And now that my attempts at bringing out drama in words is over, I shall register this past weekend here as nicely as I can.
The deal was that while I was still in Pune, I had decided that I would go to Rishikesh this summer when I am home. Two reasons for it: 1, I HAD to make ANY kind of trip during these two months. 2, the whole world goes to Rishikesh if they are around Delhi.. so there is no reason why I should be depriving myself of it. As far as the concept of adventure sport and my relationship with it, and the water-related phobias were concerned… we were going to deal with them when time came.
Initial plan – Subhadip would come down to Delhi and I would join him and his friends to Rishikesh. Did not work out.
Next up – 140 phone calls to the entire world keeping in mind a Labour Day off, a weekend when I do not have to work on college submissions, when I manage to not miss my parents wedding anniversary, and so on. Had to listen to a lot of reasons why people won’t be able to make it. So gave up the idea. Then some people said they’d come. Started planning. More hurdles, gave up. Some ray of light… planning again. Then cancelled. And then we were on. We? Nidhi & Samridhi, my cousins. Avan & Priya from the good old Watson Wyatt. Shagun from Avan’s college. And Amrit, our imaginary 2nd male in the group to maintain the balance everyone’s parents would have been comfortable with. So, until 7:00 pm on the evening of 1st May, we were still dilly-dallying with our ‘plan’. Avan and I literally went crazy trying to organise stuff. We drove Nidhi and Shagun crazy while they were at work the whole day too. But finally we sealed the deal and informed respective families of the next morning plan.
We were six [or seven ( as you like it)] of us on board an Innova on the morning of May 2nd, Saturday. This was after being instructed that we should not travel at night. We had also explored the option of unavailable train tickets. Road by car was our only practical option then. We had also made bookings at a camp for our stay, food, rafting and trekking/rappling during the 24 hours that we intended to spend there.
Now! Not that I can claim to have travelled much, but I think I like the idea of travelling the way Prashant and gang do it. Just the way I had made my Ajanta/Ellora trip. It’s fun that way because it’s not binding. Advance bookings and guides kill flexibility to quite an extent. But there were some valid reasons for having made bookings as well. A major one being that everything there was full since it is peak season. But we all agreed by the end of the trip that next time we’d stay in a hotel and do our own thing after getting there. Yes, everybody was happy with the experience and decided right there that there will certainly be a next time. Also, for people like me and Avan, dry pits are the least of exciting things no matter what you offer us to use them a second time in life.
Coming back to our Innova. Our driver was super nice – sweet and proper! Shagun, the only guy in the group ensured that we got the best driver. Shagun’s presence in the group cannot be undermined because if it wasn’t for him, my father (and Avan’s, and Nidhi’s and Samridhi’s) might just have said no another time because an all girls group outing via UP is not their idea of fun.
Nidhi and Samridhi surprised me by being on time. Avan says she surprised herself by being on time too. So since everyone was being nice to me that morning by respecting time, we were able to move out of Delhi by 6:00 a.m.
First pit stop was at Bikanerwala after Meerut. Nobody ate much. Samridhi just got herself a single kaju ki barfi without which her trip to a sweet shop is incomplete. And Priya got herself a couple of more smokes. After that we managed to speed a littttle. Next pit stop was at a dhaba near Muzzafarnagar, I think. People needed chai. A doggu threw a few tantrums while Avan tried to be nice to him. Priya voiced her opinion of BJP and the Congress to surprise the other two WW girls a little. We never thought Priya cared a damn about politics. Nidhi and Samridhi crossed the road to pose and click by some chaara. Maybe they got some kick out of it. I am sure they did. 😛 I floated around.
