A life long newspaper reader, and a keen follower of world events, for the last few days I look forward to the morning paper not for the headlines. I jump to the last pages to see the progress of CS Santosh in the Dakar. Well, a week ago, I had not heard of either. But, I noticed a daily column in the Hindustan Times by Sukhwant Basra and one day I glanced through it. And then I started to follow it, look up the DAKAR Rally and now I am rooting for this young man.
The Dakar is probably the toughest motor rally in the world and is so named because its original route was from Paris to Dakar, in Senegal. However due to security issues along the route in Africa, it was shifted to South America in 2009. Its a route of about 9000 KM that goes through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia in 13 stages, starting and ending in Buenos Aires. The average height of the route is 3000m and its all off road. The conditions seem to be really really tough and this young man
Santosh is a 31 year old biker from Bangalore, who is being supported by Red Bull for this event. I am not quiet sure why HT is sparing space in its sports columns every day since he is the only Indian competing internationally in such races and the sport I am sure has no following. But, reading the column gives an idea of what is involved and the sheer determination and courage of this young man. He has a hairline fracture on one of his toes, which he has strapped and going on with medication. Only 91 of the 150 or so who started are left in the race, and he is placed 34. Way to go Santosh!
And then this week we had the story of the two young Americans, who completed the free climb of the 900m Dawn Wall in the Yosemite for the very first time. And if you see the pictures, you are just amazed. Well done Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson.
I am always impressed by these kinds of individual efforts. How does some one set this kind of target? The determination, the single-mindedness, the dedication – all of it go for a positive story in these days of so much gloom around us. While the Americans were breaking champagne this morning for their success, I hope Santosh too will be popping champagne on the 17th when the Dakar finishes. But I will miss the daily updates – I will have to look out for some other positive story!!