Twenty third day of October.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing
– Hellen Keller
As the baked October wind blew through brown leaves on an otherwise lazy afternoon, people were seen standing on the edge of the terrace of the iconic Innovation Center building. With wind speeds high enough to wither away the faint of heart and the acrophobia inducing height, the brave and the bold gathered courage to rappel down the megastructure.
Red-X organized its annual adventure weekend – ‘Vertigo’ on 22nd and 23rd October which consisted of multiple events like Cliffhanger, Zip-Lining, Wall Rappelling, Guerrilla Walk, and Archery; and witnessed huge participation from the crowd. The most notable event, ‘Cliffhanger’, was held at the basketball court near Kamath Circle. It was basically a team activity involving two people simultaneously climbing an inflated frustum shaped wall while maintaining the balance to reach the marked line on the top. The crowd seemed to enjoy watching the participants tumble face down into the inflated perimeter around the wall.
Gayathri Punyamurthula from MCODS came all the way to MIT to participate in the event, and was among the few who managed to cross the line at the top. Sipping the chilled can of Red Bull which was given to her as a prize for making the successful climb, she said, “At one point I really thought that I would tumble over and fall, but considering the mid-semester crisis I am already going through, this seemed like an easy task and hence I climbed upwards without a second thought”.
Archery, as the name suggests, consisted of a target set 25 meters away, and participants were supposed to hit the bull’s eye by using the quiver of arrows provided to them.
Harness clad participants zip-lined across the inner lawn of Academic Block 5. They traversed a distance of 80 meters by being pushed off a ledge and hanging on a rope tied across the initial and final points, while controlling the speed by varying the friction applied on the rope and positioning themselves accurately to make a successful descent.
Wall rappelling was held at the terrace of the Innovation center and was without doubt one of the most exciting episodes of the category. Standing on the edge, with humid wind hitting their faces, participants overcame their fright and made a leap of faith by holding a rope and rappelling down the building, only to reach the bottom and cry in joy as they looked up at the fear they’d left behind.
Guerrilla walk was an intrepid task, where the participants were supposed to walk on a tight-rope tied across the entrance of Academic Block-1 while holding nylon ropes hanging from the top. The trembling feet of the participants and the occasional shrieks kept the tension alive as people slowly, but steadily, crossed the tightrope.
The Red-X team put up a great show, and sewed the adventure weekend as a memory to remember for its participants.
Fear controls our lives, it binds us down and limits our capabilities, it is the uncertainty of the unknown, which drags us back to our comfort zones and makes us accept limits that don’t exist. Fear is an illusion, and when you understand this, you’ll be free.
– Peeyush Chauhan for MTTN