Monday, July 1, 2013


I have always strictly maintained that I am NOT a trekking person and I have plenty of friends/batchmates who would vouch for it as they have witnessed enough instances of me falling, me tripping or me embarrassing myself, all of which are now collectively known as “pulling a Nefertiti”.

So when we planned an office offsite at Karjat which involved trekking and waterfall rappelling, I was pretty sure that I would be one of the laggards, dragging myself and slowing down the group. But much to my surprise, I was among the first ones to complete the trek, and that too, without too much of huffing and puffing. This also allowed our group, a.k.a Team A (notice how my loser quotient (LQ) has leapfrogged through my journey in the corporate world) to indulge ourselves in the fresh waterfalls, as we got drenched, played with the water and altogether, had a whale of a time. Never thought I would use the term “whale of a time” with an office outing, but there you go, after two years of being with the same people, your judgment tends to get blurred. Or may be it’s just nature that enables you to overlook the petty stuff for a few hours and enjoy the moment. Every trek begins with me being careful with my clothes, shoes and most importantly, hair, gingerly avoiding mud puddles or getting my feet wet. However, after a couple of falls/bruises, I let go, ending up with soiled clothes, spongy shoes and muddy hair.

While we in Team A were too cocky after our trek, turning up our noses at the people who were not quite as fast as we were, it was a different ballgame altogether when it came to the rappelling. I realized that impending disaster is a great leveler: you forget your battles, your grudges and your hierarchies for something as simple and basic as life! While you stand at the edge of the rock, looking at the 90-feet free fall that awaits you, suddenly your entire life flashes in front of you! It no longer matters how much you hate your boss or how annoying that colleague is: all you care about is to not die, so that you can retire in the safety of your cubicle on Monday morning and hang out with the same boring people again.

For someone like me who has never done any sort of adventure sports, let alone jumping down the waterfall, it was quite an experience. I have always been scared of heights; I can’t even take the overbridge without panicking; but this time I was determined. I simply HAD to conquer my fears, I simply HAD to know what the big deal was, I simply HAD to jump. And I DID jump; in the process I bruised myself against the rough edges of the rocks, I had a lump in my throat as I looked down and I threw my arms up in the air in delight when I could feel the ground beneath my feet. And through those 90 seconds when I was dangling in the air, I could vaguely spot my colleagues waving their arms from down, shouting something which I couldn’t hear, but I knew all the same that there was a reason to hold on for, people to go back to and a life to look forward to.

Don't go chasing waterfalls.
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.
I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all,
But I think you're moving too fast.

But may be sometimes you do need to chase waterfalls to appreciate the rivers and the lakes


Neil said...

Why does it feel so wrong that I know that there is a TLC reference in there ....

P.S - for thrills and spills try biking in the himalayas the next time. I hear its dangerous as hell.

Nefertiti said...

what's wrong with TLC!!! they were quite a rage when I was growing up. May be you were too old then to appreciate it.

and I am desperately waiting for your post on your himalayan trip...