Gary Kirsten has stressed on the importance of taking in new experiences and widening horizons so much that HT decided to take the plunge — quite literally. On a drizzly, windy Friday afternoon — not any Friday, but Friday the 13th — an opportunity opened up to bungee jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
It’s something that you would have watched hundreds of times on television, but nothing quite prepares you for the four-minute experience. The walk across the bridge to the bungee pod, clipped to the harness as you are buffeted by the wind, makes you tingle with anticipation. The view across to the Pacific Ocean is tremendous and the harbour — chock a block with sails of boats waiting to head out to sea. When you're finally trussed up, with your life hanging from a latex cord, you begin the walk towards the ledge. The heartbeat shoots up, as you shuffle towards the edge, and stand there, looking 50 metres down to aquamarine green of the Rangitikei river. A "3-2-1 bungy!" countdown from Sammy and Timmy, who conduct the jump is the last thing you hear as you spring off.
As soon as you jump a wave of anxiety takes over all other sensations and suppresses everything around you. Plummetting downwards to your apparent death, vision is heightened as you get the illusory feeling of the sea rushing up towards you. Incredibly, almost all sound ceases to exist as the rushing of the wind silences the cries of those watching you jump. For a few seconds you are alone, with no connection to anything or anyone, freefalling. Just as you come to grips with what you have done, you're reeled back in, the blood rush yet to settle.
Tourism Auckland invited Dhoni to jump, but his contract did not allow it.
David Beckham and his LA Galaxy teammates jumped off the Harbur Bridge, as have members of the Duran Duran band, the Irish Rugby team and the prince of Jordan among others. And today, an unknown cricket reporter from India added his name to that list.