“Do you like paragliding?”- Mom asked
I didn’t want to answer.
She repeated the question and added, “Why don’t you like adventure sports?”
She is the Lady Gabbar Singh in our house. Though at 40 she is almost a senior citizen, she loves all kinds of adventure. She has tried all adventure sports while at Goa be it riding a high speed motor boat to the sea, or banana ride, paragliding, dolphin sighting and others. Me and my Dad – we take life peacefully. We enjoy good food, the lovely beaches, taking a dip while Ma is away indulging in something exciting.
But this time, she is adamant on making me and my Dad experience the extreme thrill of adventure sports and she will have her way.
We visited Diveagar, located 175 km away from Mumbai. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Diveagar has one of the most serene and beautiful beaches. It is a popular tourist destination. We reached Diveagar in the afternoon of one fine weekend with few of my friends and their families. On the way, we were on an eating spree- Vada Pav, Kothimbir Vadi, Sheera etc were being consumed as if there is no tomorrow.
The next day we visited the beach and we saw people paragliding. A jeep was pulling the parachute which rose up and up and up and at the same time was moving from one side to another. I and my Dad immediately took shelter under the shade of big tree to enjoy our tender coconut water, the beautiful sun drenched sea and colourfully dressed people. We were also passing jokes on the general discomfort and fear of the people who were paragliding. They seemed to breathe relief when they put their feet on ground.
One by one- my friends, their parents and my Ma went up and came down to share their experience of paragliding. “While you go up, it is bit scary”, said a friend of mine. One of the aunties wondered how the parachute supported her weight. Their discussions went on. Nobody was willing to agree that they were afraid. And then came the question from my Ma, for me and my Dad. We suddenly got very busy searching for ants or other interesting insects. I believe they heard the question as well and disappeared from the scene. How I wish we could disappear too!
After much convincing, actually the threat of naming us cowards, me and my Dad were taken to the place where the huge parachutes, the jeep and 4-5 people from the Paragliding company were standing. None of our requests were entertained. Both of us were tied to the same parachute and suddenly the jeep started moving. Off we went and suddenly when we looked down, the people were ant sized, houses like match boxes. I heard my Dad praying loudly and I told him to enjoy as we had nothing to lose. The wind was taking us from one side of the beach to directly over the sea and my Dad started screaming, “The shark will eat us if we fall!” He started begging to bring us down. But the team, my Ma, my friends and their families were enjoying our trials. Slowly the parachute steadied. Now we saw the birds flying, the water shining beneath the sun and we started to enjoy the surroundings. After fifteen minutes of flying like a bird without wings, we were brought down. Both I and my Dad felt relieved. I started cursing my Mom for driving me into a silly situation in front of everybody.
Days later, after the vacations, I informed my school friends about this beautiful experience and showed them the pictures.
But I never thanked my Mom. Who knows what she will make us do next! Please don’t tell her.