So we (SCM gang) had been to Dandeli for our photography tour last year [Note: apart from this we went to Hampi and Karwar] Dandeli totally rocked. We were living at a lovely resort that was both cosy and spacious. It was green haven. And for a person who has always lived in Mumbai this was a special treat. My first reaction when I stepped into the resort of the sound of gushing water. Boy! I thought it was a waterfall. OK it was not but it was this beautiful river Kali. Green clear water... so clear that I could actually see the tiny fishes and the climate was heaven.
We went for nature walk on the first day and yeah, got lost. Had a nice doggy to guide us back. So the night after the drinking sessions was the big day. The day for river rafting. Now I was excited about this event and was one of the first to volounteer when they took names back in class. Well, of course I did not know what I was getting into. On our way to Dandeli [short-easy bus ride unlike Hubli to Hampi] I happened to speak to S [we had a lot of girls as S] as she done the sport before at Rishikesh.
Huge mistake. I shouldn't have asked.
See I never the risk taker. I wasnt into sports either nor even trekking. I suffer from claustrophobia and I am petrified of water and heights. So well, I was the perfect candidate. The rafting was to cost us 1200 bucks. I was in two minds. We had been told to think it over and then join the team or else the money would not be refunded. OK I so wanted to do it. Plus my parents weren't around. Had they been there, I would have never gotten around to do it.
The night before I got into a conversation with Farhad. He had come along with us on the tour, part of the Elu and Elli team [ that is another story].
Dad kept telling me over the phone, "if you dont want to do it. Chuck it. We'll think you lost the 1200 buck baby"
But I was determined. I had to prove myself. I had just turned twenty two before we began the trip and hell! I had not yet experienced an actual adventure. So be it.
The next morning along with 26 classmates and two profs we headed towards our destination. We had to wait there for about 20 mins before the rafts arrived. In the meantime I was told weird stories of how the instructor would push you into the water and all that jazz. I think my BP, had anyone checked would have crossed 120 [exaggeration is in my blood!]
So the time had arrived. We were handed our life jackets. Nine of us into one raft with the instructor. None of us could swim. Farhad was with us [ he was sweet throughtout] and yeah, he couldnt swim too.
" You can't chicken out now ok!" Harsha kept telling me this.
Fine so I was in a fix. We were last to get into our raft. I was quite ok, till the instructor asked us to one by one jump into the water. WTF!!!! I was sooo not going into the water! it looked deep. Sheesh...what if I was to float away ha!
But we had to and I did. Once I was into the water I loved it. I was told how to float and believe me it was heaven.
Then for another twenty mins he guided us on how and what to do for so and so. I think my group was the silliest of all. I was the biggest scardy cat ever and yeah, we all took things very lightly. I made another mistake. Because the water was cold [remember it was in the month of november..] I offered to sit in between two rowers. Big mistake. Well we were so excited most of the time and over excited as we were approaching the rapids, that we hardly listened to the instructor. Finally we reached the ninth rapid. Now this we thought was a cake walk. This was the last one and it was believed that everytime you took the raft over this one you would have a different experience. Fine, we thought we were cats [Jeroo's dialogue!] and yeah, we were so not going to topple.
But the universe has a vague sense of humour. We did topple and how... We weere on the rapid and weeeee! it was cool. The other two boats were ahead of us and they waited. But something went wrong...
Like I mentioned before we never listened to our instructor. While we were at the rapid the raft titlted and I could my pal tilting over... it was like yeah, so she fell! but I wont!
But I did like all the other eight. I could practically see my pal falling into the water and the next second I had drowned. All I remember is that it was all yellow. I thought It was the end of me. But soon I felt a floater jabbing into my face and wooosh... reality check THE RAFT WAS ON MY HEAD!
I made it to the surface and yeah, the panic signal was ringing. I remember seeing the faces of the girls in the other boat. They were stunned like they thought that was about it for us. Dolts! Anyways suddenly our instructor is on the over turned boat and asks me to let go.My first reaction was like is he bonkers?
But he was right and we all floated away. Another panic situation. I wasnt enjoying this anymore. I needed to feel something under my feet and this was tiring. So finally I was rescued. Jeroo, my prof...the poor thing was flabbergasted! She hardly could say anything. Slowly all my raft mates were transferred onto other rafts and then finally we got into ours.
But before we could shift, I heard D telling Jeroo, "M'am! Please lets go back onto the rapid...we never toppled! We should pleaseeeee..."
" shut up, are you mad O what! I have had enough for one day!"
Surely that was enough. We got back safely. I called my dad and he was like "I am pissed withyour mum, she kept on joking that your boat might topple....
"Dad," I said cutting him short... "we did topple!"
"What? you ok?? "
Well I am ok... hence I am blogging. But like I dont think I ever want to repeat this. It was amazing!"