எழுத்தாளர்:   கர்னல்.பா. கணேசன், VSM
பதிப்பகம்:  பழனியப்பா பிரதர்ஸ் பிரைவேட் லிமிடெட் (Palaniappa Brothers Pvt Ltd)
The author starts with the big bang theory coupled with Vedic theory of universe formation with seven worlds surrounded by seven oceans. Then he further deals on earth and other planets in this solar system with gravitational forces binding each other. The author further continues on briefing the weather conditions of early earth and life formation and gives an outline of how Antarctic Continent with its current boundaries formed from its earlier land mass of Lauresia & Gondwana. Later he explains the layers of frozen ice due to the extreme weather conditions in Antarctica.
In this chapter the author digs on the perception of the Antarctic Continent by ancient people of earth since Greeks period (6th century BC). He takes us from the period of Christopher Columbus in 15th Century AD and followed by Francis Drake in 16th century AD who became the first voyager in search of Antarctic Continent. The author describes the history paving the way for a tedious 300 years of exploration of Southern Pole starting from 17th century's Anthony de la Roche who discovered the island South Georgia. Further the author explores on James Cook who crossed the Antarctic Circle first and the German voyager Thaddeus Von Bellingshausen in Russian Navy who circumnavigated the Antarctic Continent. Later the author takes us with the explorers like James Weddell, Nathalel Palmer, and Douglas Mawson who successfully touched the borders of Antarctic Continent and placed their country flags. The author then explores the terrain and the journey made by Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen, and Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton to Frank Wild and Sir Edmond Hillary during the early 20th Century. The author lists the ships damaged and sank in the voyages around the South Pole in the world history.
The author writes about Robert Falcon Scott a British explorer who enthusiastically travelled 5000km till 82 degrees south in the Discovery ship on 03rd Feb 1902 and returned unsuccessfully when his ship struck in ice and was later rescued on 16th Feb 1904. The author then takes us on the adventure trip along with Scott who started another expedition to South Pole again on 29th Nov 1910 with renewed energy. The author makes us feel the environment when Scott set a hut at Cape Evans. Further the author draws our attention to how Scott was disappointed to see Norwegian flag flying in color fixed by Roald Amundsen. Though Scott reached second to Amundsen to the southern pole tip on 17th Jan 1911, the author reiterates the spirit of Scott & 4 member team who collected many stones, and frozen ice bars, some plant, fossils etc. on their 1290 km way back. Later when the author narrates how Scott failed in his plan of food storage and amenities though he had planned properly before the trip and later he changed the plan at Cape Evans. The author brings the terrific scene of Wind Chill and Snow blizzard in front of us which took the lives of Oates and later Evans. The author further narrates how the whole journey started by Scott & Team ended in a tragic death of the team due to hunger and continuous blizzard for many days when they were only just 11km away from 1 Ton depot. Then the author compensates the tragic end of Scott which left unfinished dreams of a great explorer by narrating the story of his son Sir Peter Scott who achieved later what his father Scott dreamt off.
The author writes about Roald Amundsen as a successful Norwegian explorer who initially planned an expedition to North Pole and by the time he made arrangements, he heard about Robert Edwin Peary who reached the North Pole Tip by then. So Roald Amundsen changed his plan to reach South Pole. Then the author takes us on a journey with Roald Amundsen and further explains how the team split into two on 20th Oct 1911, one team to explore the Kind Edward VII Land and another four member team led by Amundsen continued to reach South Pole tip. On 14th Dec 1911 they reached the South Pole Tip successfully fixed their country flagpole and thus a wonderful journey to South pole Tip was taken back home successfully.
