Updated: Dec 5, 2019
What thoughts will be on your mind if you are standing at a 500 feet high cliff which can kill you if you fall of it? Now let’s move 100 meters back from there, wear your gliding suit and start running towards the jump. Yes we are going to jump from the cliff. Your pilot is shouting at you “Run, run, run, run faster”, you do not have any option as the wind is perfect for the jump. You will have to keep on running and then suddenly there comes a point when you stop feeling the earth beneath your feet. You have actually jumped off the cliff and now you are a BIRD.
A bird that just learnt to open its wings and which took off its first flight.
This travelling experience of mine is from 2016, when I did paragliding for the first time in my life.
In my childhood I had an aspiration to become an Air Force pilot which I could never fulfill. I always have this craving of flying in air which still gives me an orgasmic feeling whenever I see an airplane.
Well this blog is not about my aspiration of flying a plane, in this blog I want to share about my thoughts which came before, during the flight and after I landed.
One day before paragliding, I decided to stay in a tent near the jumping point. Locals informed me that this place will be without electricity and phone network and I was happy, as this is what I needed in that moment.
I was so much at peace that night enjoying the bonfire under the moon light, dancing with few youngsters who were camping with me, sipping my drink and being in nature. There was no thought associated with the jump which was supposed to happen next day, no stress, no excitement, I was trying to live in the moment.
I slept in my tent and woke up early on the day of my jump to see the sun rise. And wooahhhh this day sun came with jewelry of so many clouds to prove its royalties as a king.
I sat there for a couple of hours, spoke to Sun, shouted Shiva’s name to hear my echo traveling from the Himalayan Mountains. Whenever I did that I felt as Shiva was replying back to me.
Then after spending some time there I went for my ride and I was scared a lot in that particular moment. The rider who had just jumped solo before me, I saw in his eyes and I perceived that emotion to be fear, I went to him and wished him luck. Now in this moment I am having doubts that do I have height phobia as well, I am not sure about it but then there came a voice “Jo hoga dekha jaayega” (will see whatever will happen)
Before the jump I went to the cliff end to see and feel the height my pilot called me to get ready as he could see the wind which will help us in the flight, yes he could see wind. He belongs to a local family who started paragliding as a profession in Bir Bling and scored 3rd Rank in World Paragliding championship. Once I was ready he shouted “run, run, run, run faster” and suddenly we were in air with our glider up and the go pro stick in my hand. In that moment I so much wished that I was not having that with me because I wanted to open my hands to feel like a bird but then I was a bit scared as well.
I was scared to see down but then I had to and I did, I saw small houses in this amazingly beautiful valley, I saw mountains dressed with snow on our right hand side and had this feeling to fly to them.
I saw a virgin waterfall somewhere which was shouting at me – Kshitij come and take a bath.
I shouted to my rider that life is so beautiful up here then why do people keep on cribbing about it.
He just smiled and kept silent; I think he has already achieved the understanding of life and its peace that he didn't say anything about it. Then I told him that I am coming back again to learn how to fly solo from him.
There was a moment when I was scared of death again and I wanted to finish the ride as soon as possible but I told myself, relax and be here , be in the moment.
After sometime I even stopped feeling my body and I was one with the Force. This was the moment when I blessed my family, mentors, friends and everyone who is associated with me.
We were flying like an eagle now, swinging like it and I could see other Para Gliders from this moment as well. I don’t know why but suddenly Arvind Bhai (my Pilot) said do you want to go up and I was like whattttttttt!! We can take elevation as well? He was like we can do a lot of things now. I approved of it as well. I so much wanted to see it. He did this flip and we were on a road to elevation. This was it for me, I surrendered everything now. Life and its limitations seemed so small here. It was like that if I can fly I can do anything.
Then I saw someone doing a zig zag below us and I asked Arvind bhai ‘yeh kya ho raha hai?’ (What is happening there?), he asked apko karna hai? (Do u want to do it?), I said yes.
The moment he started it I started feeling puckish and I shouted stop stop stop and he was such an amazing pilot that he did that in no moment.
Now I started feeling heaviness in my head and I was hoping it to end soon and then Arvind bhai told me two techniques of landing and told me which one to use.
In the landing I had to sit on my bums and when we landed it was like wow, I can feel my body again. I kissed the ground and just sat there for minutes. It was such a beautiful feeling to feel human again. Saw other gliders landing as well and saw the guy who was doing solo flight, I approached him, hugged him and congratulated him.
We (Kshitij and Vartika) got married on 17th April 2017 with a promise to each other that we will travel at least once a month and since then we have traveled to 76 destinations and still counting. With this travel blog we wish to inspire you to step out of the cubicle life and take the journey with your loved ones.
Kshitij and Vartika