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!!!!


Anonymous said...

your earlier articles were better man..tho the topic was good this time but at some places u seemed to wander off

Amrut said...

SId RockS!!!!

KT said...

well read the blog quite late. May be at this point I should mention that my "adventure" a day later when we sat in the "giant wheel" wasn't less enterprising given that I hadn't ever tried these things.....well chalo if I am close to Mysore this year .... may be I will try bungee jumping too!!!

Cuckoo said...

Nicely put. I can't even think of doing a bungee jumping though I am quite a brave girl (it's another thing that even a cockroach can scare me off ;)).

The most adventerous thing I have ever done in life is entering the Tower of Terror in Disneyland when everybody else was taken aback for my daring decision. Will tell about it some other time.