Rahul Gandhi Paragliding at Kamshet
Rahul Gandhi Learns Paragliding with Nirvana Adventures at Kamshet
Rahul Gandhi (Member of Parliament & Vice President of the Indian National Congress) and his team from Amethi participated in Nirvana Adventures Paragliding 3 Day Residential Course at Native Place . Their goal was to experience free flight as part of a team building exercise. They endorsed Nirvana Adventures with their choice.
All of Kamshet is abuzz with the news. A steady west wind ensured that they experienced the magic of our Shelar Flying Site.
The kids at Shelar and the Nirvana Adventures Team are honored to meet and to teach these amazing gentlemen. After successful flights on day two we welcomed them to the fraternity of paragliding pilots.
Check out the more on Paragliding News which followed 🙂
We wish him all the Best 🙂
Peace, Bliss & Happy Landings
Excerpts from the Biography – Rahul By Jatin Gandhi & Veena Sandhu
Putting his management training to use, he took along his team of seven to eight people from Amethi to Nirvana Adventures, a flying club at Kamshet in Maharashtra. The three-day long paragliding course that lasted from 28 to 30 January 2008, also served as a team-building exercise. Situated in the Western Ghats, 85 km from Pune, Kamshet was not the usual setting where a politician and his party workers would get together to discuss work.
But, with Rahul’s track record of not doing what you would expect politicians to do, it wasn’t that unusual. In the midst of sunflower fields, quiet lakes and hills dotted with ancient Buddhist cave temples, the Amethi team spent the mornings taking paragliding lessons and the evenings brainstorming. Those who watched them at Kamshet said the discussions took place one-on-one. The hierarchy was visible only when the team addressed Rahul: they all called him Rahul bhaiyya.
Before Rahul and his men landed at Kamshet, his host Astrid Rao had been very apprehensive about the high-profile politician visiting her quiet hamlet. Astrid, who founded Nirvana Adventures along with her husband Sanjay Rao, was certain the visit would disturb the peace of the area. ‘I was sure the area would be cordoned off by the tight security that would accompany Rahul,’ she said. None of that happened. ‘Without our mentioning it, Rahul ensured that nobody in uniform or with guns was seen in or around the guest house. Not once was our routine disrupted by his presence,’ Astrid said.
It was like having any other guest. The first night, the Raos cooked lamb for their visitors. A buffet was laid. ‘I was surprised to see Rahul offering plates to the others with him. He also made it a point to leave his plate in the kitchen himself,’ said Astrid. The next day, mealtime found Rahul going up to the cook to ask him if there was any lamb left over from the previous night.
Coach Bhardwaj, too, described Rahul as a man with no airs. ‘When I started training him, I addressed him as “Sir” or “Rahulji”.’ But two days into the training, Rahul made a request to his coach, ‘Please don’t call me “Sir”. Call me Rahul, I’m your student.’ On another occasion, Bhardwaj said he told Rahul that he wanted to have some water. ‘There were attendants standing nearby, but instead of calling one of them, Rahul went running into the kitchen and got me a glass of water.’ And after the lessons, Rahul would escort his teacher to the gate.
At the paragliding school in Kamshet, Rahul’s first day was spent with flight trainer Sanjay Rao who gave him ground training. Actual flight lessons were carried out on the last two days. ‘Rahul’s performance was very good. He just picked up the glider and was off,’ said Sanjay, rating Rahul among the top 10 per cent of his students. ‘He is a very attentive listener which is why he learns fast.’ Those who have observed him describe him as a man ‘who always keeps his antennae up’. During the stay, Rahul also wanted to go for a swim in the nearby lake, but his security guards advised him against it. He heeded their advice. ‘It was a pity, considering that he’s a very athletic person and likes to jog up to 10 km a day,’ said Astrid. As word got out that the young Gandhi was training at Kamshet, several local villagers turned up to meet him. Among them was an old farmer, a familiar face in the Kamshet area. The Raos introduced him to Rahul as ‘Shelar mama’. The farmer did a big namaskar and then, with hands that shook with age, he poured Rahul tea in a dirty cup which he had brought along. Everybody flinched. ‘But without hesitating for a second, Rahul took the cup from Shelar mama’s hands, drank the tea and then asked for another cup,’ said Astrid. That’s another trait he has inherited from his father. While campaigning in the heat of Amethi, Rajiv would willingly, and gratefully, reach out for a glass of water or sherbet offered by women waiting at the doors of their ramshackle huts for the visiting leader.
The farmer from Kamshet, who is said to have been a pearl diver once, went on to tell an attentive Rahul one story after the other about his life and travels. Other elderly men also came to meet him. They would walk up to him with hands folded in a greeting and Rahul would promptly stand up. He wouldn’t sit until they did. Those who know the young Gandhi say this is normal behaviour for him. Like his father and sister, Rahul is not comfortable being treated like a demi-god. He doesn’t like people touching his feet or standing in attendance around him. He would rather sit on the floor with them.
He is also not a man to forget a promise. Astrid discovered this a month after Rahul and his team left Kamshet. When she had taken him on a tour of her garden, Rahul had told her that his mother was also fond of gardening. He said Sonia had a particular book to which she often referred, but he could not recall its title. He promised to send it to her after he got back to Delhi. A month later, Astrid received an unexpected parcel. It was the gardening book Rahul had talked about.