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How I felt like a “Peregrine Falcon” and later an “Albatross”!!!!

November 29, 2008

One of the things that have always fascinated me from childhood has been the “Power of Flight”. So in those hot afternoons that I spent in Chennai, as a young lad, I used to spend a lot of time gazing at the birds that flew all over the city.
My favorites include the “Crow”, for its sheer ingenuity in flight and its acrobatics and the Eagle which used to soar high and handsome above the scorched lands of Chennai and I always used to wonder as to how it would feel to be in their shoes (or claws maybe).
Thankfully after waiting for around 25 years, I did get an opportunity to go Skydiving three months back when I was in California and I can guarantee that it is the ultimate rush (not roller coaster rides, not bungee jumping; been there and done it).

The most difficult part of the task was to get a friend to go along with me and thankfully my friend Mr. AT was literally ready to take the plunge. Basically the jump consists of two parts; the free fall where you feel like a “Peregrine falcon” and the parachute phase where you keep floating above the earth like an “Albatross”.

So finally after getting through a couple of hitches (rain delays, advance booking and permission from mom), we finally went for our sky dive to a place called Lompoc which was around 150 miles from where we stayed in LA. We choose the place, more for its location than for what it had to offer!!
It was a beautiful drive right through the Pacific coast and the ride was just brilliant!

Even though I did prepare myself for the jump for a week, the realization that I was going to do something insane only came to me when I was literally about to jump from the “small unpretentious plane” from a height of 13,000 feet. Even though I was strapped on to the instructor and even when he assured me that he had a second chute with him, all the insecurities came rushing back at that moment. Another thing that I did notice at that time was the sheer beauty of our earth!

(Best one I could find as I looked hideous in the others: LOL)
Finally when our turn came, the instructor pushed me out without much ado (I did not even get to jump!!!!) and there we were; 2 guys falling down at the speed of 160 km/hr and the feeling is something that just cannot be described. I literally believed that I was flying at that point. The free fall lasted exactly 45 seconds and then the chutes opened.

The first phase, the free fall which was the most thrilling experience was soon followed up with the Parachute phase which was surreal!
At that height, one cannot hear anything and now, I know exactly as to how the eagles feel when they soar above Mother Earth.


Even after I landed, my heart was still soaring in the clouds and it took a week for life to come back to normal………………..
Damn, I am and will always be jealous of those professional Skydivers and those birds… They get to do it for a living!!!!! while all I get to do is sit behind a computer and only exercise my finger muscles and not the ones that matter 🙂

PS: I just had to write something positive with all the negativity going around thanks to the LeT or the DM. I am amazed at the resilience of this great city…. A city that never stops…..
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. J P Joshi permalink
    November 30, 2008 4:48 pm

    Love your spirit. My daughter did this some time back. Hats off to your mom for letting you go ahead. I am a fighter pilot, have ejected once but when it came to our daughter, we would have said – para jump, what for? No, its not okay. However, she never gave us the opportunity – she just went ahead and did it and sent us photographs.

    Try gliding – it is even better. You are sitting on a seat but the wind hits you in the face at a speed that gives one the thrills but does not make the eyes water.

  2. How do we know permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:15 pm

    Hey Congratulations!! Someday, perhaps, i will do this too.

  3. Ajit permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:29 pm

    @JPJ,
    man, it must be something else… to be a fighter pilot….
    I salute you……..

    @”HDWK”,
    Thanks….
    you should try it….. it is a great experience for people like us….. (ordinary citizens)…

  4. Ajit permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:30 pm

    yeah, and I will try para gliding sometime…… when I get the oppurtunity….

  5. Joey permalink
    December 2, 2008 4:01 pm

    hey dude , i feel that this was not the right time to write something like this… as a committed Indian you should ve written some strong words against whats happening in our country….

  6. Ajit permalink
    December 2, 2008 4:04 pm

    @ Joey,
    Many people have written a lot about it and I feel that I just cannot contribute any more to that…. that Is why I thought I would write about something positive….

  7. Indian Home Maker permalink
    December 3, 2008 5:37 pm

    In all my upset last week I hardly read any posts and hence missed this cheerful post! Beautifully described, can feel the joy you felt. Congrats 🙂

    Today is a day to warm our unhappy hearts 🙂
    You may like to take a look at, d Ritu’s post, here
    http://www.phoenixritu.com/2008/12/03/masks-and-excuses/

  8. Ajit permalink
    December 3, 2008 5:58 pm

    thanks…
    and I did read the post….
    maybe there is truth in what she has to say….
    let us hope for our sake, that is not the case 😦

  9. Aathira permalink
    December 12, 2008 5:11 am

    Awesome! I have so wanted to do this, but I have not been presented with the opportunity and also never had the guts also! But I am so so J that you went there and did it!

  10. Ajit permalink
    December 12, 2008 5:37 am

    Thanks Aathira…. 🙂

  11. Ajit permalink
    December 12, 2008 5:43 am

    and you should try to sometime….
    I very highly recommend it 🙂

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