“I wanna free fall out into nothing
Gonna leave this world for awhile
And I’m free, I’m free falling”
There is something about a free fall. The letting go of all fears and just letting go of yourself really. I distinctly remember this being the only adventure sport that really made me want to quit last minute. In the freezing Queenstown, NZ, where every gust of wind was sending chills down your spine, standing on this rope bridge dangling over this threatening stream.. Well just gave me a frozen spine. Ironically I felt spineless! I wanted to not let my ego get the better of me and just admit to myself that I couldn’t do it. I guess somewhere though I know I owed to a promise I had made to myself long back. I would try everything in life once specially when it came to adventure and adrenaline.
“When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.” This is one of my fave quotes from one of my fave movies- Into the wild. Which by the way is on my list. To pull of the stunt he did in the movie. Just go into the wild. Maybe someday I will. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
I always used to feel life is about jumping, taking that leap of faith, letting go, being, knowing that someone out there is going to get your back.. so go for it! I couldn’t not jump. I remember walking up to this guy (who was really undeniably unbelievably attractive) and had been curiously staring at me for awhile wondering if I would go through with it. I asked him bluntly if he would jump with me. He was shocked out of his wits and his expression told me he thought I was interesting nut case. He then grinned impishly at me telling me he would but then he would have to hold me real tight. I told him that was exactly why I had asked him.
After we were literally tied together he asked me to shut my eyes and trust him. He took the leap of faith for both of us that I couldn’t muster the courage to. He made us free fall.. along a waterfall swaying in the sky with the water below teasing us.. The adrenaline rush coupled with a sense of peace and calm yet topped with a sense of achievement and pride.. We were smiling dizzily at each other with our eyes locked knowing that we wouldn’t ever forget we did this together.. I haven’t.. I know he hasn’t..
Thank you stranger from my not so long back interesting past. If I ever meet you again and we do recognize each other, I owe you one.
P.S. But now am I free fallin? Guess not. I want to though. Maybe I will.
Wandering off to places far and wide..
Sometimes to explore sometimes to hide..
Strange lands, new people, unfamiliar sounds,smells and sights..
Mountains, oceans, forests, rivers, city lights..
Returning a strangers smile, nodding at the bartender, playing with the dog outside..
Random acts of kindness, toasting the soon to be groom and bride..
Proudly navigating new roads with curiosity, hope and suppressing the unsettling feeling inside..
Believing this is a place of purpose and rest, blinking away tears uncried..
Old places, faces, mazes, phases, gazes..
Haunting, Lingering, surfacing, teasing, testing, reminiscing..
Trying undoing the knots, binds, strings, ties..
No matter where living with the memories of the before and after of said and unsaid goodbyes..
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
p.s. And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
Last year, this particular day I did not go to office. I assumed it was a holiday. It did not occur to me for a second also when I woke up that it is a regular day and I should go to work. I was lounging around the house when my boss frantically calls me at noon.
He demanded why I wasn’t there in office and we suddenly had the client visiting for some god knows what demo. I was too stunned and embarrassed to tell him my real reason for not showing up. I desperately searched my head for an alibi I hadn’t used before. For lack of timely imagination and the intense duress I was in, I used the oldest trick in the book. I played the ‘calling in sick’ card.
It was then I realized for the first time in my 24 years that 21/10 (my birthday) wasn’t a holiday. In my defense this was not about self importance or an assumption that it’s an important enough day to be a widely accepted and acknowledged holiday (Note: not a public holiday, so it’s not conceit).
I think it’s coz of conditioning and habit. Its always been a holiday since it’s the festive season and some real public holiday coincided with that date. So as far as I am concerned it should be a holiday. Someday maybe not just for me.. it could happen!
“Its 4 a.m. I am fast asleep and we have class at 9 tomorrow. Are you crazy you want to go to Lonavla coz you want to see the sunrise and have a bike ride” I think to myself hell yeah that sounds about right and I explicitly in excruciating detail explain why “alright I’m picking you up in ten”. Memory. “Thank you, I would have never thought of this and I had a memorable experience”. Well tell me something I don’t know I thought.
“Dude just coz we are near the airport doesn’t mean we take the next to anywhere just to go anywhere”. I thought to myself why the hell not.. I feel like a new place now and we are close to where planes take off lets do it. “God you’re the maddest person I know but now I’ll never forget this. A great story.
“Didi you are in Barcelona on a street carnival with drunken jerks. I can’t leave you here.” Well he did, and that was the best party with strangers I ever had. Random people gave me everything from beer cans to snacks to other stuff just coz they thought I was entertaining. I remember doing a solo performance drunk in a maddening crowd of friendly Spanish stangers and persoming jai ho solo in that audience with the live deejay. Getting an applause so many gifts.. Well saved me a lotta money on the trip.