Next the author writes about Sir Ernest Herry Shackelton who demonstrated strong stamina and withstood against all the odds in exploring the icy continent. When the author portrays the determination of Shackelton, he first reminds us about how Shackelton suffered from Scurvy when he first travelled along with Scott in Discovery ship which was struck in the year 1901-02 and was rescued & returned home in the "Morning" Ship later. Later the author narrates the 2nd journey started by Shackelton on 29th Jan 1908 to explore the Southern Tip and camped at Mc. Murdo of Antarctic Continent (from where the tip is located at a distance of 180 km), and somehow Shackelton could not continue the expedition and returned back to his country with a history of touching 88-20 degree south. The author here reminds us that the team members of Shackelton namely David, Mawson, and Mackay who discovered South Magnetic Pole and further emphasizes how Shackelton determined to travel again with a new expedition mark to South Pole though by the time the world knew about Amundsen and Scott successfully reached the southern tip but Scott & his team unfortunately died there itself. Thus the author takes us on another risky adventurous journey along with Shackelton towards South Pole. The author recreates the lively scene at deep in the Weddell Sea, when the conditions gradually grew worse until, on 19 January 1915, then Endurance Ship became frozen fast in an ice floe and later sunk in the sea leaving all Shackelton's dreams diluted in the sea water. The author narrates the determination of Shackelton as heroic; even during that terrific life alarming condition somehow Shackelton saved all his crew and shifted them to safer place at Elephant Island on 12 Apr 1916. Further the author portrays yet another adventurous trip made by Shackleton with strong determination along with five persons who crossed a distance of 1300 km in the open boat to the island South Georgia where they decided to leave the three sick men in the boat itself and the rest crossed the 27km on the toughest mountain path by foot to reach eastern side of Georgia. The author applauds Shackelton & team after about 518 days where they were living literally on the sea only and they finally reached safely to shore with the able guidance of Shackelton. The author further pens down the determination of Shackelton who even after such arduous experience of getting struck & risked lives in the previous expedition made another attempt in Quest Ship on 17th Dec 1921 to Southern Pole, but Shackelton died on 4th Jan 1922 in the ship itself and later a memorial was constructed in South Georgia Island in his name.
After narrating the three heroic persons in the history of Antarctic expedition, the author then elaborates on the Antarctic climatic conditions and describes it as a mystery land of South Pole and till 1819 AD nobody dared to step into this land. The author assures though it is analyzed inch by inch since 1958, still this Icy continent offers a lot of challenges to physical and mental strength till date. The author provides the details of radiation impact from sun on this icy continent when compared to other areas. Further the author explains on ice bergs and the damages it caused to ship like Titanic which was sunken in the sea near North Pole. The author portrays the challenges of ice covered paths on ground with the risk of exposure to hypothermia along with the other challenges like Sastrugi, Blizzard and wind chilling, etc. which cause many more damages faced earlier by Scott and Shackelton posed even today. The author wonders on the challenges of optical phenomena which is yet another risk faced by South Pole explorers which will misguide them along with the biological confusion caused by prolonged day and night factor. The author provides more detail on white out factor when the atmosphere is also cloudy in day light and explains the most entertaining phenomenon of Aurora in the South Pole formed in a wonderful way. Further he elaborates on Sun Rise and Set with its movement observation in between. The author also compares the day and night factor in South Pole against the North Pole and also discusses the important dates like21st Sep, 21 Dec, 21 Mar, and 21st June.
The author starts on how India started exploring sea from the period it formed National Institute of Oceanography and Department of Ocean Development. The author further discusses how the sea wealth has been shared among the interested nations. The author explains the basis of gold mine in Antarctica from the fact that Africa had it in its boundaries. He then touches upon world nation's interest in setting up their research labs in Antarctica. The author explains why India also showed interest in Antarctica and further during 1959 (International Geophysical year) how fourteen countries joined together to sign the Antarctica Pact. The author further gives details on how India joined with these fourteen countries later in the year 1981 headed by Dr. S.Z Kasim. During their visit for 10 days a lake was named "Priyadharshini" as a token of gratitude to Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister because of her efforts the first Research Team was formed and sent to Antarctica. Then the author provides details on how Indian teams were subsequently trained by M/s Structa Ply and the forming of the first winter team which went to Antarctica to form their own Research Center. Then the author describes how "Dakshin Gangothri" was formed in Antarctica on 24th Feb 1984. Later the author talks on how he formed the Indian Polar Club before leaving to Antarctica and he later received a book "Survival in Antarctica" as a compliment from National Science Foundation, Washington DC. Thus the winter team permanently became part of the South Pole research team.
