Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rishikesh - A Reverie (Part 1)

The sudden realization - that its been almost a month since i penned down something for all you guys to read, is enough to wake me up from my over-stretched evening siesta. Unlike what the situation may point to, i wasn't experiencing any kind of writer's block (Ha! as if i am a 'WRITER'!!!), nor was there any dearth of things to write about. On the flip side, there are actually a bit too many things i wish share. And i dont really know from where to begin.

A lot has happened in the last fortnight of April. It was the fortnight which marked the end of my college life, and yet, gave me undoubtedly the best moments of these four years of my life!
The roller-coaster began with the Rishikesh trip. For me, the trip was especially exciting. It was after more than 12 years that I was heading uphill for a vacation. Otherwise, for all these years, a holiday had always been tiringly synonymous with the sea, white sands, and dozens of overgrown-paunch-flaunting sexagenarians.

We embarked upon the journey full of gusto and enthusiasm - just a shade of what we were to experience in the three days that were to follow.
Our campsite at Shivpuri seemed like a heaven's abode - colourful camps set on a rocky terrain, flanked by a humble stream on one side, and on the other - the majestic Ganga. I could somehow identify with the cult status of the river. Just its one meander displayed such immense robustness, wisdom and grandour that it rendered me completely speechless. Already hypnotized to the core by the beauty of the valley, we were soon greeted by thundering clouds and a modest drizzle. The grey-blue hue over the mountains made my heart skip a beat. I had been longing for this view since years. And it was right there in front of me, sparkling with all its vibrance and glory.
Ahh... it was hard to capture such a heart-warming welcome on the lens, but i tried my best :

As an icing(read 'chutney') on the cake(read 'pakoras'), we were presented with loads and loads of sumptuous pakoras. I can see you drooling.. hehe!
Once some fuel got in, we got back to our usual selves - hyper-active, hyper-mad and everything hyper. We jumped straight into the chilling water of the stream. Most of us thought of it as a great opportunity to pour water over our stinking bodies which hadn't been in contact with any kind of liquid since Holi. While some others - smarter, forward-thinkers - found in it, a good excuse for not bathing the next day!

No one bathed the next day. Its quite enough that we somehow managed to pass off the piling load in our bodies to the mountains - just to help breed a well-manured land for abundant flora growth! Everyone contributed whatever they could. Success ratios varied from 40-80%. Some full-blooded individuals managed a 90. Standing Ovation.
After the early morning ordeal, we went on to trek uphill to a waterfall. Soaked in sweat but brimming with zest, we reached the so-called waterfall. We never actually expected a Niagara, but climbing 2kms for almost a fountain that emptied into a algae filled pond wasn't exactly funny.
Nevertheless, whatever be the scenario, we never cease to enjoy. So we gathered all our scattered dynamism and geared up for the one thing we all had been the most excited about - White Water River Rafting.

We could never have imagined what lied in store for us next. And it needs a full-fledged post to describe what all we went through during rafting - the thrill, the chill, the agony and the pain, the frustration, yet the expectation, and finally... the ultimate high!
For now, i'll just leave you with my most favourite photograph of the entire sojourn.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Scent of Nature

They say that nature has the power to heal every disease, every agony and every evil. It can bring a smile to the saddest of the faces. It can entirely metamorphose the surroundings into a vivid display of colours. It can harbour life and nurture beings.
Theres something about those cotton-cheek clouds, that first drop of rain, that comforting shade of the banyan, the sight of birds mating, or a cute pup sleeping, the cool of the evening, the enlightening sun of the morning, and the composure under the stars of the night... theres something about them - something that is inexplicable, something so embalming and enriching that it makes you forget everything. And makes you just get lost in the perfect picture, painted in front of your eyes by the hands of nature.

Ever wondered, why a grey-black hue over the horizon drives perfectly calm and composed people into frenzied hysteria?
Why a drop from the sky infuses life into the limping leaves.
Why children, just out of their evening siesta, break into an excited terpsichore, on hearing the clouds grumble.
Why no perfume can work wonders, the way, the fragrance of a fresh drizzle on dry sand can do?

It's probably the way nature works.
Nature, in a way, understands how distressed its children are. How badly they need that fresh air of relief. It's probably the nature's way of telling us - 'Whatever you do to me, i'll still shower you with my blessings'.
And whatever we do to her; in the end, we'll lay down and sleep in her lap only. Because nothing else can give us 'that' feeling of life, 'that' feeling of being close to our own self and 'that' feeling of being close to God, other than mother nature.
As i write this, the rain hits harder and harder over the roof. This may just be nature's way of expressing its concern over the humungous amount of syllabus left to cover for my exam tomorrow."You distract me a lot Mr. Rain God, i would have atleast started studying had you not been kind enough to shower your blessings disguised as rain, thunderstorm and this sudden welcome chill in the air! Now how do i resist standing in the balcony? Thankyou for ruining my chances of passing tomorrow!"