“You are fuckin kidding me, you did not turn the Statistics question paper around”. Dude I thought I was having a freaking lucky day and suddenly was the smartest kid in class coz I finished my paper in less than half time. So much for a fatal honest mistake. Half the paper (which means 50% to pass) I skipped. But there is a God who did not let me fail an MBA and I scored an exact 50. In real terms I topped.
In Brussels, sitting by this fountain side sipping my fave beer, two business clad women walk upto me as they watch me read a book on Belgium. They ask me if I need any pointers etc. I obviously was keen to get the local flavor beyond books. I told them I was game for their suggestions. They asked me to join for the longest funnest randomest lunch I ever had. Over countless bottles of wine and food a sober me wouldn’t touch, we ended up spending the day together laughing like idiots walking the streets and sampling everything.
In Rome…. hmmm to be continued..
p.s. Being game is awesome, they make stories u always remember!
Saturday night and an odd friend at the most unearthly hour drunk dialing you and beginning with “Dude I am so drunk, and I really love you”. Commonplace. I think that is the easiest most modern day confession box. You hear everything from mad uncontrollable laughter punctuated by slurred words which you can’t the life of you understand, narration of every single incident that went on that night and people you don’t know nothing about, a random emotional memory shared between the both of you, a breaking into a song for you or someone on their mind, outburst of tears.. and so on..
Sometimes you laugh with them, mostly at them, often you are just plain cheesed off and want them to stop, sometimes you get taken in their emotions and breakdown yourself, sometimes you want to resort to the same. I think that is one of the biggest tell tale signs of a good friend. If they think they can wake you up at 4 a.m. coz they just need to talk to someone and feel no qualms about pressing your number.. you know you mean a lot.
I haven’t really acquired the skill of being on the giving end of such calls I wish I could just spontaneously impulsively get it all out.. and then just blame it on the freaking alcohol.. But you know the thing about hangovers.. When you go to drastic lengths such as swearing to quit to sheer regret and embrassement of the things you did.. But the worst of all when you think maybe you said too much, maybe the way you said it aloud did not sound quite as you had thought it in your head.. so drunk dialing well it could either way.. Too bad if you’re in a real mess when you’re sober again.. And for the record drunk texting could be worse..
p.s. “Oh no, I’ve said too much..I haven’t said enough.. But that was just a dream, just a dream”
“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
Some days all you really want is a live concert. It’s that energy that crazy overcoming rush you absolutely crave. Oddly enough I was hearing this song when I thought of Chris Martin and wondered what it would be like to see Cold Play live. Being the emotional sucker that I am, I remembered crying at Roger Waters live when he sang “wish you were here”.
There is something about watching the greats live. You know why the greats are the greats. To get a crowd of thousands moved on your account. To send adeline rushing through so many veins. I can’t even begin to imagine despite my extraordinarily vivid imagination the high it must be to be on that stage. To know you are stirring all those souls who are just there to witness your special experience. Sorta inspires you to have a life less ordinary. Be where no one has ever been, achieve what only can be seen in dreams, leave a legacy behind sorta thing. What I wouldn’t give to be able to watch one of the bands I love LIVE right now. Music is the language of the soul, that I am sure of. You know stuff like poetry of the heart kinda thing. Hmmm maybe its just feelings put in words..
“And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth”
Most of us have been there done that.. the high highs and low lows.. the love and the loss.. the hanging on and the letting go.. the not letting go.. but its true isn’t it.. each time we tell ourselves we won’t ever be able to move on.. and each time we bite our words.. coz when we just have it no? And it’s true each time you realize what you can do.. and cannot do..you surprise yourself both in good ways and bad.. Either way you come out bruised and battered and discover new ways to heal yourself. In hind sight they become stories in your life and experiences that make you who you become as you keep becoming the person you do as time goes by..
But it’s true if it’s someone close to you and and you care about them.. and they are hurting.. all you want is to reach out to them and tell them in way they know you mean it.. “I will try and fix you”.. Thats what life’s about right.. fixing yourself and people close to you.. Every once in awhile we all need to be rescued!
Oh yeah live concerts.. I could use one right now.. Just stand there and be hypnotized by hearing him sing my song.. and seeing.. and feeling.. and the energy of people around.. the passing of emotions, wave lengths, energies and vibes amongst each other.. reinstating that for once we are all in this together! The helpless and happy submission to the larger than life experience of the whole thing..
Soon enough I guess..
p.s. “When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep..Stuck in reverse”