From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, Jan 1: Going off the beaten track, around 29 brave swimmers went took a dip at Crinoline swimming pool here at the stroke of midnight to welcoame the New Year.
Among the 29 plunging into the cold water of the pool with élan were 68-year-old Dennis Marbaniang and cardiac patient 63-year-old William Sooting, besides young ladies from different walks of life.
Sexagerian William said: “It’s all about endurance that prompted me to plunge headlong into the water braving the chill to prove my strength.”
This time, the revellers had decided to make the New Year celebration more interesting by placing three and a half tonne of ice in the swimming pool before taking the midnight dip.
“This is our style to welcome the New Year with a prayer to God to give us strength to face the challenges of life,” said Michael Syiem, the man behind the event.
Participants were not allowed to take any kind of intoxicants ahead of the event as the organisers felt that drinking would negate the event’s objective.
“Greeting New Year does not essentially mean drinking and frolicking but this celebration of ours is to strengthen ourselves through challenges of life,” Syiem said.
A young medical aspirant among the swimmers said: “I’ve joined my dad not only for swimming, but also for testing my stami as well.”
On being asked about the idea of plunging into cold water to welcome the New Year, entrepreneur Kailash Verma said: “This is to prove that we can remain strong despite all odds in life.”
Crinoline Swimming Pool attracts a number of tourists who visit to witness the midnight jump that has been in practice for 21 consecutive years now. (with inputs from IANS)