Monday, August 18, 2014


     For no particular reason I am reminded of a deadly choice I took sometime back to go on a ride rightly named 'Insanity' in one of the theme parks. This particular ride was placed in the farthest end, away from the usual rides people love to take. I found not many onlookers near this ride and so decided that it is one of those uninteresting rides that does not send the thrilling chill down the spines of its riders. How wrong our judgement can sometimes be! And since I had enough adventure going on in my life already I decided this solemn looking, puppy dog of a ride would do no harm to me. With all the innocence of a toddler exploring a harmless looking electric socket my friend and I strode confidently to the Giant, sat on his lap and buckled ourselves up. What we expected perhaps was that the Giant would wake up to play Ring-a-ring-a- roses with us. Well, he had other plans. Initially he teased our judgement playing by our tunes. He moved ever so gracefully that my  friend and I exchanged the triumphant 'see-I-told-you-it's-nothing' looks! But what ensued is only a hazy memory. I was reminded of the colourful balls that lose colour in the hands of an over- enthusiastic  juggler.  We were hurled up in the air, pushed side to side and lifted off our seats, suspended in mid-air with our faces staring down at the concrete floor. We were completely at the mercy of those handles across our shoulders and those fragile belts we had so carelessly fastened across our now screaming bellies. For the first time in all the twenty six years of my life I wished I were thinner! Our lives now depended on those fastenings. I questioned myself for the hundredth time if I had secured the belts properly.
     I lay with my heart beating on the handle recounting the faces of my loved ones and the things left unsaid to them . A voice in my head was chiding me for having forgotten one or two faces I was bound to recollect during the last minutes of my life. I dared not turn and look at my friend  lest she see the pale, blood-drained, ghost-slapped face of mine! I could simply hear the faint voice of hers asking me if I were okay. The leather handles felt now like the arms of my mother and I held on to them fervently. The juggling went on for god-knows-how-long and all I could do was shut my eyes tight and scream my lungs out for it to stop! After shuffling us  like a pack of cards, swirling us around like a top, bringing us crashing down just inches away from the concrete floor and leaving us dangling upside down, the Giant finally decided to let us off. The two of us let go of the divine leathery arms and staggered to our feet. When our feet touched the concrete we felt reborn. The Giant seemed to have gone back to a slumber displaying no sign of exercise whatsoever. After a few minutes of swearing out loud and thanking our stars for keeping us alive we burst out laughing at our 'Insanity'.
     I have more than once wondered why some of us love to enjoy the rush of adrenaline through our bodies. To jump off a cliff or fly several feet above the deep blue sea or simply enjoy the drop from dizzying heights-we are possessed by some superhuman strength and confidence to perform these feats.  Sometimes I imagine there is some profound philosophy hidden behind the love for such extreme sports. Though my dear friend the Giant is really far from falling under the category of 'extreme' sports, his tactics did manage to leave me pensive. From the thoughtless decision to have a go at the ride to the near-to-death experience high up in the air to the blissful touch down- everything has left me bewildered. We are ready to take risks like these just for a few minutes of fleeting excitement. The adrenaline simply takes the upper hand there. But in spite of hours or days or even years of deliberations and contemplations some of us fear to take the risk that might change our lives for the good. Though we are aware of the fact that a choice made will have to go through the roller coaster ride anyway before the final touch down we fear a crash landing. 
     What stops the rush of adrenaline then? It isn't the fear of losing our lives then but something else. Risking our lives for a momentary thrill is okay with many amongst us. Then what is it that we fear losing while making a choice? Our pride? Ego? Self esteem? Public opinion? Honour? What is it that we fear losing? The answer is different for each one of us. It lies deep inside us, holding us down like an anchor. Well it's time we unplugged the drain and let the adrenaline pump up our spirit to enjoy this crazy , insane, roller coaster ride called life! You only live your life once. Live it making the right choices or rather the choices that feels right to you and plunge headlong into the immeasurable depths of adventure! Cheers!