Shillong, Jan 1: A midnight plunge into ice cold water is probably the best way to usher in New Year in the hill city where temperature dipped to 7 degree Celsius on Friday.
Twelve persons, including activist Michael Syiem and advocate Melody War, jumped into the Crinoline pool on Friday midnight as the night sky brightened up with firecrackers. The swimmers spent more than 10 minutes, some even longer, in the water as the audience around the pool cheered them and wished Happy New Year.
110 ice cubes in the pool added to the chill.
The oldest participant, William Marbaniang, is 67 years old and the youngest one, Sameer Chaudhary, is 19 years. Chaudhary, a regular swimmer at Crinoline pool, participated with his father, Vicky Chaudhary, also a swimmer.
“If you have a positive outlook, you can overcome any challenge,” said the younger Chaudhary, who is a second-time participant.
Marbaniang said he missed the event once as he was unwell.
Melody, who was the lone lady participant, said, “I was mentally and physically prepared for this event. I took this as a challenge and self motivation, was excited about it and felt good after I did it. I wish I could do this even in the upcoming years. Yes its my first time. I knew about this event long time back but never got a chance to participate.”
The event completed 24 years. There was no midnight swimming in 2020 owing to the pandemic. This time too, there were stringent protocols and all participants needed to have double vaccination.