The author provides details of his birth and family background here. Further the author takes the readers to the olden days of village surrounded with plenty of natural resources. Also he talks about golden days of activities at home and cultivating land in the village. Then the author depicts about his thought process during his early age and his childhood playing in detail where he escaped from the edge of fatal accident which could have taken his life twice. Later the author describes about his education and how he came out of the college with flying colors. The author then narrates the job he took and the pains undergone in the various govt. assignments. After seeing how the people around him ran after money, he then decided to resign the job, but later his manager made him to join the army in later years with the govt. permission. The author says the turning point in his life occurred when he was selected for the Army and reported to duty on 3rd May 1964. Later the author narrates in detail the 30 years of his life in Army with valor and victory during war times, how he learned and trained many others, how he shined at sports. He explains the various terrains he worked on, while in Army. Though the author dedicated his life to Army he showed his interest in Tamil literature alongside. The author elaborates his literature interest from his early age. The author writes about his promotion to head a regiment amidst the confusion in Delhi and across India due to the assassination of then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
The author writes about how he applied for the South Pole expedition and was selected for it with an anecdote with his superiors in the interview panel. The author narrates various incident and activities from the time he was selected to head the Antarctic 5th Winter Team till he departed to South Pole. The author narrates various technical details for preparing and selecting the research team and further how he collected their personal details to keep them engaged in the new wonderland of Ice Continent. Later he explains the pains that he underwent to relocate & settle his family at Chennai amidst his busy schedule in Delhi and Jammu Kashmir. The author describes emotionally when he bid farewell to the Engineers Regiment Group on the day 7th Nov 1987 with a song starting with "Son of this soil" was sung to greet him. Before he departed to South Pole, he took a handful of soil from his native village Sannanallur, and then a handful of soil from his Anna Nagar house and another handful of soil from Jammu & Kashmir where his regiment was reported to him, trusting that this soil of mother land would secure him & his team from unknown dangerous in the icy land for the next one & half years. Generally the health of the body is well kept when a person interacts with the soil of his/her motherland. Knowingly or unknowingly the author took with him the soil which he sprinkled there in Antarctic Continent which helped him & the team to survive emotionally during the life threatening times. Later the author provides the milestone dates from his journey to Antarctica and back to mother land to get honored at New Delhi by K.R. Narayanan - Minister of State for Science & Technology.
The author describes here the details on the 7th Summer Research Team & 5th winter team and how they together started their journey to Antarctica. Also the author provides the details how the joint Special Forces from Air, Navy and Army were participating in this group to make the entire expedition successful. The author then provides the details of how land journey is risky in summer in Antarctica and air travel considered as safe and that's why Helicopters from both Air Forces and Navy joined the team. Further the author provides the details of renovation & new construction work to be done by engineers from Army. Later the author talks about the details of M/s Thuleland Ship with the containers of research materials and tools to carry along with the administrative team from Sweden and further he explains the necessity of buying cloth, food items and essentials for one and half years for the entire team. Just before the date of departure the family of winter team visited Goa. A grand party was given on behalf of Department of ocean Development to all participants & families of Antarctica Summer and winter team. When the author brings in front of us the live scene on the ship while bidding farewell to their friends, family and relatives, he reminds us the uncertainty of life along with it. The author onboard further plunged into the flash back of the events that happened in his family from the day of relocation to Chennai till a few hours ago to bring all blood relation of his wife with her into his allotted Army quarters at Chennai while the ship departed from shores of Goa to Antarctica on Wednesday 25th Nov 1987.
In this chapter the author describes the 12000km journey details in the sea towards Antarctica. The author further describes the ceremony which was conducted when the ship crossed the Equator on 29th Nov 1987. They threw the people who crossed the Equator first time in their life time into a pool of water where holy angels stood in front of them forgiving them provided the person agreed to change into a form of sea animal. Thus the entire drama sticks with them to their life time reminding them of the Equator Line of Earth. Then the author recollects on the excavation at Poompukar and Mahabalipuram where the entire city was swallowed by sea long ago while he was enjoying the landscape of sea from top of the ship. The author narrates how to avoid the exhaustion of the mind when there is nothing to see except water around them. The ship was then stopped in between and also some events were performed to keep them engaged and entertained throughout the journey. The author writes about the memory of his birthday which was celebrated in a grand manner in the ship itself on 01-Dec-1987. Also the author describes the necessity of changing the time whenever they touched 9 different time zones. On 5th Dec when he was first contacted from Dakshin Gangothri in the sea, the author dwells in the memory of the conversion he had with the Dakshin Gangothri Station head on the right & positive attitude which proves to be "a living by thoughts". The author then explains how dangerous the Drake Passage is and while he narrates the crossing of the Drake Passage panic struck around them. The author wonders about the sea when experiencing personally from inside instead of seeing it from shore as waves of waters. While the author brings us back the memory of Dhanushkodi which was submerged in the sea during one heavy rainfall night, he also reminds us of the Korkai harbor during the reign of Pandiya King, now exists as a village because of sea withdrawal. On 13th Dec the author was able to see small size ice bergs floating here and there and after few days of travel, they were able to see ice rocks floating around them in the sea. The author writes about sea animals & birds and wonders about the dangers of ice bergs when most of its portion is hidden from our vision under sea. The author sketches the scene when the "Dakshin Gangothri" border was reached and later he describes how he and his Research team head travelled in Air to greet their counterpart team first and stunned to see the earlier team without any enthusiasm.
