They are damn right when they say "Sometimes you just have to let Nature do the talking and wait to see how it surprises you in return." The weekend that went by was an absolute adventure with and against Nature..
Where - Chomakund hills, Coorg
Head count - 24
Duration - 2 days
Team - Nisarga (Nisarga Environmental Consciousness and Outdoor Leadership Trust)
With everything planned much in advance, somehow things were not in our favor from the start. From a 22 seater AC Sleeper coach, it came down to 2 tempo travels after some mind churning calls by Karthik. Now its always fun when the whole lot is together; the fun gets divided once split. With negative vibes until the day of the trek, most of us thought it almost got cancelled. Looking back at all that happened, I now wonder what would all of us have missed out on..
So yea, the journey was a lil quieter than usual, all of us (in our bus I mean) dozed off earlier than expected. Thanks to the movie Evil Dead II! A fun conversation and we had to give the mind some rest for the power packed weekend ahead of us. A bumpy ride for myself and Chalu (Chalukya, you will hear more of him later) the backseaters. The eyes opened to a calm beautiful chilled morning. A small walk down to a water stream and we were all excited enough to kick off the exploration.. Again, there was a 'snobby' intervention by this man who thought we'd actually fall for his talks.
|Courtesy - Kartik Srivastav|
Next task - Tent Pitching. In any other trek, once the tents are put up you have nothing more to do.. We were happy we got done much before sunset. But little did we even dream about what was in store for us.. Asta and myself headed to the 'kitchen', yes we had a small kitchen right between the trees. Halfway through cutting vegetables Karthik notices a forest fire = Danger! This meant tents needed to be dismantled and we had to move to somewhere safer.. Waited for a while hoping the fire would die down sooner and not touch our hill but Nature went against us again. The tents were taken down thrice while half the boys went up the hill to put off the fire.. By sunset things were getting back to normal, dinner cooking was in progress.. Thanks to Karthik and Chalu for their magic touch in the cooking, dinner was yummy yumm.. My partner Asta and I stepped aside for a while to freshen up and I must tell you what the view looked like.. The fire was still spread out at different places in the adjacent hill. It should have freaked anyone out but it looked beautiful to me. The sun gone down, moon not up yet, flames spread across a mountain... Looked amazing! And in just few seconds I figured things were getting worse when I saw the boys running up the mountain with leaves to put off the fire again.. Yup, it was serious now. Still wonder how they ran up the mountain which now had ashes all over, without any light.. Like Kartik said "Once the adrenaline rushes you do not look back, you just know its all in your hands to avert the danger". A one-on-one conversation with Kasif, Dhruva and Chalu will give you a better insight on how they actually fought against Nature.
The warmth of sleeping bags resisted us from the chill morning and hence breakfast got delayed. Hot Maggi for the morning and the lazy bones dragged themselves to pack up. It took 6 hours to get up the mountain and just one and half to walk down.. Well, why not? Course you would just run down as fast as you could if you knew a waterfall dip was waiting for ya.. After all that hard work, one dip was just more than necessary to ease the muscles and well it did more than that.. Not sure if it was the excitement or the magic in the chilled fresh water that healed the wounds and relieved all the muscles.. AH! Perfect ending, ain't it!
A late lunch, simple dal rice happened at Hill Hotel Palace. The waiter got us glasses of hot water and our man Dhruva said "For a few days we will all think twice every time we drink water, now that we know how difficult it is to get it". Well that was a 'pull up your collar' moment looking back at all that happened in the last 24 hours.
Back in our seats, headed back to civilization.. This time rolling over the seats watching Home Alone 3 and Fast Five.. Errrr sincere apologies for breaking the hawtness but hey! If the movie hadn't stopped,we wouldn't have been showered by gyaan on birds breeding, king cobra et all.
Glad Nature allowed us to see how greener the grass is on the other side..
1. Spent one winter night with thermal and shorts, no jacket at all.
2. A stick and a plastic bag is all you need to dig out some fresh water.
3. Leaves and a strong mind to put off a forest fire.
4. Some sweet tender coconut water can make you high.
5. If bitten by a king cobra, do not think twice, just chop the bitten area/organ in less than 2 mins.
To each one of us who made it, Congratulations on the goal achieved and calories lost.. And to the rest, well you know whom to call when you're bored!
Midst all that madness I found my 'moment of the trip' sitting at the window seat- With Fast 5 playing in the background, my eyes just shifted to the winding roads, and then to the beautiful moon.. It was just the moon and I for a few seconds, talking to each other in our thoughts.. And yet another time, I fell in love with something unreal..
|We Walked.. We Laughed.. We Learnt..|
Life indeed is a long lesson in humility..