The challenge wasn't in just walking across... it was in reaching that height bysqueezing through narrow openings and pushing yourself up a tree

The challenge wasn’t in just walking across… it was in reaching that height bysqueezing through narrow openings and pushing yourself up a tree

I clicked this and the other pics inside the London Olympics Park in Stratford. This happened on one of our walks there when Specky, my wife, pointed to the site where a Burma bridge and other rope obstacles beckoned. She said, ‘I’ve never done all this.’

I said, ‘Go ahead and reach for the top. I’ll stay here and click.’ She went on this ecstatic trip and I watched and captured this (and a few other) shots. Specky has a doctorate in Mathematics from York and you’ll be pardoned if you favour the opinion that academics can hardly be expected to do all this… but then she is a TT player and has even represented her university. However, walking across rope bridges wasn’t ever on her radar. But she does go for every new experience… and this is what I tried to capture in this series of pictures. 

Every time I look at the picture it tells me all the stories of our long walks during the summer of 2014. I remember now of all those times when I was exhausted and wanted to stop or turn back… and Specky stood there, smiled and invariably said, ‘OK, let’s rest for a while and then we’ll move on again.’ I’ve come to expect this from her.

I know that without her by my side, I’d have stopped exploring new sensations, experiences and asked my urge to move on to go and rest in peace!

I remember this walk and it is going to remain as one rather interesting day during our 2014 travel to London. What is vital, I guess, is that when we travel we must not remain limited to a safe circumference of exposure. It is always tempting to just take that rope-way or cable-car or cab or bus or any other easier alternative to reach somewhere and look at everything that is there at the destination… yes, this kind of travelling is permissible but not recommended.

What I recommend is that you wear your walking shoes and go out and mingle with the soul of a city. Walk a lot. Try their food. Do what they like to do. And if you’re in the Olympics Park, you might as well try some of the adventure installations here.

London, by the way, has changed a lot since our last visit there in 2010… now every park there has outdoor gym machines like a roller tread-mill a stepper, or even something that makes you twist and turn and exercise your abdominal muscles. Yes, we discovered these machines even in the Olympics Park in London… and not just this, there was also a small wall that you are encouraged to climb. Besides the long walk that takes you to the different stadia in the vicinity, the Aneesh Kapoor installation, and the simply mind-boggling exercise encouraging installations, you also get to see the simply mesmerising architecture that will fascinate the camera enthusiast in you.

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This activity needed balance and a wee bit of courage too

This activity needed balance and a wee bit of courage too

Reaching different levels meant a different set of emotional churning...

Reaching different levels meant a different set of emotional churning…

This walk seems easier... but don't forget the deep ditch under this

This walk seems easier… but don’t forget the deep ditch under this

'I want to complete this one too!' Specky is excited!

‘I want to complete this one too!’ Specky is excited!

...and the smile tells it all!

…and the smile tells it all!

Tense moments that are now in the past!

Tense moments that are now in the past!

This isn't a passive log... it whirls and twirls you into oblivion!

This isn’t a passive log… it whirls and twirls you into oblivion!

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Arvind Passey
02 February 2015