Catch the scene from a typical Hindi movie. The villains have surrounded the heroine, and the inevitable is about to happen, when our wonderful hero walks in like a champion with a pistol, and fires continuously (sheer magic, considering the fact that the magazine can hold only a finite number of bullets). The hero finds the perfect mark, and singlehandedly, destroys the villains. You almost let out a gasp of disbelief; this guy is a killer. What style! Of course, over a period of time, we realize that this is more unbelievable than fiction, but then, it has the desired effect.
Last weekend, I had been to a rifle shooting range with Yadu. Thanks to his colleagues, we had a chance to hold a real (yes, real!) rifle with our hands. Initially, I was apprehensive about the whole shooting experience, but Yadu insisted that it would be fun to get a know-how of what it is all about. It was a first time experience, and obviously, we had no clue about guns, rifles and pistols. There was nothing but doubt, as we were explained, how to load and unload the rifles, the different safety criteria associated with firing, and the target range. I still don't know the technical aspects of these different devices, but if I remember correctly, I think they were the AR-15 and the M1-GARAND rifles.
But in spite of all the inexperience I have in dealing with real world weapons, I took to them like fish into water. He was definitely feeling left out, because let alone striking a target, he was struggling to hold a gun. But, then, he came up with very good poses to prove a point that he can hold one. We were able to handle the rifles pretty easily, and came up with good shots at the 25 yard range. We were surprised by the amount of recoil the rifle generated, and the effect was much more pronounced than what we study in Physics. I still remember those complex equations which troubled me to get the velocity of the bullet given the distance. As I got ready to fire the shot, the numbers were flying off my head, and I was wondering what would be the velocity of the bullet. That's when our style icon, Rajinikanth, the man who has defied the basic laws of physics all along, came into picture. How does he split that bullet fired from the gun using a knife, and diverts it to two separate directions? It is funny even to fathom how the director could get such shots going. When we fired the rifles, of course, I knew where the target was, but to spot the exact location from even a 25 yard distance is impossible. The experience is like a flash. Everything happens in a split second. Somebody standing by the side, peeping through the binoculars, would then say "Well that was few inches from the target on the left." Such is the impact of the shot. So, it gets unbelievable to believe out of the world reflexes from the hero of our movies. Even the movie Matrix can be put to shame!
What about the pistol! Such a small device, you feel that it would be one of the easiest guns to handle. But, actually, we found it to be much more harder than the rifles. In fact, the distance was much lesser than the rifle range - about 15 yards. The problem with the pistol is that there is no support for holding the tail end, unlike the rifle, where there is a wedge for support. For a person like me, who is restless and can hardly balance on both legs, my hand was moving up and down as if somebody had just fed me with a heavy dose of anesthesia. Out of fifteen shots, only ten shots were there anywhere in the vicinity of the target. The other shots were not even registered on the target, and honestly, it was pretty embarrassing. Both of us, at the end of the day, felt that we were better off with the rifles than the pistols.
So, thanks to Yadu and his colleagues, we had a great time at the shooting range. The experience was way different from the conventional outings that we are normally used to. That doesn't mean that yet another NY trip is not going to be fun for the long weekend. The long weekend with the usual baays will be a blast!!!