He hits the wheel, legs first

Santhosh Kumar in his four-wheeler.

Santhosh Kumar in his four-wheeler.  

WITH HIS hands off the steering wheel, Santhosh Kumar R. S manages to manoeuvre his car solely with the help of his legs. Be it the busy and congested thoroughfare in the capital or the national highway stretches passing through the State, the 43-year-old motorist can drive with ease with his arms folded and without touching the steering wheel.

Hailing from Chenkal near Udiyankulangara in the district, Santhosh Kumar started practising driving with legs three years ago following his success in driving motorcycles blindfolded. "It was difficult in the beginning to drive with legs and the constant training made me an expert within weeks. The initial training was done in the roads near my home. Later, I drove through the busy Thiruvananthapuram-Udiyankulangara stretch of National Highway 47 and this gave me the confidence to go anywhere".

The four-wheeler vehicle being used is not altered in any way to suit his style of driving. The knees are used to shift the gears, as Santosh Kumar prefers to keep his hands folded. It is the adventurism in him since childhood and the desire to do something unique that made Santhosh Kumar take up this style of driving. "The ability to perform magic immediately after witnessing it and watching the performance of a cyclist forced me to take up driving without the use of hands", he says.

Santhosh Kumar recently grabbed the attention after he successfully covered 728 kms from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod in a single day and in just 15 hours. "Except for the pain in the legs on account of covering the entire distance from the south to the north of the State at a stretch, there were no other hassles on the way".

An adventurist, Santhosh Kumar has also completed an Automobile engineering course and had worked abroad for six years. He also finds time to take up painting and sculpturing.

The success of driving from the south to the north of the State has made him set his aim higher by trying to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

"My next aim is to drive from Thiruvananthapuram to New Delhi. I am dreaming of this trip", he adds.

By S. Anil Radhakrishnan

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