Remember those posters we see outside the Gym? Get in at 95 and get out at 65, lol? No they are not talking of age but of your weight. And as many of us happily sign up for it but although this program may require 950 hrs of commitment, we quit after 9.5 hours of training. So, welcome to the real life , the reel life is what we desire and real life is what we living day after day .
Rishikesh is one of the favourite weekend destination from Delhi. While few visit for spiritual calmness on the Ghats of river Ganga, few plan to trek along the mountains and the forests. But the most popular activity here is River Rafting in Ganga. Over the years, I had been reading, watching and listening about the adventure and fun people had while exploring river rafting. But it was stimulating to me only on the Social Media, since then I had Water Phobia.
The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page – Saint Augustine
Even after surviving 3 colleges, 5 jobs and multiple heartbreaks, I was sure that I cannot survive even for 10 seconds inside the water. Though, it lured me for many adventure sports, I was sill happy in my comfy zone. Close to 6 years back, I was convinced for an idea to stay in a camp on the banks of River Ganga. The whole plan was quite exciting as Camp fire dance and dinner was also arranged on the 1st night. The moonlit night with campfire on the sands across Ganga, was a beautiful experience. The river was calm and so was the environment, calming me up for the upcoming challenges.
It was a challenge, which I had to take this time, to help me break the odds of life, to become more open minded and enjoy the natural explorations. We had planned for a “Tier 4 rafting”, with close to 13-14kms stretch, with tides ranging from level 2- 5 in the whole passage. It took an hour for us to drive to the spot “Sangam” where our co-rafters hanged around. Post getting coached for the rafting, with all preparation to avoid any untoward any incident, I finally prepared myself for Rafting.“
Rafting seemed a metaphor of life for me! It is indeed just like life and has its own up’s and down’s after a smooth start. It too has numerous blind spots, turns and twists and best part is complete unpredictability, which asks an explorer to be cautious!
My feelings on that stretch of 14 kms and 3.5 hours trip can’t be expressed in words here, but just felt!
The raft ahead us was approaching the rapid & in the very next moment it vanished. It left us with our hearts thumping hard, but soon we saw the edges of raft getting pushed out of the tide which gave us a sigh of relief and a new energy to dare our lives into it.
Hard rowing begun moving against the huge seven sisters (7 tides together)! This was splendid, simply superb as the tide threw us harshly inside the river, then pushing us on the top, then again deep inside & finally we emerged out of the tide. Those seconds really took my breath away. But that was not the end, as we saw the very next rapid (3 Blind mice) moving in agony towards us. With all our might to counter the mighty tide, we somehow managed to prevent overturning of our raft (as the earlier raft had over turned). Nothing could have been more magnificent than this. Gosh! Our hearts pounding loud enough, we screamed, yelled, tears rolled down the eyes with a smile on the face as I thanked “Maa Ganga” for giving me such a scintillating memories of in my lives.
Rafting is so much like real life . The Instructors are like Mentor / Parents / Boss / Teacher’s who try to train us with real life experiences, still it can’t be foolproof, unless we experience them ourselves. The Rapids are like difficulties we face everyday wherein we need to formulate new substances to fix them up. Sometimes we sail fast, very fast, whereas at times, we even sail backwards. Life gives us ample moments, wherein we allow the current to take us along its path. When tides overturn’s us into the water, we need to swim for while and get back on raft. We don’t have the time to weep for our bruises, as what we see the raft above the tide waiting for us. Sometimes we are competing with fellow rafters, and at times, with self, to overcome our fears and take calculated risks. And at the end of it, sometimes we win and sometimes lose as well, but by then the expedition has already taught us the motive. What matters is our fight with full strength to achieve the target. This is the beauty of travel.
Next day , may be the circuit will be same but the tides may not. Every dawn brings across a new challenge. No one can tell you how to sail in all the tides, but they can train you mentally and physically how to judge and decide the best options to survive and succeed.
“Exploration is the essence of Human Soul!”
I was thankful, that I got the chance to get closer to Mother Nature and learned the tricks from creators of this world.
No more “water phobia” and actually, it has turned into “mania” as I post that, I have explored all water activities be it Snorkelling, Diving, Submarine. Every small journey got me to explore something new in me. The beauty of mother earth, the warm hearts of people, beautiful traditions and cultures have given me incredible memories to cherish for ever. Every exploration enhanced my thirst and provoked me to leave behind my comfort zone and test out my real strength.
I must say that saying yes to the world has given me a different perspective of life and that is the reason, I love the world and wish to explore the treasures of the world every day!
Hugs from a world traveller,