As I awaited the most exhilarating experience of my life… the usual ‘nervous’ feelings were back! This time, I became accustomed to those feelings… the pattern was the same: nervousness mixed with excitement, the feeling of withdrawing at the last moment, and then finally… as I conquer my fears, the sense of achievement finally sinks in!
We nervously fidgetted with out rafting oars, quickly rehearsed the commands given by our Trainer ‘Ganpati’ (yes, that WAS his name! not ganpat, not gannu or anything similar sounding!) Then we tested the waters, watched other rafts drift ahead of us and surging into the mighty waters of Kundalika… a chill ran down my spine! Ok, it finally caught up with me. The rapids tested our endurance…we had to keep rowing no matter what! I could feel my hands giving in, but for the sake of the other rafters… I let my aching hand into those gushing rapids! And after a thrilling 45 min ride, we reached the still waters of Kundalika (25 feet deep, may I add). And thats when I decided to test my recently acquired swimming skills.
As the girls cautiously dipped their feet in the water, I took the liberty of diving in, taking my breath in and swimming comfortably for a few feet! I get my head out outta the water, only to notice that my raft if a few feet away from me! Confidently, I try to swim back to the raft and thats when I realize that the flow of the water is against my path! HELP! I freaked out, yelling : “Im going to die” LOL! Could it BE more dramatic? Anyway I held on to my friend’s hand like there was no tomorrow, and I could see that he was beginning to get fed up of me! :P
Thank God for Ganpati (no pun intended ;) as he drew the raft next to me. After a few occasional dips, I finally began enjoying the water and learned to relax! I rested my aching muscles with the backfloat I learned from Yusuf Sir! But then, our time was up! Rafting Ended. Time for the next adventure.
We move on to River Crossing and Kayaking! My initial impression of river crossing was that a rope would be tied across the river, and we would have to step into the waters and CROSS the river! LOL, as you must have guessed…thats not what it was!:)
It entailed 2 metallic ropes being tied across the river (backwaters of Kundalika), above the water which again was 25 ft deep and we had to hold the upper rope and move ahead! As easy as it seemed, as soon as the first set of people crossed the river – precariously balancing themselves on the rope, I was determined that I did not want to fall into the river! :) After watching Dinesh & Krupa battle it out for 15 mins, struggling to avoid falling in the water, Krupa finally gave up, and Dinesh made it all the way! I was then hopeful and no matter how much Lohit tried to distract me, I held on to the ropes like my life depended on it! Yes, I made it too!!!
Kayaking was something that seemed easy again. And thankfully, looks did not deceive. After the initial hiccups and learning the technique, my partner and I could manouvre the kayak easily! Horraaaayyyy! You know what the icing on the cake was?? Incessant rains right before we started each activity! ;)
As I said, this time it was different. Here it goes: I got a little lesson on life in each segment of my adventure trip!
Lesson # 1: Rafting:
Life ain’t always a bed of roses. Its a bumpy ride along the way… ups and downs, ebbs and flows! And we will always people to help us get through it ! And after that tumultuous journey, you will find a still, calm place where you can rejuvenate your soul! :)
Yin & Yang, truly exists!
Lesson # 2: River Crossing:
No matter what comes your way, you’ve gotta hold on, keep believing and move forward! :)
Lesson # 3: Kayaking:
Life can be smooth sailing, just watch out for the tricky areas. One wrong move and your life has taken a U turn!! :)
So this trip had almost everything in it: drama, adventure, mishaps, lessons, good food- kandepoha, piping hot tea, vadas, incessant rains, gossip, junglwalks, antakshari sessions and and whole lotta new friends ! Aiyoooo Trek Mates! Thank you Nilesh – the King of good times! ;) Thank you Lohit, for your Samsung Marine – which contributed to capturing amazing memories – IN WATER! :P