The author portrays here the reality versus the facts on Indian research & expedition in Antarctica, what was given in Delhi before his departure and the condition he saw after his arrival at Antarctica. As the author was well prepared six months in advance by reading a lot of expedition especially by Shackelton, he determines to bring a change before his successor visits here at Antarctica. Then the author narrates in detail about Dakshin Gangothri and followed by hectic activities thereafter. The author writes about the New Year (1988) celebration in the ship and on 5th Jan, how the new team was excited to visit Russian & East German's research station. The author writes that the new team took the responsibility on 18th Jan 1988 and the disappointment of the 4th winter team head who returned to Ship after a small dispute on who had to hoist the Indian flag on Republic Day. The author further writes that the Republic day was celebrated with scientists from Russia and East Germany as their guests. The author then enters the Dakshin Gangothri sentimentally after performing some poojas and praying for safety of the team by sprinkling the soil he brought from India around Dakshin Gangothri on 27th Jan 1988 morning. The author narrates the terrific incidents like once the vehicle struck in the ice cracks during unloading and a fire accident which burnt Portacabin a temporary shelter near Dakshin Gangothri. The author pictures first time when they experienced blizzard in summer itself and later when the 7th research summer team along with 4th Winter team bid farewell through radio with heavy heart returning to India on 24th Feb 1988.
The author here gives the details of the winter team members and their routines. Then the author emphasizes the importance of generator and oil along with survival hut. The author explains the importance of reviving the internal stock from container kept outside in the open area in a period defined by the head. The author then elaborates the regular maintenance activities to be carried out by the team even during the blizzard from cleaning of fresh air intake pipe & snow melting tank, maintenance or repair works of constructions & carpentry works and thermo stat valves to keep the station warm. The author then explains the necessity of taking regular recordings for weather and electro-magnetic waves etc. for various scientific analysis.
The author here narrates the hectic activities to be carried outside the Dakshin Gangothri Station before 15th May 1988 as the sun set would start from that day. The author explains how the disciplines that he emphasized on the team members made them feel high and respect each other and their work. Then the author explains how he planned to execute each activity for the next one and half years. The author writes his frustration at the people in Department of Ocean & Development, India who failed to fulfill the promises to send them the proper hand gloves and still the author with his determination and co-operation from the team, repaired the snow melting tank, teleprinter and made himself a "Sankalp" caravan. By then Polar Night started on 18th Apr 1988. Then the author explains the training given to members to overcome movement deviations when the vision affected by many factors like pitch dark, blizzard etc. and further narrates his own & a scientist experience about the movement deviation occurred in two separate incidents. The author then explains how the self-improvement sessions on every Saturday which kept the members alive and active along with the other disciplines imparted in their daily life. When the author narrates the event about the cook in the winter team, who was made to contact his family at Jammu, it reminds how the author ensured to maintain the relationship of his subordinates with their own families.
The author wonders about the first travel made by the winter team after the polar night from Dakshin Gangothri to Maitri via road, no not exactly, but by ground. Then the author narrates the Independence Day preparations and celebrations at Dakshin Gangothri with Germans and Russians as their guests. When the author made every winter team member to feel and explore the blizzard by tying nylon rope for about 200mtr in a circle, definitely the experience enjoyed by each member would last for their life time. The author narrates how the team enjoyed by engaging in the various sports activities with in their group and also with Russian in Indo-Soviet football competition. Further the author says he ensured everybody in his team to have a chance to visit Maitri via ground and at the same time, made them to realize the toughest life at frozen icy continent. The author writes the wonderful experiences of Aurora which was witnessed by the 5th winter team.
