Hot Air balloon Test ride

Sunita Giri 11:31 PM |

Bal Mandir was the place where many people came from many countries for various interest. Not all the interest would have anything to do with the children inside the children home like many kind of experiments. There may have been people, who may have done some kind of experiment in how to provide better environment and then raise children in such environment which may have to do with some kind of training or different kind of education. However I do not know all that officials decision because that was not open for us to know. But if something took place in front of our eyes it remained in our memory. Fine not everything has to be good for us as Bal Mandir was more than children home it was in fact, the center of all the activities that Royal wanted to hold under its banner.

However during 80s time when I was growing up in Bal Mandir, I remember two experiments, one is getting injection  from injection machine experiment and the other is test ride of hot air balloon. See when I was child and even in my teen years all the white color people who spoke English we used to call them Americans and I thought this hot air balloon's test ride experiment was also done by Americans. If they were other nationals I have no way to confirm it now.

I remember, it was a sunny morning, must have been the month of summer. The sky clearly was clear and blue. It was the time before our school hour started. In general we used to be busy in our daily study time before the school hour. But I don't know why we are in the front lawn of the Bal Mandir to see all the procedure before the hot air balloon took place. There were many white people, mostly men, who were preparing a big balloon to make it ready    for the short flight.

Finally, when everything was done and checked its was time time to take off. So, they requested one of the housemother, Kedar Shrestha, who were there to inspect all the process, to climb up in the hot air balloon. At first she felt hesitant with a  bit of nervousness than excited to try this new adventure. Hesitant because four men had made the hand chair, by holding each others hand firmly, so that she can sit there with ease and then she could climb up in the hot air balloon. But, it was 80s nepal and women were not comfortable to accept it due to the narrow thinking  people around us. But as she there was no harm in accepting such wonderful opportunity to see the valley from the hot air balloon, she accepted the request anyway and then when she was in it along with couple of others  the balloon took off up in the sky. There were very strong men in all four side of the balloon to hold and control the move of balloon in the sky. They were also needed to bring down the balloon after about maybe 10 - 12 minutes up in the sky.

In my vague memory, the people who were on the four side of balloons were all white men but may be they could have managed some Nepali for doing that, can't remember that part much.  What I remember is it was very unique sight for us, who were watching it from the distance. making a round on that round lawn that is just in front the main gate of Bal Mandir. Later on she said the men were very strong who could take her weight so easily and make her ride was thrilling, exciting and fun than she had expected.

For a child like me it was really exciting to see a big balloon to fit couple of adults in it and  and then seeing it fly up in the sky and then come it down safely also.

The first public demonstration of hot air balloon had  actually took place long before what I have seen in Bal Mandir during 1980. It took place in France June 5, 1783, they flew this craft in front of some dignitaries which lasted 10 minutes. The inventor of this were two brothers from France, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-√Čtienne Montgolfier.

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