Shariar recounts his wonderful experiences while working with Air-India over the years
Shariar Karim, has served India’s national carrier Air-India with dedication for 38 years and 4 months, of its golden era, making him one of the longest serving Cabin Crew in the history of Civil Aviation in India. He has flown around the world with distinction as an In-Flight Supervisor and has been selected 26 times to operate V.V.I.P. flights for Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers. He has also excelled as an Instructor, training Cabin Crew for flight duties, conducting Management Seminars for Executives, as well as motivating employees through Corporate Training Programmes all over India.
He introduced a package of ten innovations that took Air- India’s In-flight Service to a different level. A Gold Medalist and winner of several merit awards for excellence in service and teaching, he was nominated for the Prime Minister’s ‘Shram Award’.
Through his innovative and creative talents, he had conceptualized, choreographed and conducted a series of unique simulated ‘Flights of Fancy’ along with Bollywood stars, for socially deprived, physically challenged and terminally ill children. These flights won the hearts of many and received wide acclaim in the press and media for their noble contribution to social service.
He has composed many poems for Air-India’s special flights which have been printed in their International Magazine “Magic Carpet” and has compiled and published his lifetime’s works, "ODYSEY - AI Milestones and Memories". He is occasionally posting stories from his published book on social media. Some of his posts are listed below in PDF Form.
Maurice Wickstead served with Air India at London Heathrow Airport roughly between 1971 and 1982, having arrived there from Trans-Canada Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). In his own words, “ ir India was a great outfit to work for, oft times chaotic, but great fun and the camaraderie developed there has lasted well beyond our tenure, since many of us although now a lot older, have remained in contact for all these years.”
Subsequently he embarked on a new leisure time 'career' as an aviation author, specializing in airline and air transport history. Most of his output over the last thirty-odd years has been directed towards international aviation magazines on a regular basis, and also has two small books on the history of the Douglas Dakota and a complete history of every British airline company since 1919. to his name. More recently, he has had published the histories of Air India, Indian Airlines, Pakistan International, together with a history of every (as far as he could discover) Indian airline. Currently under construction is the story of Biman Bangladesh. In fact, he has been in and around aviation all his life - from making model aeroplanes to aircraft spotting at Heathrow in the propeller era hey-dey and in retirement, with light aircraft and the local flying club.
Among the items in his collection of ephemera are a 1941 Tata timetable, a number of AI Annual reports dating from early post-war.
The three-part series on the history of Air India was was published in Aviation News (Dec 2003-Feb 2004). His in-depth study of the history of the airline, and passion for Air India is evident in his writings. He has been prolific writer and has published several magazine articles for various major UK and US aviation periodicals. 'British Dakotas' was published ,around 1985, followed by 'European Dakotas' in 1988, both were limited production runs by a small-time publisher and one would be very lucky to find copies for sale these days. Similarly, around five years ago, he authored a complete condensed history of every British airline company since 1919 - again this was a small run brought out on DVD because of the text size.
She has also carefully preserved some examples of her work and has kindly permitted me to post images of these. These include hand painted work-in-progress examples, Printers Proofs etc. of scarves that were gifted as promotion items, menu cards, wine lists etc. Nargis spent 3-4 years at Air-India International before relocating to London to build her career in Advertising.
Here are some examples of her work. On the top left, we have a hand painted design for a scarf. On the top center we have a printers proof of the menu card design which has the artists name signed just below the right hand of the woman. On the top right is another hand painted design of a Poster design. This poster was used to promote the new Slumberettes introduced in the Lockheed Super Constellations acquired by the airline in 1954.
I have added here a link to my Dropbox account for you to enjoy all the lovely items she has preserved.
Post Script: Very nice article appear in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine on May 11, 2018 about Nargis Wadia and her stint in Air-India. Click here to know more.
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