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Showing posts from August, 2009

SWIMMING TO ANTARCTICA

Antarctica is fast developing into a land, or I should say, a continent for innumerable and diverse kind of adventures. However, Antarctica itself is not new to adventure. It has received adventurers and tested their stamina, strength, endurance and abilities for over a century. Even when commuting to Antarctica is becoming easier and faster each year, and man having almost colonized it for many decades now, Antarctica continues to offer challenges to never-say-die spirit of humans. Every year during summer season of Antarctica, adventurers attempt to negotiate Antarctic challenges in their own styles. Last year only, adventurers got together to organize first of its kind, South Pole Race 2008, to replicate historic race between two legends of Antarctic exploration, Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen to reach the South Pole. Though there were many records attempted and made, a unique feat of the race was that of a blind man completing the arduous journey of 483 nautical miles across some…

SHIMLA – THE SUMMER CAPITAL OF BRITISH INDIA

I had been to Shimla a few times earlier, however, when I went to Shimla (spelt ‘Simla’ then) with Chitra, Ishu and Vasu way back in 1987, I almost vowed to myself never to return to Shimla again as a tourist. Though I have been to Shimla many times since then, but always for work, and have stayed there just for a day overnight. At that time, we had stayed in the AIIMS guest house at Summer Hill. India’s first Health Minister, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur had a soft corner for the AIIMS, and had gifted her property at Summer Hill to AIIMS. Gandhi Ji is said to have enjoyed the hospitality of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur at this house. It is beautifully located surrounded by tall pine and deodar trees, and is very close to the University.
What put me off in 1987? Climate wise, Shimla was not much different from Delhi in the month of June. The Mall Road was as crowded with tourists as Chandni Chowk or Karol Bagh. We ran into some of Delhi wallahs there whom we saw only infrequently back in Delhi. One c…