Train-surfing, or the act of riding and train and doing stunts by jumping over obstacles in the way is an activity that is steadily gaining in popularity. Even Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor attempted one as a promotional stunt and was reprimanded by a Mumbai-based NGO, who called for strict action.
This time, though, it's not train surfing. It's an example of the age-old game of playing "chicken", or who can blink first. Seven boys stand on a railway bridge in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. In the distance, a train approaches. And just as it might hit a member of the group, all of them jump, the last boy in the group escaping by a whisker. A probe has been ordered by the local administration.
Train stunts have a long history in cinema. Here's Aamir Khan from Ghulam.
To go further back, there's James Dean from Rebel Without A Cause (1955) who, when asked why he was doing it, simply said, "You gotta do something." This chicken game is with cars and its at the edge of the cliff.
What makes people take these risks?
Here's professional trumpet player Nick Sedew's take (Sedew decided to stay out on deck during a storm when the captain told everyone to stay inside because "when else are you going to be in Antarctica?"): "I kind of felt like, 'Yeah, I get why this rule is here, but it doesn't apply to me because I'm special or smarter than someone who would go out and hurt themselves.' The rule is there, but you don't think it applies to you because you're in control."