Saturday, November 05, 2011

Fly by Yourself

First we took the cat out of the bag - actually it was a assembly set for a wind up plane - the kind you get in a Hobby ideas store. I have always been sceptical of something that claims it can fly - but then this time, I gave into curiosity and picked it up.

And here were on a holiday morning trying to assemble it. Two curious pairs of eyes were looking as we opened the box, laid out the components and spread out the instruction sheet. One was pounding me with ideas and giving me suggestions even as I was trying to get it right. "Will it do this", "Will it do that" he asked. "Hey, the pack says, it can do a hover and come back to your hand" And here I was trying to get the plane
assembled right, without breaking any of the rather flimsy looking parts.

Finally, the assembly happened. The first trial flight was a miserable one with the plane not even taking off. A few more winds (about 200 of them) and tried - no change - the damn thing would not take off. Disappointment on the little faces around was perceptible. And then, one more shot of winding it and throwing it the air (who knows, it may not take off, but glide through the air on its own power) - and it flew very
well. The tiny, flimsy aeroplane that will go down in history as our first flying model flew.

And then he said, "I want to do it myself". "But how will I count to two hundred and keep winding? I seem to lose count"

"Keep winding till it looks like noodles and then it will all knot up"

And then I get a call in the afternoon, "Appa, I managed to fly all by myself..."

Yup, someday you will fly all by yourself...

(Postscript: The story is about a year old. The damn model broke after a few tries and the customer service experience after that from Pidilite/Hobby Ideas has been extremely pathetic - despite multiple conversations and visits to stores. I finally gave up on it after a few months. So, my advice to anybody reading this post is - dont buy those models - they are too fragile and are a waste of your money. You will spend more time consoling your child after the model is broken and irrecoverable than the momentary enjoyment of the flight!)

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