Ferrari World and all that Jazz….

 

“But each time I seemed to be climbing into a roller coaster and finding myself coming through the downhill run with that sort of dazed feeling that we all know.”

-Enzo Ferrari 

My friend Cynthia and I had a number of pacts over the course of two years that we were roommates; our bucket list was so big that the only way to complete it would be living together again or at least in the same city.

Little did we know, that my move to Abu Dhabi would happen within such a short span after our graduation. Having been born and brought up there, she always had immense love for the city and a ton of things she wanted to explore with me; but one particular topped it all for both of us: FERRARI WORLD!

How excited we get when we are making our bucket list! And who wouldn’t want to know whats inside this? (Also, wish I could say I took this picture but, Thank you Google!) 

Now before I get into the details of how Ferrari World is what I consider the ultimate Paradise, let me talk a little more about bucket lists and its importance, especially before my “Big Move”.

My mom and I had moved to Abu Dhabi a month before summer started. Our sightseeing was limited to malls and Corniche. We had a beautiful beach just outside our house, and the thought that “We have more than enough time, we can visit places once summer is over” prevented us from doing all the touristy stuff.

So when it was time for me to move, there were two things I wanted to do (and my leg would allow me to) and that was go on the fastest roller coaster in the world and experience the view from the top of Burj Khalifa(it would be a shame if I didn’t do these!)

This is where I want to stress about Bucket Lists. MAKE THEM! And do everything that is in your capacity to fulfill them! Why? Because this life is meant to be lived, this life was given to you to create memories so you will have a lifetime of fond stories to look back on and even brag about! And as clichéd as it all sounds, I don’t think there is anything more truer and relatable than that. And the more you visualize, the more that list starts to unfold (more on this later).

So finally I became a tourist in UAE. We went to Dubai to stay for a weekend so I could do whatever it is that I wanted, (and to all who have been there, my list was altered according to the needs of my leg, so no matter how appealing Palm Jumeriah and Atlantis sounded, I had to keep my expectations real, also 48 degrees centigrade 😛 )

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You would think being the tallest building in the world, you can spot it from miles away, but it takes time, and every few minutes I kept asking my dad, will it come now?

If you like me, constantly seek magic in everything, well The Dubai Fountain show is just for you! I absolutely loved the view from the 124th floor and the fastest elevator to get to it; however, experiencing the water dancing against the Burj Khalifa and its ability to light up your life within seconds is a true marvel to watch. I feel it goes beyond a spectacle to admire from a distance, it really touches you. It takes every bit of your concentration to switch between the dancing fountain and the laser show on the Burj Khalifa because you do not want to miss a single thing.  It shone Bright, Bright like a Diamond, in all its glory, and I took my time to let it all sink in, to do justice to what I had witnessed, it was overwhelming. And as much as I am a believer of nature and all of God’s gifts, kudos to this man made wonder!

That day, I felt complete. Like everything is this world was just right.

We spent the next day with close family friends who showed us their version of Dubai and I could feel traces of sorrow taking over me.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, I told him, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
– Azar Nafisi

I don’t think there is a more fitting quote to describe what I was feeling that day. It was time to say goodbye to Dubai, which meant bidding farewell to UAE was around the corner. As excited as I was to be moving back to India to focus on my career, I had fallen in love with Abu Dhabi. I wanted to cherish every second, I wanted to preserve it all in a box, so that I can live off it for a lifetime. Because no matter how many opportunities I get to go back, it will never be the same.

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And the thought of not waking up to this view every morning, was heart breaking.

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You will feel every single emotion that you possibly can, on this ride.

Finally, after all that planning, Cynthia and I found ourselves at Ferrari World, ogling at every single inch of “extraordinary.” We had been transported into the parallel universe that we often talked about when we had to be studying instead.

Ferrari World was everything we thought it would be, and much much more. Imagine if all you expect is a cookie but instead get a room full of every single dessert from across the world (I am trying my best to not make you feel like I am exaggerating).

