Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sky diving! What it feels like.

Writing a new post after almost a year :)

Penning it down here.. so that can relive that moment when i did the jump from 10000 feet up in the sky (if i ever read it again).

It was one of few things that i wanted to do before my final bye. What an experience it was.

It all started a week or two before September 13, 2017.. Because that's the day i called skyhigh people and posted an inquiry of what am thinking and am i even eligible :D (No no am not low on self confidence.. but may be a bit high on weight and that's one of the factor) but other things were on my side.. No fear of adventure and not married so a free bird(bird, who want to jump)

Lady who answered from other side.. sounded quite charming and after a few discussion over call, asked for any discount on offer and she managed to provide me one that was sweet from her side(and as the proverb says "poochoge nahin toh milega bhi nahin!"). In the mean time i kept asking and convincing people at my work place and few close friends of mine but am not that good negotiator or they are too good at their stringency.

Is spending 30-40K INR is also concern for them (which I seriously think that's not the case for many but i could be wrong, as have been very wrong on my other occasions) or may be the factor of fear "hota hai ke kai logon se nain hota" but i was determined and didn't want to loose on "no companion" thing. So paid the costing and got a slot booked for October 07, 2017 even though i wanted it for September 16, 2017 but that was not available "der he aaye but durusht aaye".

At the time of booking one need to provide general details which gets over email(very general questions) but also one thing is that one need to be less than 90Kgs and should get a general fitness certificate from a legal doctor, which one need to carry along on the jump day and this certificate is attached(in original copy) along with 6-7 forms that one need to fill and sign just before the jump.

Now things were sorted out.. slot was booked and i was waiting for day to come but to my luck was not able to convince any one to come and jump along 'abb kya karein koi sunta he nahin hai'

Got the medical certificate from a doctor just two days before the jump and was all set to take the plunge on October 7, 2017.

But my cousin brother Mr Prem volunteered to accompany me on the day which turned out to be good for me and him too. I was supposed to be at the place at around 11.00am and as it was about 3hour drive from my Dwarka, New Delhi residence so started at 7:30am

And we were driving our 525d for the first time on a kind of long route(about 320+km to and fro) and we got on to G.Noida Taj express way.. I think you can see that smile that comes up when a express way road like that is in front(in India) and you are driving a sheer driving pleasure machine from behind the wheels. Can you see that smile?

Aisa nahi hai ke isse pahle haven't driven 200+kmph but this time it was the beemer and it has 3000cc of straight in-line 6 cylinders and driving this to those speeds was also the hidden agenda for the day which i have not disclosed to my family members but few of friends must have guessed that from what ever they know about me) So we pushed the throttle and wooosh that power and that planted feeling and then those lane changing confidence. That was tremendous. (I know its a general complain for those who are behind but "yeh aage waale ghoomne aaye hain kya and why they keep snailing on over-take lane". Very lame but thats the true feeling that i get).

But we did touched 220+kmph and it never felt out of way or its not in my control and breaking was spot on.



But soon we hit the toll plaza paid Rs 190.00 for return toll fare and did a left exit towards Aligarh. Road was not good.. single lane with craters from moon but hanging fruit is far sweeter so went on. Then hit the road block at "khair" and it was so jammed that all car type vehicles were making u-turns and going everywhere and we being completely new to that route didn't know where to head to. Upon suggestion from a local guy did took a kaccha raste from village


and believe me that road(which is an exaggeration) was not even wider than my car..(the darker route on above map) only i know what balls it takes to drive the only bmw that one owns on those pathways. Here my cousin had to board out and guide me to take particular spots for those Tyres, couple of times. That helped.. but if i ever be in that situation again.. i will prefer to sleep in engine-running stationary car and wait for the traffic jam to clear. Will not take that route again.

Eventually after another hour drive got the place we were at the gates of Skyhigh




Met Mr. Rudra(CEO, Founder Skyhigh) and he was coordinating a jump already in progress. I saw a parachute getting deployed and then after 4-5 seconds started hearing screams MC,BC, maar daala mar gaya and what not :D
That was the glimpse of what i have thought (may be) but can feel the adrenalin rush.
Am not able to recall the name of jumper but he was a Haryana guy (from Bhiwani) with tattoos all around and damm!! woh toh dikh he raha tha :D

But i was next in the queue.. anxious as ever to be in the air. But ohoo hoo who will fill and sign those 7 pages of forms, disclaimer and what not. After all the formalities met Mr R. Soundara Rajan(Tandem Instructor) who is going to dive with me.. or i should rather say am going to dive with him. He is 57 years old Ex MWO from IAF. Very interesting guy haven't met somebody of that age so happy content and passionate of what he was doing.

