I don’t have words to write about this experience, but still I’ll try my best. It was the last day of our exams and then half of the class including me had our Minor Project presentation (which was not so minor)… and then began the time which none of us imagined would be like that at all… We went back home after some last minute shopping and most of us packed our bags in almost 10 minutes and left for Old Delhi Railway station. Some of my friends picked me on the way to the station and there began a journey that I can bet that none of us will ever forget. It was certainly a nice start with few almost hot or warm chicken nuggets packed by my mom for the journey.. It took us 30 minutes to reach the station.
I must say that Old Delhi railway station is a state of the art facility with a medieval look marked with contemporary eating joints and facilities.. Our class assembled at Comesum (a 24/7 eating joint at the station). You need to quote this, as for the first time our entire class was on time… 🙂 … The scene was worth being video recorded, as everybody was full of excitement and last minute jitters, there were a lot of ‘Hi’s and hugs and few emotional good byes too.. ;)… We finally embarked on our journey with the train departing just on time. The train journey was crazy as we talked, shouted and laughed the entire night, and almost half of the passengers sitting near us or trying to sleep abandoned their seats. By the time we finally decided to sleep, it was super cold and we somehow cuddled up in our blankets and pretended to sleep on the train’s not so comfortable sleepers. Upon reaching Kathgodam at around 6 A.M. we were transferred to our camp on jeeps. We drove through beautiful valleys and breathtaking landscapes, with chilled wind ruffling our hair. The expert driver cruised smoothly on that ‘almost a road’… Well the ride was totally worth it as when we reached our camp (Wildrift), the beautiful sight of a born fire place, wooden sitting areas and wonderful scenes of the hills making the backdrop made us fall in love with the place instantly. We were greeted by the camp’s instructor, Mr. Manoj, who introduced us to our daily curriculum and camp’s rules. We got some time to unpack and freshen up, and after struggling to be on time we left to take up some adventure sports like Kayaking, Rock Climbing and River Crossing. The class was divided into three groups and all the groups got to experience two adventure sports on the first day. This experience of learning new things, working together, encouraging each other and that urge to push you to take one more step was certainly one of the best. That hard work and few bruises paid off when we were served hot lunch that we all savoured together. After one more round of adventure sports we left for the camp and on the way we had an unusual and intriguing activity. We were suppose to accompany one of the least acquainted classmates to the camp, and one of the two people were alternatively blindfolded, while the other talked about himself/herself. Upon reaching the camps we discussed our day’s experience and then had a delectable dinner. The night was spent singing and chatting beside the born fire and then some more chatting in the tents.. That’s how we called the day off with some aching muscles, dead cold weather, so many new thoughts and so many new feelings inside our hearts.
The morning began with a hot water bath and a nice filling breakfast.. After which we left for another round of adventurous activities and a Kayaking competition between the three groups.. Our walk back to the camps was fun and memorable, when we chatted with our friends and made up the most foolish stories in the world… When you are tired and hungry, nothing can be better than hot pakoras and tea, and that is what the awesome camp people welcomed us with.. We had some leisure time in the camps and after dinner we all participated in treasure hunt.. Our only saviours on this stunt in the wild were our torches, moonlight and a map guiding us about the way to the flag and then back to the camp.. It was a crazy experience as we trekked on almost invisible path in dark, with scary voices from the valley… ok I am exaggerating a little bit, but I am not lying about those scary voices.. but it was our fault as our shouting and running woke up the poor animals.. Finally we returned alive to the camps. We relaxed a little bit beside the camp fire again.. This day we called it a night pretty early, but upon returning to the tents we changed our mood and went on chatting till 4 AM where there was no light beside from a beautiful gas lantern.. (However, half of the friends dozed off mid way and the rest of us went on disturbing all others in other tents)…
Next morning, most of us decided not to take a bath, and we went on for breakfast, after which we had some team building and leadership activities.. After lunch, we went trekking to Hidamba Temple, where we met a baba who had an unusual sense of humour.. Everybody there was very hospitable and they offered us hot tea, biscuits and bananas… Oh i forgot to mention about the way to the temple… Well this was ‘actually’ an invisible way ‘in the bright day light’… Only one person could walk on the path at a time, and at times not even that.. ;)…Well somehow we managed to reach the top and then to return back in one piece… Suddenly it dawned on us that it is our last day, in fact few hours left in the camp… there was a mixed feeling of leaving the camp where we had no sense of time and no time to get bored and now going back to our homes, to our cell phones, to our laptops, to facebook… We packed our bags, bid adieu to our tents and then celebrated Omar, Anir and Suhani’s due birthdays before saying bye to the camp’s staff and Manoj Sir… The drive back to station was no less scary than the one from it… Again the driver showed his immaculate driving skills on that kutchha road and then we boarded the train to Delhi from Kathgodam at around 8. This time most of us were low on energy and tired, though few of my classmates still had a little pack of energy left to sing and play on the way back… we reached Delhi at 4:15 in the morning.. Here we were, back in the capital city, back to our homes, but at the end of it all, we were a little more mature, a little more close to each other and a little more emotional.. This camp was not just an adventure trip, it was a place where we laughed, we sang, we played, we bonded, we cried and most importantly we learned a lesson called ‘life’.