Of Tequilas and Jumping Out Of Planes
The evening before had been a Tequila Fest. A blood test might have revealed some traces of Scotch too. The beep of the phone woke me up. On the other side, was this guy. If it weren’t for him, I might not have experienced how jumping from 15000 feet felt.
Our destination was a town called Cuautla (Mexico) in the neighboring state of Morelos. Our driver was a friendly Mexican chap whom we had known from our daily commute to work. It took us nearly two hours before we came in sight of flying planes, a large rectangular green strip and all things typical of a Sky Diving venue. The journey had been spent in mostly fantasizing about how it would feel to do what we had embarked upon, apart from desperate measures to get rid of the Tequila that had flooded the insides.
The dame on the registration desk handed over a form. It was an official, sophisticated version of a suicide note. It stated that I was fully aware of what I was getting into and also that I might not get out of it. I wished I couldn’t find a pen to sign it but she handed me that too. I pledged myself.
Slow and Steady
I took my own sweet time in getting into the gear and because I was the last one to board the aircraft, I felt at ease just a tad bit. FIFO (First In First Out) was my algorithm of choice but LIFO (Last In First Out) was the unanimous choice. With sweat dripping down my forehead, I managed to smile for the camera. While the trainer tightened the harness, I felt curling and tightening in my insides. This wasn’t just any other airplane journey. It was like the rare one where one had to take the emergency exit. I must have said a silent prayer.
There were indicators for altitude and air-pressure inside the aircraft. The trainers’ eyes were glued to it while they chit-chatted. I tried to recollect the instructions that were given pre-boarding but my mind drew a blank. In vain, I tried to rack my brains. Then, there was an alarm and the door opened. I recollect people around me smiling. I couldn’t reciprocate, however. I’m not sure till date if it was a push from the trainer or it was a slip from my side or something else, but there I was – In The Air!
For the first few seconds, I felt like a bird learning to fly. I had wings but didn’t know how to flap them.
Finally, it sinks in
Then, the parachute was pulled out. And with it came a jolt which pulled me up. It felt like the end of days for a split second but then the world seemed beautiful. The cool breeze soothed my senses and I loved what I saw – clouds above me, hills and water bodies below me! It felt like being suspended in heaven.
An Accomplished Bloke
This jump dates back to November 2011 but even today when I see the video, it gives me goose-bumps. Yes, I had put myself out of my comfort-zone but it was worth it. Besides, being comfy all the time is just plain boring. Upon landing, I had imagined myself turning into a celebrity and people running towards me to click pictures and get autographs. None of that happened, alas! However, a feeling of accomplishment was quite conspicuous.