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

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Sleep Time Story

It was her first night when she was all alone in the room. 
"Not fair! Why do I have to sleep by myself?"

The little girl longed for the familiar touch of her parents, to be the one lying in the middle, as her hand snaked towards where her mother's hair would have been.  Hair which she would twist with her fingers as she gradually fell asleep.

"Daddeeeeee," she called.  It was more of a summon than a request.

"Oui madam, you screamed for zomething?" Daddy was at the door with his french waiter accent.

"I am thirsty.  Can you get me a drink of water?"

"Zertainly, what ze madam wants ze madam gets" and he was off to get her request.

She took her time, sipping the glass of water, each sip buying her more time with her father.

"Anything else ze madam requires before ze madam sleeps alone?"  The Daddy-Garçon was on to her for sure.

"Can you tuck me in?"

And so he did, elaborately, making sure she was snug inside.

"All done sweetheart.  Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite"

And then giving her a kiss he went out of the room, leaving her a  l  o  n  e.

She turned and twisted around on the bed.  Kicked off the blanket, threw the pillow down, something was still not right.  No matter which way she turned, it wasn't comfortable sleeping alone.  She wasn't really scared of sleeping all by herself, all her friends had been doing that for a while.  It was something that she had avoided telling them about, that little Miss Six still slept with mummy and daddy.

Her dad used to twist the poem she had learned in childcare.  The one that went

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new

Daddy changed it around
When I was one my poo had just begun
When I was two my poo was smelly too

Naughty daddy!  Then he teased her by changing the last lines too.

But now I am six, I'm still sleeping with my parents
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever even when they are grandparents. ;

Well that part was true, she was six now and still sleeping with her parents.  But last week her parents negotiated an agreement. A historic agreement was what daddy had said.  She would start sleeping in her room five days a week and if she kept it up for three months, she could get the pink bicycle that they saw in the store last week.  So here she was, all by herself, trying to sleep alone.


It was a slightly frowning daddy at the bedroom door this time.

"What is it sweetheart?  You know you have to sleep alone tonight"

"But I need someone next to me.  Can't you lie down here tonight?"

"Hmm that will break our agreement.  I am pretty sure clause 1A of the contract on page eighteen, specifically mentioned that I can't lie down with you for the whole night.  I can't dear, you know what a hassle these legal agreements are."

"But I am alonely.  I need someone by my side"

Daddy's eyes went around the room and then he smiled.

"Well I knew something like this might happen.  It so happens that with my astute thought process and forward planning that I was able to think of something that might please madam," he smiled again, "wait for a minute".

Daddy walked out of the room and was back after a minute with his hands behind his back.

"Ta daaaa"

In his hands was the biggest teddy bear that she had ever seen.

"And it's not a toy", he said.  "It's a sleep assistance device, especially designed to meet the needs of young six year olds.  And the occasional thirty year olds too I may add".

With that he placed the teddy next to her and tucked it in.

"Good night sweetheart"

"Good night daddy"

She cuddled up to the teddy and was asleep before she knew it.

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

‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’
‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’
‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’
‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’
‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’
‘Little Girl, Toy, Scared’