Last couple of weeks have been quite boring. There is nothing much happening since long other than an award for my performance and suicide attempt by my PG manager. Hey my award has nothing to do with his attempt at life. He survived but his wife died. Having seen the dead body outside the hospital, i was furious and frustrated. I have started to hate the hospitals even more. During this time chotu invited me to join her for a trip along with her current and ex collegues. I was hesitant at first, but then agreed.
It was a trip which i will remember for long time to come. The trip included events such as trekking, river rafting, kayaking and rapphling. It was almost 2 years since i went on tekking and so i was eagerly waiting for this trip.
The day started very badly. My finger rings were missing when i got up. After a fanatic search i gave up. I was issuing warning to all the PG boys to place the rings back, when i got a call from archana, who was waiting for me at Pavitra Paradise along with divya. PG guys suggested i stay back and cancel my trip and instead search for my rings. I dont know why but i felt like going ahead with my plans and i did. How many guys can be calm at losing something valued at more than 25k?? I dont know but i can. Reason. As i have been saying i beleive in law of karma.
I boarded the tempo traveller at Pavitra paradise along with archana and divya. Ashish and his cousin were already on board. Next we picked Naresh from vijaynagar. i have to mention here that we were lucky to have a instructor and guide like naresh leading us. I would call him "friend" rather than "tour guide". Next it was time to pick chotu, srikant, vidyashankar, bhanu and janardhan from mysore road junction. All the guys were on time except chotu and bhanu. Well this is not the firs time. Chotu is one of those IST loyals. She will make you beleive she is just 2 minutes away but in truth she would be still searching for keys to lock her doors.
To start with, this group was totally new to me. I mean except chotu and bhanu, everybody was a total stranger to me, though i had heard about few of them from chotu. But soon i could feel myself as one of them. All were so warm and comfortable. I really doubt anybody could stay stranger for long in this group. Some 30 minutes on the road, it was already time for our first stop. Bidadi. We had breakfast and soon the real trip began.
During this time i cam across a word starting with "s" which was treated with the same contempt as another word for animal excreata in english. Oh thats "Shit!". I never knew there were so many ways to piss off people. This "S" was master of this art from what i hear. If ever i find vidyashankar behind bars, i am sure it would be for eliminating this "S". As janardhan put it, "s" surely united people. or Atleast feeling of hate for her did.
Our next stop was savandurga. Here we explored caves. Hmmm. Let me take that back. We didnot explore caves but did do hell lot of rock climbing stuff. As usual, Naresh was at his best. Though i would have loved to do that whole day, we did not have much time. Rock climbing / mountain exploration is something i really enjoy a lot. And incidently i am quite comfortable at it. Need to check with my parents if somebody in my ancestors belonged to mountains (rocky though).
During this first phase vidyashankar was successful in keeping people excited and worried. Everybody was chanting "be careful!". These chantings were diverted towards him, and i dont think they affected him anyway. He is the guy with loads of confidence. Sometimes bit more than required i guess.
Once we reached the top of a rock, it was time for girls to take out their sun screen lotion. I never understand how girls can get into adventurous sports and still worry about their makeup and hair style. Everytime chotu, divya or archana faced cameras, they adjusted their hair. It did not matter if they were hanging on the rope while rope traversing or rapphling. When they ahd to face camera they seemed to even forget their fear of water. Strange are the ways of girls.
Soon after that we left for our camp at minchinbele. On the way there were few more "kirtans" and "bhajans" shared about "s" mahime. Meanwhile all the guys tried to make chotu sing a bengali song. We were not successful.
We parked our tempo traveller in the village and walked around 3 kms to the camp site. Once there people got excited about the prospects of getting into the water. Everybody put their life jackets and with instructions from naresh, jumped into water. I was the first to jump though i dont know swimming. But then, what is the fun in doing what we know. And with life jacket on, there was nothing to worry. But chotu and divya were not so confident. It took lot of cajoling and bahana bazi to make chotu get into the water. It would have been lot easy to make horse drink the water or get the buffalo out of the water.
Here we discovered two future olympians for inida. Srikant in kayaking and chotu in back stroke swimming. Srikant treated his boat like a ferrari and in his own words "test driving ferrari". We had great time in the waters and soon it was time for lunch.
Food was great. After lunch guys got lazy and were ready to doze off. Only girls were intrested to back into waters. Strange i thought. After few minutes of rest, we set on rafting. Next event was to do rope traversing.
While river rafting i felt our group would never reach other end of the river. We simply could not raft in sync. Eventually we made it. Next time i am sure we woulb be expert rafters. Rope traversing was fun. Few guys did struggle but then is not adventure all about that. Overcomming our struggles and fears. Janardhan did it twice. He seemed to be totally enjoying that. Bhanu was very reluctant but in the end he too participated. Well, me? I did it perfect. :)
Now it was time for rappling and we were prepared for the final event. Naresh again went about his instructions. It was strange to see bhanu to be the first one to attempt since he was so reluctant in the previous event. Next was archana and as usual she promised to scream and shout. This girl seemed to enjoy and have fun in doing everything with a loud noise. But again she is right. Whats the point in having fun with out expressing it with screams.
Few guys got hurt during this event. Minor scrathes. Divya tried twice before she got it right the third time. She was so furious with her injuries that she throwed away my cap. Bhanu tried in vain to retreive the cap but was not successful. Vidyashankar was totally tired by this time. He managed to rapphle down with ease though. From there we rafted back to our camp. After some tea and bit of chit chat we headed back towards bangalore. Before that we did thank naresh and his friends for such a wonderful experience.
Archana deserved all the applaud for the success of this tour. Everybody was sure to come back again sometime soon. And i was happy that after long i rediscovered my self.
Jumping into the waters knowing i am not a swimmer, i rediscovered my "no fear" attitude. Climbing the rocks and gripping my self i rediscovered that "i control my life". Raphling and river crossing proved i can still push myself to limits. Trekking showed me i still have the srength from my struggling days to walk miles with out getting exhausted.
All in all i rediscovered what i used to be couple of years back. And now i dont want to forget it. Because as it was known "Ram can do anything for he has got that confidence and will power"
I really thank this group for making me feel what i truly am. Away from the routine code, team meetings, pubs and shopping malls. And incidently i am posting this when i am supposed to be in the meeting.
Skipping meetings and bunking office is another type adventure sport! ;)