It’s been a while since I read Richard Bach’s ‘Illusions’. It’s a book that I read when I was 14. And read it over 35 times in the next 6-8 months. It also led me to read every other book which he wrote. Richard Bach is a flying enthusiast who spent his life living with flying machines. I hear in his old age he is still living with three of his own machines somewhere on Long Island. I was to fly with him a year ago, and I very much looked forward to it, but it was a promise that somebody could not fulfill.

We had four Bhairavi Yantra consecrations in four different cities – Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville - in that order and had to get to the iii ashram by night. This marathon of hop-consecrate-speak-hop across the Midwest from Chicago to Tennessee, a journey of more than six hundred miles, the day stretched from 5.30 in the morning to 2am. Is there someone out there who can add a couple of hours to the meager 24?

It so turned out, I came to a tiny little airstrip in a proper residential area – that’s America for you, there are too many flying enthusiasts. The winds were blowing over 30 knots, wet and rainy. Not the kind of weather a helicopter pilot would relish taking off in, but there were many people waiting at the consecration places. Above all, how to keep Bhairavi waiting?

We took off and started heading in a general southerly direction towards Indianapolis. Illinois to Indiana stretch is largely a flat land with square miles of corn or soya crop. That was comforting, considering the bad weather - in case of any mechanical problems, there were open fields for emergency landings. Flying across this same terrain now, it reminds me of Richard Bach’s barnstorming days, which had been so vividly imprinted in my mind; it’s quite something to be reliving those images after such a long time. The 35 knot wind, being a tail wind, hastened our journey pushing us on at over 140 knots per hour, a little over 200 km/hour. We made our landing in Indianapolis, once again in a residential area, but not an airstrip, just a regular street without much traffic.

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The Bhairavi consecration in all four places went wonderfully well. The deep sense of devotion that she is bringing about in those who come in touch with her is indescribable. It was amazing to see in every town I went, there were a group of people who were singing away the songs and chants of Linga Bhairavi to perfect tune, rhythm, melody and above all, with immense devotion. It is heartening to see that people are beginning to realize the power and joy of living in consecrated spaces. If we cannot consecrate the whole world, let us at least do as many homes and as much space as possible. If we consecrate a substantial amount of space in this world, we can be assured of a more powerful and balanced generation-next.

The two-day retreat at the ashram this weekend was powerful and refreshing for everyone. Mahima Hall is definitely looking more organized as we have finally overcome the fire marshal’s stringent requirements. Paneled the sides and more ready for all weather operation.

I have dedicated the coming week to passing the Federal Aviation Authority private pilot test, so I am on in a student mode reading largely technical data. Studying like never before in my life, as this is the first time, literally, my life depends on what I study. These last 24 hours, successfully practicing the various maneuvers that one can do with a helicopter, including emergency landings without engine power and also passing the FAA prescribed medical test without a hitch, kind of sets me up for the impending certification test sometime in the coming week.

One thing is for sure – that my time on the road is going to come down drastically.

Time to fly