Saturday, July 31, 2010

Passion of a High School kid III

Being air borne and surf as an avian was what he cherished. He used to love the time when his mother used to tell him stories as a kid about Icarus and his magical wax wings. He thought of never going near sun and loosing them like Icarus did once he receive them.

When he got certain that the magical wings were never fashioned again after Icarus fell, he sought other ways when he came across the story book read of magical broom used by witches. He asked his parents where he could find one but they would always tell him that he is too young to steer it not desiring to break the kid’s heart. He was content with collecting the stickers of the witch with broom for time being.

He was so excited when the stories of Harry Potter came and Quidditch became his favorite sport .He used to lay aside pocket money to buy the novel on the same day of its release and would teleport in the novel and race with harry on Nimbus 2000.He always used to wonder why he has not seen anyone playing it in Izmir.

Gone were the days of the fantasy kid world, he was an adolescent now and knew it was all fictitious except the air borne planes. Nothing like a personal air bike or broom exists for the matter of fact. He had to pinch himself to believe when his father got him an air bike instead of counter strike game as he expected. It was unheard of in turkey and his father got it shipped from Germany as soon as the product entered the market.

This was the time to call Cosku to fiddle around with the air wagon together. Cosku had pretty good knowledge when it came to land wagons but air borne would be a new challenge for him too. They will bend the air and cut through the sea of clouds.

After getting expertise in driving, he could ask Aylin for a ride too and it would definitely be the cool stuff Cosku was talking about.

When called, Cosku didn’t believe at first but he was amazed when he looked at it for real and they started trying to operate it that moment only. The vehicle need to be supplied with initial fuel for making up the thrust and but then it was supposed to use the heat from its surroundings to drive through. It took an hour before they could be airborne. It scared hell out of them at first when they couldn’t control the speed of it and regretting not reading about it first. It just cut across the wind like a blade but then Cosku figured out how to control the amount of heat absorbed and hence change the speed. It got soo much smoother and exhilarating.

Being a coastal kid, he started swimming almost before walking and then wind surfing but this experience was different, definitely different .He had been fantasizing about this for so long.He adored his father for the moment.

Bekir !!! Bekir!!!

Ohh Boy!! Wake up, you don’t want to be late for the first day of school, Cosku must be on his way for here already.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Hiking seems like the real sport not that I know much about other natural sports like wave and wind surfing. It feels like discovering oneself again in the lap of the sire nature.

In retrospect, I am reminded of my trekking trail on splendid Hemkunt Mountains of Middle Himalayas where blended aroma of cold ice, flowers and wet mud brings even musk to shame .It’s fun to watch how nature seals this place for 8 months to come up with a kaleidoscope of Glaciers, Waterfalls, Mountains, Transparent Lakes and Flower Valleys. When the monsoon rains begin, the ice and snow melt and meadows of ferns and moss and wildflowers paints the lake bank.

I remember how we hiked 22 kilometers steep tracks for flower valley and Hemkunt shrine on the same day and how the hot stew from rice and lentils we got in the Shrine felt like Ambrosia to the fagged souls and how dipping the feet the cold waters of Hemkunt Lake snatched the pain out the feet and made them numb. It was a sight to behold-the cold glossy lake fenced by the 7 mountains and so clear that you could peep in for the rocks on the bed.

We stayed on the small army quarters in the middle of forest and the best thing was the scenic view of snow clad mountain from our window in the morning and river flowing beneath.In India,you are lucky to have an uncle in the Indian army given the fact of all the royalty from the British expire handed over to the army,the most important being the army men still maintaining those British etiquettes and life style.You really feel like a king there and it feels so good for a change with servants at your disposal.Especially if you go to remote places,the army quarter is the best place and may be the only place to stay unless you are backpacking.

This time while googling for a hike route I came across Appalachians and find this really interesting read:

To be honest I didn’t realize there were already the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail AND the 1,862 mile International Appalachian Trail (IAT) which extends far north into Canada. Unfortunately portions of the Canadian IAT require train and ferry connections and as such only about 100 folks have completed the whole thing.

Technically the Appalachian mountain range exists in Europe as well (you know, the whole Pangea thing) and runs through Greenland, the UK, Norway, France, Spain, and Morocco. The newest IAT extension will also require train and ferry connections and perhaps even a passport. Could the IAT one day become the longest trail in the world?

