Making Difference: One Step At A Time
Its 9:10pm 15th Feb 2013. We are divided into two groups in the two buses. It was said we need to maintain the ratio of girls and boys in the two buses as there were a few girls in the other bus. But none of us agreed to move from our places once we were kind of fixed. We played all different kinds of games on the way, from antakshari to word and memory games until 2, when most of us felt sleepy. One or two of us still were awake entertaining others in the mid and then the organizing team was whole-heartedly busy directing the drivers, meanwhile giving instructions to the students to behave properly always. We were nearly lost for about an hour or two, it was drizzling all around and some of us were restless to reach the resort. The organizing team people busy confirming routes from wherever they could.
As last, we came to know that we took a wrong route and need to take u-turn. After this travelling for nearly 20kms way back we reached the place from where we took the wrong turn, the first one (yes many wrong ones followed but none of them had the potential to discourse us to any extent, even some of these became some of the most memorable times we had in bus!!)
We got the way amidst hills, going round and round and up and down, finally we reached the resort –“NIRVANA”(what a name!). Once you are in the resort, it truly feels as if you have achieved ‘Nirvana’- a term which means a state when the soul is away from all humanly worries and tensions, a state of ultimate bliss. It feels as if you are in heaven. Large mountains, small streams flowing downhill (better term these as ‘riverets’), joining the main, bigger and beautiful river.To the left of the resort at some distance is a cute beautiful bridge on the same river. The structure and design are just wonderful!. Small clouds rising from the drizzling mountains and the riverets add to the beauty of the scene….This was the most beautiful resort we could ever stay at!
We had planned for a jungle safari, but since we were lost on the way, because of the rain showers, we couldn’t enjoy the safari…but staying in the resort and looking at all the beautiful sceneries around was itself wonderful! Coming back to activity, we soon were divided into rooms(5 people in one) on different floors(which were sort of just a group of rooms, at various heights). Each of these locations had a very special view of the scenic beauty. I chose to be on the top one in anticipation of the best scenery, but soon realized that each of the rooms had a very different view of nature and you couldn’t compare one with the other. After we were fresh again, we went downhill to have a great breakfast which comprised of nearly everything one would love to have in a breakfast. After breakfast, began a photo-session, though in small groups. We took lots and lots of photos of anything and everything that was within sight. And now, it actually appeared good to just sit down and gaze the beauty of the mountains,and the river, and the showers than to go out for a jungle safari. Although some of us said that sunshine would have added to the beauty of the scene but for me it was the rain which had that magical spell.
We were told to wait for the lunch till around two, and after only after lunch can we think of any plans for the day. Till then, all of us were divided into two groups playing mafia. I can’t tell much about what happened in the mafia games as I had left the group in order to enjoy the beauty of the nature…hear those mysterious sounds and allow myself to be lost in its serenity…moments like these are rare!
We were busy enjoying ourselves in whatever way we could, whatever form we could, and with whomever we could! Later in the morning, some of us started heading towards the huge bridge across the river. It had begun to drizzle again.
The way was tough, but neither the rain nor the tough terrain could be a barrier in our paths. There was a small riveret that we had to cross before the bridge starts. On the way we met little kids returning back from a school downhill. Their enthusiasm was really great to feel. They even waved their little hands at us. It was great to see that the kids would go to school even in such rough weather conditions, whereas many of us would bunk our classes with the slightest of excuses. When we reached the bridge, we were nearly half wet. But who cares? It was the enjoyment at that time which mattered the most! The bridge was very delicate. We had to cross it keeping a proper balance, otherwise all of us would fall down. Reaching the other end, we again took many photos and by noon, all of us decided to return.
Back in the resort, we still had some free time before lunch, which we decided to ‘utilize’ by playing games such as ‘truth-or-dare’, in which we shared some of our deepest secrets and some ‘lies’ with one another, while some of us had to perform some really daring acts!
After the lunch, we had a brief meeting where decided our future plans and activities. When you are stranded and left alone in a landslide hit place, there is nothing much you can ‘plan’ about! It was decided that we should stay back in the resort for that night and go to some nearby place the next day to have a little nature walk and bird-watching experience. In the afternoon, we played ‘antakshari’ where we enjoyed some professors and even exchange students sang to the tunes of the latest bollywood songs. Later, some of the great singers among us like Dev and Siddharth showcased their talents.
Then came the time of dinner. But some of us were so tired that it was hard to wake them up for dinner, but still some others managed to do this hard job though in some time. We all had dinner and came back, where we heard that the power was soon going to be cut off and we need to go to our respective rooms. Being tired and out of power (in both sense), we went to sleep.
The morning following this was the most wonderful time we ever had during the whole trip. Those managed to get up a little early, were able to experience the true calmness that that place had. It was completely silent around except for the sound of the smoothly flowing river. On the contrary to our expectations, the sky was clear and the sunshine added its charm to the scenic beauty.
It was time to leave after we had had our breakfast. Then it appeared as if everything around us had started speaking to us. Each one of them had something special to say! The green and brown leaves, the riverets, the big and long river, the lost clouds, even the things like bridge and the roof tops of the resorts had something to say….some things to say so aloud in all silence.
Mentioning everything here in words is a bit difficult for everything had a lot to say. But the river had a unique message for us. It said, “Look here, yes here! This is me who is speaking”. I glanced at the river and everything that it spoke started getting absorbed in me. The river flowed despite many obstacles in its path. The river was the most energetic and most enthusiastic one. At some places it danced and it sang while at some places it became smooth and calm.
We went to the ‘Sitamani’ park for our nature walk and bird-watching. We saw a lots of animals and birds and different varieties of trees. Once we were outside the forests, we saw some beautiful mustard fields. Later in the afternoon, we headed our way towards the majestic Corbett Falls. We took photos and played games all afternoon.
In the evening, we climbed the bus that would take us back to IIT. On our way back, we took many wrong turns (expected!) and were trapped in a traffic jam (unexpected!). Playing antakshri and singing along all the way, we came to a stop late in the evening when our driver bhaiya realized that one of the tyres had gone flat. So we took a break at a small village, where many of the astro-savvy guys among us took out their pointers and binoculars and started their ‘Star-Gazing’ session. So despite the landslides and the bad weather, the astronomy part of our trip was not missed after all!
After this session, most of us were very tired and very sleepy and only woke up at the time of dinner. We all had a nice and delicious dinner at a small and beautiful road-side dhaba. After eating, we went back to our buses and slept again. Lost in our slumber, we never realized when we reached back to IIT.