Amazing Kids! Magazine

Sensation of Success

By Venika Vachani, Age 11, Dubai, UAE


I stood at the edge of the cliff. The wind stung my eyes, cutting into my prickling skin. Dark-feathered birds circled the air, swooping low over the ocean every now and then to catch their dinner. Below me, hundreds of feet below, the deep treacherous ocean beat against the rough sandy shore.

The salty seaside air exhilarated me. I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with anticipation and excitement—and at the same time, fear.

Behind me, I heard the rest of the crew start to mutter. I was here for the shooting of a movie as I was one of the lead actors in the film ‘Dangerous Things’, and this scene was right in the middle of the climax. It was vital that this went right.

The director had talked to me about getting a stunt double for this, but I’d persuaded him that I could handle the dive. I’d taken a diving course a few years ago, and I’d been taking swimming lessons since I was five years old. I had been pretty confident that I could do this—up till now.

Someone called out, “Keira, you don’t have to do this! Are you sure you want to dive?”

It was one of the producers, Callie Evans. I knew she meant well, but deep in my heart I knew I couldn’t turn back now. I couldn’t bear to see the disappointed look on the director’s face when he was told that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the self-satisfied smirk on my stunt-double’s face. We’d had a running enmity ever since I got the role that she’d originally tried out for.

I looked down at the ocean again. I seemed to be teetering on the fine line between success and failure— it seemed like this scene was inexplicably linked to my reputation, my hopes and my dreams.

I braced myself for the pain I knew was soon to come. Unwillingly, I imagined myself falling from this cliff, crashing onto the shore, feeling the deadly sharp rocks pierce my skin. A seagull’s cry awoke me from my daydream and I felt as traumatized as before.

An exasperated sigh came from behind me. “Keira, if you don’t dive now, Allie’s pleased to do it!” Callie said.

At that moment, all my fears and worries broke free. The anticipation of adventure and triumph seemed to shatter all the hesitancy that I’d harbored before. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, my heart beating faster than ever as I told myself firmly: I can do this. I can.

I let my muscle loosen up. Curving my body into a relaxed but alert poise, I dove into the air, using the focused energy in my bent knees to push me higher into the afternoon sky. Renewed strength seemed to sharpen all of my senses as I recalled the masterful art that I thought I’d forgotten.

I swooped downwards. The air on either side of me cut into my extended arms. I knew that this wonderful feeling of flight would only last a few seconds, yet time seemed to slow down so I could hear every trill of the gulls, every crashing wave below, and every gust of wind thundering in my ears. Distantly, I heard the thrilled whoops of my crew and a faint round of applause that seemed to echo in my pounding ears.

The tips of my outstretched fingers broke the surface of the churning water. I crashed into the serene blue of the ocean, the icy coldness stinging my skin, feeling the powerful—yet humbling—sensation of success.