Please find my fourth Speech project at Toastmasters which is about my triumph over fear of height. Enjoy
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
~ Nelson Mandela
We are all afraid of something in our life; some are afraid of losing their relationship, some are afraid of getting into new relationship, some are afraid of dying and some are afraid of living, some are afraid of failing in examination and some are afraid of getting lesser than 90%. Some are afraid of getting chance in life and some are afraid of not getting chance in life. Some are afraid that they are getting fat and some are afraid that they are getting thin.
I’m not different from that bunch of people of ‘some’ who are afraid of something and I’m afraid of heights. When I was in 2nd standard I had an encounter with my fear of height for the first time when I looked down from a hill which was so steep and so deep that I could feel the tremor all over my body and for once I felt that I’m falling down, that day I let the fear enter into my body and my mind.
I carried my fear throughout my childhood and teenage, deep within I knew that I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer that must be cured. Fear is the little-death that brings total destruction. Fear will kill me if I do not kill it. And to kill fear I must face it. I must permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. In theory it sounds as easy as passing over a bridge but in practical it is as difficult as passing over a bridge which is on fire.
On June 2011, I decided to confront my fear and eliminate it from deep within. The inspiration came from my cousin who showed me his maiden Bungee jump video from the world’s 3rd highest point at Nepal, and when I listen to his amazing experience at that time I decided that I have to do it, I must do it, I must do it and root out my all my fear and be free.
In October 2011, I went to Nepal for Puja holidays; I have thought that I won’t come back without a Bungee jump, So I planned for the Jump, I convinced my elder brother and my sister-in-law to accompany me to Bungee jump, also I convinced my brother to have a Bungee jump as we both share the same fear. He was first apprehensive whether he could be able to do it or not but after my few attempts he agreed to have a jump.
October 11th, 2001, Tuesday early morning, it was still dark and the sun had not come out. I was super excited for this day to come. We were finally walking to The Last Resort’s office in Thamel, Kathmandu, from where a bus would take us to the Resort which is 3 hours away from Kathmandu. We reached there and marked our attendance and waited. After 30 minutes, we were in the bus and travelling through scenic roads, fog all around and the first rays of sun coming out of them making it all look so dreamy. Stopped for a quick breakfast and started moving again.
We finally reached. As I stepped out I took a deep breath and smelled the cold fresh mountain air which I really miss in Kolkata and then I saw the long metallic suspension bridge stretched out above a deep gorge where I could hear the river rushing down below. To reach the resort you need to cross this shaky tumbling bridge from where I was going to jump in next few hours which is 160 Meter high and it is like jumping from 43rd floor of the Empire state building and down below was there a raging river (Botte Kosi) flowing through rocky beds, One thing I was sure that if something goes wrong then I’m not going home back. When I was walking through the Bridge I could feel my shaking legs I was not sure if it is out of fear or cause of shaky bridge.
In resort we were briefed about dos and don’ts of Bungee jump and there were around 40 people which were divided into 3 groups according to their weight G1 (70 Kg-100KG), G2 (63 Kg – 69 KG), G3 (40 Kg – 62 KG); I was in G1 which was written with marker on my right hand. I did a mental preparation and made some plan about my jump like how I’ll stand and how I’ll give a little push to jump as instructor told.
But when my turn came and I went to Jump platform (Which is at the middle of the bridge) my mind went completely blank, I forgot all my plans, I was standing there looked at the camera gave warm nervous smile, took a deep breath, spread my hands like eagle spreading her wings before a jump to catch her prey, I could hear faint sound saying 3, 2, 1 Jump and then I jumped. And very next moment I felt like time has stopped, world around me has stopped, all I could feel was whooshing sound of cold mountain air through my ear and body. I had no thoughts, no feelings, I didn’t felt the slightest hint of any fear, and I didn’t utter a single word, I want to be in that state for very long time but after those few extra ordinary moment of my life I felt the stretching rope which brought me back to my normal state and then I started shouting woooooohoooooo…… For the first time in my life I was FREE…
In those 3 seconds of free fall I realized that –
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
- 03. 07.2012