The Pursuit of Balance – Samar Farooqui’s mission to promote Slacklining in India

Slackliner Samar Farooqui is on a mission — to provide a platform for fellow adrenaline junkies to channelise their ‘extra’ energy.

“A lot of people turn to drugs and alcohol because they don’t have a platform to channelize their energy. I was fortunate enough to find slacklining. I want to spread the benefits of the sport to the millions of people who are out there, who can use this positive energy,” said Farooqui.

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Farooqui was ‘the kid with the extra energy’ while growing up, and liked to push himself physically all the time. “Once I got locked out of my home in Mumbai. Our flat was on the fifth floor but there was renovation work being done to the building. I climbed the bamboo stilts they had built to paint the building and got in through the window,” he recalled.

The 27-year-old Business Administration graduate had never planned on making a career around slacklining though. He was introduced to the sport by a friend in 2010, and later found an opportunity to sharpen his skills in New Zealand, where he completed graduation.

Returning from New Zealand, Farooqui found it hard to find spaces to slackline in India. He even got arrested once by the Mumbai police. “The tipping point for me… when I realised this has actually reached really far,  was in 2014, when I got arrested for slacklining. I knew I had to do something about,” he said.

He founded Slacklife Inc. – a sport and recreation company – in 2014. “The company was actually born out of the need for all the misfits, that are branded by the society, to feel one and feel welcome”.

The company hosted India’s first slacklining and highlining fest called ‘Between Years‘ in 2016 and is already preparing for the second edition of the event.

I produced this video while working for Firstpost. I was accompanied by Firstpost’s Jay Mehta for the project who oversaw the edit. All rights to the video go to Firstpost (Network 18).