Srinagar: At 17, Ayesha Aziz is set to become the youngest girl from Kashmir to get a commercial pilot's licence.
Sitting in a verdant Srinagar garden she recounts how she always dreamed of flying planes and how a meeting with her hero, astronaut Sunita Williams fired that dream.
"I admired her (Sunita Williams) and kept reading about her life, her autobiography and more. Destiny favoured me, I visited NASA and met her," says young Ayesha.
Last year, Ayesha completed a two-month advanced space training course at NASA. She was among the three Indians picked for the course.
Ayesha's family belongs to the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir, but now lives in Mumbai. That is where Ayesha became the youngest Kashmiri girl to be given a student pilot license by the prestigious Bombay Flying Club. Ayesha has holds a flight radio telephone operator licence.
She began training in school. "When I was a child I always dreamt of doing something which would be different, to do something where women are less. If you go for something new and different, you create an example not only for yourself but also for others," says the confident teen.
Abdul Aziz, Ayesha's Father says the sky is the limit for his daughter. "I can put her on track, then, it is up to her," he says.