the mission: entering the guinness book of world records. the challenge: standing still for 40 hours at a stretch starting 12 noon today dressed as a statue of mahatma gandhi, complete with a coating of silver paint. the venue: andhra pradesh bhawan. the man with a mission: akshinthala seshu babu. standing still for 40 hours is, obviously, no cakewalk. but babu, an employee of honda siel power products ltd in the city, has grit on his side. ”i have attempted a similar feat on a couple of occasions, the last instance being when i stood still for 25 hours and one minute at a stretch at the ap bhawan on july 21 and 22 last year.
this effort saw me making it to the limca book of records. now, my endeavour is to secure entry into the guiness book of world records,” informs babu. but then, staying rooted to the ground is nothing new for babu. back in 1993, when telugu actor vekatesh inaugurated his film institute in vijayawada, babu stood still for four hours and 35 minutes. ”then, during the bhoomi puja of the andhra education society in delhi in 1998, i bettered my previous achievement by clocking six hours and 50 minutes,” he elaborates, ”in 1999, at the surajkund mela, i improved my timing to eight hours and 10 minutes.
when the next mela came up in 2000, i was there for 12 hours — completely immobile.” standing still for hour after hour, however, requires more than doing nothing — the task is taxing, both physically and mentally. and this is where yoga comes to babu’s rescue. ”i practise yoga regularly and have mastered the art of controlling my body. besides, i keep my body fit through running and cycling. physically, i needed to be at my best before i could contemplate standing still for 40 hours,” offers the 31-year old babu. and yes, beyond his own belief in his abilities, babu will seek divine intervention.
”i am a firm believer in god and will need his help all the way.” while god will sustain babu with food for the soul as he takes on the challenge of setting a world record for standing still, ”nimbu pani and rice” await him after his arduous task is over. and then, it will be time for babu to be on the move… until, of course, he decides to stand still again!