Walking the edge in Auckland sky, Sidharth remembers Akshay

Auckland, Oct 11 (IANS) On his debut trip to New Zealand, and on his first day here itself, Indian actor Sidharth Malhotra attempted the adrenaline-pumping Skywalk from 192 metres above the ground. He says he would love Bollywood’s ‘khiladi’ Akshay Kumar to try it.

The “Student Of The Year” actor, who has been named the first Indian ambassador for Tourism New Zealand, landed here on Sunday morning to a warm welcome by his fans at the airport.

And just about an hour later, he was on his way to walk on the edge of the 1.2 metre-wide walkway around the world famous SkyTower, which stands tall at 325 metres.

“Surreal” is the word that came to Sidharth’s mind right after he finished his walk.

“My experience was amazing. It is a one-of-its-kind activity, and so you don’t even really know what you should expect, because you’re walking outside one of the tallest building (325 metres) in the southern hemisphere,” Sidharth told IANS here.

Would he recommend it to any of his Bollywood friends?

“Akshay paaji (Akshay Kumar) would want to do it definitely, and he would do it easily! He will jump off (SkyJump). I would surely tell him, ‘Akshay sir, please check this out’.”

It was a windy day, but a clear blue sky and a little sunshine made it perfect for Sidharth to soak in a bird’s eye view of the city, known for its picturesque landscape.

He admits the thought of walking without handrails is scary at first, but said: “After a point, it becomes such a surreal experience to lean back and let go…it’s so liberating…living on the edge.”

Sidharth said that while he has no phobia of heights, he feels if people who are scared of heights could attempt this “safe adventure”, the experience could help them let go of it.

“It’s a great mix of adventure sport and taking in a view of the city,” he added.

Most of all, the daring activity — one of the most frequented by tourists in Auckland — helped him get over his jetlag.

Sidharth had only finished a schedule of “Baar Baar Dekho” in Glasgow before he came to Mumbai, and left for his eight-day trip to New Zealand on Saturday.

Here, he will sample the culture, adventure, scenery, history and hospitality of the country, which attracted over 43,000 visitors from India last year.

With Sidharth, who enjoys wide popularity courtesy roles in films like “Hasee Toh Phasee”, “Brothers” and “Ek Villain”, coming on board as the tourism ambassador, the numbers are only poised to grow.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Tourism New Zealand. Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at Radhika.b@ians.in)

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