Claimed to be the largest trekking symposium in the country it attracted speakers from different parts of South India and pre-dominantly from Tamil Nadu. The event had 18 speakers who have explored and kindled the unique passion within them. The speakers had varried interest’s from animals, snakes, trekking, waterfalls, turtles, photography, first aid, maps, navigation, HAM radio and various other outdoor activities. The event sprawled across two days and engaged the audiences from different parts of the city and few coming from Bangalore, Dindugal, Auroville and other places.
There were few topics I had very big expectations which turned out to be boring and few unexpected topics which were brain-storming and ‘food for thought’. Those who failed to leave a mark in me I forgot them when I came out of the venue only the rest of the speakers who had left an indelible mark in me have made me to pen.
How a photograph of a little frog can save our planet?
This was the question which was raised by Mr. Amogh. Although, it sounds like a hypothesis of a Ph.d dissertation. I was wondering with all curiosity what this Gentleman is going to talk about. However, he made a very good case and conveyed his message very effectively. Admiring his passion for photography and especially his unique passion to photograph small and un-noticed living creatures on earth was something which attracted me. His principles of clicking and sharing them as much possible and giving them free of cost for non-commercial activities are his distinct characteristic features. Although he appeared to be silent person his work and expressions hit me like thunderstorm.
That’s the reason precisely why I walked towards him and had the opportunity to shake my hands with this “Photography phenomenon” called Amogh.
Marathon in Marathon:
An unbelievably next door-uncle-kinda person who challenged the young guys with his bubbling energy is Mr. Anand Anantharaman. As the saying goes there will be 'calmness before a storm' he never opened his mouth until he had an opportunity to do so. He made the walls reverberate through his youthful vibrations; his legs never stopped at a particular place and he kept jogging from one end to the other end of the room for innumerable times for almost an hour. Certainly, he was the person who covered the floor the more number of times.
He informed us that he started running only at the age of 56 years which I am unable to digest till now. He roared that “running is like a contiguous disease” when one gets to watch inspiring people like him talk I am confident “even a dead man would come out of the grave and complete a marathon”. Definitely he is a person “Born to Run”.
I speak for animals:
A thunderous voice unmatching to its owner was that of an old army Major Mr. Dawn Williams. Although he claimed himself to be as an animal welfare person he was definitely a threat to anyone who even attempts to threaten an animal. He may appear to be old but none of his actions, expressions and voice can make you feel he his retired from service. He his definitely a night mare for people who hurt, injure or even think of harming any five sensed creature.
He uses the nitty-gritty of legal provisions to fight his battle against harmers to animals which was evident from the number of people whom he has got arrested. He his definitely a night mare for any person who thinks of injuring an animal.
A walk to conserve turtles:
He appears like a boy from rural Tamil Nadu sporting with doothi but his English can make an Englishmen raise his eye-brows. This 6 foot tall gentleman walks along the chennai coast looking for sea turtle nests and dig out their eggs to take them to safe hatcheries and release them into sea when they start walking on their own. His new interest of making Tiruvanmalai hills green is an exemplary effort in this economic world where everyone is in search of money.
Arun’s walk has saved hundreds of Olive ridley turtles and I am confident he will walk to save thousands and thousands of these endangered creatures in the days to come.
Nilgri biosphere is my home:
Appearing humble his words spreads like a forest fire which echoes his feelings for something which is very close to his heart i.e. the Nilgris biosphere and its flora and fauna. He is a person who is committed to his word and follows his own set of jungle ethics when he ventures into the nature. His knoweldge about the nilgris biosphere is a product of his hard labour and his voice is unique among the crowd which speaks about conservation. Let him keep marching ahead in his journey towards conservation. All the best Mr. C.R. Jayaprakash.
Organisers Nagin; Aishwariya; Thilak and Karthick Rajagopal:
Although I did not had the opportunity to hear Nagin and Thilak speak but I had the opportunity to move with them and I very well understand their work and contributions. They both are definitely 'feathers on the cap of CTC’ they keep us motivated and when they are into organising one can expect miracles to happen. Defintely, they are always like twinkling stars on a gloomy night.
Karthick has an inspiring way of teaching photography, like his photographs his lectures are damm interesting. A very informative and down-to-earth guy who loves talking on and off the stage. He has inspired many persons to click pictures. Keep your good works flowing like a perennial river - mate.
Women and trekking – Aishwariya’s presentation was as beautiful as her appearance. A very powerful and effective presentaion about the difficulties faced by women during trekking and how to overcome them. Her idea of creating a separate forum for women trekkers made the audiences feel that she is a woman of not only words but also 'action'. Her work in publicising Trek Polama 3 through media was simply brillant.
Dare to create your own trail rather than following an existing trail:
A living example of the word “explorer”. If one wants to understand the term “explore” it becomes pertinent to meet him and join is expedition to realise the true sense of this word. An inspiration for me to trek and explore he has motivated many person’s to take the trails never taken before.
His understanding of the Indian terrain takes anyone by delight and his passion for outdoors is simply un-matched. He made the maps to appear like a beautiful digital photograph, GPS a smart phone in hand and navigation class a walk along the lush green garden. Walking tall in the arena of outdoors he is a god sent gift to Chennai i.e. Peter Van Geit.
At the end of the two days programme witnessing various enthusiastic people speak out their heart. What keep me inspired and motivated is the abundant and over-flowing energy levels expressed by CTC volunteers. The Trek Polama 3 happened only because of the dedicated bunch of volunteers. I am just feeling elated to be one among them.