I had never been the adventurous type. Just a plain , simple, homely girl who liked to wear her cotton and silk kurtas and loved to eat out once a week. Lacy dresses and high heels didn't work for me. Never participated in any sports activity in school and college. You would have called me plain Jane,had you seen me then. Life has been generous. I thought I had caught hold of the elusive happiness. However, that was then.
There came a moment( about that some other time) , When I realised there is more to life than what meets the eye. That very moment,something in me changed. I wanted to do everything I had not done earlier. Perhaps I was struck by mid-age crisis. I needed to do new things every day just to feel alive. Age was just slipping by. Be it a new type of dress or just trying my hand at baking,I did it all. Then came outdoor activities. I started riding the bike again. I got fascinated by pictures of my younger friends on social media. They were doing different type of adventure sports. Paragliding and skydiving mesmerised me. I wanted to fly too. However, thinking is one thing and doing is another.
I talked to my family about my new found love. No one took me seriously.By a stroke of luck, a trekking and paragliding trip was planned to Triund. Trekking was fun, However, when the time for paragliding came, the fear conquered again. I backtracked . I couldn't do paragliding. I was scared . S tried to coax. I didn't budge. That was one decision I will repent till I visit Macleodganj again to try my hand at flying.
I kept looking for adventures. One fine evening, we went to this park developed and managed by the Indian army. I was standing , there by the side of this serene lake, watching the water birds . S and A were busy in watching the birds kept in raised wooden boxes. I love these silent moments which I steal in between the family outings. "Let's do it,"S shouted. I saw a zip lining platform across the lake. "Ah,I I can't do it, I thought aloud. A girl was coming across the lake on the zip line. "If she can do it, I am no less, I made up my mind all of a sudden. We bought the tickets. When we came back to the starting point, the instructor was nowhere to be seen. This gave me some more moments to worry. "What if the wire breaks?" I asked. "Don't worry, the lake is shallow," straight came the reply." And then both of us know swimming"
I made a mental note to learn swimming too. I sighed at the sight of the instructor.
We went upstairs with him. "You work with the army. You must be doing it every day,"I asked just to feel safe." Not here, We do it in mountains to reach inaccessible peaks." What if the cable breaks? I don't know how to swim," I probed further. "Don't be scared," He said strapping up S. "Hold the pulley, Keep your legs straight and a little open. My friend on the other side will hold you from legs once you reach there. See there is a net tied at the end point. There is nothing to fear. Enjoy the ride." I was awestruck while looking at S going to other side of the lake. I forgot to click his pictures. Then came my turn. "Madam, please keep your hands away from the cable. Hold the pulley,"He told me. I wasn't listening. I wanted to remove the strap and run away. "Why did I fall for this in the fifth decade of my life? Can't I just be?" "I am leaving it now" I heard him.
And I was flying. "Why didn't I do it earlier?" Then all the thoughts stopped and I felt one with the universe. The blue-grey sky above and the green, calm lake below, In between me the trivial being. I came down with a force. The helper on the other side stopped me by holding my leg. My left hand was badly bruised.Perhaps I injured myself in the process of coming down. However, there was no pain, Just the ecstasy of venturing into a new world.A satisfaction of going beyond my limits. Life will never be same again.