Home 2024 The flying chronicles: Paragliding, skydiving, BASE jumping

The flying chronicles: Paragliding, skydiving, BASE jumping

by Gautam Bharti
0 comment

I remember the time when I and my friend Shaurya went to a paragliding session. So, there we were, riding the adrenaline wave of an escapade when a sudden weather twist brought us to an impromptu landing on a mystic mountain. The fog was so thick you could almost taste the mountain air. And just when we thought things couldn’t get wilder, a shepherd emerged from the mist, warning about leopards and bears!

With our GPS acting up, we decided to channel our inner explorers and thought of hunting down this rumoured hot water spring somewhere on the mountain. GPS or not, we were on a mission. We decided to spend the night alongside the spring- A spontaneous decision to camp on the mountain top. There we found an abandoned hut marred by the blows of time. Exhausted and thinking we could catch some sleep, we tried to nap but the night had other plans. With temperatures dropping below zero, a makeshift fire kept us company.

As the night unfolded, we took turns keeping watch and tossing twigs and logs into our little mountain bonfire. Survival mode: activated. It was a wild night, a crash course in mountain living that I didn’t know I had signed up for and wouldn’t trade for anything.

Come sunrise, we weighed our options and strategically picked the least “Are we gonna survive this?” spot for takeoff. Our paragliders whisked us back into the sky and as we soared, we couldn’t help but smile at the crazy tale that unfolded – a rollercoaster of resilience, friendship and the kind of adventure you can’t plan, even if you tried. I realised what I wanted from life and that I was on the right track.

I’m Gautam Bharti, a proud alumnus of the 2017 batch from Energy Science and Engineering. Currently immersed in an adventurous lifestyle, my focus revolves around the exhilarating realms of paragliding, BASE jumping and mountaineering. A certified PADI scuba Divemaster, avid skier, kayaker and long-distance runner, I am also on the journey to become a certified yoga instructor, complementing my dedication to a holistic approach to life. Beyond these pursuits, I find immense joy in giving back to my roots by running a small free school for children in my native village. Life’s an adventure and I’m embracing every facet of it.

Living the adventurous life I once dreamt of as a child has become my reality and here I am, in the midst of my third year immersed in the beauty of paragliding, BASE jumping, and mountaineering. Little did I anticipate that these exhilarating sports would transform my life to such an extent, becoming the very axis around which my existence revolves. Grateful for the unexpected journey and the profound impact it has had on me, I find fulfillment in the realization of a childhood dream that has evolved into a defining chapter of my life.

Embarking on the path of becoming a paraglider has been a transformative journey for me. Before delving deeper into this thrilling sport, let me clarify that paragliding is distinct from skydiving. With the right skills, you can soar through the skies for hours, exploring places that would otherwise remain unseen. In India, it’s relatively more accessible, allowing enthusiasts to start and pursue this passion without venturing abroad, unlike skydiving, which lacks a licensing course in the country.

In October 2022, I fulfilled a longstanding dream by paragliding from Bir to Dharamshala, covering a distance of approximately 50 km. The experience of witnessing the cricket stadium, serene landscapes and seemingly microscopic people below profoundly shifted my perspective, challenging and redefining my sense of fear. In college, a junior from Athletics team Dikshant told me about this Chinese proverb that it is better to travel a thousand steps than to read a thousand pages of books. So gliding in air like a bird certainly should count for more.

Engaging in a sport with inherent risks serves as a classroom for profound life lessons. In the face of challenges, the uselessness of panic becomes evident. This truth extends beyond paragliding, proving invaluable in navigating various life circumstances with composure. Paragliding demands an active and responsible approach to life, prohibiting a laid-back attitude and fostering a heightened sense of responsibility for one’s decisions and actions, both in the air and in daily life. Continuous decision-making while airborne cultivates an acute state of mindfulness, a skill that becomes a valuable asset, challenging the often-elusive practice of maintaining mindfulness in the complexities of everyday life. It necessitates full presence and on-the-fly decision-making, mirroring meditation and compelling participants to cherish and fully grasp the present moment. This experience promotes a more mindful approach. Beyond the adrenaline, paragliding instills a deep sense of gratitude, serving as a gentle reminder to appreciate the ordinary facets of daily life that are easily overlooked. The sport becomes a conduit for acknowledging and cherishing the simplicity and beauty inherent in our daily routines.

Every individual forges a unique relationship with adventure sports, extracting lessons that inevitably shape their lives. I have lived many ZNMDs, still a long way to go. Personally, I encourage everyone to experience such sports, allowing them to perceive the world from a breathtaking vantage point high up in the air, even if you’re warned of bears and leopards, find your sweet spot and tread carefully. It’s not just a sport; it’s a life-altering journey that can redefine your outlook and instill a profound appreciation for the beauty of living in the moment.

You may also like

Leave a Comment