humans of leap — meghna arora
3 min readDec 3, 2021

meghna arora lives in doha and is the captain of a boeing777.

“my father & grandfather were both fighter pilots for the indian air force. for as long as i can remember, i wanted to be a pilot too. the sky has always mesmerised me — the magnitude of it, the openness. it’s where i feel limitless.

my entire life has been built around this 1 goal. as a 14-year old, when i had to choose my school subjects, my question was: if i want to be a pilot, what’s the decision i have to make here? at some point, my dad broke the news to me that, based on industry trends, it might be difficult for me to get a job as a commercial pilot. i’d have to be fast, he said, and ensure that i get my license within 2 years (most people take 3 years). shortly after i finished high school, it became my sole focus. within 14 months i graduated and started my first job as a commercial pilot.

some parents won’t push their daughters to explore & practice courage. but that’s how you find the discipline within yourself that will allow you to excel. my parents gave me that: the realisation that i have complete, unending responsibility for making my own dreams come true.

the tables turned in march 2020, though. i was in india for a wedding. on the day i had to fly back to doha, i woke up to read that qatar had gone into lockdown overnight. i had to stay back. it took me some time to realise that, together with the aviation industry, i was going through a massive shock. it was the first time in 15 years that i was not flying — a major part of my identity was gone. unfortunately, overworking has been the mantra of my life. now, without work, i was faced with indescribable emptiness. it was a big, if necessary, confrontation.

slowly i started experimenting & discovered new things i was able to connect with. energy, vitality & joy started showing up — things i haven’t seen in years. i became interested in myself in a holistic way.

more than 8 months later, i was back in doha. i still love flying, but there’s more i want from life now. i’m studying osteopathy, ayurveda, and i’m doing my yoga teacher training.

when you feel good, you do good. that’s my new goal.”