Dating with the Nature Part-2 – Jungle Calling

 

Here comes the day-2 adventures. I am sure you all must have enjoyed the jungle expedition in night in part-1.

We had given the wake up call to each one and went for our morning routine before any one else enters the bathrooms block as there were limited space available. We took the advantage of the time and were first to report for the roll call line up at 6 am sharp. The morning was so pleasant and the air so sweet, the breathing so clear was the different world at al. The sounds are different all the time in the forest and the birds chiming, the air flow music… the entire band was ready to welcome the sunrise, and so we were. The hot tea and biscuits was our first intake before we start our day, which we being first at the place had enough of everything.

Finally, once every one was lined up for the roll call, the coach team gave us the outline for the day. We were to walk straight on the state highway till next 4 km and then to take a walk strip along side the river till Ninai Water Falls which was approx 3.5 km further from the highway.

We started walking along the road and also enjoying the sun rays spreading all over the area. Soon some of us started breathing heavily as though we believe we are physically fit, all of us has no practice of walking in the city even and this was the thick rain forest.

My legs started shouting to stop and I wanted to carry on along with the trekkers. I kept slow pace of walking which help me control the breathing. The coach Mr. Saday Joshi was always there to support and encourage He gave me handful of glucose, I had it with little water, got the energy back.

We walked for 4 kms in around 30 minutes and here comes the off road walk way along side the river. The hut was made there by forest department from bamboos. The hut was so beautiful one would wish to live in it for ever. We stayed there for 15 minutes did some photo sessions and started walking on the hills making the walk way on our own. When we started walking along the river, the river was almost 20 feet down on our right side, soon we approached the river after half a km, crossed it and walk around the right hill we approach stiff climbing on the rock where after so much of efforts  1 person can climb the rock to top and reached on the natural dam like flat place where again we were to cross the river by taking a long stretch of wide spread legs, almost jumping the other side of the small stream of water flowing between 2 rocks.

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Hats off to the Coach and his team who helped each one to cross the river. There was the water flowing with crystal clarity and was with the minerals and purity. We filled up our water bottles after drinking the necessary water. As it was clear instructions to all of us to save ourselves from dehydration as we were to have lots of physical strains and as the sun goes up in the sky, the heat will be extreme. We enjoyed the flow of water and again headed our way.

At one place, a very narrow stretch came where only half a feet space was there between  2 rocks on both the rocks big red ants were there in huge numbers and we were to pass the place without touching the rocks. Very tough it was but we passed it too. Finally we reached at Ninai Falls bottom. The place was awesome and very picturesque. We for once thought we are at Ramgadh, The Gabbarsingh’s home in the movie Sholay. The big rocks surrounding and all 4 sides the hills and from one hill the water stream falls from the height of almost 100 feet plus. All tiredness wiped off and freshness felt all the senses, fantastic I said. It took us almost one and half hour on the trek and was one of its kind. I fell in love of the jungle. While few of us took rest, others were running here and there for photo session. One of the best things here was, no coverage of mobile phones, hence all 3 days we were away from the rest of the world. Even from our families. Our world was limited to 34 participants, the coach team and the host management team. This really help a lot create bonding among each others.

The Climbing and rappelling experts went on their way to the hill next to Ninai falls while we did the site seeing. There is a little temple of a Devi at the bottom of the foot steps. There was only sound of water falling and air flowing. Every one was experiencing the silence. I was in trans. I don’t know how much time went but there came the breakfast at 8 am sharp at the site. It was to royal to have Upma with Kkaakhra and hot tea. Salute to the host team they took so much efforts to get all the stuff to the site.

While we were having breakfast, we saw that the ropes for climbing and rappelling are already placed. At first sight I felt I will not go for either climbing or rappelling since the climbing was very stiff straight heading on the hill for about 120 feet with the help of a rope and then rappelling from the same height with harness and rope. It was looking very dangerous and risky in first instance.

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The coach took all of us at the place of landing gave the tutorials and things to follow without fail with first hand information of safetys equipment and process to handle it. The heartbeats were much higher than normal and mouth got dry while going through all these.

As we were 4 teams and the time for each for climbing and rappelling would take 20 minutes approx, 2 teams remained for climbing, and 2 teams were instructed to carry on with Dr. for other activities at the place where we first crossed river. I was in the teams which followed Dr. Again trekking for 30 minutes on that tough trek. We reached at the spot. We were to perform 3 tasks each for both the teams.

First we were told that we are stuck up at one place and we have to cross the river which is flowing at a high speed and we need to save each member of our team. We were given little thin jute ropes and rest we were supposed to use the material from local resources of the jungle. The time given for the act was 20 minutes. We ran over to collect the resources, we planned that we will make a platform from 4 bamboos horizontal and 3 bamboos vertical and tied it with jute rope which was insufficient, hence we used outer skin  strips of wet bamboo. Then we covered it with dry leaves and plants so that one guy can seat over it and still the platform can flow on the water and river can be crossed. We tried practically whether it happens or not, after three attempts we got success. Yes we can save the life in future in similar emergency.

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The other team also did the same but better than us and faster than us. I would like to add here that each activity was designed to give the lesson for life. The second task was to carry 5 different colored flags and those were to plant at hidden places which then will be found by the opposite team members. Each color was carrying some value points. The team collect higher points would be winner.

Both team members went in different direction, we climbed up the hill and planted all flags given to us. The activity was through with the other team winning again. The activity taught us again a lesson that opportunity can be anywhere, we need to look at all possible places to catch it.

