Raise Your Threshold — A Story of a Voyager.

This is partly a story, partly a memoir which I got to learn from the story of Voyager, who circumnavigated the globe and it’s pretty crazy.

Let me start with Quote: “Human beings are capable of tremendous stamina and fortitude.” — Teachings by History of Human Kind.

Today I was attending Tedx talks presented by my University and it featured an army officer, who became one with mother nature in his voyages with his grit and perseverance. His name is Major Ashok Kumar Singh the first physically handicapped person to sail around the globe in a yacht named ‘Trishna’… Mr. A.K. Singh has also earned the Kirti Chakra award which is one of the highest Gallantry awards a person could get in India.

So let me share some of the great insights I was able to gather from this talk:

Before I start let me share one more observation which I was able to have from the talk that is Major surely has Brevity in his words and he really fits into the paradigm of Brevity is the soul of wit. This guy really has command over what he speaks and I believe that’s what comes when you become one with mother nature. Possessing this characteristic Major A.K. Singh sums up his whole voyage in answering 2 questions that were asked to him by some young fellow.

  • Ready for it let’s get to it.
  • During all your voyages how does it feel to conquer nature?
  • Why you do all this?

To answer the first question, he tells that to conquer nature will be a grave mistake cause commanding something which is the creator of all possibilities doesn’t seem possible and logical. One cannot capture the Powers Mother nature possesses, however one can majorly survive and that’s what he did i.e. survive on his boat “Trishna”. Trishna is a Swan 37yacht belonging to the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. The name Trishna means “to thirst for” in the Sanskrit language. The 1970-vintage boat, earlier known as Guinevere of Sussex, was purchased in 1984 from the United Kingdom. The yacht has since been used for long-distance ocean sailing and training.

Trishna (Sanskrit: तृष्णा) means — ‘thirst’ (Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 4.149), ‘aspiration’ (Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 14.44), ‘longing’, ‘craving’ or ‘lusty desires’ (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.19.18),[1] or as तृष्णज् meaning covetous, greedy or thirsting.[2] Trishna is the Eighth Nidana, spiritual love. This is the meaning as per Wikipedia, and fairly it satisfies the purpose with which Major A.K. Singh started his journey (We will see that as an answer in the second question.)

“Major concludes that commanding is far beyond human capabilities but what one can do during the survival in this journey is that they can become one with mother nature.”

Coming down to the second question like why is he doing all this, is the major part where I felt like sir is speaking from his soul expressing almost all the deep feelings he had experienced during his journey.

To answer the question Mr. A.K. Singh starts by quoting George Mallory: “Why to climb Mount Everest ?”
Because it’s there. Beconing you, Challenging you, looking in the eye. Telling you to conquer the challenge, or say that the challenge here is to conquer yourself.

Similar is the sea for Major A.K. Singh. Where the sea challenged our voyager has been challenged by the sea like nothing else and since’s there are storms there are waves, he has to sail on them, rise through the storms, and during this journey, he has to rise through the thresholds that were there in his mindsets, in his soul and he fairly rose above it all I believe. Why I say this because he started his voyage in 1979 and got amputated one leg during a tragic Paragliding crash in 1983, but still he continued the whole journey and circumnavigated the globe with his team.

He further answers that why he does this is because he wished to do something with his life ( Thirst or Trishna to do something ), and the sea was there to do something with it. Also, he states that he learned the 4 basic lessons early in his career:

a) Determination.
b) Courage.
c) Fire in your belly.
d) Never Say Die.

He learned courage and determination when he put forth his desire to do something with the sea experience to his senior officers and to sail around the world in that era where there were few technological advances. Apart from that Fire in your belly and Never say die is the characteristics which he had learned when he was struck with a very great storm in his life, which shook him and he took a promise never to sail again, but once he was on land and in deep introspection while having a convo with his better half he said:

“ I have to go back, I can sail around the world with the amputated leg, if I don’t do this I will be regretting further in my life that I could have done this.”

That’s what he does, he gets back, rides the waves, and completes the journey which he had set.

“Such is the nature of the human spirit,” says Mr. A.K. Singh “that can help you do anything that you set your vision on. Humans can raise their thresholds again and again.”
“Just Never Say Die and Don’t ever let yourself give up on anything that you want to do.”

Finally, after answering these 2 questions Major A.K. Singh answers one more question:

How or When do you start?
To answer that he says just start and Keep Raising your threshold again and again until you achieve that something which you wanted to do.

With this Mr. A.K. Singh signs off by answering few questions raised in Aww n mesmerization by the audience. Further, I got some knowledge on the Different Gallantry Awards in India, again adding something good to my Knowledge.

To list a few great ones:
1) Param Vir Chakra
2) Ashoka Chakra
3) Maha Vir Chakra
4) Kirti Chakra

To end the post:

I will conclude in one quote Mr. A.K. Singh says during the conversation,“May the Force Be with you. Just keep in mind one thing that Mother Nature has everything to provide you for your needs but not your greed.”

I hope you liked the half story half memoir. If you find it inspiring you may check out his book and get in-depth insights about his journey:

Beyond Horizons: Around the World in a Sailing



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Yuvraj Dhepe

Yuvraj Dhepe

Love to put pen to paper & share thoughts on Love, Work, Play, Health. Mostly a cool n calm human working with devotion following my intellectual curiosity. ✌🌷