JANUARY / F E B R UARY 2 0 1 4 61 We entered into a current of a daily life without comparison. e Karma is in wind as it is in the mind. Imagine wind as a vessel for thoughts. There was good wind karma tonight. Wind, first and foremost, is your best friend, your true lover. Knowing wind is the art of flying, the god of safe passage as well as the lover scorned. e Joyce said, “Prepare for landing.” She dug the basket of her balloon Salsa deep into the sand and bounced two heavy times into the hard embankment, bringing us to a sudden stop. Salsa was a wild beast refusing to accept her master’s command. e The Indian military gave us permission to fly over their base in Jaipur. The next day all fly-overs of the military installations were forbidden. e Hundreds of young men and boys rushed under us. Again Joyce yelled, “Prepare for landing!” I was out of the balloon in a heartbeat, grabbing the tether rope to hold her from lifting off. The crowd pushed in on me and I called to a few of them to hold onto the basket. But hands began striking me from behind, and we immediately recognized the danger facing us. The crowd had changed into a mob. “We have to move now!” Joyce commanded. Maintaining a firm grasp on Salsa’s reins, I jumped onto the wire fence as Joyce fired a blast into the envelope. We screamed at the young boys and teenagers who were clinging to the basket to let go, and I jumped off the fence and pushed them away. Back on the fence, all the time keeping my eyes on Joyce and maintaining a firm grasp of the rope, I tried to restrain the powerful Salsa and pull her away from the trees. The little kids leaped over the fence after me, scurrying under and around me as I tried to set Salsa down without one of them being crushed. Salsa was a giant in their playground. Then a jeep with three police officers raced down the road toward us, and the officers, with batons raised, ran into the throng. As if a giant cat had arrived, the children fled like mice in all directions. We returned to a celebration in our honor within a well-guarded palace with manicured gardens. Tall men, well-tailored and wearing red ornamental hats, offered the dusty, weary and hungry crews fresh fruit juices, strong black tea and coffee with a sumptuous spread of spicy Indian food. e The crowd of young men and women, seduced by the fantasy of ecstatic play, danced and sang to the pulsing rhythms of the Bollywood performers, who were surrounded by a phalanx of balloons bursting out of the night sky, fiery visions and orbs aflame! A trio of balloons emerged—celestial butterflies. India aglow.
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