Last year’s Araku Balloon Festival lit up the Eastern Ghats of Visakhapatnam. Two paramotor pilots, who were at the event to enthrall the crowd with their paramotoring displays, share their thoughts with us.
Meeting the sky acrobats- Vedika and Abhay
Vedika and Abhay Singh Rathod hail from the pink city of Jaipur. While Vedika used to work as a curator at the museum, she left her job to be a paramotoring pilot two years ago. Abhay Singh, an architect, tells us that paramotoring is a relatively new sport, and he’s been associated with it since three years and has done international shows as well. “I’m the first trained pilot in this sport.” Having been associated with paragliding for much longer, he shares that the love for aviation was instilled into them by Abhay’s father, who would fly gliders.
It’s fun to fly, share the duo. “It gets me out there, out of the city and it gets me to see new places”, Abhay tells us. For Vedika, who happens to be the first woman pilot in the country in this sport, the keyword is excitement! “It gives you freedom and liberation like nothing else can.” Giving an experience of any place they visit, Abhay tells us that it is an extremely safe form of aviation. “You’re sitting inside a chassis so none of your body parts are directly exposed.” One can comfortably fly up to 6000ft and get a bird’s eye view of the landscape around you.
This is the only licensed company in the country working with certified pilots. With Abhay associated as the Managing Director, Sky school India encourages this new sport in the country, that few know about. With Jaipur being the headquarters for their operations, they travel for events, parties, and anything that excites them.
The duo has flown everywhere in Rajasthan, and many places in India covering the landscapes of deserts, beaches, and even mountains. Their most memorable experience has been flying in the Himalayas, around Manali, where they have a presence. That said, both feel that India is fascinating when it comes to diversity, “we have beaches, hilly terrains, deserts, rivers etc.”
Visakhapatnam, the city
It’s been nice here share the duo who were in Visakhapatnam for the Visakha Utsav 2016 and got a good response.” I love south Indian food”, Abhay confides in us. “People are warm and excited about new things”, they tell us. They love the pristine beauty and colours of Araku and hope to be back soon, this time to take riders along with them. And their message, “Don’t let anything stop you. Explore your world and follow your passion.”