Hyderabad: How does one feel on returning home from an expedition to Antarctica? City-based entrepreneur Rahim Saifee says he feels exhausted.
As MA Rahim, his official name, Saifee has the lead credit as producer of the 1993 comedy thriller ‘Pehla Nasha’, the debut directorial of Bollywood biggie Ashutosh Gowariker.
“He gave me my break as a producer, I gave him his break as a director,” laughs Saifee, adding that after 10 years in Mumbai and producing many films, he still felt something amiss, and thus turned towards his first passion – travelling.
“When I was young, I had no money but a lot of dreams. I used to dream of seeing the whole world. But I had no means to travel. Much later, when I had enough money to travel, I had no time. I had to choose, and I chose travelling,” says Saifee, adding that he has now visited 102 countries, and touched all seven continents. His journey to Antarctica started on November 5 and ended with the return flight on November 26.
“Antarctica was the elusive one. It wasn’t difficult travelling to any of the other six continents, but for Antarctica I had to wait my whole life. Now that I am back, I am unable to believe how beautiful a place I have just seen. The way you feel when you land on Antarctica, you cannot feel anywhere else,” says the Osmania University alumnus, now 51. Saifee has tried his luck in politics too, but in vain, losing two Legislative Assembly elections in his home town of Nizamabad.
Back home and tired from the two-week journey, he plans to focus on his consultancy business. He would love to hold on to the snapshots in his head, of walking on ice; of watching Polar Bears, Snow Wolves, Fur Seals and penguins up close; but he would also like to shrug off a few horrible memories, he says.
“We were about 400 people, from 27 countries, aboard the MS Midnatsol cruise on an exploration voyage by Norwegian firm Hurtigruten. After two landings in Antarctica, we got caught in a massive hurricane. The whole ship was being tossed about 30 feet in the air, and this went on for three hours. We all saw death. Each one of us was on the floor, trying to hold on to it. To congratulate us on our survival, we were given a certificate that officially records our names for having braved an Antarctica hurricane. I don’t want the certificate. I just want to forget about it,” signs off the satisfied traveller.