Watching outside of the bus, as rain sprinkled through the window, I had a warm feeling of accomplishment inside me. It was the feeling of courage, joy, living my life on my own terms and being alive. Hands down, this was one of the best thing I ever did in my life.
They said I couldn’t do it, but when I jumped…
Wait, let’s go back a bit.
On 26th July, 2014, I jumped from the world’s third largest bungee point – 160 m above the ground, at Sindhupalchowk, Nepal.
It was my first time, and like everyone else, I was terrified.
During the briefing session, a staff member explained us about the safety measures, proper way of jumping during bungee and swing and things to do if in case, something goes wrong. After that, we all were divided into different group according to our weight. I was in group 2.
We three, Nibhaa, Gaurav and me, sat down in the bungee viewing spot watching the first group jump from the bridge. They two were relaxed. They weren’t going to jump anyways (pussies!). But for me, I started having goose bumps just by watching and hearing those people scream.
Nibhaa and Gaurav, weren’t helping me at all. “Atul, ta chaci haam falne ho? (Are you really going to jump?)” They kept teasing me with this question. And telling me about the things that could go wrong wasn’t doing any good either.
We were talking about some random stuffs, munching on some snack, when a person said that it’s group 2 turn now.
Ready Steady Bungee!
I gave my phone, wallet and glasses to Nibhaa, did some jumping jacks and headed for the bridge. I could hear the river crashing with the stones and the fierce wind whistling through my ears, as I walked on the shaky bridge with my group. I was in fifth position, so it gave me kind of a relief, I guess. To calm down my chatter inside my brain, I started a conversation with guy standing behind me. He was jumping off for the second time. I asked him, “how was it the first time?” “It’s nothing like I had ever felt before, so I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just weirdly awesome.”, he replied with a smile. We stood on the bridge watching others jump, when a tourist girl started crying just before her jump. It was kind of funny. She wouldn’t jump herself, the bungee master had to push her.
After a while, my turn came. I entered the jumping area and the bungee crew started wrapping ropes and safety jackets around me.
The camera man came to me and asked how I was feeling. I am going to jump off a bridge and I don’t know if I’ll even come back, and you wanna know how I am feeling? “If there is a word for nervous, psyched, pumped, crazy and weirdly awesome, then yeah that’s how I am feeling right now.”, I replied.
As I entered the jumping area, I started recalling everything that the bungee master had said before – body straight, penguin steps, hands side, head-first, jump as far as possible.
As the bungee master started the count down, I started talking to myself.
Bungee master: Three
Me: I can do this. If that girl can, I can. Just jump.
Bungee master: Two
Me: Body straight, take penguin steps, Chest up, hands side, head-first, come alive.
Bungee master: One
Me: No. Wait. Wait Wait.
Bungee Master: Go
The moment I started to free fall and that gravity bitch started pulling me down towards her, I was like cursing like anything. I was throwing the F bombs, the Nepali M bombs. I was screaming, “Mare mare mare mare mare” (I am dead, dead dead), all the way down.
If you have rode in “The Columbus” at Brikutimandap Fun Park or on a roller coaster, multiply that feeling of your stomach dropping by 100 times, that’s how I was feeling. All my sense were gone, I don’t remember seeing anything, hearing anything or feeling anything. The only thing my mind was processing was that this was the last day of my life. And that was it. In fact, I didn’t even knew that I was cursing all the way down until I watched my GoPro footage. It’s hilarious.
And just as I thought that I reached the bottom and the jump is over, the rope started spiraling upward and spinning me like a Beyblade. But here is the thriller. After the spin, my feet got tangled together and the rope was still swinging. I felt like I was going to have a major sprain in my feet if I didn’t do anything. So, not knowing what to do, I forcefully spinned myself to the right and thank god my right feet slipped off my left feet safely.
