Iritty (Kannur): Nine-year-old Advaith Sumesh sat in rapt attention as a woman pilot ran him through the flight instruments in the cockpit. The complex instrument panel did not intimidate the boy, who has been dreaming of soaring high as a pilot.
Advaith’s short ascent to the cockpit began from Apsara Café 1980, a bakery at Keezhurkunnu, when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stepped in for a cup of tea. Gandhi, returning after campaigning for Sunny Joseph, the UDF candidate in Iritty, was bowled over by Advaith’s proficiency in English and Hindi.
Curiosity made the leader enquire about the boy’s aspiration in life. Advaith opened up, saying he wanted to be a pilot, but to another query said he has never seen even a helicopter from close quarters.
Though Gandhi asked the boy to accompany him to the chopper, Advaith and his father could not make their way through the crowd on time. The leader then asked Joseph to find the boy.
The Congress leader, meanwhile, posted a picture of the boy on his Twitter handle with a message. “I want to fly, says Advaith Sumesh … No dream is too big. We aim to ensure that all children attained the heights they aspire for.”
Joseph had found the boy by the time the tweet went viral. By night, Gandhi was informed of finding the boy, son of Sumesh Kumar, a teacher with the Government High School, Koothuparamba, and A Suwarna, an employee of the University of Calicut. The family has been living at Palaparambu, Keezhurkunnu.
Joseph was asked to arrange for the boy’s trip to the airport in Kozhikode. Advaith, along with his parents and relatives, reached the airport on time. Gandhi ushered the boy and his father into his chartered flight, and the woman pilot briefed the boy about flying the aircraft.
Advaith could not fly to Thiruvananthapuram as suggested by Gandhi. The parents were on election duty, and hence the family returned home.
Before they left, Gandhi promised help to the boy in future.