he stared long and hard at me. Then without answering my questions about the reason of his troubled look, he held my hand and led me to the couch. He switched on the television and flipped channels finally stopping at one.

Flight no. B4-213 of the Bhoja Airlines, carrying 121 passengers crashed just before touchdown.

The world reeled over, or rather I did. The buzz from the airport was back. The rushing, moving bodies spiraled before my eyes. My son waved me good-bye excited to board the plane like always. My daughter cooed from my wife’s arms, who smiled at me her last good-bye and turned to enter the airport terminal. My whole world had boarded that plane. It couldn’t be the end of my world…the world?

According to the rescuers, the area was littered with mutilated bodies, severed body parts of the victims, their luggage and parts of the fuselage.

Body parts? That couldn’t mean my boy or my baby or my wife! They were whole. Whole and lively and full of dreams and laughter.

Ya Allah! Mercy. Is this some kind of a test? My tears spilled down my cheeks and mixed with the water of wudu, until there was no distinguishing between the two!

©2012. Habiba Danyal

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

wudu= ablution

The Bhoja Airplane that crashed in the fateful evening of April 20th 2012, took down 121 passengers and 6 crew members along with it. None of the passengers survived. May their souls rest in peace.

For Trifecta Week Thirty Seven.

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41 thoughts on “The Fateful Flight.

  1. Wow, I really felt this in my gut. I can’t even imagine(and I don’t want to try) surviving something like that. It would mean the end of the world.
    Thanks for linking up with us this week. We hope to see you back for the new prompt tomorrow.

  2. I am sad when I hear about things like this on the news. But the tragedy is different when it personally touches you. This story put a personal touch on this story and made me feel for the passengers, and their surviving families.

  3. May Allah grant jannah to the souls…ameen!This is written with so much pathos dear. I know about this crash. It was heartbreaking.
    In ’96 there was a Saudia Airlines crash which was carrying Indian passengers from India to Saudi Arabia….. a Boeing with 349 passengers ….all were killed. It was a mid-air collision and the worst in the history of aviation. I remember i was in school at the time and one girl who was in our school and my “namesake” died in the crash…and one of my uncles perished. It was a nightmare.
    That horrific incident is engraved in my heart and mind. As my life has been filled with flight journeys since i was two….this affected me permanently.
    I still take flights but whenever i board one….i say a little prayer always imagining that this could be my last journey. The fear and paranoia never fails to engulf me as i remember the dead, charred and bloody bodies i saw on T.V. and India Today. 😦
    This is a very well-written piece.

  4. 😦 after airblue incident, bhoja airways…. Sad part is that there is no inquiry done and we tend to forget these incidents in a week or two.
    Thankyou Habiba for reminding us,so that we can remember the victims and their families in our prayers. Hope these accidents are not repeated.

    • Before writing it I actually counted the months on fingers and was shocked to realise it has just been 3 months! We forgot but for the families each moment must have been that of agony!

  5. zabardast! you’re a great writer habiba, masha Allah 🙂 please tell me you’re writing your first novel soon. i’m actually waiting for it 🙂

  6. May Allah bless their souls and give Sabr to all those families who were involved in the crash. May Allah protect us all. Ameen!

  7. May God give strength to the family members who lost their loved ones… Recently in India a train coach from Delhi to Chennai caught fire and 32 mostly young people were charred to death. It was the same day that I was going to Delhi from Chennai. Our trains must have crossed in the wee hours of morning. I could feel how badly the fate has played in their lives, in which the maintenance of Railways is also partly to blame…

    • The worst part is that you know that you may have come across those people in some part of your life, like you said your trains might have crossed….As for people like the one in the story, half of the time “survivor’s guilt” kills them!

  8. yes there is something about airline travel that makes you envision that the worst could happen at anytime good portrayal

  9. This is really sad and powerful, Habiba. The details about the body parts and the fuselage highlight the man’s grief and anyone’s desire to picture their shattered family “whole”.

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