Rishikesh: There still are stars out there #together

I had never imagined I would be brave enough to jump into a fast flowing river for the sake of adventure. I didn’t know I would enjoy adventure so much.

Things hadn’t been very well back in Delhi for me since a few months and I hadn’t realised that a vacation with a set of people I could trust, would help me out- Out of my long predicaments, out of my pessimistic thoughts about myself.

It was the summer of 2011- The end of my first year at college. Along with three seniors, I was out for a short adventure trip at one of the camps several kilometres upstream from Rishikesh.

The sun had set. The day’s adventures were at an end. The four of us were perched on wooden chairs at the dining area, with some munchies, retrospecting at what all we had been brave enough to do since we had arrived at the camp in the morning and signed the ‘death certificate’.

There was no electricity. No cell phone coverage. No people to talk to. There was no beer and smoking was restricted. We just had some moongfali and papad served to us. There is a certain charisma about the way conversations take shape when you have nothing else to distract you.

What if there is a flood right now? What if we don’t return? How are people back home ever going to know what happened to us? The minutes turned into hours and the conversations continued. From my companions trying to figure out what they wished to do with their lives now that college was over to me laughing it off thinking I still had another two years to try and figure things out for myself, from the day’s adventure and how we were going to make fun of the ‘6-feet-jump’ for the rest of our lives to talking about LDRs and our crushes- there was a mix of emotions involved. We were in the moment. Enjoying every bit of it. Together.

We had a sumptuous meal before retiring for the night. We carefully made our way from the dining area to the lower areas of the camp where our tents were pitched. We placed the lanterns outside the tent. The wind was howling. We took a last look around us. Not much was visible apart from the occasional headlights of the vehicles making their way through the hilly highway several hundred feet above us on the opposite hill. There was darkness everywhere. The soft sound of the river flowing a few yards away was the only thing providing a respite from the numerous noises from the enveloping forest.

The kerosene lanterns gave the illusion of big candles burning in a huge dark space, the darkness failing its best attempts to snatch away the light. We stared in awe at the bright twinkling stars in the night sky as the strong wind whistled past the valley.

This was when the realisation struck me. I knew I was with people I could trust. I knew I was with people who were going to take care of me if need be. I realised that I was not bound to anyone or anything. I knew that I was free but not alone. I knew that all that mattered right now was enjoying the adventure with the people I was with. I could breathe free. This was enough to make me feel optimistic about life again. To take me out of my own predicaments of the last many months.

There still are stars out there, I thought and smiled as we entered our tents and retired for the night.

This post has been written for Housing.com and their #together #lookup campaign.