We ended up doing a minuscule of it with the stats of the round trip being 6 hours for 25 kilometers .Unlike the Hemkunt one this didn’t have a paved path way path to abide by, you could just check white signs on the trees and follow them. It was such a breather to spot out a few blue ones on the way and drink cold fresh water from the rivulet being already out of water stock. You can’t spot out many fellow travelers; may be a few if you are lucky. The ones whom we met were planning to do a quarter of the trail for a month and were carrying bag packs with food and tents all the way. I can imagine how difficult it is to do that on such a severe track and just surviving on the beef stew all along just because it’s very light weight. Only time you can savor a regular meal is when you come across some township in between the trail. I could see the remains of the fire places in between though which people could be using while camping.

Nowadays, it’s so difficult to spare a month or two unless you are in middle of changing your job or so but then you got to be really interested in wildlife or photography to do it for so long but I heard people doing it for 4 months. Kudos really!!

I observed some torn tree trunks and it seemed that they were once home for the bees and then bears had ripped open trees or hives to feast on honey, honeycomb, bees and bee larva. I could spot out some of the wild pink mushrooms too. As my roommate told me, the colored ones are poisonous but the white ones are edible.

When I look back, the visit to the flower valley of Hemkunt was great in the sense of a having a company of a local guide feeding us about the plant species growing out there. Every plant had such a peculiar shape matching its nature like poisonous ones looking like snake fangs. We could spot some birches whose barks were used by our sages to write all our sacred books. The best part of the whole journey was going near the point of no coming back - a deep crevasse on the glacier ice sheet we were walking on ….

Friday, July 2, 2010

Invictus Movie

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

A Victorian poem written by William Henry which forms the central theme and pumps up an inspirational boost Nelson all the eighteen years he was incarcerated in a match box sized prison on Robben Island. Pooh-poohed at first by all teammates when their captain Pienaar suggests the poem as the anthem, the poem later feeds in the adrenaline to the underdog spirits of SpringBoks.

Seasoned like a fine French wine, Morgan Freeman has done a perfect job posing as the protagonist of the movie without any need to pack a new attitude to fit in the character of Nelson. Our Matt Damon alias Jason Bourne has played Francois Pienaar in the movie, the team-lead of the SpringBoks with a new tinge of being a silent leader this time.

The well chiseled brains of Nelson contrived their application in the outset of the movie plot itself stopping blacks when want to use their newly earned political power to detract identity of the springboks by snatching off their colors and logo. Nelson being a tolerant man instead flexed this as the spade to boot out the ingrained apartheid. Had been it supported, it could have thrown the nation to dangerous ramifications like civil war with police being primarily controlled by the white minority.

Nelson invites Pienaar next for the evening tea and tells him of his desire of getting SA the rugby world cup which impresses and perplexes Pienaar at the same time but he tries his best to follow up. With the help of new coach, he adopts the method of self compliance first rather than imposition to bring new ethics in his team. On the request of Nelson, the team travels to all nooks of the nation and organizes rugby camps so as to generate interest of the nation especially kids in Rugby. All the team needed was the support and motivation from their own country and Nelson did all the efforts to get the team that. He even visits them before every match and wears the team shirt to show his support. This all worked in a loop, the support improved the team’s performance which in turn raised the confidence of nation in their team giving more support to it. The blacks and whites got a common motivation which leads the black and white colors to leave Africa rather than the springbok colors. The team dethrones Australia, the incumbent champions of Rugby for the first time and grabs the winner cup.

PS: It’s the best feeling when you change the mindset of the whole crowd and bring a transformation. Few people have the guts to do that and they live for centuries to come.

I would like to recount the similar incident of troy when demigod Achilles visits his goddess mother to seek opinion of whether he should fight the war with Troy. His mother replied in affirmative even with the knowledge that his son wouldn’t survive it ; just thinking that he would be known for centuries for his might in the war but even 3 coming generations won’t remember him if he stays back and live as a normal man.

Life definitely has a purpose, search for it and get it done before you are done…..

Take Home Message: a) Inspiration and motivation has the capability to do wonders and bring the best in anyone.

b) The most hard mélange of people can be brought to terms by smart brains either in right or wrong ways( NELSON and HITLER) .