Why I Love The Window Seat So Much

An ode to the most remarkable (and my most favourite) place in the world – the window seat!...
The window seat

Some months ago, I came up with a fairly interesting thought which went like this – there are two types of people in the world: Aisle People and Window People. Aisle People are practical, no-nonsense and in a hurry, while Window People are dreamers and gazers. (Read: Window Or Aisle? What The Seat You Pick Says About You)

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Illustration By: Rishabh Mehta/ Cartoonwala

No prizes for guessing which side of the fence I belong to. My favourite place in the world could well be the window seat of an airplane—sitting snug, nose pressed firmly against the porthole and eyes wide in wonder. In fact, it was in this very place that I fell in love with planes and flying—irrevocably so.

Window views

Looking out of the porthole midair fills me with a sense of wonder. There is a little bit of magic in fact that human beings can fly, for example—and soar among the skies!

With a breathtaking view at every instant, the window seat simply never gets boring. While you wait for other passengers to board, peer out at the tarmac life in motion. As you taxi towards the take-off strip, admire the twinkling runway lights in different colours. Take-off is incredibly special, as the cityscape rapidly diminishes into toy size. Views of the massive clouds and sweeping skies make for super panoramas. Has the world ever looked lovelier? Do keep your cellphone camera handy –social media is a sucker for photographs clicked out of plane windows.

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Illustration By: Rishabh Mehta/ Cartoonwala

Call me a window seat nerd, but I sometimes pick flight times to coincide with sunrise or sunset. The spectacular golden hues and shades of the sky at these times is just unbelievable – In fact, watching the sunrise midair is pretty much the only redeeming factor for extremely early morning flights. The next step? Choosing which side of the plane to be seated on based on sunrise/ sunset patterns and the flight path. Beat that!

Apart from the midair sunrises and sunsets (each more spectacular than the other) various other window seat views remain etched in my head. Flying over the beautiful Alps, covered in a sheet of white snow (and the snowline clearly visible) was a marvelous experience, as was landing into Las Vegas in all its neon glory. Flying southward from Kolkata will have you follow the beaches down the East coast of India, while landing into Srinagar is a dizzying sight of descending amid majestic mountains. During Diwali, flying amid fireworks is absolutely magical. If you are flying in a tiny propeller plane, the window seat will give you an interesting view of the propeller at work. Spotting a rainbow midair is a beautiful sight too.

Recently, a friend of mine (Kunal) was fortunate to catch a very unique midair occurrence from his window seat. Called ‘Glory of Pilot,’ it is an optical phenomenon where the plane’s shadow is seen on a cloud below, encircled by a spectacular rainbow-coloured halo.

Despite everything, however, my favourite window seat moment remains landing into Bombay. I’ve been away from home for almost five years and have made countless trips back – but still get goose bumps every time I see my beautiful, twinkling city unfolding below in spectacular fashion. Read: 10 Awesome Things To Do In South Mumbai

Foxtrot musings

I feel rather pained when I see people around me “wasting” their window seats (especially if I haven’t been fortunate enough to get one.) Seeing people sleep during takeoff makes my heart bleed (the nerve!) – and fiddling on your laptop or reading a book with the window shutter closed is just plain rude to the stunning views outside!

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Illustration By: Rishabh Mehta/ Cartoonwala

As a child, I remember arriving at the airport hours early just so that I could get a window seat. I’d make it a point to ask every crew member why the windows couldn’t be made bigger (Interestingly enough, they never gave me a satisfactory answer). Read: Date A Girl Who Travels

Today, everything has changed and still nothing has changed. These days, thanks to web check-in, the erstwhile question of “window or aisle” just doesn’t get asked anymore. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I heard it! In fact, if you forget to web check-in, you can pretty much wave goodbye to your window seat (chances are you will be stuffed in the unwanted middle seat).

The Joy Of The Window Seat

Apart from the gorgeous views, the little joys of the window seat are many. The window makes for an excellent headrest during lost flights, so you can grab some precious sleep. You aren’t relentlessly forced out of your seat by shameless co-passengers with small bladders. The clamour and chaos of food service doesn’t affect you (no chance of having your foot run over by the whimsical food trolley).

These days, the window seat is no longer quite as simple as before. High technology has eliminated the little plastic window shutter, for example (the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a dial which tints windows instead). It’s only a matter of time before portholes get bigger and better—and window seats get more glamorous than ever before. Till then, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the window seat views and feeling the magic in every instant!

Check out some more brilliant cartoons by my brother Rishabh, better known as ‘Cartoonwala.’

This piece first appeared in Happy Flying, the in-flight magazine of Air Costa

Also Read:

6 Spectacular Restaurants Every Food Lover Must Eat At

Why You Should Travel With Minimal Baggage

10 Things Ladakh Teaches Every Traveler

My storyTravel Musings

A journalist, intrepid traveler and occasional doodler, I love wandering off the beaten path. Is it any wonder then that my favourite place in the world is the window seat of an airplane?


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