Well people say the best trip is always the one which goes unplanned. I plan to defer from that statement – The best weekend is the one you spend doing absolutely crazy things with your friends with little planning. Waking up from sleep at 2 in the night to watch the first F1 race and then repeating the same act at 4 on the same day for an India-Pakistan cricket match sure sounds crazy! But that’s just the start of the climatic weekend.
Well the start of the Spring break was always going to be on high for a F1 fan like me. It was the first race of the season and the stakes sure were high. But then it still could not be compared with an India vs Pakistan cricket match especially when India is winning. Ecstatic, isn’t it? Well life had other plans for me. Sunday morning at 5.00 am when the Pakistan openers were grilling Indian bowlers, I was preparing for a weekend of my life. When things start on such a high note it is difficult to keep up the momentum. But turns out that Virat Kohli’s bat was not the only one blazing; I and two of my best friends started an unforgettable journey to rise 13500 ft high in the air!
But before that we had to take a 4 hour bus ride and 1 more hour of train to reach one of the best colleges in US – Princeton; An amazingly quite place to be. Renaissance style architecture and a very mature crowd the place is not very much different from my city – College Park. To be true, after living in this country-side for almost 9 months now, I kinda don’t want to live in a crowded city now. And Princeton sure suits my preferences. I took us 8 hours to reach our intended destination but it was worth making the effort to make one new friend. Well the four of us crashed into an Indian buffet (being an Indian your first choice will always be Indian food, no matter where you go), to have one of the best Indian lunches I had till now in US. The first thing that strikes me about that buffet was the awesome Gulab-Jamun. Well after the dinner, we entered a church just in time for the mass. Being an atheist, it’s not much to me but I always look forward to such visits to find my answers and my inner peace too.
The best part of my stay in Princeton came later. You see, I always look forward to do crazy things in life – breaking the daily routine. And I was satisfied when we walked on the street – picking on each other, eating ice cream, taking photographs and laughing aloud. These are those moments which fill color in your life. You know you are going crazy when people passing by look at what you are doing and burst into laughter. But even this color faded the next day.
The best one minute of my life came the next day when I Sky-dived! When my plane started taking off, I was filled with anxiety and ecstasy. Soon the adrenaline started pumping when my trainer and me started moving towards the door of plane. The one thing that came to my mind was – the first time i boarded a plane I traveled the most difficult journey of my life – from India to US alone and the second time I am doing it is when I’ll be doing the most thrilling act I have done in my entire life till now. My plane had a total of 11 jumpers including me, my friend, our trainers and the other licensed divers. When the door opened and the divers started jumping I was filled with awe aware of the fact that I ll be entering a new dimension within a few seconds.
When the time came and I sat there in-place to dive, I had my adrenaline pumping at the speed of light in my body. And then I dived! The next sixty seconds I could not speak I was falling at roughly 140 ft/sec but I all i could feel was thrill. It was flying becoming one with nature; admiring its creation, earth, looking at the skies beyond horizon, feeling the silent clouds gushing past me. Those sixty seconds I was not bound by anything, there was no ground below me, no walls to contain me. I could go anywhere I want, do whatever I want to, tumble around, swim through the air; it was absolute freedom. It was all just taken out from a sci-fi movie.When the parachute opened and my speed reduced, I became more aware of my presence; felt my surroundings, saw my friend opening his parachute thrilled by what was going on just like me. I never realized what I actually did till I reached the earth’s surface back. It was an amazing feeling; a heavenly experience. On my journey back, I was just putting the pieces in place and wondering about the moment I jumped. I feel that no matter in what situation I will be, I can never have so much excitement at one moment. Well the weekend sure had a climatic ending! Hehe.