After the rope stopped swinging, I was left hanging upside down with my huge red face, which was about to explode. Two guys, from the ground, offered me a long bamboo stick to grab on to and I was then slowly lowered down on a bed. They asked me how I was feeling, while they slowly removed all the straps and ropes. I rested for a minute there to let my heart rest and slow down a bit, while watching the bridge above me from where I had jumped. I had a big smile of accomplishment in my face. I felt like a boss.
“I can’t believe I finally did it. I jumped off from the world’s third largest bungee point. This is unreal.” I had taken another step towards my goal of living an adventurous and exciting life. Bungee jumping – check.
Walk To The Top
After resting for a bit, I had go back to the last resort. And for that I had to climb up a hill, all alone, which was 160 m above the ground. Running, walking, climbing, fiddling, it took me 30 freaking mins to reach there. Ten seconds down and 30 fucking mins up.Not fair. But I took this as another adventure in itself. So, hell yeah!
I was completely exhausted and tired from my way up. Both my friends were waiting for me and then we went to have our lunch. I was hungry as hell. I took twice as much food as my bros and attacked my plate immediately. I finished my plate in minutes and re-filled my plate again. It was the best meal I had eaten in the past 3 days.
My friends dialog changed from, ““Atul, ta chaci haam falne ho? (Are you really going to jump?)” to “Taile garis hai. Mane talai. (You actually did it bro. I am proud of you.)” After the heavy lunch, we relaxed on the bungee viewing spot – watching and making fun of other bungee jumpers. Nibhaa had brought some good stuffs, so we took a walk to the village area and had it. It was really good stuff, if you know what I mean 😉
The receptionist announced that the pictures and video of the bungee jump has arrived. So we went there and asked to see our pictures. All of the pictures were awesome,especially the video clip and the GoPro footage. I pre-paid for the complete package of 4 pictures, 2 videos and a T-shirt of Last resort right there, and they told me to receive my stuffs day after tomorrow from their main office at Thamel, Kathamandu.
At around 5 pm, we hoped into our bus and rode back to Kathmandu. I didn’t wanted to listen to music or talk to anyone. I just wanted to sit by myself and relive the entire day again. Watching outside of the bus, as rain sprinkled through the window, I had a warm feeling of accomplishment inside me. It was the feeling of courage, joy, living my life on my own terms and being alive. Hands down, this was one of the best thing I ever did in my life.
Go Out there and Let the Adventure Begin
Many people are afraid of bungee jumping or any other adventurous sports for that matter. Everyone have their own unique excuses for not doing it.
- I am too afraid. I can’t do this
- What if the rope cuts off
- My parent wouldn’t allow it
- I will do it later. I have time left
- What if I get a heart attack
- What if my bones spit off
- I am very busy. I don’t have time for that.
- The rope may go around my neck and hang me to death.
Let me tell you this, all of these excuses are just that. Plain excuses. And none of them are valid, unless you are a cardiac patient or/and have a skeletal problem. Now why do I think it’s invalid? Look at the statistics, stupid. Till now, not even a single person has died while bungee jumping. None. And if you say you don’t have time, then you are lying to yourself again. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. It’s not that some people can go around doing things that make them feel alive just because they have more time. No. Instead they are able to do that because they prioritize those things and keep them ahead of everything else. There is a nice saying in Nepali that can kill all your excuses, “Khane mukh lai junga le chekdaina.( Your mustache won’t stop you from eating your food.)” So, if you want something, make time for it. Prioritize it and make it happen.
I know you are still afraid. Bungee jumping is surely frightening, nerve-wracking, and plain ludicrous. But let me tell you a secret, this same fear is what makes this exciting and worth doing in the first place. That feeling of courage, accomplishment, worthiness and extreme inner joy and satisfaction that you get after jumping off the bridge, reaching the ground safely and watching the bridge you just jumped off from, is just priceless.
So, go out there, buy yourself and your friends a ticket of bungee jumping and let the adventure begin.
Be Healthy. Stay Sexy.