When life gives you lemons, you have two obligations:
- Squeeze a few in someone else’s eyes, and
- With the remaining, well, you bring out the tequila
Now luckily for me, I did both!
So, it was Friday. You expect that I would have been super excited about the coming weekend and about all the activities that I would have planned to do. On the contrary, Friday for us (by ‘us’, I mean the supposedly menial and ordinary software professionals) means lazing around, maybe read a book or spend the whole day on the couch in front of the TV or the gaming console. Yeah, I agree it sounds boring and a waste of life, but off late, this has become my idea of relaxation. I try to drink it up and so should you.
But this Friday was different. Why you ask? Well, it was THE Friday of THE month August which ubiquitously means dejected faces, eyes red and brimming with tears, frowny eyebrows and high tempers. It’s the month of appraisal and rating communication after all.
I got my share of lemons and bananas and apples of course, or rather a few of someone else’s share too I would say.
But this time all was planned. Enough of the crying and moaning. While they were telling me what all do I lack and what all should I improve to hope for some good news next time (as if that’s gonna make this earth spin east to west and solve all issues of the mankind), I was busy giving my vicious smile (the silent version of the ‘Phoebe-Joey Evil Laugh’). Yes, they were surprised and heartbroken that I did not howl or wail or accuse them of being unfair and biased. In-your-face. It was a moment of pure delight seeing their dejected faces (no, I am not a sadist but yeah, this served them well).
I came home and found this weekend trip to Kalote village over Google (well, not that simply as I have written in a liner. Obviously it was a lot of RnD done on Google). It was a 1night+1day trip with adventure activities like waterfall rappelling, flying fox etc. I did not know much about what all this meant, but I read the word ‘outdoor adventure’ and I was on it.
Half of the next day was spent in shopping for the prerequisites given, which included new high-end trekking shoes (omg, how I fell in love with them the time I saw them on the showcase) and new stylish 3/4ths (don’t give those accusing looks that I am a spendthrift, I was planning to buy them for some time already).
Throughout the day, I was having second thoughts from time to time about going because I dint know anyone. It was a complete random group and a trip with random strangers. I haven’t done this ever before. What if I got bored the whole time? What if I couldn’t find any one to talk to? But the reason was vengeance this time for me, and I shall have it.
I was thrilled to see that a female was the organizer of the event. I called up the number, still doubtful whether it would truly be a female I would be speaking to, or this would be a trick to bring-in more female participants. But it was actually her and she sounded so confident and so mature that I felt calm all at once. It gave me my first assurance and a lot of confidence about going along.
I reached the pickup location on time, wondering about the kind of people I would meet. Would they be very old and I would feel too stupid around them; or would they all be college students and I would feel too old to find topics and be able to converse with them.
One of the members from the organizing team received me, had a little chat and asked me to mingle up until we were waiting for the bus to arrive. I instinctively started walking towards the only female I could see, sat next to her and said hello. Before I could control myself, I blurted out the qualm bugging me forever. ‘Hey, so do you know people here? I mean, are you with someone in the trip?’ And man was I overjoyed to hear her reply. ‘Actually no. I am alone and this is my first ever trekking trip.’ I could feel myself jumping and running around in elation. Yay, I found someone in the same boat as me. Now I could dismiss the idea of getting bored at least; second assurance that this was not a bad idea at all.
The trip was adventurous in all sense right from the start. The bus getting stuck in mud due to rains, all of us sleeping in the bus and waiting for daybreak because everyone got so hungry, having Maggi for breakfast etc. etc.
Now comes the activity part. So what is waterfall rappelling exactly? Rappelling is defined as ‘a descent off a vertical cliff or wall made by using a doubled rope that is fixed to a higher point and wrapped around the body’. Waterfall Rappelling, quite obviously means when this activity is done over a waterfall.
The Kalote waterfall had a height of around 70-80 feet. Our batch was the first one to start waterfall rappelling here, and this really was something to be proud of. The thrill of being at the tip of a waterfall, 70-80 feet in air, hanging by a rope, well, it felt awesome. The rush of water will blind your eyes and you have to navigate your way down using your legs and your intuition. I was feeling some other kind of ‘high’up there(literally and figuratively).
The whole event was planned so well that I congratulated the OAM team at least 10 times. I even got to know some very inspiring people. Rashmi Satam, for instance, has a cycling expedition from Kullu to Khardungla to her credit. Manish Bhosle has cycling expeditions from Kullu to Khardungla and Sri Lanka and also a bike expedition from Mumbai to Jammu via Leh to his credit. These people filled me with so much awe. They really meant it when they said ‘Adventure is their passion’. And mind you, all of them have office 6-days-a-week.
This trip was one-of-a-kind experience for me and I am now going to have lot more. The motto is going to be ‘Believe and Explore’. Because you never know when, during one of these escapades, I might discover my real passion.
Contact OAM for trips/treks : http://www.outdooradventure.in/Home.aspx?id=1