For bravehearts, it’s a different baptism to herald newness

Shillong, Jan 1: Thirty two bravehearts from the city, including five ladies welcomed the New Year by plunging into the ice water at Crinoline Swimming Pool, here when the clock struck 12 on December 31.


For the last 26 years, Forever Young Sports Club has been organising the midnight dip ritual for a healthy body and mind.

Along with the midnight dip for over 10 minutes, they prayed to get strength to meet the challenges ahead as many spectators cheered them.

The youngest swimmer was 18-year-old and the oldest was none other than Michael Syiem (68), the president of the Club.

Seven tonnes of ice blocks (140 pieces) were added to the cold water for more chill. Last year it was six tonnes and the participants were 28.

The advice was that the participants should not take any intoxicants before the dip which was ritually followed by them.

“The minimum temperature varied from 3 degree Celsius to 4 as we carried out the ritual”, Syiem said.

Syiem’s friend, Vicky Chaudhary, who keeps a photograph of the first midnight dip in 1997, said it was refreshing.
Lou Majaw, Vicky Chaudhary, Michael Syiem , Markia, Shekharan and others in 1997.
Vicky like Syiem never missed the event since its initiative 26 years ago.
The sports department allowed only one hour from 11.30 pm to 12 am for the event.
“Rs 1,000 was also taken for one hour by the department”, Syiem added.

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