Sunday, April 27, 2008

Terra Verra Firma

There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.— Douglas Adams, 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'

One of my old blogger buddies Kraz (Wreck Tangle) recently went sky diving - I saw a you-tube (Fabulous video) of the whole event right from the take off stage to the landing.

I know it’s my duty as his friend and occasionally blog-flirt (or at least one of them, hmpf!) to bat my eyelids and ooh and aaah about how brave he is (which I do think, incidentally) and how the whole adrenalin rush thing looks like fun (which it doesn’t).

But I also have to state here for the record that I think Kraz is completely insane. That’s also what I think of S’s sister who went bungee jumping a few years ago. And all the other people who go paragliding or parachuting or doing any other of those gosh-darned silly things God never meant us to do.

Why anyone would voluntarily jump, nay, pay money to voluntarily jump from places very, very far above the ground is something I have never quite understood.
What is wrong with the good old terra firma I want to ask them? It’s nice. It’s solid. It’s utterly comforting. There are no sudden winds that can take you off course. There are no birds of floating around who might fancy a tasty morsel of you for breakfast. There are no sharp edged rocks which might split your head open if you land upside down on them. Why would one want to leave that and go floating around in the air for no rhyme or reason?

Why not, people have argued with me. Adrenalin rush they say. Bah I say to them.

I once thought I would try and figure out what all this fuss about adrenalin was.
Being the cautious and sensible type of person - at least when it came hazardous-to health activities (I always wear my seatbelt when the husband is at the wheel and the MIL is backseat driving for instance); I thought I would start with the most basic of adventure sports.
Thus, one fine day a few summers ago, I and some jobless friends went to get our first taste of adrenalin – at a suicide-camp in amusement-parks clothing.

Egged on by these same moronic friends I climbed onto a ride called the “Super Heart Stopping Ride of Death” or something equally silly (name I mean not ride).
My love affair with terra firma began during the course of the ride. To be precise, it began round about the time I was suspended upside down contemplating the top of a 15 foot tree (from a height of about ten feet) for about three minutes, with nothing to break the sheer fall to the ground. And when I say nothing I mean precisely that. Nothing. Not even the odd rod or bar twenty foot below – just a flimsy rubber belt which those people optimistically hoped would hold us in place.

That’s when I discovered how much the desh-ki-dharti meant to me – and how I had been taking it rather for granted, and promised myself that I would in future I would not so .

As far as possible, I have stuck to my resolution. I don’t part very easily with terra firma. In fact any attempts to part me are met with it (even if it is to climb a stool) are met with vociferous protestations. (Fortunately I have now acquired a husband instead of a stool who can take care of whatever task needs to be done in the rarefied regions of the stratosphere)

The only time I willingly part from my much loved solid ground is if I have to take a plane to go somewhere. Somehow, my office seems to have a strange antipathy to people taking more than three days to reach their destination. But if truth be told, I disapprove of planes as well.

Give me the Good Earth I say. Flying it seems. Bah.

18 comments:

narendra shenoy said...

'You are old, Father William', the young man said,
'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

'In my youth', Father William replied to his son,
'I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.'


The logic is the same in all these rides/dives/bungee jumps.

Epiphany said...

Aw c'mon! Adventure doesn't mean you are crazy!

Everybody is bored out of their minds from being normal. The few of us who try to do something about it are called crazy! BAH! Kya hoga is desh ka!! (aur desh ki dharti ka!)

As for your friend Kraz...kindly put a link to his jump :)

AmitL said...

Hehe..Cyn,you're exactly like me,in this regard..I love terra firma.And,wonder about the madness of bungee(affectionately called 'bhangee jumping'by some)jumping,in particular-and,paying people to let them jump,to boot..whew!

Loved the phrase 'at a suicide-camp in amusement-parks clothing.'...Might use it,next time someone tries to convince me to go on an amusement park ride.

Arunima said...

lol!

I have gone Parasailing and it was very nice to embrace the winds at that height. I just stretched out my hands and looked around.

One of my friends went bungee jumping but found out a week later that she is one and a half months pregnant. :-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

hehehe lovely quote naren... and stop being a fence sitter - do u or do u not jump?

epiphany - im not saying adventure is crazy - go and play tag with a few (almost extinct) tigers and i will sit on the fence ( a very high one preferably with a glass enclosure) and cheer you on. but jumping from heights is crazy. btw people who dont jump are normal?

amit - strange, strange people no?

arunima - wonder how the child will make an entry to the world - bungee ishtyle?

Nandini Vishwanath said...

LOL! I've been following your blog and you write amazingly well. I'm Kraz's friend and I'm not going to tell you that I did it too ;) and that I kept on telling him to do it and when he did it, I felt as good as I did when I did it? hmm...now...Oh I said it eh? :P

Epiphany said...

@ Cynic - ppl who do not jump pretend to be normal ;)

P.S - My reply to your reply to arunima's comment - EWWWWWW

Cynic in Wonderland said...

nandini - thank you thank you, since you have been nice about my uhm writing style - i will pretend not to have read the rest of your comment.

epiphany - your reply to my reply to arunima's comment is WOAH - what are you thinking - whatever it is probabaly not i meant coz mine was more on the awwwwwww rather than ewwwwwwwww lines..but now i am thinking ewwwwww as well aiyo rama panduranga

IdeaSmith said...

Oh ye of too much faith, how will you know how much you truly love terra firma unless you go away from it? But I know what you mean. Except of course when I think of your worklife which is practically on another planet from Terra Firma.

Kraz Arkin said...

And the moment I landed, they gave ne a coupon that entitled me to a second jump for 50% off on the same day. If I didn't have a flight to catch back, I would have done it again. :) And the cafe had the most amazing Vegemite sandwiches.

Gypsy said...

:) Good one. man i would love to do something death defying and crazy (at least it seems like a good idea now that i'm at work). i love this post!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ideasmithy hehe ..so much traveling makes poor cyn a jet lagged space cadet!

kraz you are crazy. ah ..hey i never saw this connect.

a

gypsy - if you are in communications, as i see u are, you probabaly do death defying things sitting at work wonly. sigh.

Aqua said...

hahaha. LOL. i'm with you on this one Cynic.

I had my loving the "desh-ki-dharti" moment as wee little kid sitting in Gaint Wheel. As that damn thing swayed in the air, I promised myself i would never, EVER put myself in such a situation again. call me a coward, but i'm the 'jaan hai to jahaan' types.

don't like flying much either. i survive long haul flights by finishing off all the alchohol in the plane.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

good. aqua. im glad to know im not the only coward hehe

Sud said...

I am told these days the real adrenalin junkies go bobsled racing, and what's better you are always firmly on the terra verra firma

vEENs said...

this WAS funny :))

but u knw what i m one of the junkies.. like Kraz... who do this once in a while .
i know it is crazy...but then I AM crazy :D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

sud - what on EARTH is bobsled racing now?

veens - you are? hmmm. lot of people like u around? hmmmm

Sud said...

allow me then my friend, to introduce you to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edc0JDrg99U