Rishikesh: When Adventure Seekers are held by the Fury of Nature
“What’s this noise?” I wonder as I open my eyes and see nothing but darkness. It seems as if huge stones are being hurled on the roof. I check the time. It is 4:05 in the morning. I then remember and realize, I am sleeping inside a tent and it is raining heavily outside. The kerosene lantern kept just outside the tent has gone out. I cuddle up inside my blanket and smile as I close my eyes to complete my sleep.
We are on the raft now. It has been 15 minutes into the
experience already. All of us here are first-timers apart from the guides. They
are the sole people we rely on in case something goes wrong. And anyways, all
of us are wearing life jackets and almost none of us, apart from the guides of
course, know swimming. It is the Three
Blind Mice approaching. It would be the biggest and the longest rapid till
now. The sail has been smooth. Nature is sitting and staring at us and smiling.
She is going to give us an unforgettable experience within a few moments.
I wake up three hours later, a really early time for me to be out of bed. I put on my slippers and move out of the tent. The rain has stopped. I walk to the edge of the ridge and see the mighty Ganga gushing peacefully metres away from me. I look around the beautiful scene setting. I realize how small a being I am in the face of the wonderfully tranquil and huge natural surroundings. I stand and gaze.
The sun is up but wouldn’t be visible for at least an hour, thanks to the high hills surrounding me. Sound of birds and numerous insects are distinctly audible in the pleasant but eerie morning. I take a wooden chair and sit. I put my camera to use. How I wish to capture everything that I can see and never move away from this place!!
It is the rafting day today- the one thing that brought me pulling here, to Rishikesh. Along with three of my college friends, I reached the adventure camp yesterday. It is an amazing feeling to be enjoying nature at a place where modern science has not ventured to reach. No mobile communication. No electricity. It is just nature and you. Probably that’s what pulls us closer to every aspect of living life somewhat similar to the early man before the stone age. (Yeah, ‘somewhat similar’!)
Last evening was a big reminder of this. Using kerosene lanterns to navigate our way in the jungle to reach the tents or the dining area isn’t something any of us living in the metros would ever come across in the city’s night life. (I personally had used a kerosene lantern solely for a science experiment in school) An accidental upward craning of our necks showed us the most amazing sight. Little stars, which didn’t seem ‘little’ at all right now, were staring at us, giving us the sole company. The four of us sat together in the empty dining area and had long conversations regarding virtually everything- life, our plans, our ambitions and of course, girls- everything which we as guys, would never do back home to pass precious time.
|"Nature laughs at our helplessness as she knows she has|
been successful in overpowering us."
There is a huge splash of water and lo and behold, my side of the raft moves up and up until I am clinging to a rope by my left hand for dear life. The raft doesn’t overturn, but the power of the wave pushes all of us into the dangerously live waters in the middle of the Ganga. I am up and back at my seat soon, thanks to the timely help from one of the guides. 5 of our people and 2 guides are in the waters. What would everyone, who had warned us against this trip, say if one of us doesn’t return? ‘Let all be safe’- that’s all I can think of at the moment. Nature laughs at our helplessness as she knows she has been successful in proving her worth and overpowering us. It is a crooked game.
Our re-boarding the raft and return to Delhi becomes a reminder of many things. It had been a sudden plan to go for this trip. I hardly knew the people I was joining in for it. By the time we were back, things were a lot different. We missed the hills. We missed the serene river. We missed the no-mobile phone and no-internet time. We missed the don’t-care-about-the-world feeling.
We had been nature’s guests for two days- two days when we had no option but to be ‘clothed’ Adams- and now it is back to being the slaves of the fast pacing city life- the apple beckons Eve.
Writing on a given topic has never been an easy task for me to achieve. What my wandering mind sees and has second thoughts about, is what I normally write. After a previous and successful attempt at topic-based writing at college, this is my entry for the ‘Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest’ on IndiBlogger. I hope my attempt has been at least able to match the desired ‘topic’! [:D]