In the spirit of adventure
When I was in the Andamans, learning to dive, I learnt a very remark-worthy figure. Of the hundreds of people who learn to dive there every season, only 1 per cent are Indians.
I couldn’t fathom it. What could possibly be keeping us away from enjoying a thrilling activity like scuba diving. Not the cost. Because it’s paltry compared to what a large per cent of us tend to spend on holidays. Are we just not into water sports? Have we lost our spirit of adventure?
We have one of the most beautiful and longest coastlines in the world. Yet there’s almost no sign of the water sports like snorkelling, surfing and diving that are enjoyed all over the world. Perhaps we just don’t see the sea as a source of adventure and fun.
Also, the tendency to take unnecessary risks has always been frowned upon. I learnt that the hard way when a friend had an accident while paragliding. His family was upset with all of his friends for not dissuading him from taking up such a reckless activity.
Is it reckless? I don’t think so. When you prepare yourself, get training and take all necessary precautions, an adventure activity is as dangerous as crossing the road. Shit can happen anywhere. At least in the former, you’re doing something that makes you happy and alive.
But attitudes are changing.
Indians have more disposable income now than ever before, and are beginning to get over the save, save, save attitude. They’re eager to explore their potential; after all, you can never know what you’re capable of until you push yourself to your limits and discover lands beyond them.
For a people waking up to the possibilities of adventure sport and travel, can there be any better place to be than in India? Our vast nation offers a more diverse landscape than most other countries. And while we may not have the infrastructure at present, the right equipment is slowly becoming available.
Which brings me to something new that we’ve started in the paper today, something that I’m very excited about. It’s a new section that’s dedicated to fitness and adventure sports, meant to cater to this new breed of Indians.
I’m hoping that through this page we’ll be able to explore the variety of adventure opportunities available in the length and breadth of India and offer a map to any traveller wanting to set out on this journey.
Let’s see how it works out.