Written by Mithra Srini.
A mundane life. Day after day I did one thing..I lived. Not a day or two…almost 2 years. My alarm would go off at 6 am. I diligently get up and make arrangements to live off the day without hunger. Pack my bag, drive to the office, come back, eat dinner and sleep. I would practically go into a deep slumber the moment my head hit the pillow. Till that day I had no idea how on earth 2 years passed by without even remembering living it. Of course, I hung out with my friends, movies, picnics…all these things happened. But deep down, something was missing. Something was terribly amiss…I was not excited to live. There was nothing to look forward to.
It started slow…the sensation of boredom and frustration. My alarm became my enemy, my drive was tiring, my colleagues started sounding stupid, my work was not fruitful….it just went on. One over the other, the stones piled up. One fine day, I burnt my food and the precarious pile of stones came tumbling down. I was done !!!
What is the worst thing that could happen to a person?? You MAY die. You see there is always an uncertainty in life that cannot be avoided. Before everything here starts sounding like a cry for help to make my life better, I had decided then and there, standing in my kitchen that I was going to do something that will make up for my boring life. My detest for water made me reach for the sky. I chose Skydiving.
With the help of a social app, I found myself a coupon for jumping to my death for a cheap price. In return, they sent me a 10-page document describing their well-trained crew, what I should be doing, and what are the risks in doing this. These were just the headings…I didn’t read anything else in it. Signed it and sent it back. I closed my laptop and vowed not to think of it until the day I would jump. I fared really well on this one. Two weeks later, palms sweating, nerve cracking, and a dried-up mouth, I stood in the office of Hollister Skydiving office, thinking how the hell did I end up here. To top it off, the receptionist inquired if I would like to rise my jump height from 11,000 ft to 13k or 15k? How crazy !!!
I don’t remember shaking my head for a no, but I guess the receptionist was smart enough to decipher it on her own. I came out to the open ground adjacent to the office. Apart from me, there were 5 others, who had decided to challenge their fate that same day. We were each assigned to an instructor who explained to us how this entire affair was going to be executed. Half processing the instruction, I wore my jumping suit. I was barely adjusted in my new costume, when my instructor tapped me on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. It will be fine and you will love it. It’s time to go.” I smiled back at my instructor, and we as a group started walking towards our helicopter.
You might think that you will do great things in your life….something so particularly chosen, that it will bring to the foreground your deepest and truest self. This was one of those incidents for me. I knew it was there, right inside me, the fear. It held its space in my stomach and wouldn’t let go. It numbs my senses, blocks my mind and screams with such high pitch that I am sure I heard but couldn’t prove. Deceitful isn’t it? It makes you alive and dead at the same time. Such is its profound presence that when thinking back of this time, later the same day, you won’t remember an ounce of it. That is exactly what happened to me. All I remember was getting into the helicopter and buckling my back strap to that of my instructor.
All this while I was hard-wired to the point that I had to jump out of a helicopter and but never once realised that I will be standing on that edge in front of my instructor looking down to the infinite space, while my instructor contemplated on when to jump. I am an idiot !!! It felt like an eternity before he said, “Almost there, Ready to jump?” As if no was an option. I said yes with eyes so rigidly shut, wondering if at all, were eyes necessary. (How wrong I was.) I heard a one, a two and a wind pressure so forceful, I was surprised we were not pushed right back into the helicopter. Apparently gravity wins all the time.
Beyond the threshold of helicopter doors lies a world every human should experience once in their lifetime. It is nothing like you have seen before. Trust me when I say this, photos do not do justice to what the eyes can see. I opened my eyes just a tad bit, truthfully, to check if my eyes are still working and if so, do I want to keep it open? And I opened my eyes. Something fell into place. I realised, my stomach was knot-free, my mind working furiously to capture all the beauty the eyes could see, hands wide open, a grin so wide had crept up on my face (I came to know of this only in the photos), and a heart-pounding so hard to catch up with happiness.
After the shortest 45 seconds of my life, the free fall ended and my instructor pulled open the parachute. For the next 10 minutes, we floated around in the sky. I saw harmoniously working mother earth. Hills and its hidden rivers, squares of farmland and desert, civilization moving, cattle and herds, clear sky and shaded buildings, everything and nothing. Two eyes were not enough. With the slow descent towards Earth, my mind wandered back to a few feet above. I came to the baby pose as my instructor did his runway stunt and landed my safely back to ground. My strap was detached and I sat there on the ground thinking nothing. We got into a car which took us back to the main office, the whole while staring out and thinking nothing.
Genuinely, even today, I can never put words to what I felt in those 30 minutes. I did this in the pursuit of excitement, which I did achieve in the initial stage; but after that, it was pure bliss. It is true that this world is our oyster, but remember it isn’t the pearls (literally) that always bring happiness; it is these audacious and undaunted decisions that show us why life is worth living.
Step out and do something crazy; you will love yourself more !!
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Mithra Srini is an engineer with a penchant for curiosity for creating contents. She believes in enjoying every day to the fullest while seeking adventurous activities and reading books which definitely her regular go-to thing. Currently, she is on an earnest mission on becoming a better person through travel, writing and learning.