We also met this amazing human – Shiva who was in charge of Formula Rossa that day, he is so full of life and pulls pranks on you to see if you can handle the 239km/hr!

We do wish we had better planning though, because we did not get to ride the “Flying Aces” (I did make up for it a few months later). I suggest you get in as early as possible in the morning so that you have sufficient time to cover all the rides (for Go Carting, make an advance booking!)

To anyone who is planning a trip to UAE, please do make sure Ferrari World is on your list (which I am sure it is), and besides trying out all the incredible rides, I would highly recommend the “RED Show” that takes place at the park. Trust me, it will make your time there all the more worthwhile.

I had one more week left in Abu Dhabi, and all I wanted to do was sit in my balcony and enjoy the view, so I could replay it in my head for the rest of my life (besides flooding my phone with its pictures).

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Al Reem Island, you are missed!
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The ACL, Meniscus and Me.

‘Dance Basanthi’, it was my favorite song that year, and I was trying to ensure that my dance moves did justice to it. My entire class was present, and were a cheerful audience! We had all gone to a resort called Mango Mist to mark the end of our incredible three year journey at Christ University, Bangalore.

However, little did I know – that my leg wanted to do this in style.

Do you see how excited I was?

Have you heard the song “Pop! Goes my Heart” sung by Hugh Grant for the movie ‘Music and Lyrics?’ Well thats exactly what happened to my knee. It went ‘Pop’ and I remember collapsing, my entire class rushing to my rescue, and it all happened so fast that I kept thinking, who could have hit me so hard with a cricket bat or football? It took me a good five minutes to realize that it was internal because no one was apologizing! (Also, no one would do such a thing, not deliberately of course).

That night, we were all staying in tents, so with a lot of help from all my friends and to my luck – a wheel chair as well, we made it to our tent. And the entire night, my friends took turns to look after me, specially my roommates and my friend Avishek – who did not leave my side even for a minute, and there I was trying to keep my mind off the excruciating pain , completely oblivious of how serious the injury was going to be. The highlight for all, however was taking turns to give me a ride on the wheelchair!

The next day, due to lack of access to any other mode of transport – we had to make our way back to Kormangala in a Tempo. (Yes, I held my leg the entire time and had conversations with it that it would be ok). I was so blessed to have friends, who spent two days before our final exams in the hospital with me. Unfortunately, that day the Orthopedic was not in, so I was asked to get an X-Ray and the Physiotherapist informed me that I have nothing to worry about because it was just a sprain. You can imagine my elation at this! I had put my entire family in so much worry in the last 24 hours, that my mom had booked her tickets for the next morning, and this was my shot at cooling the situation.

But, hailing from a family that has more than 3 doctors, there wasn’t much escaping. I was to be taken to the top Sports doctors the very next day, which was followed by an MRI which was followed by the realization that I had not one but two Ligament Tears – A torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament and a Meniscus and that I may or may not need surgery. And just like that my hope to cool the situation down was lost. My fear was turning into tears, only to be stopped by my aunt Reeta(also a Doctor) and mother who were doing everything in their capacity to stay positive and keep me going.

What was really bothering me was that I had been dancing since the age of 4; how could dancing possibly betray me so much?

Then it hit me, earlier that day, I had performed this adventure activity – Log Crossing. Now for those of you who don’t know me, I am a very short person. And I really had to stretch and exhaust every muscle in my body to achieve the below feat.

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Do not try this at home! Or anywhere!

I had my MRI Results in one hand, and my textbooks in the other. I had one night to prepare for my exam the next morning, and my roommates- Cynthia and Neela, once again came to my rescue by giving me a crash course. I had to do this for the next one month. My right leg in a Brace, an Ola to get me to college which was otherwise a 10 min walk and a special seat away from the rest of my class.

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I tried to be stylish by getting two different types of Braces

You must be wondering, why I am giving such a detailed back story? It is because this injury changed my life entirely!

Stay tuned, because the real story has just begun!