Air India has the distinct honour of being the flagship carrier of the country, the first homegrown airline to cleave our skies. The airline gave us the iconic Maharaja, extended our native brand of hospitality, and remains the only airline that continues to give us free food even in Economy Class.

With some digging that took us back to 1946 we found beautifully preserved photographs in black and white, pictures of Air India flight attendants in sharp, smart dresses, carefully groomed, and anachronistically ahead of their time.

The pictures taken by Margaret Bourke-White have been able to safe-keep a legacy and offers us a keyhole glimpse of an India that was still freshly independent.