Sunday, November 30, 2003

For adventure buffs
Harbans Singh Virdi

Adventure Sports 
by Yana Bey. Puffin Books, Delhi. Rs. 175. Pages 152

In a country where cricket is a religion and hockey to some extent still catches the people's fancy, thanks to some recent victories, it is amazing still that adventure sports is also carving its own niche among adventure lovers. Though the book by journalist Yana Bey, as the publishers say, is primarily aimed at the 12-year-olds, yet we are sure, in India, or at least this side of the region, it is mainly the young adults who seem to evince interest in adventure sports which offer a great challenge to the human capability. Rock climbing, hiking, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, rafting and scuba diving, to name only a few, for each sport, the book discusses training techniques, preparation and then the equipment. It also outlines steps one must adopt for safety.

The book does mention that even if you are on the wrong side of 12, it does not mean that the gates of the world of adventure are shut to you. One can still go for camping and hiking. In fact, one can ski from the age of three. Swimming and skiing are two sports where the earlier you start, the better it is.

An experienced climber was giving basic lessons in rock climbing to a bunch of youngsters in countryside when a group of locals passed by. "Oye! Why are you trying to reach the top by that difficult route? Come with us, we will show you the road." However, the old climber grinned and shot back: "Thanks buddy, but we prefer to go up the hard way."

Did you ever know that SCUBA stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus? Scuba diving, too, is dealt with. The book may appear small for quick reading, yet it is big enough to answer your questions about adventure sports. Besides, it is moderately priced, yet quality of paper or priming has not been compromised. It is small, handy and highly readable.