Got to his bay, made to see a few videos and then the formal training begun. The Arc and the Banana position with tucked hands of front shoulder and with counting the tap gesture and what not.
I was very sure that's easy for me to recall and proceed with whatever taught, even up in the air and was more than ready to take off.. But hey where is the harness :D


Here he is (Mr R. Soundara) helping me out with harness and ties. Explaining bits and pieces again and again so that i can have all in my memory and here is the parachute

Came to know later that this tandem parachute cost about 25L still sounds unbelievable to ears.

Looking all ready for a video log :D

am in this plane, just before take off
And here we go.
I was lucky, generally in a tandem jump there is no other individual jumps along so whatever is recorded gets recorded by GoPro mounted on arm of tandem jumper. But in my case Mr Rudra was accompanying us as an independent individual jumper with another GoPro on his helmet and in the air he did recorded me. I don't know what was my state and how was i reacting at that moment (as videos and snaps will take about 15 days..(in a separate usb) am desperately waiting for them now. Anyway returning back

Plane started climbing at 3000feet (on analog altimeter reading) we were getting the google map view of Aligarh airstrip and as plain was in climb mode so the google map was zooming out more. at around 6000feet i have moved so that Mr Soundara can attach my harness with parachute and him self. Temperature has fallen down considerably.. i can feel it. At around 8000feet the sky has turned more blue and i can see the slight horizon curve with white and blue partition.

Imagine this.. you are in a plane which has no doors and you are at the edge.. you can feel the chill and air speed with hurling sound of propeller in your ears and in a few seconds that moment is going to come where you are going to take THE plunge and before all this, that beautiful raw naked view of horizon. I was more thrilled than any nervousness, was thinking of what would that moment and now just wanted to go ahead because i have this mantra.. i don't want to wait and get scared of from the feeling of any scary near future.. whatever that is, it should happen now :D

And that moment came.. Now i have to stand on that 4inch by 2 feet ramp with just support of my foot heels and the next moment on the direction made an arc and then the drop and a huge silence.. Its like am dead with my senses working but no processing from mind. Its like drowning in air. Its like void. Its like being starked and then i got the tap on my shoulder from behind and was switched on O my God!! O my God!! O My god!! were the only words that i was able to speak. It was a super awesome feeling. Am still in free fall and i can see my self dropping pixel perfect at on point with what speed! (You know what! if this is the speed that one can feel then i will say i missed on opportunities of being an airborne individual of any kind) and landed on software technologies.. but jo bhi mila hai sab badhiyan he hai.. jo nahin mila woh aur badhiyan :)

But now am enjoying the camera attention, shouting things and enjoying the fall.. i don;t know for how long things lasted but for whatever time i was in free fall that looked very thrilling and full paisa vasool moment and then the time came where parachute was about to be deployed and zook!! it goes.. Thighs ke toh lag gaye thee ekdum :D because of harness and belts.. but fikr ka priority was no where in the picture. Mid way, also was given assisted control of parachute and made sharp u turns :D.. Yaad karke bhi goosebumps aajate hain.

And soon we landed safely on ground on our bums. For some reason my cousin thinks that am hiding the feeling of landing on bums (and from his perspective crash landing on bums ha ha ha) but actually it was not painful at all and believe me, am man enough to accept if i get injuries down there :D

Look at the video.. am in that multi color parachute

And we landed safe and sound. Taking out my harness and stuff and am still sinking in!!

Got a certificate of jump had a very simple lunch at a small hut, had few more words with Mr R. Soundara Rajan. He looked a good man to me. He will be always be remembered by me whenever will recall this jump. Thank you sir.

And then we returned back Me, My cousin, Our car and one another guy.. whom we dropped of to Noida (as he was suppose to go for some urgent needs. Humne poocha toh sahi but yahan batana i don;t think its relevant) But he did got scared of sitting in car which is doing 180kmph but he is not scared of jumps.. he was an intern and already had 400 jumps by his name.

Wait here is my sweetheart in white parked and waiting for our return :D One hell of a machine and one hell of love.


Got to home and slept a whole night and half of the next Sunday.

A piece of free advice: If you ever and i mean it if you ever get chance to do it go ahead and do it there is just no feeling like this. No matter what reason you have prepared and no matter who all are stopping you. Its only you that needs to take the plunge.
And if possible don;t make any other Praveen with "No Companion" moment for dive :D Bullshit!

Sky diving! What it feels like.

Writing a new post after almost a year :) Penning it down here.. so that can relive that moment when i did the jump from 10000 feet up in...