Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bucket-List Countdown - 5

My previous list covered the 6 places I want to visit before it is too late to do the visiting. However, visiting places can be just that – visiting. You get on a bus/train/car/flight, travel for how-ever-long and reach the place. You see the sights, eat the food, soak in the atmosphere and you come back the same way you got there. It is just a visit, even though the place you have visited is on that “must visit” list of yours. For getting an absolute high, though, you need to not just visit but do something; something adventurous that you don’t / can’t / won’t do as part of your normal day-to-day life. Of course you can do weed or some of its more sophisticated relatives and get high, but that’s not what I am talking about. Neither am I talking about any procreational activities though I do realize that either of those can also definitely fall under the “adventurous activities you don’t / can’t / won’t do as part of your normal day-to-day life” category for some! ;)

With that mandatory clarification out of the way, let me now get to my list of To-Do activities. The “Bucket-List” grows! 
  • My first experience of watching any kind of skating were the old broadcasts on TV about the winter Olympics and the ice-skating championships which the channel used to show as time and space fillers between regular programs way back when … I don’t exactly remember when but it was way back. What arrested my attention were the grace, the ease and the fluidity with which they were gliding and I have wanted to be able to do that ever since. I have tried my hand at skating a few times and having ended all those attempts rather abruptly after landing heavily on my bum I am still waiting to show off my grace and fluidity. With wheels, without wheels, wheels in two rows, wheels in a single row, blades, skiis, ice, snow, tarmac, it doesn’t matter how I skate and where I skate on, as long as I can. So on the list goes skating.
  • What do Sly Stallone, James Franco, Tom Cruise and Hrithik Roshan have in common, apart from being good-looking actors? I can hear the ladies say “Does anything else matter?” but I am not a lady so I guess I am looking for some other common factor. To figure out this ‘other’ trait they share, try Cliffhanger, 127 Hours, Mission Impossible 2 and Lakshya and you will know what I am getting at. These guys made climbing mountains with nothing more that rope and pitons look easy. Do I hear you say, “It’s the movies, stupid.”? Well, I know it’s the movies and I know mountaineering is not a walk in the park, but hey if it can make me feel like Sly Cruise, I am all for it. :). Add mountaineering / rock climbing to the list.
  • Next up is something that thousands of ordinary folks seem to be doing, in ever increasing numbers, each year. In fact my sister has done it last year and my best friend from college has done it and continues to do it every year. And this has sort of piqued my interest. A marathon, the full enchilada, is a 42.195 Kms long running race. Yikees!! The thought of that distance itself is scary, so I wonder what it is about running a marathon that is pulling in so many people away from the cushy comforts of their couches, into their running shoes and onto the roads. I would like to find that out, first hand. On it goes then to my list.
  • If the challenge of lasting the distance is the marathon’s attraction, then power, torque, the smell of rubber and gas, the feeling of literally controlling your life with your hands as well as the feeling of being absolutely out of control are the attractions (fatal at times) of motor racing (specifically of the two-wheeled variety). Ever since I have been on vehicle without training wheels, I have raced and sped. And have fallen and been bruised, broken, scratched and mended. And have gotten back on the vehicle to resume the speeding and racing. Of course, all the speeding and racing is of the “traffic light GP” variety on public roads where the sheer volume of every day traffic and crowd means that all my racing happens at 50 Kmph! I would have actually been an amateur racer on two wheels if not for a conservative and “safety-first” mindset – my parents’ and mine. But all the same, it’s on my list because I would love to put my leg over a crotch rocket and let loose on a closed circuit where the only other traffic are fellow racers. No speed limits, no signals, no bull-s***. If not anything else, I will at least know whether I would have made it in that life had I chosen differently.
  • The last on my current list of things to do is the one that scares me the most. But I am also super excited about it because I, for whatever reason, feel that I can actually do it. Am not sure how to explain that contradiction but then that’s not what I am trying to do here. I love being in water. Linda Goodman offers an explanation for that by saying that I am a fixed water sign, whatever that is supposed to mean. However the slight hitch is that I don’t know how to swim. My standard answer when anyone asks me about my prowess is water is to say that I swim like a rock! I usually stand on the shallow side of a swimming pool splashing around. On a recent holiday, though, I broke from convention and signed up for a snorkeling session in the sea. The taste of the underwater world (apart from the sea water that is) that I got during that time has got me salivating at the prospect of deep sea diving. Lots of colorful corals, lots of colorful fish and me in full scuba gear lazily floating among it all – bliss. :) 
So there it is. It’s now 5 days to go before the 12 takes over and this is going to be a list of my top 5 things to do in life, again in no particular order.

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