Saturday, October 08, 2005

BUngeee JUmping!!!

It is dusshera time in Mysore. It is the host to the most splendid Dusshera celebrations in India and I was lucky to be here at this moment. Lucky, plainly because this time adventure sports were introduced as part of the celebrations and it helped me fulfil one of my long time wish – Bungee Jumping. They say it is one of the most extreme adventure sport where a rope is tied to your legs and you jump from hundreds of feet above the ground under the effect of gravity. I love adventure. But apart from a few treks and a climb to 3rd highest peak of Karnataka, I have not had a chance for a real adventure – like river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, canoeing etc.
But the celebration of Good over evil this year offered me a chance to experience something different, something thrilling.
It was a bright sunny morning today. Amit had some work in the city, we had a bike to our disposal and it was decided that after his work we will go and have some fun. I had been imagining for last some days that how would I feel once I am there on top and ready to jump. What would I be thinking and what would I say to myself if the element called fear came in the way. After all it’s not a child’s play to jump from 120 Feet. Yes that was the height from where I was to perform the stunt.
I didn’t have concrete thoughts. May be I would repeat the dialogue “Mausijiiiii” - dharamnedra style from Sholay. May be that would help me calm my nerves.
Nevertheless we reached the Dusshera grounds at around 12.00. The sun was shining brightly and it was a bit hot. There was a tall trolley kind of thing there with a cabin kept on the ground. I understood that this would be hoisted at the top and I would be jumping from there. I enquired about the jump and was informed that I had to undergo some mandatory medical check up before it. My weight, blood pressure and pulse were checked and I was asked about any medical history, allergies etc. And I am thankful that I am a healthy person. My Pulse was a bit high. May be it was anxiety. The doctor told me to calm down and not be tense. But I was not tense. I just wanted to climb up there and Jump. I don’t know if it happens with any one else. But whenever I lay on a doctors table for some check up or something. I tend to get anxious. It is the surroundings, the atmosphere.

Any ways, after the test I had to sign on some documents stating I held the responsibility for the jump and they would have no responsibility and all that crap. I signed them.
Two big spongy flaps were then tied on my legs then. On top of it a strong belt was wrapped around. Many turns were given to it and my legs were tightly packed. I had to hop to the ‘cage’ the cabin from where I had to jump. One ‘master’ – who was not a old chap but a very young fellow with experience of quite many jumps who went along with me. Before that I was tied to the cabin and the big fat rope – the rope which would stop my fall in between and prevent me kissing the earth. There was a checklist and the person in charge checked for all things which were found in place. As soon as the ticks were marked on the sheet, the cabin was ordered to go up. I was standing in the edge and asked the ‘master’ if I could come inside the cage, expecting atleast some relief brfore falling. “No”, He replied. “Keep standing there”. The heart beats increased as the cabin climbed up in air with help of a complex mechanical gearing mechanism. Pleasantly the weather had changed and clouds had covered the sky (You can see the background in the photo). Master kept on talking. He guided me about how I would have to make the jump. I had to turn around, take a deep breath and just jump. I was busy gathering in the surroundings. It was excellent. I could see Mysore from a height. I was above the trees and could see the huge city on one side and the lovely green Chamundi Hills on the other. I was asked to take deep breaths and see around and absorb the surroundings and ask if I had any doubts about the procedure to jump. I had none. Then I turned. And an amzing sight met my eyes. I was standing face to face the Majestic Mysore palace. I was at a height nearly equal to its height. And my eye level was the same as the peak of the towers at the palace. After all I was at 120 feet. If u take the height of a floor of a building as around 10 feet, then it would amount to 12 floors!!!!
Then I looked down. Ohh man!! Then I realized the gravity of the situation. Everything was so small from such a height that I had difficulty spotting even Amit !! 2 – 3 layers of weak old mattresses kept there which was looking like some bigger than normal bricks kept. What would they do if by any chance I fall down. The master then asked me to look at the palace and take deep breaths. I did. Then I was asked to put my hands in diving position and jump. I could not help looking down. I had decided that at any cost I was not going to close my eyes and miss the wonderful spectacle of earth approaching under the effect of gravity.
I took a step forward. My mind went blank – absolutely blank. I was on the edge of a lose cabin which was hanging loosely in air at 120 feet. Somewhere the mind said, "bloody shit – what am I doing". But it was very deep inside the mind and it had no time to come up. I took a final deep breath and Plunged. I shrieked loudly. But honestly it was not out of fear. It was out of sheer thrill. I saw the ground approaching faster. I could see a square piece of some cement thing kept directly under me. It was of blue color and in no time I could se it big. Then there was a sudden jerk and I was pulled up suddenly. The rope had survived the jump and as a result I had too. I swung wildly in air for some time which may be was a few seconds only!!! This was a wonderful experience. I saw everything around swinging inverted and with thrill and the chill still there in my bones. Gradually the cabin was brought down and the experience ended. I saw the video which amit had made. Sadly he missed the actual jump and shot only after I had jumped. There were some handshakes with the master and some other people. I thanked them and it was the end of a wonderful experience which cost me 500 bucks but were worth it. I am planning to go again in the evening or may be tomorrow.

