A person died while doing stunts on a giant wheel ride. He opened the seat lock, stood up and started doing stunts. Other people on the ride and people watching him from down below requested him to sit down and affix the seat lock, but he felt thrilled. He fell down as his seat on the giant wheel reached the highest point, broke his skull and died enroute hospital. We see similar deaths daily relating to the youngsters performing dangerous stunts on the fast moving Mumbai local trains. Mumbai, home to the Bollywood also witnesses death and serious injuries to the stuntmen performing dangerous stunts as duplicates for our favourite stars.
What’s the feeling in humans that provokes them to do dangerous stunts, fully knowing that some of these could prove fatal? While it’s understandable for film stuntmen, for whom it’s a source of livelihood, commoners doing it just for a kick is slightly incomprehensible. I distinctly remember the stunts such as fireman (a man diving into a water well several feet below from a podium after sprinkling kerosene and lighting fire on his body) as well as death of well ( a wooden inverted dome with spectators from the top watching a stuntman driving motorcycle on the inner wall of the dome) that we witnessed in our childhood during Diwali/Dussehra/New Year fairs. Of course, these were professionals doing these risky acts for their livelihood. But it was scary to say the least.
International adventure tourism is a new fad, with thrill seekers going to distant destinations for sports like bungee jumping, sky diving, scuba diving etc. Disneyland became an iconic destination for it satisfied this animalistic urge of humans to seek thrills. Now we have these adventure parks almost everywhere in the world.
When the mankind is able to satisfy all its day to day needs of hunger, shelter, sex, ambition and filial love, it goes out seeking thrills that give a different kick. Whether this is representative of bravery or mere overcoming of fears it’s not very clear but what’s apparent is that once the life becomes comfortable, people seek out living on the edge. Those who struggle to meet two ends meet, they aspire for a life of comfort. To sum up, people leading comfortable lives seek thrills through risky adventures while those in penury and for whom meeting the two ends meet itself is an adventure, seek basic comforts.
Such is the irony of Human nature that’s hard to fathom.