What drives people to do something extraordinary?
For some folks, the challenge itself is the lure. When George Mallory, a famous mountaineer was asked in 1920's , "Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?", his wan reply was, "Because it is there".
These days Indian's seem to be on a different trip...
Right now, a government official working with the Planning Commission is running across the length of India. Arun Bharadwaj started out from the Himalayan town of Kargil on 1st October, and has been keeping a steady pace of about 70 km of running everyday. He expects to complete the 3000+ km to the tip of the Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari, within two months. Why would somebody want to set aside a desk-job for something like this?
Bharadwaj's response - “I wanted my children to take up running and I thought what better way to motivate them than to do it myself.”
A few weeks ago, another bureaucrat, Harsh Mandar visited a CPR-PRS forum as an invited speaker. After giving details of his work among the poorest and marginalized communities in India, he clarified that he was no altruist. He was driven, he said, by selfishness. He wanted his daughter to live in a more humane world, where we are not callous and insensitive towards the plight of the poor.
And yesterday, it was the actor Irrfan Khan (of the Slumdog Millionaire fame). He announced that he acted in the movie "Life of Pi" for his kids.
Its interesting to see how motivations evolve as move from one stage of life to another...
REFERENCES / LINKS
* The Hindu (23Oct12): ON THE RUN FROM KARGIL TO KANYAKUMARI, URL - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/on-the-run-from-kargil-to-kanyakumari/article4025134.ece
* First Post (31Oct12): I DID 'LIFE OF PI' FOR MY KIDS: IRRFAN KHAN, url - http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/i-did-life-of-pi-for-my-kids-irrfan-khan-509727.html
* Indian Express (28Oct12): Loneliness of an Ultra-Marathoner, url - http://www.indianexpress.com/news/loneliness-of-an-ultra-marathoner/703614/0
* Arun Bhardwaj - Brining Ultra-running to India - http://arunbhardwaj.wordpress.com/about/