Life lessons I took away after watching Neerja

Neerja is an Indian biographical thriller movie based on true incidence of plane hijack taken place in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5th September 1986. Though, the movie mainly focuses on the incidence of plane hijack and how Neerja thwarted the attempt, it gives us a glimpse of her personal life too. I liked the movie very much. Her life inspires us in many ways. There was a lot to learn from the movie. Below are some of the life lessons I learned after watching it.

Don’t let suffering weaken you

Neerja had suffered a lot after getting married to a guy who used to abuse and disrespect her over smallest of things. She adjusted and compromised to save her marriage but failed to do so. She eventually decided to leave her husband and return to her parents. She had gone through unbearable pain post her marriage. Nonetheless, the suffering made her strong. It made her believe that she can fight. And, win.

Someday, you are also going to suffer in your life and feel the pain. But, make sure you don’t let the suffering break you from inside. Suffering makes you strong. Don’t let it weaken you and destroy you.

Don’t panic

When the terrorists attacked, Neerja too initially had gotten scared like other passengers but kept her nerves down afterwards. She didn’t panic and did the best she could do in those circumstances. She showed the presence of mind by informing the pilots about the hijack in early minutes of attack. She kept herself calm during those horrifying hours and used her brain very well. The way she made things difficult for hijackers like by signaling Radio Engineer not to stand up, not collecting any American passport were proof that she was in well control of herself.

Come what may, you should not panic. Always try to keep your nerves down in critical circumstances.

Be brave

Neerja was not only a clever but also a brave girl. Everything that she did from informing pilots about hijack to sending passengers out from emergency exit shows us that she was brave. She had the courage to fight. She fought till her last breath.

Sometime, life demands the courage from you. In such times, be brave and fight.

Be human

How would you describe the character of a person who put herself in danger to save lives of others? I see Neerja as one of the great examples of selflessness and humanity. She went on to save kids in the middle of bullet firing at the risk of her own life. Hats off to the girl who didn’t think of number, fought till her last breath and tried to save as many of the passengers as possible!

We in the process of living forget who we really are. Being selfish and living for ourselves is easy but living for others is difficult. Not all of us can become Neerja but we definitely can become a good human being. Be selfless. Be kind. Be human.

Family is a real strength

One of the important reasons why Neerja became the Neerja we know today was because she had a very supportive family. Right from leaving her unworthy husband to choosing modeling as a career, her parents respected every decision she took in her life. They backed her up strongly when she decided to become flight attendant post separation with her husband.

Put your family at the top of priority list. Family is your real strength. It is the only and everlasting support system you will ever have in your life.

Follow your heart

Neerja followed her heart while taking decisions in her life. She was doing well in modeling but still went on to become flight purser because she wanted to become one. She had no regrets about what she did because she had followed her heart.

There are no certainties in life. Everything in life is uncertain so don’t waste time thinking what would be the best for you. Follow your heart and live freely.

Show commitment in whatever you do

As shown in the movie and as happened in real, Neerja could have easily slide down the chute from the emergency exit but she was the “captain”, who believed that she had to be the last person to quit – alive or dead. She was committed to her duty and remained till her last breath.

Whatever you do in your life, do it with passion and commitment. It makes the difference.

Be an inspiration

Neerja sacrificed her life to save hundreds of lives of others. She set the example of bravery, kindness and humanity for the world. She has inspired and is still inspiring billions of lives.

It doesn’t always take a great sacrifice to inspire others. The little acts of kindness and humanity are enough to inspire and do the wonders. Live, inspire and remember the lines that she said in the movie, ‘babumoshai zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahi‘ (life is supposed to be big, not long).

Pratik Akkawar

I am occasionally a poet, blogger and an amateur writer, trying to put my thoughts into words and sometimes words into poems.


  1. Yes, I liked the movie much but the main inspiration was the real person who lived courageously. I also read about her from the other sources like wiki and other sites. 🙂 Also, go for Nil battey sannata if you haven’t already watched. Specially recommended to you. 🙂

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