Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Super" thinking


      I was working in a design office, the adventures had taken a stall.  We went on a cycling trip to Murud Janjira, where we cycled for three days to cover 450 km and the event brought some liveliness.

      Another trek with Prasad, outlined by Kirit with “Haults” was noteworthy. We travelled to Bhor and then Ambavade –Korle where we took a night “hault”. Early morning we started on our way up the Kenjal gad fort and a Long thorn pierced through my shoe sole and broke inside the Foot arch causing excruciating pain. It rained cats and dogs. I limped to the top and descended on the side of the Dhom dam backwaters. We crossed the waters using a ferry boat. My Wallet was lost! I had absolutely no money and we had Rs 20/ between us. The Ferry boat owner took pity on us and waived off the dues.

      The situation was critical as we could not afford to spend another night outside. We had to reach Mahabaleshwar, the same night and catch a bus to take us to Pune. The rain disregarded our plight and continued. We completed the 2 Day trek in a day and I was in shambles, as the pain had not subsided. A truck driver gave us a lift to Wai and we caught a bus back home.

We did not have food for the entire day and we ate some dry buns with the money remaining after purchasing return tickets.  The trek boosted our morale, as we did a long trek in less time when the condition was bad.

      Prasad, Girish and I went on a basic rock climbing course at Sinhagad led by Anand Kelkar. Anand had a charisma and we were influenced by him. He was a known Himalayan climber and pursued non-traditional methods.  He had just completed his first alpine style climb on Mt Thelu (Solo). Anand was very interesting to us as next generation climbers and he took lot of interest in coaxing us to treks. Anand also worked in the Automobile research center  The fact that we bonded well was that he was a dreamer who followed to his dreams into action.  He encouraged Girish and me to join the basic mountaineering course at Uttarkashi.  He felt that the training was essential before indulging in any Himalayan expedition.  Anand, an apprentice himself, was keen on me pursuing my studies.

      Prasad and Anand had different views on climbing and I could see that they were parting ways.  Prasad joined another group and started climbing Pinnacles and faces, whereas I was under Anand’s influence.
      Before my Basic mountaineering course, Anand and few friends went on a 3 day trek during Diwali vacation.
One of the forts was called Rajdher. The front face had a stair case that was destroyed under the British rule. We traversed to the face at the back. It was a 350 feet rock climb of easy gradient but with few natural anchors.  Bhushan led the climb and I was a middleman. I was scared but I continued, only to prove myself as would be Mountaineer.  There was a chance to get included in the next expedition and Anand was thinking of a majestic mountain.

      The plan was to rappel down the rope on the chiseled side of the staircase. But when we were on top, the sun had already set. We had no torches and we could not find our way to the opening of the stairs. It was a winter night. We were without food. There was no shelter and we slept in the open. Fortunately, Anand had a matchbox and we kept the camp fire alive through the night.
      I spent the night shivering and thinking if it would be colder in Himalayas. There would be no fire for warmth. I was around 8 or 9 years junior than the rest and I could barely cope with the other climbers for their strength or willpower. I had a lot to learn to be a good climber. Perhaps, I thought that recognition and social status would follow a Mountaineering expedition.

      I was working at a young age.  My cousins were still at studies, but they also had a strong financial support. Usually, during get-togethers or at work, I started getting inferiority complex.
I was not well educated as others.  “Doing well as a Worker.”  The adventures helped me to overcome that feeling. I was different than rest. Yet, I needed another straw to keep afloat.
      I did a lot of reading during my travel to work.  One of the books that had strong influence was “The Fountain head” by Ayn Rand.  I had been in situations similar to Howard Roark’s life. The Fountainhead had changed my attitude towards life.

      If I live like a superman, I would reach the higher potential in myself. All I needed was to disregard snobs and ignore comparisons.

      This thought brought about a change in me and I had good scores for my Part time studies in Mechanical Engineering. Although I left for work at 7AM and reached home at 9PM,  I had started enjoying my studies. A bus mate was shocked when he saw me reading a Trigonometry during transit.  
I replied, “I do not have the time to practice on paper.  Reading is good enough.”

The higher scores were influenced by The Fountainhead and the adventures that brought in the big change i.e. "Super thinking". I, me, myself.