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Book Release—Uncharted : My Journey into the Himalayas

A ceremony held to celebrate the release of Ganesh Nayak’s book Uncharted: My Journey into the Himalayas took place on 2nd March in NLH. The subtitle of the book aptly describes the premise of the memoir authored by Ganesh Nayak, profound cycling enthusiast and Assistant Professor at Manipal Institute of Technology’s Department of Electronics and Instrumentation. Having travelled through several states, and even the Pamir Highway through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Ganesh Nayak has no paucity in love for adventure and continues to peddle to this day. The book, published by the Manipal Universal Press, describes the author’s long solo adventure across the Himalayas, in a trip of self-discovery that stood test to his capacity of endurance.

Ganesh Nayak speaks at the event

The event was presided over by Dr D Srikanth Rao, the Director of MIT, with Dr Vinod Thomas, the Registrar Evaluation at MAHE as the Chief Guest. Several other dignitaries also graced the event. A welcome address formally introduced the various guests present and soon went on to talk about the book and the inspiration drawn from it.

The author began his address by talking about the difficulties he faced while writing the book, humorously adding that it took longer than the journey itself. Having dealt with a smoking addiction earlier, he spoke about how he felt trapped and helpless, and the substantial effect it had across many areas of his life. Aside from physical breathlessness and discomfort, he experienced self-imposed social isolation, feeling clueless on where to seek help. These troubles took him over a decade to overcome. Starting with difficulty in threading through even small stretches, he recounts his recovery as one of his fostering spirit and determination.

The dignitaries conveyed words of appreciation, regarding him as an icon of inspiration and a great privilege to have as a part of the faculty. Using the book and the author’s achievement as an example, the Chief Guest conveyed to the audience the necessity to dream big and reach out to greater heights and to unlock one’s true potential. A memento, on behalf of the Department of E&I, was presented to the author by Professor Dayanand Nayak, who lauded Professor Ganesh for his efforts in encouraging students to break their stressful routine and head out cycling through frequent excursions.

Following the book release, a few guest lecturers shared some experiences from their cycling expeditions. Soyab Ansari, an alumnus of Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, spoke about his endeavour circling the 5,846 kilometres long Golden Quadrilateral, and the encouragement and support he got from the many people he met during his journey. The speaker emphasised the importance of being mentally sound, relating to his lack of physical training prior to his undertaking. Championing for the Bharat Ke Veer campaign, a fundraiser for the families of paramilitary personnel killed in action, he spoke of the struggles faced by our security forces and the need to bring awareness to their plight. In light of last month’s Pulwama Attack, he called upon a minute of silence for those martyred in the incident. 

Dhanraj Karkera was the second guest lecturer with a great story to tellcompleting the 1750 kilometre long Ultra Spice Race in 132 hours. He spoke of his initial ordeal in which he was rendered incapacitated for half a day after being struck by illness during the race. However, he stood fast to his will and went on to combat his health issues. He finally completed the race 12 hours overdue. This is a great feat given the tough mountainous terrain spanning the Western Ghats that fringed most of the route. Both the speakers emphasised the importance of determination as a token of mental health and the need to nurture it, as a part of a larger focus on well-being. The event concluded with a transfer of mementoes to the guest lecturers. 

The book, Uncharted: My Journey into the Himalayas, can be purchased on Flipkart and Amazon

Featured Image Credits: Subhranil De for Photography and Videography.

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