Who is Satyendra Verma and why is he trending?

  • Smitha T K, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 14, 2015 16:58 IST

Lt Col Satyendra Verma, from the small town of Meerut, carried out India's first base jump from a 450-foot tower in Delhi four years ago.

So why was he one of the top trending topics on Twitter early on Sunday?

The army officer intercepts and disrupts enemy communications for a living but loves jumping off high-rise buildings.

In a new video presented by Mountain Dew, Verma has explained why he did the jump in the first place.

His answer: “Why not to the why?”

Verma, with over 1,100 sky dives to his credit, is an experienced BASE (building, antenna, span (bridge) and earth) jumper and had earlier achieved the feats of jumping off a telecom tower at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and the Perrine Bridge in the US.

In this form of adventure sport, the jumper takes a free fall off a tower with an unopened parachute. Seconds before the jumper touches down, the canopy opens for a safe landing.

Base jumping is more dangerous than similar sports such as skydiving from an aircraft and is regarded an “extreme sport”. The criteria for base jumping are not just personal fitness or athleticism, but most importantly reaction time, coordination and balance.

'But I function very differently, whenever I want to do something, I ask myself, "Why shouldn't I?" '

In the video, Verma talked about how he almost decided to step back from performing the feat because of strong winds. He pointed out how a single accident could delay bringing adventure sports like this to India.

The YouTube video has already received more tha 100,500 hits and Twitter users were all praise for Verma’s feat.

At around the same time, Red Bull tweeted pictures of a 1,300-foot base jump record accomplished by Verma and American base jumper Miles Daisher down the Grand Canyon.

Satyendra Verma is a pioneer in India when it comes to base jumping, wingsuit flying and skydiving, and hopes to bring these adventure sports to the country soon.

"Skydiving will come to India. Base jumping and wingsuit flying will also come. We're just waiting for a chance, waiting for an example," Verma said.

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