It rained a little too on the way. Made things a little easier. A few more conversations, and were in Rishikesh by 1:00 p.m. Some more conversations, and were through with a not-nice lunch at the Iskcon wala restaurant. By 3:30 p.m., we were at our camp in Brahmpuri. At 3:40 p.m. we were informed that we’d go for a trek at 4:00. I went down to my camp to change and put on my shoes, and that’s when the first ‘adventure’ happened. A scorpio-like thingi stung me. I promised Shagun that I would google that thing and put its correct name here because it wasn’t a real scorpio (chhota bhai types), but I could not locate it. 😐 The chhota bhai was still large enough to freak me out and put me in pain too. I was told that they are not poisonous, so I can relax. I was brave. The trek was tiring and boring. It took us to a lame waterfall. But we played along, did our share of drama, and came back down by 6:30ish.
In the evening we played dumbcharades. After all sorts of calculations, we decided it was going to be the Bhardwajs vs the Others. 😛 And we beat ’em! I’m glad it wasn’t Watson Wyatt girls vs the Others (as initially suggested) because Priya is one lame thing when it comes to enacting. She is worse than me. In fact, my acting helped score a point. So I’m better in a quantifiable way. 😛
A barbeque, a dinner, and a half hour later, Avan and I reached the conclusion about dry pits mentioned earlier.
And then we got to playing in the sand. The weather was getting kinda rough. It drizzled a little too. Our camps were about 50 metres away from the river. The current was pretty strong too. The moon was behind a cloud cover, and I got stung again. This time it seemed funny to the rest of the gang because I was the target another time and this time the intensity was lower. The doc thought to himself, “phir aa gayi”, and Shagun kept saying that a mosquito bit me. 😐
None of us had slept more than 2-3 hours the night before, so we decided by 11:00 p.m. that it’s best if we got some sleep. Samridhi and I slept like logs, and the rest of them cursed us, the mosquitoes, the little humidity, and the spooky feeling in the air. 😛
Next morning, we were ready to put on the gear and go rafting by 8:45 a.m. We were informed that we’d only be the 6 of us with our guide, Teku on the raft. Avan’s size, Priya’s lungs, and my overall strength were quite a reason to worry about the success of our venture. But the guide encouraged us. Plus, Shagun, Samridhi and I were quite pepped up about getting on to the raft. Samridhi and I so much so that we wore our life jackets inside out. 😛 Nidhi’s handycam recorded it too. Damn these journalists!
Body surfing. I did it too. I DID IT. For someone who’s never stepped into water 3 feet deep, you need to imagine what it meant. Avan is always cold. She did it too. Nidhi’s fear of water was worse than mine. But her lust for adventure got the better of her. But Priya? She was floating way longer than she was rafting. She had her hands under her head and kept floating far, far away. Had to call her back everytime we approached a rapid. Ohhh… those rapids! They were so bloody exciting!! I loved them. Totally loved the rush. I wanted more. 😀
Had lunch at a famous Chotiwala restaurant on the other side of the Ram Jhula, and we were off by 2:15 p.m. But traffic killed our happiness so bad that we wanted to kill someone by the end of it. BSP rally made us admire Modi Nagar for eternity. It took us more than nine hours to get to Delhi even though we’d done the first 100 of the total 250 kms in 2 hours. And this is when we skipped at least an hour’s traffic by going on the wrong side and overtaking a zillion trucks and buses.
The thought of going to work in the moring killed me. So I ran into my house, and into my room, and into slumber by midnight. The body’s been hurting quite a bit since morning. And it’s past midnight again. So I shall upload pictures in the next post now. That shall obviously be very soon. 🙂
Till then, tada!!! 😀
Some take-aways :
Samridhi read Anga Darshan on a hoarding which actually read Ganga Darshan. I laughed non-stop after that because I actually believed her.
If Priya were to stand for elections, her symbol would be Navy Cut, aam aadmi ka brand.
The rapid ‘initiation’ was dedicated to me for having intiated this trip.
Avan became a fan of Nidhi’s “hardcore” journalistic life.
Shagun kept thinking that the five girls would give him a massage of sorts.
My first adventure trip got a certification by the pseudo scorpios.
Funny, but Lavale’s scenic beauty is really in the same league as all the other famous places.
I got high on lack of sleep after really long. People got entertained. They actually let me sing! :O
Achha ok.. good night! 🙂