The author narrates the inspection made by Russian Team as per Antarctica Treaty signed by all participating countries in Dakshin Gangothri and the gift exchanges. Then the author describes how the land marks were created en-route Maithri with midpoint milestone in Russian language and thus the author ensured each team member lived in Antarctica rather than spent their lives there for a short while. Later when the author met Dr. Rudolf Meier a scientist from German Research in Dakshin Gangothri, the team was inspired by his patriotic conversation. The author narrates the pooja on the day they completed one year at Antarctica continent without any fatal damages either to physical or mental health to them. The author was informed of the arrival of 8th Research & expedition Team along with 6th winter team on 23rd Dec 1988. Later the author provides the details of Indian Polar Club formed by him. And the author narrates the details of receiving the new team to Antarctica in an elaborate & wonderful way that nobody previously thought off. It is really a thought provoking story that the author narrates of an old timekeeper who sets his wrist watch in between the way to his factory from a clock in a Clock Shop. The author remembers how pathetic it was when he was given the blue print of the Dakshin Gangothri of original plan instead of updated one, by then the ground floor was completely covered by frozen ice. Thus the author narrates his & team achievements like "First International Inspection of the station", First time mail from Antarctica to India, first person to do Parasailing in the world, first and movement of Dozer from Dakshin Gangothri to Maitre, first time fixing of landmarks in the continent etc. and the style of execution is comparable with a song titled "The Calf Path" composed in English.
The author elaborates how the winter team formed from recommendations of previous teams and how the author was selected to head the 5th winter team. Further the author provides the details of each team member's responsibility and their assignments in Dakshin Gangothri Station at Antarctica. Then the author introduces his 5th winter team known as "Fearless Fifteen" members elaborately in this chapter only to give them honour as they spent one and half years in the toughest terrain of Antarctica.
The author introduces Lt. Col. H.K. Kochchar a Doctor and a surgical specialist, as a multi versatile personality who could take authentic photographs for the team and made tasty Chicken biryani and also stitched uniforms for the Pooja sessions. The author mentions that the Doctor removed a small lump in the head of a Russian doctor who had visited Dakshin Gangothri once. The author says the doctor stood second to him in the order authority in the winter team. Next the author introduces Major Pramod Deogirikar an army officer and a best sportsman from MP, who had 15 years of experience in Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineer and describes as multi facet person, who writes poems in Hindi, can draw pictures naturally, and a volunteer to help in all administrative & maintenance works with the head of the team and last but not the least a well planner in his execution and hence the team did not struck anywhere when they travelled through ground.
Then the author introduces here Lt. R. Jayaraman a radio officer in Navy from Madurai, selected to lead the telecommunication assignments at Dakshin Gangothri Station. The author narrates how Lt. R. Jayaraman commissioned High Frequency Radio as an alternate arrangement and repaired teleprinter at Dakshin Gangothri and ensured telephone arrangements to all members in the team and who volunteered by self to publish an evening journal by collecting information from West Germany.
Next the author introduces Mr. Sudhakar Rao from Indian Meteorological department ailing from AP, and then the author introduces Ragav Chandra Deka from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism from Assam and further the author introduces Subedar C.P. Anthony from Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineer division, from Kerala.
Further the author introduces Subedar K. Ambalam from Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineer division an expert not only in heavy vehicle repairs but also in repairs of electrical faults in scientific research machines from a village in Tamil Nadu. When the author introduces Naib Subedar Parbhat Singh from the division of Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, ailing from HP naturally the climate at Antarctica did not affect him much.
Then the author introduces Naib Subedar P. Rajan from Corps of Engineer in Army, ailing from Chennai, an electrician by profession with 20 years' experience, he volunteered to do drawing and writing boards comparable to a Draughtsman and he maintained the stocks of food and cloth for the team.
Then the author introduces Mr. P.M. Gulane, a scientist from Indian Meteorological department from Maharashtra and describes his involvement in the job which saved Sudhakar Rao's life.
Later the author introduces Petty Officer Electrical & Radio (Poelr) K. Suresh Babu from Navy, worked with R. Jayaraman ailing from Kerala, a bachelor who saw the Antarctica as a Yoga Center and tried to go deep in spiritual and happily involved in all works. Later the author introduces Chief Petty Officer Electrical & Radio K. Rajkumar from Navy ailing from TN.
Then the author introduces Chief Leading Sailor / Cook Gurcharan Singh from Navy ailing from Jammu as a young and energetic chap. The author narrates that the cook stunned everybody in the winter team by preparing the food equivalent to any five star hotel in India.
