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The Plunge

The Plunge

Went skydiving last week.

The night before the jump I had a fitful sleep,waking up often to mull over the jump. The dive was scheduled at 8.00 AM, but we reached an hour earlier and hung around the marina till the office opened and the staff started tricking in – most of them in funky bi-cycles. Made me wonder about what a wonderful, trendy and cool career choice skydiving was.

The morning was bright, there were several speed boats and kayaks in the bay. It was cool under the shadow of the high rises all around. This was prime real estate showcasing all the power of money that Dubai represented. It was a world beyond my dreams. I thought that in all probability, the life of the people inhabiting these places are likely to be alien to me.

At 8.00, we were permitted to enter the office, make the balance payment and fill out an interminable Terms of Service document which absolved Skydive Dubai of all responsibility and put it squarely on our shoulders. This was one legal document worth its salt – grim, inscrutable, forbidding. Either we swallowed all the clauses and signed it off before we jumped or forfeited our deposit. The choice was obvious.

Soon, I was approached by my tandem jumper Alberto who deftly strapped a harness which will establish the bond between us as we dived. He briefed me on the body positions before the jump, during free-fall and during landing. The Go-Pro interview staged by my cameraman was quite embarrassing, particularly since I lacked a valid reason for attempting the dive.

We were whisked off in an electric car to where we boarded the rickety aircraft. Soon we were climbing over the thicket of skyscrapers, The Palm appeared in all its glory below, I could make out the factory at Jebel Ali where I was doing a project. At one point I was asked to sit on Alberto’s lap while he proceeded to check and tighten the harness and my goggles.

One by one the divers fell off the plane and soon it was my turn. As we crouched next to the door, I could hardly make out anything outside. Alberto repeatedly asked me to keep my chin up. And, Whoa, I did not know what really happened. There was a shock that lasted an instant and then we were falling, falling… I let go of my hand on the strap. Th cameraman was waving in front of my face. I was grinning from ear to ear. There was a tremendous swishing of air in my ears. Then, all of a sudden, there was a jerk and I was pulled back. The rest is history!!! 🙂

Well, history will not be complete without the following trivial details.So, the parachute opened, and we came to a standstill suspended over the sea. We spun gradually as Alberto pulled the yellow chords that controlled the parachute. Then the chords were handed to me and as I struggled to pull them we veered left and right. Below me were tall buildings, a beach with blue umbrellas and the green lawn of our landing area. This was the most relaxing part of the dive. We descended gradually, I was asked to keep my legs lifted up, and we landed. A tinge of sadness that it is over, relieved that we landed safely.

More photographs, pats on the back, profuse thanks giving on my part. We hung around the cafe, waiting for the photographs to be ready. There was a Gyrocopter on display. As a promotional, a ride on it was being offered for AED 999/-. We purchased T-Shirts with Skydubai logo as a keepsake. Then we collected our USB sticks and walked out of the excitement to “Life as normal”.

Skydive Dubai: http://www.skydivedubai.ae/tandem.html

Charges: AED 2000/- per person inclusive of photographs and video recording.

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