Ken, Caravan, Swades, Planes ….

Take a look at this pic first-

So … at work today, my next cubicle neighbour “Ken” – who is the one of the most knowledgeable and helpful person at work – said to me “do you want to see my car pics?
At first I was like “what?” … and then thought “ah ok!” … and then thought “did he said what i think he said” …
But I said “sure! why not!? … you bought a car lately? show me the pics”
And then he showed me these pics of the new van he bought and I was totally blown away! 🙂 …
I was like – Woowwwww!
I was like – Awesomeeeeeee!
I was like – Mind blowing!
In fact, I felt so happy and maybe somewhat proud also that now I know someone who actually owns a Caravan … ! 🙂 … just kidding 🙂 …
Ken promised he will bring the van someday to office 🙂 … I am now sincerely waiting for that day 🙂
I showed these pics to Smita also and she said the same thing that came to my mind too – it reminded us of the BOLLYWOOD movie Swades where Shahrukh takes a Caravan in India to visit his “Kaveri Amma” at an Indian village “Charanpur” … and when his friend asked why does he need a Caravan – Mohan Bhargav (the NRI returned) said – are yaar! gaon mein rehne ka kya intezam hoga kya pata? (oh my friend! who knows what lodging arrangements will be there at the village)
… Swades has simple incidents like this in the movie, which make it my fav movie, but that deserves a separate post.
Anyways, while later Ken showed me another awesome thing that I didnt know. He showed me some of this bookmarks for “Buying Planes” 🙂 …
Again when he first said “buying planes” I was first like “what?” … and then thought “ah ok!” … and then thought “did he said what i think he said”
I mean I sincerely thought he is saying “buying plane tickets” and I told that to Ken too … Ken said no he really means “buying planes” 🙂 … He (and one other colleague Morgan) then explained me how buying plane is another usual thing in America. (maybe not so usual, but still, its a concept which I dont think I have heard ever in India)
So just now I searched on google and I did find some websites to buy and sell planes-
Awesome! … Buying and selling planes online like we do for Cars – an industry which I was totally unaware till today! (and I consider myself an ecommerce expert!!)
While I was talking to them, I remembered I have actually seen it in many HOLLYWOOD movies – so I thought probably rich American farmers have it – cuz I remember something similar from the “Pearl Harbor” movie .
I asked Ken and Morgan too – “so who buys these planes? is it farmers?”
Ken said – “No … it is usual people like you and me. Say someone is staying in Pennsylvania and need to travel to Florida frequently. Think about how much time he saves if he buys a plane”
I thought ok fine, but what about the cost to buy a plane!… So Me and morgan glanced over pricetag of one plane too – it was around $500K … which actually didnt sound that bad as I thought. I mean it is still half a million, but whatever, nothing beats owning a plane… right? 🙂
Ken and Morgan further educated me that it is actually the maintenance that costs more (reminds me of an Indian saying we have – one must be rich if he owns an elephant … or one saying I read one time advising that hiring a carpenter sometimes is so costly that it is like getting elephant sitting at your home) …
In short … owning an Elephant in India is similar to owning a plane in America … funny but true!! 🙂
Ken said you need to get your plane recertified after certain hours (1000 / 2000 hours) – Morgan added that is “flying hours”. (ok- sounded like the annual car registration thing that we need to do … lol, itz hard for me to leave my “car mentality” 🙂 )
Ken added that you cannot add any accessory to your plane or try doing any modification yourself to the plane. You need to get a certified professional to help you. Say you want to add a bag on the sideway of your plane, you cannot do, you need a certified professional.
It made sense to me … because aerodynamics is a field you dont want to mess with … unless you are a bumblebee lol 🙂 (quoting Shiv Khera)-
According to scientists, the bumblebee’s body is too heavy and its wingspan too small for it to be able to fly. But the bumblebee doesnt know that and it keeps flying.
When you don’t know your limitations, you go out and surprise yourself!
So I further asked them – where do they keep those planes? I mean is it possible to keep it at your home in pennsylvania and then fly from there to your other home at Florida? … Morgan said there are some communities in America – yes – which have things like that. Ken added usually it is at/nearby airport – at/nearby hangers.
Lastly, Morgan told me something more that I didn’t know – John Travolta is one of those guys who owns planes – he actually owns a Boeing 707!!! … haha, awesome!! – so he keeps them at home. He is also a pilot, and probably has affiliation with some airline company … and flies for them. (Ken added – big money!) … Morgan didnt remember which airline company, but just now I found it on wiki (it is Qantas)-

Travolta is a certified pilot and owns five aircraft, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. The plane bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honor of his children. Pan American World Airways was a large operator of the Boeing 707 and used Clipper in its names. The 707 aircraft bears the marks of Qantas, as Travolta acts as an official goodwill ambassador for the airline wherever he flies. His $4.9 million estate in the Jumbolair subdivision in Ocala, Florida, is situated on Greystone Airport with its own runway and taxiway right to his front door

More about John Travlota piloting career is here.
So … that is enough knowledge for ONE day! 🙂 .. like they say you learn something new everyday!