Friday, May 1, 2020

well prepared is half-battle won - importance of Horn


1.      Battle of Hastings took place in 1066 where the Normans decisively defeated English army of King Harold II.  Legend that the battle was won because Normans had prepared well before the war and ‘well prepared is half won’.

2.       This man stopped when it was almost nearer -  K2 base camp,  reached an altitude of 8,200m. At around 1 am, when strong winds, snow drifts, and the lack of oxygen made breathing difficult,  he decided to make a U turn and return back down the mountain for  safety.  One should know when to give up too !  There is no such thing as failure, there are only lessons to be learned.

Horns are important for animals – they defend with them.  It has been theorized by researchers that taller species living in the open are more visible from longer distances and more likely to benefit from horns to defend themselves against predators.  In Western countries, they remove horns of their farm animals. Dehorning is the removal of a cow or calf’s horn in order to reduce the incidence of bruising and potential injury to animals or people.  Disbudding and dehorning are usually performed by farmers or contractors without the use of anaesthetic or pain relief and result in significant acute pain.

சமீப சில வருஷங்களில் திருவல்லிக்கேணிவாசிகள் அதிகம் புலம்பி வந்தது - தெருவில் அலையும் மாடுகள்.  முன்னொரு காலத்தில் எதையும் கவலைப்படாத கரிய எருமை மாடுகள் படுத்து இருக்கும்.  பிறகு பெரிய கொம்புகள் உடைய பசு மாடுகள் பல வீதிதனில் அலைய ஆரம்பித்தன.  சாப்பிட ஏதும் கிடைக்காமல் பையுடன் செல்பவர்களை துரத்தி, சில சமயங்களில் முட்டி, சில சமயங்களில் பயந்து ஓடுபவர்கள் பரிதாபமாய் விழுந்து - கடின காலம்.  இப்போது கொரோனாவில் தெருக்கள் எப்படி உள்ளனவோ ?  திருவல்லிக்கேணிவாசிகள்  அப்படி ஒன்றும் கட்டுப்பாட்டுடன் வீட்டியிலேயே இருக்கவில்லை !

மாட்டை மிக மிக அருகே பார்த்துள்ளீர்களா ? - கட்டு இல்லாமல் திரியும் மாடு தலையை ஆட்டி ஆக்ரோஷமாய் வரும்போது தைரியமாய் நின்றுள்ளீர்களா ?  நீதி நூல் சொல்கிறது  :  ஆடு மாடு போன்று தலையில் கொம்புள்ள பிராணிகளிடம்,  அருகில் நிற்காமல் ஐந்து முழ தூரம் தள்ளி நிற்க வேண்டும்.

கொம்பு உளதற்கு ஐந்து ; குதிரைக்குப் பத்து முழம் ;
வெம்புகரிக்கு ஆயிரம்தான் வேண்டுமே ; வம்புசெறி
தீங்கினர்தம் கண்ணில் தெரியாத தூரத்து
நீங்குவதே நல்ல நெறி

ஆனால்  வம்பு, தும்பு செய்வதையே தொழிலாகக் கொண்டுள்ள வீண் மனிதர்களிடமிருந்து (தீயவர்களிடம் இருந்து) அவர்களின் கண்ணில் படாத தூரத்தில் ஒதுங்கி நிற்பதே நன்மை பயக்கும்! அதுதான் நாம் கடை பிடிக்க வேண்டிய நல்ல நெறியாகும்!

He has walked across Siberia for one and a half years — alone! And when he teamed up with Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, they became the first men to travel without dogs or motor to the North Pole during the permanent darkness of Arctic winter.  When he was eight years old, Horn made a determined effort to ride his bike 300km to visit his cousin – but was stopped by his father before he got too far. “I was curious to how many days it would take,” he said.  Horn did two years of military service among Angola’s guerrilla warfare with South Africa’s special forces. “It made me understand life is not a game,” he told Sidetracked. “I knew I had to go with the aim of surviving.”

Team India under MS Dhoni proudly lifted WC 2011 – preparing for the finals, the  team had  heard some motivational talkers and spiritual performers earlier – this time it was much different.  It was Mike Horn who gave them the pep talk ahead of the high octane semi final clash.  Not a single word on cricket but on adventure and the challenges of life in general.  Gary Kirsten ensured Paddy Uppington at mental conditioning coach and it perhaps was  the turn of Paddy to have another South African talking to the team  !!

It was said that the  concept was to keep the minds stress-free.   For us who follow only Cricket closely, Mike Horn (1966 born) is a South African explorer.  He studied Human movement Science [!] at the University of Stellenbosch and   worked in Europe as as a ski instructor, river and canyoning guide.  In 1995, Mike Horn opened the "No Limits" Outdoor Activity Sports Centre in Switzerland. It was during this time that he broke the world record for the highest descent of a waterfall with a hydrospeed, on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica.  After Amazon expedition, he was fascinated by the sport of sailing.  Mike Horn was elected a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy in January 2007 in recognition of his ground-breaking achievements which reflect great triumph of the human spirit against daunting odds.  He has authored books about his expeditions which are best sellers in France.  He is considered a motivational conference speaker and gives both public and private appearances.  

Through his travels, Mike says he has realized  the detrimental impacts of human activity on the biosphere, and in an effort to 'give back' he created the Pangaea Expedition. The word Pangaea means “hypothetical super-continent that included all the landmasses of the earth before the Triassic Period”.

Shortly after celebrations broke out following Germany’s World Cup victory in Rio de Janeiro, the extraordinary record of one member of the team dawned on people. Mike Horn had worked with the victorious German football team, he had been part of the Indian national side that won the cricket World Cup in 2011 and he was also a member of our Kolkata Knight Riders team that won the Indian Premier League. 

Horn once accompanied Kirsten and the South African cricket team, whom Kirsten then coached, on an expedition to the Alps in 2012, as a team bonding exercise and part of their preparation for their Test series against the then No. 1 ranked team England. They dominated England in the first test (of a 3 test series), a feat which England and world cricket had not seen in a decade. Eventually, South Africa went on and won the series 2–0 with one test drawn.

K2, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and Dafdar Township[3] in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.  K2 is known as the Savage Mountain after George Bell, a climber on the 1953 American Expedition, told reporters "It's a savage mountain that tries to kill you."   Mike Horn was at 8200m altitude, the weather turned bad – it was almost 400m closer but he also realized that if he succeeds in reaching the summit, he may not come back – he took a decision to abandon achieving and came back !

In animal, horn is a permanent pointed projection on the head that consists of a covering of keratin and other proteins surrounding a core of live bone. Horns are distinct from antlers, which are not permanent. In many species, only males have horns. Horns start to grow soon after birth and continue to grow throughout the life of the animal  - here otherwise docile horn is pushing its horn on another !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1.5.2020

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