PART TWO

I am continuing the snippets from my trip.

10 APRIL 2004 :: 0630 hrs

” Goooood Morning!!!!”

I rubbed my eyes when Deep peeped into the tent and beamed a huge fresh smile. Shiv was tossing in her cot. I closed my eyes again and tried to listen to the voices I heard last night… the river is pretty talkative at night, when everybody else decides to shut up!

***

I am normally a dead duck in the mornings – I prefer to laze about and sip coffee or listen to some nice music. I am a slow starter – the hub of activities pick up pace as the day wears on… So if you thought that I joined the team while playing beach volleyball, you are wrong. Watching them seemed more fun to me! LAZY BONES!

***

She was missing – as usual. I know that she needs a lot of space – that was the purpose of her trip also. So, it would become meaningless for her if I tried to search for her and tag around. Right through the trip, she would be ‘missing’ when everyone else is sitting around chatting or so. I did not worry for her. She would be sitting on a rock far away. Churning the turmoil in her head. Trying to make sense out of chaos – a futile exercise, but nevertheless very interesting and addictive.

***

All the way to the waterfall, you look around and you would just see huge big rocks and and boulders engulfing you. Like some exotic flooring and tiling done in an exquisite bunglow. You can see the play of lights on these rocks, reflecting from the water around.

***

Poison Ivy is a really interesting creation of the Supreme Being. The effect of this plant wanes out in a while. But when you have just grazed the leaf, you feel as though some vicious animal bit into your flesh. And when you realise it is just a harmless plant, you are more surprised than stung. In a few seconds you will find miniature replications of ‘land mass’ on the affected skin – just like the continents in your Geography text books!

***

Let me take some time out to describe our living arrangement. Five canvas tents were pitched for all of us. These flap tents could accomadate two people at once. Each tent had two sleeping cots with blankets – it gets cold at night. There were two

bamboo chairs as well – I guess these were the LUXURY tents!! Nice, all in all. At night, we were given a lantern for each tent. The toilets were dry, making good use of sand. The govt of India does not allow the use of Ganga’s water for toilet purposes. There was a dining area. It was actually made of a parachute – pitched on bamboo poles.

***

The afternoon skies faded in twilight. We were through with rapelling. All of them retired back to the camp. Not a hectic day. In fact, I felt that Anil made this day light on purpose – so that we would be fit enough for the last day. I was awfully quiet. Nothing troubled me. But it was more of a calm and peace within. Pretty soothing. She was missing – once again. But that would be for some introspection, I thought. So I need not worry about anything. Strains of happy chatter of fellow campers reached my ears. But that was just like a nice little humming. Nothing was registering in my mind. I was wondering what I doing out here. There must have been some purpose for me to come along with her – whom I had last met about six months ago. There must be some purpose. I sat sipping endless coffee. Well, it seemed endless probably because I was ruminating something in my little head.

***

He was sitting on the edge of a rock, drinking coffee. I felt I should join him. After a thought, I sat with him talking. Well, most of the talking was done by him. It feels good when people tell you new things, and when it is not you doing that. I learned a lot that evening. Similar to talking to Chetan. It is like reading a really good book. You close the cover with the satisfaction of having learned something new. A new idea. Something about the way he spoke made you feel that he knew some things about you, even if you never did tell him all that. Well, we stuck to talking about

books and crazy ideas authors sometimes write about. But there was some sort of a connect. It is always so nice to find people who talk sense and provoke you to use your head. Sometimes, you feel so stagnated with the existing thoughts that you have. And when someone comes along with a new thought, you feel like he has given you a nice little present. I still dont know why I must have come across a person like him. But then everything isnt explained in Life. It is nice this way.

***

Sitting in the open space, with my bamboo chair pulled out into the center of a lawn, I sat watching the starry sky… I wondered if this was the peace and serenity people

keep writing about. I was feeling so much at peace. It is a rare event for me, at least.

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