India Book of Records

Aarush Ashok of grade V dose St.Judes Proud

Aarrush Ashok, 8-year school boy from Rajapalayam (Tamil Nadu), has got his name featured for performing Silambam, a traditional Tamil martial art, with fire burning on both the poles for 50 seconds, as confirmed by the India Book of Records (IBR).

Expressing his happiness over getting the record in his name, Aarrush said, “I have always wanted to do our traditional martial art with a twist and have managed to perform it by doing Silambam with fire burning on both poles. When the World is running towards westernization I wanted to excel in one of India’s famous martial arts 'Silambam', adding a bit of thrill with fire, accomplishing the task at ease and make India proud. I even hope that someday soon, Silambam would be introduced in the Olympics.”

He practiced twice a week. Otherwise also, he had been learning the basic Silambam for the past two years at school, as an extra curricular activity. On asking what was the main challenge, he said, “We tried to do the Silambam with two sticks with fire and I am proud to say that I did not had much fear managing two sticks at a time, although rotation was the tricky part. I had to be careful of not banging the two sticks into each other or either of the stick coming close to my clothes or my skin. Given my height and the length of the stick, it was not a smart decision to try with two sticks so we settled with one.”

His parents said that they had to soak the cloth in petrol for at least two to three days so that it burned slowly and for a longer time, since Silambam was a stick that cannot be bent. They were able to soak only one side at a time for two days and had to wait for a minimum of four days to even practice with fire and the minute it was set on, Aarrush had only one minute to practice. "Wasting the minute means we might had to wait for another two days for the petrol to soak and once removed from soaking it starts vaporizing soon. That is why, during the performance, instead of one minute fire burned for 50 seconds only," they added.

Since the cloth cannot be tied directly to the wooden Silambam stick, two iron rings were attached to the stick. It had to be thick to hold enough cloth that could burn for a longer time, but it made the stick quite heavy, which made the rotation of the stick a bit more difficult than it usually was.

Aarrush said that his parents were confident that he would do this task without much difficulty, although they were a little scared because of the fire. As soon as the news of his selection spread, his grandfather, grand mother, friends and teachers filled with joy.

His message for other kids is: As long as you believe and work towards your goal, everything is possible. Give respect to your native culture and traditions and show it proudly to the world!

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