I have been always fascinated with nature and there are awesome places in Chennai to explore, one of them is the water catchment areas like our Ponni in Selvan named after Kumaran a geologist by profession and who has set limca book of records for the 7kms of stand up paddling in the Bay of Bengal.
Kumaran is so committed to teaching students for paddling, that he catches a plane from his work place in North India the previous night and shows up with his students the next day early morning at 5.00AM. Kumaran is down to earth person loves to shares his experience with paddling, surfing and many more water sport activities, he is also part of “Bay of Life“
I start up from my residence at 3:30AM, and reach by 4:45AM close to Kumaran’s residence. He then picks up few more students along with me in SUV and go for a 30+ KMs drive to reach Ponni in Selvan – a water catchment area.
First the basics –
Comfort – Synthetic sport t-shirt, along with similar type sports trousers, which are fit for water sports.
Safety first – Every one wears a life jacket, as soon as we set our foot in water and reach hip level, he expects us to float in water, just to ensure the life jacket works and at the same time to ensure that students also feel safe & confident in case of emergencies, the best part is that he ensures we paddle on the safe areas which are hip deep.
Second safety – tying your feet with the surfboard, there is some thing to hold if you accidentally rollover and reach the surfboard.
Getting on Surfboard – the balance is the tricky part, to get the Center of gravity. First time you are asked to board lying flat after which you sit in knee position. A good feeling that you are in control, then he hands over the paddle, teaches you how to rove and how to turn the surfboard.
The experience – initially you could feel your arm muscles getting tighten up, after few minutes you will know how to handle the situation. This is the first time I was stepping in to a open water and had a whale of time. Close to nature with all the lovely sounds from the birds and the waves of the water and at times pure silence. I couldn’t ask for more.
Kumaran has been travelling 25000 kms in search of water catchment areas in Chennai and has unravelled 18 water bodies fit for water sports from April 2015, equally spent many hours in documenting the water catchment areas along with students. One such documentation is my experience, last week he was there at Ponni in Selvan but the water level was much higher. All of these activities helps to maintain water bodies during rainy season, We could have avoided Chennai floods, if our water bodies had been maintained well.
So how is the preservation part of these water bodies? –
Kumaran says that there are few software companies try to clear up the water bodies the next week it looks the same, He wants to create awareness, that these water bodies are the basic part of locality.
How many of us know swimming?
how many of our children?
I heard it – they do swimming in the swimming pool. Have they been close to nature.
Ask you great great grand dad, he would done swimming in these water bodies, they did preserve to some extent, but the busy way of life has let away preserving these water bodies. The water bodies are shrinking day by day either in the name of development or by polluting them with garbage by the same locals.
What Kumaran is trying to provide is a safe way of interacting with nature along with healthy activities and fun, so that people will try to save these water bodies knowing that once lost that their coming generation may have to just look at photos.
Want to do water sports along with a trainer, you can reach Kumaran at +91 99710 91541