Rakesh has acrophobia from a very young age. It is a condition because of which high altitude gets him very anxious and nervous. However, Rakesh constantly chooses to challenge his fears and comes out victorious. He even took a solo ride on his bullet to Leh-Ladakh to try paragliding.
“I know I have a morbid fear of heights but I have always been watching videos about paragliding on TV. It looked fun to me, watching the world below, as you soar high like an eagle while the wind gently blows on your face. So, I just decided to do it.”
Rakesh had visited Rishikesh earlier but had only indulged in some water-based activities with friends. But this time things were different. Rakesh had finally found his bucket list. He decided to make it a point to not leave Rishikesh until he has checked his adventure bucket list of paragliding in Rishikesh at least for once in his life. To deal with his fear, two months before visiting the location in July, Rakesh started to learn and practice meditation.
“Just the thought of flying at that incredible height gave me chills. I had never dealt with something of this magnitude before. To tell you the truth, meditation really helped me get a grip on my nerves. There are two locations in Rishikesh for those interested in paragliding, Mukteshwar and Ranikhet. Trained experts give you an impromptu tutorial and at times you’re provided a tandem paragliding experience.”
Rakesh recollects the first few minutes before his take off from the point and describes it to be as one of the best moments of his life. After setting a foot on land Rakesh remembers calling out to his instructor, “Can I do it again?”
For his next bucket list Rakesh wants to travel to the North-East on his bullet and visit all the seven sister states.
For aspiring bucket listers he says, “The human mind is a very complex machine. And fear is just a figment of your imagination. If you’re scared of dogs, adopt one. If you’re scared of water, just dive in. You have this gift of life. Don’t let fear eat away the best and beautiful parts. Deal with fear head-on and let the adrenaline kick in and do it’s job. Don’t just sit back and wait for a miracle because you know what ? You are the miracle.”