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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Going Camping... Part I

A live scorpion right outside the dining area… a mongoose scurrying across the road caught in the headlights… a frog perched on someone’s bed… pretty ‘challenging’ situations, wouldn’t you agree?

Well, all these situations and more, were a part of life at a camp that was intended to groom future leaders.(No, I'm not one of the leaders. I was there as an observer, to gain knowledge of how leadership training is carried out.) Obviously, you don’t need to know any of the boring (and confidential) details but we can still talk about the interesting stuff that happened.

The day of departure began early, too early for my taste in fact. (Someone who generally sleeps at 4 am obviously wouldn’t care much for days when he has to awaken from slumber at 5 am.) So, waking up at 5 am (with the assistance of 4 alarms) getting ready, cussing and abusing, and then rushing off for the daunting task of finding an auto that would overcharge by only about 10 bucks or so – all these tasks do make for an eventful early morning.

Anyway, all said and done, I was proud of myself for making it to office before the scheduled time of 6.30 am. Once there, stuff needed to be shifted to the bus and the fleet of cars. So, the needful was done and I must spare you the unnecessary details once again.

There weren’t too many highlights during the journey as such, except for the picturesque surroundings. Images of palm trees waving with the breeze, a little boy trying to pull a cow towards some unknown destination with the cow seeming to grin wickedly and refusing to budge, a pitiable beggar-man trying to seek alms from us, and local people staring at backpack-carrying ‘outsiders’ wearing funny-looking hats will probably always stay with me. Quite unexpectedly though, some of the people were quite hostile to us on hearing us talk in Hindi. Some were curious, others simply indifferent.

But eventually, we managed to find the way to ‘Camp Shrishti’ – a beautiful 43 acre area of virginal land. And I doubt whether the leaders had bargained for the challenges they faced in the form of scorpions, mongooses, and frogs to come their way. I was quite excited at the prospect of living in an Alpine tent, never having lived in one before. The first thing that struck me was that it was larger on the inside than it looked from the outside. My room mate…er…tent mate and I joked about it for a while, and then settled into our respective sleeping bags. Quite soon I guess, I must’ve dropped off to sleep quite soon, till I was woken up by pounding rain and lightning. However, I slept off again, and was woken up in the morning by my ‘roomie’.

I'd slept fitfully, because the flapping of the tent and the moist edges where my feet touched, made me dream that I was on a ship that was sinking in a storm. Of course, nasty folks out there had a good laugh when I told them of my dream.

The water I bathed with, was freezingly cold, and I cursed my false sense of bravado that led me to such a foolish step. (Hot water was available only by lighting the gas geyser and would've taken half an hour.)

The meals were clean, light, and hygienic and for once, I actually relished South Indian food. After breakfast, we proceeded for the set of activities for the day, and I shall tell you more about them once I'm back from another round of curry-rice. Yum yum!

8 comments:

Aquarius said...

must be such a nice experience. Do put some pics of that place :) and have fun.

Choco said...

Sounds Heavenly! But hey whats this? No pics??? :(

Sumit said...

Daft ol' me had forgotten to take his camera. Pics will be uploaded as soon as some kind folks share them. :|

Scriber's Web said...

Sumit! I am so disappointed in you! How could you forget the camera? Next time forget clothes. That is acceptable. Forgetting camera is an unpardonable thing. Oh well! I can't wait to hear more about your adventures:)

shailendra said...

hi sumit,
i m following ur blog from the past few days n find it very interesting ...keep it up dude ....

Kadambari said...

You forgot your camera! Ahaa.. Do upload the pics soon. This does sound wonderful! :)

Kaddu said...

Totally agree with "Scriber's Web"... forget ur clothes, but never forget ur camera on such a trip! :-D

I'm just so jealous of you btw... been stuck up here for last 7 months now & can't go out for another 2 months at least! :-(

I guess I'll just enjoy reading ur travelogue for the time being... do post the next episode soon! :-D

Sumit said...

@Scriber... point taken. :D I hope your comp's out of rehab now...

@Shailendra... thanks!

@Kadambari... pics uploaded :D

@Kaddu... I'd have been jealous of myself too, if that had been the case. (Ummm.. does that make any sense? No? Doesn't matter... after all, this blog is called 'hues of insanity' :D )