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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Purpose of Daman

Every person that we meet, every experience that we have, is towards the learning of something that we need to learn, towards some future only the universe can see. I don’t quite remember where I read this, or some words to this effect. But I find myself turning to these words so often these days. Because I’d really like to know exactly what is it that I have to learn from Daman, exactly what purpose this city is meant to serve in my life.

I’m convinced that Daman occupies a place in this universe entirely unique to itself. There is no other city on this planet that is as astonishingly full of dismal contradictions. This city has four multinational banks but not one bookshop. It has dozens of beautiful beachside hotels and ‘multi-cuisine’ restaurants and not a single coffee shop. It has no less than two hundred bars, but you will never see a drunken brawl anywhere. The last I’m not complaining about, by the way.
It is like being on another planet, or maybe in another time zone. No, being on another planet or time zone would actually offer so much scope for exciting new experiences. Maybe it’s like being on that planet and in that time zone ALL ALONE.

Bright lights, professional salons, book fairs, theaters - these may or may not seem like unreasonable desires. To me, these things define life. People may gush about mountains and streams; nothing warms up my heart more than the neon signed skyline of Bombay. As I long to meet people that I can flex my mental muscles with, I worry sometimes that I will lose my ability to be amusing. A sort of disuse atrophy, so to speak. Will this continual pretense of deriving pleasure from the trivial become real some day? I laugh at things that don’t amuse me, I aim to find thrill among the blandest- will all this change me? Oh God, will I forget how to talk? That’s about the only thing I’m really good at. Seriously, was I MEANT to be in a place so quiet? Maybe there has been a typo error up there in the universe's logs - maybe I was supposed to be in a place that answers to this description AFTER I died, as punishment for the many sins I have not yet had a chance to commit. And what is it that I’m meant to learn here? Ok, let’s see. To learn to live in the moment. Sans people, sans shopping, sans films and plays and interesting people. To learn that there is more to life than just these. But seriously, is there, really?

But there are some real joys in the dullest of places…when I somehow manage to decipher the gurgle of a two yr old and realize that what he said was- ‘come to my house for dinner, Manjot aunty!”- the warmth I feel is something that I had not known before. I have learnt to shop alone, to watch movies by myself, all the books about life being difficult make so much sense- I never did know what the fuss was about self help books before this. Last week I read something about pain being the best teacher in the world. A year ago, I would’ve laughed and used four letter words that refer to the process of defecation but it seems like such profound wisdom now!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day 14 of the Basic Skydiving Course

Friday, 6 December 2007: The day I got my wings. 



Day 13 - Freefall !!

Thursday, 06 2007

"You will be going for freefall tomorrow morning."


I must've woken up four times at least in the night. And every time, repeating to myself -"Check in-Check out - Horizon-Up - Down - and Arch!!" over and over, like a mantra - I tried to reassure myself to sleep.



Day 12 - The day i jumped out of an aircraft thrice!!

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007

My very first static line jump and my anxiety to do it well can only be imagined - by people equally crazy. My tandem jump last week was so much fun but I’m ashamed to admit that I had not paid much attention to the nuances of canopy flying. Which is how I’m hoping to explain why I landed in such varied locations today. All they had in common was that they were nowhere near the target landing area. 

The days in between....

ON THE BOSES
Would these magical days have been so magical if I had decided to stay in the mess instead of with the Boses? Logic, experience and well meaning friends say that too much of being together can kill affection like nothing else can. “Ok, so they’re great friends of yours - go to their house for dinner, go everyday if you want, and go spend a Sunday with them - but don’t stay with them for two weeks!!” And yet, here I am, having defied logic, pooh poohed the well meaning friends.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day 7 - The Day of Disappointments

Friday, November 30, 2007

0900 hrs

It would be funny if it didn't hurt so much. The instructor says - "Ok, please sit down. Hold your left leg straight, bend your right leg perpendicular to your body; now sit on you right heel. Got that? Good! Now hold your left toe with both hands; bend forwards, bend, bend until you touch your forehead to your left knee. Excellent!! Now RELAX in this position...."

Yeah, right. How DID i spend 28 years on this planet without learning how to relax like this ??


As we finally finish the day's stretching exercises, Cdr Baburaj next to me collects himself up from the ground and says -" Wow, I feel so refreshed....owww!!"

1300hrs
My heart is going to break. Aircrafts unavailable. No jumps for the next 4 days.

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