Wednesday, February 9, 2011

127 hours by Aron Ralston

After reading this book I know I will be carrying it on all my trekking and solitary traveling trips. It will be among my top five favorite books of all time , the other four being : Into the wild , Into thin air, Motorcycle diaries and It’s not about the bike.

There is joy in doing things what you want to do. For some this joy emanates from getting out of the comfort zone .One of the lines that he quotes in his book truly explains the euphoria of living life dangerously, “To a person sitting in an office or a living room,a picture of a winter mountain sunset is just a picture.To me, it was the experience of taking the picture.”  Aron mentions Chris from, “Into the wild” and like him, he also parts off with a prestigious job at INTEL to follow his dreams. Every chapter starts with a quote from a book including one of the quotes from It’s not about the bike. He also mentions Desert Solitaire and it will be my next pick.

Aron has beautifully written this book. Every alternate chapter is about his previous hiking experiences. Though this is an epic survival story my favorite parts of the books were when he talks about his skiing and winter mountaineering. The bear story brings a smile and the avalanche experience makes me shiver. This was not the first time when he got into trouble but this was the place where he least expected it to be. The success of every expedition involves luck and sometimes when we forget about it , it reminds us of its existence in secret ways of its own. He was destined to get struck between a rock and a hard place and still survive this over 127 hours of struggle.

A book which tells us how to keep faith in the worst case scenarios. Aron kept his cool and tried all the possible options to escape.But at the end of a day he figured out that his best chance was if some other hiker bumped into him. So he focused on surviving . He had only a liter of water and almost no food while getting trapped.Apart from that there was cold of the night and he conserving energy and avoiding exhaustion because of no sleep. Amidst the unfavorable conditions he had to make other important decisions like  collecting his urine to drink in future. Among the options for escaping he had the option of cutting his forearm but this  did not work out  because his knife would not cut through the bones.But on the fifth day he figured out a way to do this.His effort plus the concern and action taken by his family members and friends saved him.

Overall an awesome book which I would recommend to all the adventure seekers out there.To quote my favorite lines from the book,”The invigoration of hiking alone, moving out at my own pace, clears out  my thoughts.A sense of mindless happiness-not being happy because of something in particular but because I’m happy is one of the reasons why I go to the lengths I do to have some focused time to myself.”

Rating : 4.8/5.0


amrit said...

Thanks for this post. I have seen the movie. And I have read into thin air and its not about the bike and they are pretty much my fav books too. I guess i shall be picking up 127 hours soon.

Abhinav said...

@ Amrit : It is a wonderful book, do read it.