The last activity was quite interesting and challenging as well. Every one were divided in a pair and one was to blind fold and the other partner was to take him or her to climb the hill till walk way, which seems to be very difficult as with the eyes also we were missing the foot and falling down, to take some one whose eyes are closed , too scary. I was with my team leader, she took me first very carefully by describing each rock or plain or mud and I climbed very comfortably by crossing all hurdles. I respected so much to my captain. Now it was my turn to take her back down.

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We walked very comfortably till down and in last lap the small muddy rock broken she felt down. It was terrible but she got up again, with minor injury though. Too tough. Team co-ordination was at taste and we passed it with minor mess up.

 

 

The sun was exactly on our head now and we realized once we were through with those activities. Very thirsty and tired, it was time to go back to the base at Ninai falls. We were also very eager to know how the climbing and rappelling went off. We reached in 20 minutes and saw that 4 members were to come down and every one gone through the activity was very excited and with the sense of victory that they did some thing which they have never thought.

I was still feeling that I may not do or I don’t want to do that activity. By then it was already 2pm and the heat was at extreme and every one was tired and exhausted. It was announced that the remaining teams will not do the climbing and rappelling and there will be some other compensatory activities as it was too late and on the last day the time may not permit to do the climbing and rappelling at this place.

Many of us were lost and nervous to learn that the main activity for which they took part in the camp will not happen. Anyways, I was happy that today atleast its over, as I was completely exhausted.

It was then decided that host team will take 6 people in car and all those will take back their cars till the jungle hut from where we took the trek way along side the river. I luckily was going in the car, then I learned that we need to climb the stairs till parking which was so tough for me but some how I reached on hill top where car was parked. Then the return journey through car for almost 11 km was so exciting I forgot all tiredness. I decided to drive in nearest future with my family to the place again to relive the experience.

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Reached at the camp and took the car and reached back to jungle hut and waited for the team members. It was a relaxing moment with ac running on full in the car. Regained all the energy lost during half a day. Friends arrived in 10 minutes and we reached at camp. Every one was so hungry and had no patience and attacked on the lunch. Truly divine food I had ever, very simple but rich mix of diet.

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Salute again to the host team. By the time we finished our lunch, it was 4pm and we were told to be back again by 5pm and a surprise was waiting for us. That 1 hour rest was something very big in the life, I realized we never value the power of our body and mind and don’t use it to the fullest. We have been gifted so much of power but we do not care for it.

Back again at 5pm and we were to perform an activity which was adventurous yet refreshing and with full fun. Only hurdle was each one was fully exhausted but no choice. All 4 teams were going to the riverbed which was 3 km away and we were to cross the Sagai village. We were to make the Bhel ( an Indian snacks) at the spot and enjoy the recreation. Our team was given responsibility of the kitchen supply where we were to carry the utensils and raw material to the spot and hand it over to the team who was responsible to prepare the Bhel and serve it. The third team was responsible for cleaning the place for the recreational activity and the kitchen and then to give the invitation to all the teams and coach team and host team by using local resources. The last team was responsible to perform the entertainment program.

The teams were given 20 minutes time to clan the place, hand over the utensils and raw material, preparation of the bhel and serve it during entertainment program. Every one was rushing to complete his responsibility. During preparation we came to know that we forgot jaggery which was very essential element for the dish. 2 of us rush to the camp to get it. Tough, very tough, while this was going on, big drops of rain started with heavy wind flow.

Here I do quote that the team which was to invite others really did very creative invitation card by using big khokhar leaf and dotted with the help of a stick and written the invite message and a small bouquet of local colorful flowers. Superb job.

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In all this hustle bustle, all teams were ready with bhel and the program started, very nice drama and songs performed by the recreational team. One of its kind on an Iceland in the riverbed. I will never forget that raindrop and windflow and eating bhel. Terrific.

While going back, there were villagers performing folk dance on their own, we saw and joined them and dance till legs said no to dance. Amazing. By the time we reached camp it was 8pm and the time for another activity. Here I forgot to mention that in morning only, we were informed that there will be group performance after the dinner and before ending the day hence we were to prepare our group act, where lot of suggestions and ideas came, none worked, finally we decided to perform the group discussion if form of camp fire which we actually did on first day. One of us will play the roll of Coach and mimic him and rest of us will naturally what we did and talked.

Anyways, as we were sitting there and coach came and announced that there is 1 hour more for dinner and before dinner we will do one wonderful exercise. And then he came out with the activity which I titled in my article. Dating with the Nature –  where we were to go below the camp and then we were to be left on our own to be completely quite and alone and we were free to go anywhere surrounding as it was a safe and scanned area cleaned for us.

Dating with the Nature, I loved the title so much. Since we arrived in the camp, we were completely occupied with the activities and tasks. Hence we really did not get opportunity to feel the place, feel the forest, surrounding, the nature. Now I was given the time of 50 minutes to do whatever I want to do with those 50 minutes.

Those 50 minutes were the best of my life where I did not speak, but was just the witness of what is going on, in the world inside myself and outside as well. Introspection, calm, relaxed body posture rejuvenated me. It gave so much peace and happiness to me that I decided to have atleast 25 minutes for myself everyday for rest of my life, where I will just witness my breathing and thank god for giving me such time to be with me.

Very relaxed and refreshed, many of us shared their experience with their eyes wet and emotional. Mesmerizing. Back to the camp. It was time to have the dinner. Again more than stomach, the soul was satisfied to have such a dinner.

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Then group performance, we really performed well, the coach was so happy to see his clone. He suggested us to perform in the forth coming event on the stage.

The last task of the night before we disperse, night duties. This time we were first to be on duty for next 2 hours, then we were having full night at our hand till 5 am next day. It was 2 pm when I went to slip.

The next day was there with so many surprises and challenges. I shall be with you soon with the third day adventures.

Good bye till then.

 

 

 

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