Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Follow Your Heart ... NOW!!!

(Don’t wait for someone to aim a gun point-blank at you!)

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
- Henry David Thoreau

My name is Marcos Sampayo. I was born in a middle class family in Goa as an ‘ordinary’ boy but I had so many dreams and fascinations … Among many other things, one thing that I liked, as many children do, was to fly! But my story is different … I see the birds flying in the sky and I wanted to be up there with them. I hear the roaring noise of an airplane hovering in the sky and I rushed out (even straight from the bath-tub, at times) to the balcony just to have a glimpse of it … The years went by but my passion about flying did not die … I invariably stretch my gaze at the blue sky whenever I hear the familiar sound of flying objects…

As I grew up, the only thing that ‘flew’ was time! … I had to park my dream ‘in some corner of my heart’ and move on … I was probably waiting for ‘someday’ when I will follow my dream. I still subscribe to aero-sport magazines but that is the only thing I did for my ‘love’.

I completed my regular education and joined my family owned grocery shop. I was making decent earning and even started growing my dad’s business. As my father neared the retirement phase, I took complete charge of our business and I am engrossed completely in the routine.

One day, my life took a sudden turn! It was a normal day, like any other so far … Customers were pouring in the store at regular pace in the morning … then the rush dropped as the sun rose above the head … I heard a big roar of an airplane and since there were not many people in the store who needed attention, I stepped out and gazed at the airplane … As the aircraft gets lost in the distant clouds, I returned back to the counter with a ‘sigh’ and started attending to the few new shoppers. Suddenly, there is a stranger who enters the shop and changes everything. He takes out a pistol from nowhere, fires a shot in the air and frightens everyone outside the shop before he rushes right to the counter. He then aims the pistol at me and threatens to kill me if I do not give him all the cash. I am frightened like never before and in no time emptied the cash drawer into the armed robber’s bag and begged to leave me alive. The seasoned robber then thinks of further frightening me and said ‘I still want to kill you! So, lie down on the floor’. Not left with any other choice, I do as instructed … but to my surprise, I find out that when the robber pulls the trigger, I am not hurt at all – there was no more bullet in the gun! The robber runs out of the store laughing at my plight – I was still trying to grasp my breath.

This event ruined me – I was frightened to death during the few minutes that keeps flashing in front of my eyes – even after I was released unhurt physically. I spent the next week in isolation. The introspection resulted into a reinvented Marcos! I decided to make the most from this ‘gift of life’. I did not bother at all about the financial loss I incurred … instead, I took the ‘boldest’ decision of my life! I sold off our shop and joined a flying club. I studied hard to become a certified ‘Hang-Glider’ Pilot. I then set up my own adventure tourism boutique firm (vôo duplo de asa delta) in Goa and not only live my ‘passion’ but I make a decent living out of it (‘more than what I would be making from my boring shop’ – as I likes to emphasize)!

While taking the tourists from across the globe up in the clouds, I always share my story of life – and invariably poses a thought provoking question to everyone – “Will it take some insane to aim a pistol point blank at you?? Please DO NOT wait for a single day. You may not be as lucky as I was – FOLLOW YOUR HEART, NOW!”

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.
- Lyrics from Already Gone, performed by the Eagles for their 1974 On the Border album