The author introduces Lence Naik P. Sreekumar from Corps of Engineers and worked in 4 Engineer Regiment as a Carpenter & Joiner specialist, ailing from Kerala, a person with strong body and mind responsible for cleaning the blocks for Fresh Air intake pipes irrespective of the outside climatic conditions.
Then the author admires about the co-operation and unity among the team members though they did not know each other before Antarctic Expedition. Then the author provides the details about how he planned to keep the team motivated during the Polar Night & later at Antarctica, starting from monthly events like mono acting, creative competition, Find your way in Dark, overcoming Movement Deviation, Crevasses Recovery Competition, Track Changing, Cooking Competition, Bees Sawal etc., and also planned to celebrate their birthday, wedding anniversary day, National Important days. He also planned weekly Pooja and self-improvement sessions. Thus with the well planned and able guidance of the author, the team made a history in Antarctica and the photos, videos, their health conditions together framed the evidence of this historic expedition from India. The author narrates the longer lonely days at the icy continent were passing off just like a dream, and the same was disturbed by the knock of the 6th winter team at their door step.
The author narrates how he received the heads of new teams who visited them on 23rd Dec 1988 at Dakshin Gangothri Station and seething the team's spirit, a grand party was given to 5th Winter Team by the new team heads in the ship on 25th Dec 1988 so that the new team members could hear from the author's mouth more about their inspiring work and enthusiasm. The author then describes the modality of operation in the construction of Maitri and the necessary help that he extended to the new teams. The author received a letter from 4 Engineers Regiment head appreciating his work at Antarctica as "In the history of India, Col. Ganesan's name will be inscribed in golden letters". As if the words gave a new life to the author, he felt rejuvenated after spending a tough life period of one and half years in the Icy Continent. The author emotionally pens down that when Indian army spends enormous money and members of winter team risking their life during one and half year tenure in the lifeless continent, many of Indians on the other side do not even aware of where Antarctica is located at, after seeing a witty a letter from one of the relatives of the winter team member asking him to come on casual leave in between. At that moment the author determined to spread the awareness of the research and expedition undertaken by Indian government at least to people in metros and cosmopolitan cities.
The author then elaborates on the decision of handing over Dakshin Gangothri to 6th winter team and taking part in the construction activities of Maitri after shifting their belongings to ship and accordingly on 5th Feb 1989, 5th winter team bid farewell to Dakshin Gangothri. The author narrates how Col. Ganesan - the author was instructed to do the flag hoisting at Dakshin Gangothri Station on the Republic Day as the wishes from God due to sudden climatic changes which held the new team overall head at Maitri. Later the author joined with 6th winter team head at Maitri to complete the construction work and explained to his counterpart how the climatic conditions changes often and how they had to prepare themselves for those events. When the work completed at Maitri, it was then opened on 26th Feb 1989 and then the author advised to the new team heads, as the head of Antarctic research team how the team should maintain the lake Priyadharshini and the water channel to Maitri Station. The author then narrates the necessity of staying there at Maitri till the new winter team gets the Mental and Psychological strength unlike the last time the 7th summer team & 4th winter team suddenly left fearing the bad climatic conditions. Further the author greeted to succeed for the new team one year of lonely life in that continent. The author then describes in spite of the language barrier both the Russian and the German Research team gave a separate party to bid farewell to the Indian 5th Winter Team.
The author narrates the last moment at Antarctic Ice Continent that he revolved around the Dakshin Gangothri Station from the helicopter to thank the supreme Lord and greet the unified forces of Shiva and Sakthi in Nature which terrifically danced during their stay. When the author reached the ship finally, both the 8th summer team head and Ship Captain asked whether he decided to bid farewell at last! The author was unable to answer them. The Ship "Tuleland" unfastened from the Antarctica shore and started returning to India on 2nd Mar 1989. On his way back the author realized that what he experienced at Antarctica was entirely new kind of experience rather than the experiences dealt in the books on Antarctica two years back which he read before coming to this wonderful land. The author further dwells on an incident when a radio mechanic and the cook went out to bring the apple juice carton; they were struck in the blizzard and unable to return to the station. The author later switched on the Search Light and Siren to indicate the location of their station. By the time the author and another two persons started to hunt for these two persons, it became visible through blizzard that the lost two persons returning towards the station with the guidance of search light and siren.
