Twenty four-year-old Vipin Sahu never wanted to get on the glider in the first place. The tile-showroom owner from UP’s Banda has a great fear of heights. But of the five friends who went on an 11-day trip to Manali in July this year, three had already done it. A few jibes from the friends and his ego subsumed him, sending him on a six-minute crazy and wildly hilarious ride.
The video, which shows a petrified Sahu doing commentary throughout – he even curses himself and offers to bribe the accompanying instructor for an early landing – was shot on July 8. It went viral over the Internet on Tuesday with over several lakh views within a few hours. In addition, the video has been shared on several web pages, including some from neighbouring countries. More people now come to his showroom to meet the paraglider from the viral video, than to enquire about or buy tiles.
Sahu is totally “overwhelmed” by the response his video has got. “Social media is such a powerful thing. A small man from a small town has got so much of love. I am glad I could make so many people laugh,” Sahu tells Outlook. He suspects Rishabh Dixit, one of his friends who went on the trip for having circulated the video. “He doesn’t admit it but I know it’s him.”
When the group first saw the video at a Manali hotel, they laughed so hard that the hotel manager had to come and quieten them down. A somewhat undesired consequence of the video going viral for Vipin was that it reached his family, who saw him using expletives generously. “You pretend to be so decent at home. But we saw your real self in the video,” he was told. But Sahu asserts that he only used those words for himself and not anybody else.
Another curious feature of the video has been his instructor constantly telling him to straighten his legs. Sahu says he was unable to seat himself properly in the harness, as a result of which, he couldn’t straighten the legs. Besides, the inconvenient position led him to feel that he was slipping down and he could fall, thus compounding his phobia of heights. We don’t know if he has overcome the fear after this ride but skydiving is the next adventure on his bucket list.