Oct 9.. day 2... i was there again in the evening... it was a different spectacle.. the city was lit with lights.. and as I climbed to do the jump second time...the mysore palace shining in yellow was awesome...there were zero nerves this time.... even the doctor recognized me and didnt do the checkup ;)...but the experience was somewhat different considering the 100 odd bypassers looking at how I performed... and 2 mobile - cameras recording my jump!!! the videos have come out excellent!!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Special Mechies!!!

They say the time spent in college is the best one in your whole life. For me, they indeed were. Being a part of mechanical gang was an added advantage. Your best friends for life are made in college. I was no different. If I divulge deeper I am able to differentiate these friends into 3 groups, though the line dividing these groups is hazy. It is somewhat like a rainbow where you can differentiate the colors but the point where these colours change is difficult to identify. The groups I have made are mainly according to the nature and history of our friendships. How these were formed and in what ways these blossomed.
The first group is the friends forever group – without whom my existence would be worthless. I would have to start a separate blog if I want to write about them.
The second one would be one comprising Kunnu, Chunnu, Thakur and Singal. I would be soon be writing about them.
The 3rd group is also a mechie one, which came close at the time of placements. Here I would like to introduce this group of friends. Most of us came really close during the last year of the college.
One year can be so long and so short. Long in terms that we got to know so much about each other during this period and short because this time was so less to have fun, more dinners at Sher-e- Punjab or play cricket or to catch a movie at FR or to have night outs or just sit at Lake and listen to the PJ’s of the two members of the group.

Now Meet the gang:-

1. Vinod Trehan ( a.k.a TRAINNN)
I start with this guy whom I am really fond of. There will never be a dull moment when he is around. The most extrovert person I have ever seen, he is ready to help others, take responsibilities( like taking printouts/Photostats for t eh whole class) and is very confident. A true friend indeed. His outgoing nature can be really infectious. An ardent fan of both soccer and cricket, he himself is an active participant in both games. In fact he was our own “PEC Express”. Having shattered many stumps, seeing Trainn charging down his long run up sent chills down many a spines.( But Train, I cannot forget a six I hit you – I must say it was a great challenge to play you). His PPJ’s( poorest of poor Jokes) must be still reverberating in Mechanical deptt. Honestly, whenever I hear a PJ, two faces come to my mind – One is ofcourse Trainn’s and the second of the person described below – Mr. Gosain.

2. Avnish Gosain ( a.k.a Goss/Paanchu)
Another Master of PJ’s, this guy has a smile on his face- always. Unfortunately for him, sometimes his serious talk is also considered a joke only. But wait! Serious?? – Gosss… when was that ??? Anyone kindly fire my memory.!!! I have realized why he is so thin – there is no blood in his veins. It is all humour. He can make you laugh no matter what the situation is. His style of telling incidents is tremendous – specially the one where MLG tells why Infosys took in bulk from PEC and didn’t go to Thapar. An early sleeper, I don’t think he has survived any Night outs. Was still perfecting speaking Punjabi even before going to Japan!!

3. Tanuj Gupta (a.k.a Tanny Boy)
The rocker, The headbanger, the cool dude of Mechanical. I got inspired for writing this because of him only. I’ll tell you how. I was listening to Nirvana when I wondered when did I start listening to rock. Tanny Boy came to my mind immediately and that is when I decided to pen this write up. It was the first time in his car that we came face to face with Nirvana, Megadeth etc. and gradually I had added one more genre of music to my playlist. Many CD’s were written on his Comp and I owe his scanner most of the soft copy collection of my photographs. A very simple person with an innocent face but with a violently ROCKing Heart, he has some cool collection of T shirts- ofcourse with rock all over it. 1 thing I really envy – His wonderful camera which weighs a ton and whose full functionalities even he is unaware of!!

