spirit of adventure

everest 2

(Image courtesy: planetmountain.com)

While ruminating on why do we seek risky adventures in remote areas, the script writer of ‘Mountain’ has come up with a beautiful answer. She says that our daily life has settled into such comfort and security that now we seek danger elsewhere.

The documentary movie  ‘Mountain’ is a melange of enthralling background music and stunning views of mountains and mountain adventure. To top it all, the background narration is like a poetic recitation with plenty of silent or musical interludes.

The script writer is from a developed western country. Here in India, if you live in a metro and your office is 15-20 km away you have your daily dose of adventure while commuting to and from office. In rural and semi urban areas, fulfilling basic needs are filled with their own daily perils. And we are one of the oldest civilizations of the world. Now imagine the hourly adventures the people of countries like Afghanistan must be going through just to keep their body and soul together.

boita bandana.jpg
(image courtesy : jantrajyotisha.com)

Come the full moon of Kartik when in Odisha we have the ritual of rising early in the morning, going to the nearest water body (preferably a river) and set sail  tiny boats made of balk of the banana plant. These boats contain disposable lamps. This is called  boita bandana. It is done to remember the glory of our ancestors who used to set sail during this time for the far shores of Java, Sumatra and Bali.

Sometime after that, for 1000+ years as Indians we seem to have lost our spirit of high adventure. It is not surprising that most crowded family beaches for Indians can be found in places like Puri or Murudeshwara or Kanyakumari so that in addition to the watchful eyes of parents we can venture into the sea with the watchful eyes of the local gods. But there also our venture into the sea may not extend beyond knee deep water.

But our spirit of adventure finds expression elsewhere. Or so do I think when I see a group of youth riding bikes without helmet and skilfully docking the traffic cops.

Coming back to the Mountain documentary, along with glorifying human aspiration for achieving transcendence, it has undertones of lamentations about the human propensity to commercialise and vulgarise the sublime in course of time. In this age of instagram, selfies and overt commercialization, conquering the Everest is no more a mark of exploration into the unknown. It has turned into something similar to a long crowded queue to the Disneyland.

sea beach at Murudeshwara

10 thoughts on “spirit of adventure

  1. So true, life of common man in India is full of everyday adventures due to lack of security and level of comfort in life.

    Yes it is kind of fashion to be foolhardy and drive a bike with optimum speed and sans helmets. Just yesterday, A piece of news was in the my region of newspapers that two teenagers succumbed to their injuries who were driving the bikes without helmet. We can only feel for the bereaved parents.

    Yes,mountains have lost their pristine effect to affect the mind and soul because of the din created by the throng that climb it.

    And yet some sort of adventure do refresh you mind and body.

    Nice write up. Enjoyed reading to a tee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for going through the entire article.
      Adventure is also a kind of soul food.
      Only problem is even tough there are many other equally dangerous and less trodden mountains to be climbed, Everest has a special allure for the human aspiration to reach the highest.


  2. I find the reverse equally true. People who live amidst nature and serenity often get bored with the certain blandness. They find city life thrilling and interesting. I have seen people staring at the highrises and shopping malls, which we city-dwellers find so monotonous. Precisely, I personally feel that we humans always long for the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grass is greener on the other side. That is also the point I wanted make.
      India has lost its spirit of adventure since for the majority of the Indians there is hardly any time or resources left after struggling to meet the basic needs.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not seen the documentary. But I agree with the conclusion of director that by living in cities we have forgotten what is to be to survive in the wild. It is true we have a lot of problems in the city. It is also true in modern day hiking / camping etc we are not exactly surviving in the wild, it still gives an idea what can be. Regarding commercialisation, we cannot help, It is hear to stay. Question is how much can be regulate it.

    Liked by 1 person

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