This is a relatively harmless variation of a day-to-day real-life sport of mine - racing. Not in a bike or car, but in a small diesel powered kart. In Bengaluru, there are lots of places where you can do this sport. But, me, Pravin, Cinish and Pravin's brother Praseeth went to Speed Zone, near whitefield, for this. It turned out to be good fun in the end. Pravin and Praseeth went first, while me and Cinish watched with a camera. Then Pravin took over the camera, when me and Cinish took our place in the kart. I was careful for the first two laps, then speeded up, trying to overtake Cinish. This resulted in a somewhat bitter competition between us, with Cinish spinning out of the track once and me spinning around. I lost my sense of direction and started going in the opposite direction, until I saw a couple of guys coming towards me. Hmmm ... in the end ... I would say this is safer than racing with someone as crazy as you in Bengaluru roads.
It was dark by the time I got my chance. I stepped into the harness, walked along the steel structure and moved towards the step. The instructor requested me to look straight, step on to the edge, with half of my feet outside and leave my tight grip on the railing. I had no choice but to refuse!!! I just couldn't. I was standing at a height of about 125fts on a steel plaform, with half of my feet outside, wearing bungee jumping equipments. Looking down made me scream. I could see some light way down and people waiting to catch me. I remembered two things that somebody told me - "Jump, when they say jump" and "Trust the equipment. U wont die" -, looked straight ahead, took a deep breath and jumped, at the count of 3; and it was bliss!!! Bungee jumping is one of the most exciting experiences one can have. The free fall, though for a very short time, is something inexplicable, yet unforgettable. Somebody or the other organizes bungee jumping in Bangalore every year, usually in palace grounds, from artificially erected steal structures. I did it once more, the same year. Second time, I was not so afraid and enthusiastic to jump. Yeah ... you need that second time to really enjoy the jump. I also picked up a T-Shirt from Ozone, the organizers for this event. One of them saying "Gravity Sucks". But, the logo on the one I picked up, kind of stayed, "If you are not living on the edge ... u r taking too much space" ... indeed u r.
White River Rafting
It was during a trip to Mangaluru that Pravin, me and Nisha, set off towards the Sitanadi Wildlife Camp, near Hebri, Udupi district, Karnataka. We called up one of the organizers around noon time, to enquire if we can do White Water Rafting, the same day. And they said "Yes, just come along as quick as you can". We finally made it to the camp, just in time for the final batch, quickly changed in to the rafting gear and jumped into one of the boats. Sitanadi is rough, with numerous rapids and rocks, water running very deep at places and thick forest on both sides. The intricacies of dealing with the rapids and rocks were left to the group leader cum instructor, who happens to be a trained rafter and one of the organizers. The rest of us just followed whatever he told us to do, rowing towards us or away. He did explain the rationale most of the time. But, after the end of 5 hours, it is just a wonderful experience. Falling swiftly down, couple of rapids and jumping to deep waters with a life jacket was awesome. It seems there is another kind of rafting, Black Water Rafting, where caves are involved. Also, White Water Rafting and Kayacking is organized in Kali river, near Dandelli, Uttar Kannada district, Karnataka.
We all watched - the girl strapped through a harness on to a round parachute and a chord connected to a jeep, which started moving forward. Then it happened, she bent her knees in an effort to go up, lost her balance and fell down, wind draging her all around the ground. The instructor, stopped the jeep, picked her up and warned again - "Never ... Never bend your knees". My turn arrived soon, I stepped in to the harness and got ready to fly. Wind was blowing fiercely in the dry Hosakote lake bed. Good enough to lift me up. Jeep started to move forward and the parachute started pulling me up. I tried to stay on ground as much as I can, till I couldn't reach, then slowly went up, shouting at the top of my voice. It was awesome, I was airbound for some time and went upto about 200fts height. Then the jeep slowed down and stopped, me started descending and landed firmly on ground. It was smooth and I was still screaming. There are number of organizers arranging Para Sailing in Bengaluru - Nature Admire and Care Adventures to name a few. It happens in both Hosakote lake bed and Jakkur air field. Another variety of Para Sailing is using a speed boat, which I saw, when I was in Goa, at Colva and Benaulim beaches.