4. Gaurav Sharma (a.k.a Makhan)
The first word that comes to your mind when you think of this guy is “Jugad”. He will have a answer for everything you put to him, A workaround for every situation. An avid palm reader, he always studies the fortune lines only on Mondays – For us Boys that is. For Girls it is 24 x 7. . Being the Placement Secy, he had a hand in getting jobs for many of us. Handsome, Smart and popular among the opposite sex, most part of the first three years in college passed in company of Electrical gals. But we all had quite some fun in all the numerous parties and Night outs during the final year. Cheerful and vibrant, we formed quite a team while doing a course for Oracle. I would never forget those days. There were 2 more members to that team - Tanny and Mr. Tarundeep Singh

5. Tarundeep Singh (a.k.a Sardar)
Well, first we were together in M4 practicals (sub grp of mechanical), then we got placed in same company, then we became flat mates in Hyderabad and then room mates in Mysore..So it has been a long journey for us with the intensity and depth of friendship ever increasing. We shared quite many similar interests and one thing that will come to anyone’s mind who has stayed with him is his long turban. He used to be the first to get up in the morning and last to be ready to go to office. A jolly young fellow with a smile on his face always during the college days, he became a mind of tense thoughts later. I really hope that after earning 40K’s p.m he has his smile back on his face now.

All in all mechanical was a big united Gang but these people had a special effect on my life!!!!!

One Expression that will always Bind Us: AINNNNNNNNNNN.................................

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Home Away from Home

1. Let’s start with a normal day. Unwantingly and lazily u need to get up in the morning, no matter u stay at home or away from home. One difference here can be that at home ur mother forcefully removes ur bed sheet, pulls the curtains away which leaves no option but to get up. Ur roommates will rarely do that. They make attempts to awaken you but if u don’t, they will let u enjoy the sleep – after all that is what they also want to do. The result of this Can be u reaching office at Lunch time.

2. Now suppose you get up on time and reach the office. Here u wont be served Aloo paranthas with a kilo of white butter on top and a glass of lassi to go with it. You need to stand in a queue and often juggle between 2 -3 caterers to get a glass of juice and a stale looking bread omelet with a bread slice measuring an inch square.. O.k. not literally but I guess u got the meaning.

3. Now in lunch too there are no hot chapattis with green vegetables, curd etc for u on a platter. Again u have to stand in a much longer queue and hope that the food doesn’t get over by the time ur turn comes. No need to compare the food, I guess. All you find is 3 – 4 colours in ur plate. The question “What did you eat in lunch” can be asked in Kaun banega crorepati and let me tell you, the lifeline “Phone a Friend” won’t be useful there.

4. In the evening again u need to struggle to go up to the supermarket to get a packet of milk. Just tear open the packet and drink it. Who will wash the utensils!!!!

5. Now normal dinner story would have gone the lunch way but lets suppose you have a Project party. Now there won’t be any calls every half an hour asking “when u will reach home?” You can easily have 2 rounds of bowling, then a lavish dinner party. When u reach back home theer would be no anxious faces pacing down the drawing room. Just go, change ur clothes/ remove ur clothes / be in ur same office clothes and lie down and sleep peacefully.

6. Sleep peacefully bcoz in the morning there wud be no questioning that why are the clothes lying somewhere on the floor or why the almirah is not set and all things are just bundled up there. Do whatever u like – live the way u want!! Ya, there can be some sporadic comments from ur roomies about being messy but u may also be the cleanest person among them despite being the untidiest at home!!

7. Washing clothes is a major headache but it is somewhat reduced if u have a maid. But it leads to another problem. Identifying ur clothes from among all the washed ones. At Home everything was sorted and neatly set into ur almirah. But here u need to carefully find ur belongings (Remembering whether ur underwear is Jockey Poco or Jockey Rio is an important part of it!). The minutest of differences in Socks are to be carefully analyzed before the partition takes place.

8. If after a month of eating junk, u fall ill then instead of tender motherly love u experience not so tender but still caring brotherly love from ur roomies. Its not the full of care “Beta, have this medicine but don’t take it empty stomach. Have some bananas first.” Instead it is something like, “Abey Idiot! Are you mad? Why the hell are you having the medicine empty stomach? Just eat at least a banana man!!”

9. God save you if u have a broken button or a torn cloth. U need to keep it separate for the week end. And on the week end, u get up fresh and the first thing u do is go an buy a needle and thread. Then next hour or so is spent in thread finding the hole in the needle ( ok I am exaggerating here!) If u succeed, the rest of the afternoon goes in somehow making a joint so that it holds at least till a week. If not, that garment may well be disposed instead of spending another day on it.

10. At home having maggi was a big occasion. There was an excitement because u used to get to make it on ur own. Now u drag urself to kitchen when u r hungry – find something – fin only magi. Make it and eat uit. A regular work. No excitement at all. And Not to mention the Big Fight over who is going to wash the utensils. Its better to cut out the tasks before hand.

All in all it’s a nice independent experience to have a home away from home. From the entirely dependent life to doing everything on ur own ( with support from roomies), U learn a lot and become more mature.