Adventure Camps 2017
Class 12 - Rafting Down Rivers Of Remembrance
It took a long time to write this particular article. Perhaps because writing it would mean embracing the fact that Adventure Camp was finally over. No camp can be lived vicariously through articles, no matter how well written and so I try my best to give this written reminder of the last camp (the first of many lasts) to the Batch of 2018.
Alaknanda River Rafting Expedition was probably exciting to us, after Yatra, because we hadn't rafted for six years since the spring of 2011. It was a learning experience for many of us, as camp often is. And as the last it brought about a mixture of feelings that hurt and yet brought immense joy. Along with rafting came reminiscence, remembrance and redolence. Memories that we remembered, memories that we made, memories that came together to form a new and fulfilling experience.
It is perhaps imperative to understand what Alaknanda truly held in store for us. Rafting through the val- ley on a serene teal river that broke out into a sudden fury that rocked our raft to and fro on rapids named Three Blind Mice, Roller- coaster, Black Money, Golf Course and so on. Sleeping under an open shelter built by us in freezing nights under starry skies and blue and red tarpaulin. Of course the rain didn't stop us we huddled around snug in sleeping bags and so dazed with sleep that amidst the pitter patter of raindrops we asked the poor camp instructor to bring us variety of refreshments to quench our thirst. Within the howling wind at Mahadev Chatti and the splashing of the Ganga while we rafted upon her I found some moments of silence to observe what changes Camp had brought to our lives.
It was the laughter that rang in the air when Akshay sir spoke of the 'commode' that was to be used by us in the loos. The hushed whispers that we exchanged across shelters when we were unable to sleep in the absolute freezing first night spent at Bagwan camp. The shared Panadol tablets after the first day of rafting when the pain made us wish we had no arms. All of this reminding us of the hardships that each camp was bound to bring, a memory of what we have learned to overcome over the years and a symbol of perseverance that we brought out by being there for each other.
Alaknanda was the cheers that the guides made us do as we tried to outshout "Ganga Maiya ki Jai" and out paddle the other rafts. Alaknanda was freezing in the night and burning under the sun during the day. It was learning how to pack your clothes into a tiny dry bag for four days and realizing the importance of fresh and clean clothes in our lives. It was enjoying amazing food and sitting around a campfire singing and listening to Mr. Gaud's riveting horror stories.
On the train journey we as a batch did our best to make new friendships [;)] feel awkward and munched on forbid-den tuck. It was making space in your tent for someone who wanted a change and singing K3G songs while playing antakshari.
Alaknanda showed us how we as a batch could help our friends achieve new things. That cliff jumping for a person scared of heights or unable to swim was manageable if we had the screaming cheers of our classmates behind us. That eating food for picky eaters was a task that could be done and that changing clothes under an open raft was easy enough when prac-ticed. And through all of this, old enemies had turned into acquaintances if not friends with some semblance of respect for each other. And that as a batch we were united and there for each other. For a last trip, Alaknanda was pretty stellar.