Look Ma, we went skydiving!

Yesterday we went skydiving. To be fair it was a tandem skydive. Which means you can let go and someone else is in charge. But it doesn’t change the sheer thrill of jumping out of a tiny plane from a height of 12000 feet. We wanted to go solo skydiving, but the sheer commitment involved in signing up for the entire accelerated freefall course is a bit much, and I think we need to tandem skydive a few more times before we can make up our minds about it. But now let me take you through the day.

The first thing with skydiving is that you need to wait. Especially in a country like England, where the skies like to crap all over your style. But the sun finally made its appearance near brunch time, and we were kitted, fitted and harnessed. We rushed into the a small aircraft. We didn’t get any photographs of us while we were up in the sky, but that’s on the cards for “next time”. Pretty soon, the aircraft had become a tiny speck in the sky. To appreciate just how tiny, take a close look at the photograph below. If you look real hard, you might see a small white speck where I’ve indicated it. That’s how high up we were.

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Even as you are harnessed to the instructor, you can’t see his face in the time that you’re doing the freefall. It’s impossible to remember the exact the feeling once it’s over, leave along recreate it. You jump! And freefall. You dont feel cold. You don’t really feel anything but a loud WHOOOOOOSH! through every damn cell in your body. Since we had the stomach for it, our instructors decided to do a few spins. The freefall lasted for about 30 seconds in which we fell through some 6000 feet. The parachute was deployed. At this point, I felt a tug. It’s sharp. Remember, the speed at which we’re falling is about 120 mph. But once the parachute opens up, it’s like floating. Yet, it’s not slow. You’re swooping into the air. My guess is that Sri had far more presence of mind that I did. I almost froze for the first few seconds. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

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The parachute is incredible responsive. Sri and I both were lucky enough to get instructors that allowed us to steer the parachutes. At one point, my parachute crossed paths with Sri’s, but I was around 1000 feet above him. The parachuting bit lasts about 7 to 8 minutes. Come to think about it, the whole experience isn’t exactly time-intensive. But we were thinking about it for hours. The exact feeling of falling from the sky is incredible. It was beautiful, calming, adrenaline pumping all at once.

Wow! Wow! Wow!

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19 Responses to Look Ma, we went skydiving!

  1. km says:

    Total envy.

    So, is the parachute *guaranteed* to open?

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  2. dipali says:

    This is one thing I have to do in this life! Sounds so wonderful, Neha-I’m glad you guys had this experience:)

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  3. Fifth In Line says:

    Sounds fantastic! Am going to confess that I am slightly envious. I’ve had the opportunity once or twice to see others skydive, but never had the guts to try it myself. But looks like you had a great time! Way to go kid!

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  4. MadrasChick says:

    Something that I’ve long wanted to do but never got around it. Reading your post, I will most likely pursue this dream of mine, sooner than later.

    I can totally relate to the adrenaline part. Felt that way when I went parasailing. Although that was somewhat controlled, the sudden rise some 300 or 400 feet above water made me all giddy.

    To the first commenter, I had the same question too. What if?
    But I guess, that’s a risk one should be willing to take when one attempts things like skydive, parasail etc., PLUS they make you sign all those papers, before they let you be strapped. lol.

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  5. Anand says:

    Woweee ! Lucky lukcy πŸ™‚ so when do you guys go solo?

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  6. Sharon says:

    Yay Fun! I want to see pics of you looking like the red baron with goggles and the whole skydiving outfit!

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  7. Venky Krishnamoorthy says:

    Try skydiving into the sea (into a boat). Far more thrilling πŸ™‚

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  8. rr says:

    Oh. My. God! Can I come and watch next time? As long as you promise NOT to land on me!

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  9. I wish i could get that experience… Envy you people. Lucky yous.

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  10. 30in2005 says:

    Sounds like a joyride. I want to do this. Like in 2010 when my courage has been returned to me. From previous exhilerating/ terrifying experiences.

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  11. Sriram says:

    I am told that the landing part is equivalent to jumping from a lesser height. A friend of mine said he had trouble relieving himself for 2-3 days. Is that how it is?

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  12. km: There is a backup parachute that you can rely on. Though just recently I read the account of a seasoned skydiver who had the misfortune of both parachutes malfunctioning. He survived! Mostly because he fell on a bed on bushes.

    dipali: You must!!!

    Fifth In Line: It’s worth experiencing … I urge you to stop gazing and take the “leap” yourself!

    MadrasChick: Parasailing sounds fantastic. Must give that a shot sometime.. I think the parachute handling bit was reasonably easy on land, though on water it must give one the jitters. As for the safety aspect, like I told my dad – it’s more dangerous to drive on the NH8 than go skydiving. πŸ™‚

    Anand: A few more tandem dives, and if it goes well maybe sign up the course. But it’s bound to burn a rather big hole in the pocket!

    Sharon: No pics of us actually. Next time perhaps!

    Venky: The list keeps growing…

    rr: As long as you take pictures of me too! I wonder what Maizy would make of it..

    Venkatesh: πŸ™‚

    30in2005: Perhaps the trick is not to think too much about it. I was sitting right next to the window and could actually see the heights we were getting to – and I have to confess my stomach skydived long before I did!

    Sriram: The landing part was the easiest bit actually. It was very smooth and controlled. The trick is to stick to the instructions and not give into the instinct of lowering your feet too soon.

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  13. Roshini says:

    Nice Post !
    You should use an Indian social bookmarking widget like PrachaarThis to let your users easily bookmark your blog posts on Indian bookmarking websites.

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  14. Gauri says:

    Nehu!!! This is sooo awesome am sure it must have been sooo exciting. Got to laude you for being pretty daring. Understand that this is coming from someone who is scared of taking a flight. Jumping of a plane in the sky….FORGET ITTT πŸ™‚ just not my cuppa tea. πŸ™‚ Great going gurl !!

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  15. sita says:

    last night i dreamt freefalling. i was reading your blog just before i fell asleep, so i think it was your descriptions in my dream. πŸ™‚

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  16. Lovely!

    BTW is that girl in the pic in the header (a little girl trying to wrap her arms around the iron pillar at qutub minar) you?

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  17. guruprasad says:

    dropped in after ages… and boy have you been busy!!!

    this is one of those things high up on my list… i wonder if there’s any place in india where one can try this.. i am sure there is… i have to find out…

    and another thing i want to try is hang-gliding… the closest you can do to flying like a bird! you must try that too if you can get a shot at it!

    make sure you get the pics next time!

    Like

  18. prasoon says:

    I envy thee πŸ˜‰

    It should have been great i know – I am just waiting for my time to come to experience this – I seriously am waiting!!

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  19. Twisted DNA says:

    Wow! Good job!

    When I proposed skydiving, my wife threw a tantrum and did the bit, “tere bachche pe praman karo ki vaisa kabhi nahi karoge”.

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