Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Blue Sky

A young executive was nervously biting her nails.  She looked around and met the eyes of her ashen faced young colleague.  He gave her a weak grin in a failed attempt to prevent the panic from showing on his face.  Here they were, the chosen nine, all picked for this day's event from which there would be no turning back.  Everything else before this was just words but this was the real deal.  Of course they had all had to sign a waiver of liability because of the risk associated with this task.

She looked at the young man from the account's department who was joining them today.  He looked like someone who was capable of this task.  He was superbly fit and during the training had outperformed everyone by the virtue of being in top physical condition.

"I didn't sign up for this when I joined up", the young woman sitting to her left voiced her opinion.  A few heads nodded in sympathy and a few wan smiles all around.

"No I am serious; I mean look at what they tell us yesterday 'consult your doctor to get his approval if you have any heart problems or medical conditions'.  Hello I am not a Navy Seal.  I've got a Master's degree in Finance instead, so why am I doing this?"

The group was taken aback at her outburst and they looked at each other while some pretended to have not heard her.  The senior executive who was in charge was writing something in his notebook.  He had been one of the prime initiators for the day and was keen to see it go through.  But now he looked up from his task and putting away his book walked towards them.

"It is perfectly natural to have second thoughts you know" he addressed the group.

She stopped biting her nails; maybe it was time to speak up too.  Her heart was pounding as she spoke, "so why are we doing this then?"

He smiled.

"I am glad you asked.  I want you to feel afraid."

"That we are," she replied "but why do you want to scare us?"

"You are the future leaders of our company and have been selected with great deliberation.  Today we just want to take you high up in the sky and throw you out of an airplane at 200 miles per hour.  It teaches you to overcome fears and build confidence.  The feeling you will get of watching the sun while falling through the air can never be duplicated.  The air rushes past you as you fall.  Did you know you can jump off an airplane, fall eleven thousand feet, and still land safely?

When I read a book titled 'The Skydiver's Handbook' by Mike Turoff, there were these lines that have stayed with me since then - 'Jumping is fun! Skydiving is not just falling; it is flying—the closest we have been able to come to free, unencumbered, non-mechanical individual flight'

When you put a lot of effort behind something, you want to believe you'll always succeed and everything will be wonderful.  In you working life you will face many challenges that will impact you.  Now some of them will be tiny and insignificant but others could destroy us and completely turn our lives around.  It's how we face these challenges and our state of mind at the time that determines our ability to continue.  Each time when I jump I look at the sky and visualise what will happen.  I imagine myself freefalling thousands of feet above the ground, falling without a care at the mercy of the elements. Up in the sky there is no stress, no deadlines, and no clients I must answer to. There is only you and the vastness of the sky.  That is all that exists for me then, it's a spiritual moment like no other, and you have nothing else in mind but that moment and your life.  So are there any questions now?"

The young executive stepped forward.

"When do we jump?"

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Reach out to the largest community of Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


  1. You did build up a suspense and held it till the end. Well done, Subroto!

  2. Thank you Umashankar

  3. Nice read - enjoyed the flow.