The author writes that external world does not know both about the "Dakshin Gangothri" (which was swallowed by snow in later periods) and a tough life struggle to survive every day. The author further narrates the story of a scientist who was part of the 4th winter team from Indian Meteorological department who escaped narrowly from death. Once this IMD scientist went out and returned to the station during a blizzard. Since the blizzard continued for a day the first door was closed for safety. If there is heavy snow the emergency lid cannot be opened from outside on top of second door entry. This scientist struck outside unfortunately could not find the handle from outside. He thought that was end of his life and screamed like a child by shaking his hands and legs. The people inside could not hear any sounds from outside and they were busy with their routines or games. Meanwhile accidentally a rope tied with the lid struck in his foot and he immediately pulled it to open the lid and it worked to his favor, thus he entered into the station safely. After that he was unable to control his emotion and cried in the main hall. All other members hearing his voice came near to him and enquired about it and he told everyone how he escaped from death narrowly if that door might have struck firmly he wouldn't be alive to tell them. Thinking all these the author went to bed in the ship after praying to the God to give him good health and mind to guide the people like the one who innocently ask to take leave for two days in between the Antarctic Expedition. Then the author narrates the publishing of Himvat-5 report and articles on Antarctica with his team members starting from the day he took charge at Dakshin Gangothri. The author himself wrote on behalf of the persons who were less educated by collecting from their own experiences. The author describes the order he received during half a day stay at Mauritius Island about his posting to Bangalore. The author narrates the scene when the ship was nearing Goa, lot of farewell party started. While returning to motherland, the author brought in the memory of his 5th winter team, 4 to 5 one Ton stones which have been lying 500 billion years near Maitri station at Antarctica.
The author narrates the arrival of the ship at Goa on 26th Mar 1989 around 9am and they were received by Mr. V.K. Gaur Secretary Department of Ocean Development in a grand manner and many reporters were present there to take news to national papers. Then the author gave a speech on behalf of his winter team to the audience there and presented Himvat - 5 to all. The next day all newspaper reported the speech with his photo. Later on the author returned to Chennai with his family who visited during his arrival. After two week's leave the author reported to Secretary, Department of Ocean Development and submitted the photo album along with written reports to him. The author then narrates the experience of parasailing and the way he got the parasailing kit from 8th Research Team in Antarctica and by that experience he became the first person to do parasailing in Antarctica continent in the world history.
When his retired IAS friend made some arrangements on behalf of Indian Institute of Public Administration for his speech on 31st May 1989 at Hotel Meera about their experiences in the cold continent amidst the terrific climatic conditions, he mentioned first about a letter from a relative of his team member insisting to come back on a causal leave during their stay. The moment he mentioned everybody laughed and Col. Ganesan insisted to think twice before laughing that the pains undergone there by the team representing India as a whole and here an innocent Indian not knowing anything about the continent is something fundamentally wrong and contrast. The author further continued, hence he was standing in front of them to make every Indian aware of the Indian mission in Antarctica. Then he talked about an hour about the experiences the team had there during the expedition and scientific exploration.
Later on he was posted to Bangalore to head Madras Engineering Training Center and asked him to report on 1st Sep 1989 and till then he was allowed to be in Chennai to look after the Indian Peace Keeping force for Srilanka. Then the author narrates his family in detail in between the period he was away from Chennai in the last one and half years. Then he elaborates the opportunity given to 800 people in the total world population who live in Antarctica for a short while when others are not at all aware of either the continent itself or its wonders inclusive of its dangers. Later on the author elaborates how he had a chance to meet Chief Justice of Supreme Court Hon'ble Rathinavel Pandian and this meeting led further to his speech in Doordharshan and other places about Antarctic Expedition. When Ex-vice Chancellor Dr. H. Narasimah heard about Col. Ganesan, he invited him to talk in the Bangalore Science Forum on 18th Jul 1990 one fine Wednesday evening. Then author - Col Ganesan spoke to the audience for about 1.1/2 hours. After a few months the speech was published in Times of India on 20th Sep 1990 as a full page article about his experiences with a title "few people sweat even in snow white area".
The author writes about his experiences with quotes from lot of psychological book which he read to encourage youngster even after his retirement. Later the author talks about the importance of planning in life and talks more on how victory enters into one life when one's knowledge and awareness go hand in hand in an inspiring way. The author throws a challenge on who wins here, the one with money & disease or the one with perfect health and happiness! Thus it proves without a second thought, Col. Ganesan's life leads him to a successful journey always.