23-yr Darjeeling boy Tashi Namja is a commercial pilot now with Indigo Airlines

At 23 while most of us would be trying to decide what to do next after college, Darjeeling lad Tashi Namja is flying thousands of passengers across India and the world. Our senior correspondent Bicky Sharma sat down for a short interview with him

Name: Tashi Namja
Ama: Mrs.Yeshi Chonzom
Pala: Mr.Tashi Pencho
School: St. Joseph’s, NP, Darjeeling
Flight training: California Airways

TheDC:  Please tell us something about yourself
Tashi: I am from Darjeeling, I grew up here, and I live with my family….  I did my schooling here in St Joseph’s School, North Point. I grew up in the heart of town, on HD lama road, formerly known as MP road.

I live in a joint family of 10… and our family runs a hotel business.

TheDC: When did you realise that you wanted to become a pilot?? What were the things that inspired you to become a pilot?
Tashi: My father was a once a teacher in North Point and on one of my vacations, the pilot of the aircraft was an ex-student of his, who was a pilot from Bhutan… 

During the flight itself, my father and I were asked to come into the cockpit and we stayed there during the entire course of the flight untill the time we landed. I was 8 years old at the time and that was where it all started for me and I knew that this is was what i wanted to do.
TheDC: Were your parents supportive of your decision to become a pilot?
Tashi:  Yes they were supportive from the start, every step of the way. Unlike many cases of pilots, where they come from an aviation background, mine was not the case. That was a significant challenge which I couldn't have overcome without their support.

TheDC: Could you please list down the name of the schools and colleges you attended?
Tashi: I did my schooling in St Josephs School, North Point
On completing my board exams, I left for the US where I did my training in a flight school called California Airways. I got my Commercial Pilots licence there and I returned, as I wanted to fly close to home. I made the Indigo selection process on 21st June on 2015, and started flying for indigo on 28th August 2016.

My current designation is First Officer (copilot)

And I am based in Kolkata        

TheDC: How was your experience as a student at NP? The role of the school in getting your dreams realised?                       
Tashi: My family and my school were a big part in helping me achieve my dream. My family supported me through thick and thin and my school equipped me with lessons required to achieve my dreams.

I was taught there, that dreams can be met with discipline and determination and in time I would realise how much life can change, if you stand by these simple lessons taught in school.

TheDC: Coming from the Darjeeling region, was it difficult or easy for you during the course, did you ever face racism?
Tashi: I can't deny that i never faced it. But that being said, I learnt that with a positive attitude and sense of humour… it doesn’t always have to be a serious problem. I feel that people will treat you in the same manner that you treat them. If you constantly worry about who will say what, something will always offend you but, if you can take it positively, you will find yourself in a better place.

TheDC: Where do you see yourself in the next five years down the line??                       
Tashi: I’ve always had a plan for the future, but not right now. For a very very long time, getting this job was my one and only plan.

Acheiving it meant the world to me and right now my only plan is to excel at it.

Every day at work is an adventure, and if I can continue to enjoy it for another 5 years like I do today, I couldn't ask for anything more                       

TheDC: How has it has been flying for IndiGo?
Tashi: It’s been great, I am very happy flying for Indigo, there are new aircrafts and new destinations introduced on a very frequent basis. It’s never monotonous nor does it get boring. I have operated a few flights to Bagdogra and those are the flights I look forward to the most. It’s always a pleasure to fly the passengers travelling to our area and specially those returning home to our region.

TheDC: What advice would you give to those who want to follow your footsteps?  
Tashi:  Well, one thing I can tell is that the aviation industry is one that seems to suit the people from our area very well. It’s important to stay disciplined and also there has been great success stories of people from our home town doing very well in the airlines industry, in the management and in flight services both domestic and abroad.

I certainly foresee that it won’t be long before more people join me in the cockpit as well.

We are MOST THANKFUL to Tashi for giving us his valuable time and wish him ALL THE BEST for his career... he is truly an inspiration to all of us and we are hopeful that thousands of youngsters will take inspiration from him, and learn to work hard, with dedication and sincerity.

Take a Bow Tashi!! You have earned it!!



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