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'Maharaja' celebrates 71st birthday

Last updated on: October 15, 2003 18:35 IST

It was national carrier Air-India's 71st birthday and its mascot 'Maharajah' decided to celebrate in style with a gift for 340 'special children' on board an Air-India Boeing 747-400.

For most of the children, some either terminally ill or mentally and physically challenged, the hour-long flight

AI-071, over the metropolis and nearby areas, to commemorate J R D Tata's historic flight from Karachi to Mumbai via Ahmedabad on this day in 1932, was indeed a dream come true.

The children flying for the first time, sang, danced and drew pictures mid-air with popular song and dance show "Boogie-Woogie" anchor Jaaved Jaafri.

The mood for the flight was set much before it was air-borne with Jaafri greeting all the children individually and cracking jokes. He also distributed boarding passes to the passengers.

The 'oohs and aahs' began as the huge flying machine taxied on the run way for take off. Even the earphones given by the cabin crew was an object to play with.
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