A rush of thrill

Bloggers live in the perennial fear of getting a writer's block and get nightmares of their blog slipping into a coma-like state. I have been close to coming to this stage many times but fortunately something or the other would serve as the proverbial straw to a drowning man. Mostly it would either be someone else's blog post that would inspire me to write a similar experience or a timely blog contest. This time it is both. The contest is by Women's Web about the Passport to a healthy pregnancy; details here. Tan wrote a post about her adventurous experience here, which lit up the bulb in my head where a similar experience was lying buried gathering dust. For no particular reason or intention, the contest has been given the second preference.

I am basically not an adventurous person. Though I like some surprises thrown in here and there, to a large extent I like things planned. Also, I lack the courage to do something out of the ordinary just for a thrill. For the really adventurous, the incident I am about to narrate may seem quite trivial and not worthy of a mention. So, if you belong to that category, this post may not be for you. The others can read on. So, this happened in the year 2005. We friends, three of us, all girls ( out of the gang of five) decided to go on a trip to Kashmir with a popular tours and travel group. For me, the adventure began at that stage itself. My parents were dead against me going to the infamous place for obvious reasons. I, on my part was caught between trying to convince either set to align with the other party's interest. Since my friends' parents were OK with the idea, it was left to me to take the call. It took all of the rebellious streak in me, combined with my friends A and S's pleadings, to get my parents to give their consensus, which they offered when they found out how adamant we were. The travel guys on their part also assured us of our safety and claimed to have planned a safe itinerary. Since they enjoy a good reputation, we were inclined to believe them as they too have their own name and fame to protect.

That particular day was meant to visit the Char Chinar island. After a boat-ride on the lake, the travel guide gave us the evening free for shopping at the row of floating shops on the lake that sold jaw-dropping kashmiri wares- from handicrafts to carpets to shawls to sarees and dress-materials. We were enamoured by the sheer beauty of the setting and the idea of having such an unique shopping experience. We were told to remain in a group and come back to the hotel before dark. The group dispersed according to individual interests and we three friends found ourselves with another family in a shop that sold dress-materials and sarees. We were so engrossed in selecting stuff for ourselves and our families that we did not realize when the other family left our side and when daylight turned to pitch darkness. As we left the shop, we realized that the other members were nowhere near where we shopped. Either they had gone back to the hotel or were still shopping far off from where we were.

The boatman who rowed us to this shop was waiting to take us back. Sensing our tension, he said that he would reach us back safely and there was no need for any worry. As we were ferried back through the labyrinth of houseboats, the enormity of the risk factor dawned on us. Every place looked alike. None of us had any clue if we were rowed back in the right direction. Given the nature of the location, although each of us carried our mobiles, there was no network. Meaning- we could not call anyone for help if something went wrong.  Although it was not late by the clock, darkness had set in to give an illusion of an unearthly hour. The only light that permeated through the chilly darkness was the light emanating from the nearby houseboats. But every light seemed eerie and every person including the boatman looked fishy. The onward journey which probably took the same time seemed hopelessly longer on the way back. The same surrounding that looked so scenic and cheerful by the day, seemed haunting and dangerous by the night. We just kept looking at each others faces to gather hope and cheer and spoke nonsense to ward off the demons in our head. The boatman, probably sensing our apprehensions, kept reassuring us at regular intervals that he will ensure our safe return. We only had hope with us and prayed like hell in our minds. Only when saw the banks from a distance did we heave a collective sigh of relief. With hearts palpitating from the sheer excitement of our escapade we thanked the boatman profusely before running back to our hotel.

Phew! what an experience. We just prayed a little longer to thank God before hitting the bed that night.

15 comments:

  1. OMG! thats pretty scary rey...I would have been super scared..and you went on an all girls trip..I have never done that...now I am jealous :)

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  2. That IS scary! Even tho nothing happened, the perception of risk was more than the risk itself! I hope u "forgot" to mention this incident to ur parents? :)

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  3. RM: Well, we were scared too. and yes..all girls trip..it was the second of that sort..now get more jealous..muhahahah ;-)

    Aparna: it WAS scary!!!
    I promptly "forgot" to narrate this incident to the parents..lol
    but, know what my family read my blog very sincerely and regularly..so...maybe I should just brace myself now..:-)

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  4. That is a heart in mouth experience! Girls trip?! WOW!
    I had been to Kerala with my best friend :)

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  5. Wow Uma, that is pretty adventurous and scary in my book! Must have been a crazy experience, glad that all turned out ok and we can retain some faith in good people like the boatman being around even in this kaliyugam :)

    I see you really gave us a masala post after your "break" one - great!!

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  6. i agree with that "blog slipping into coma" statement... sometimes it becomes so difficult to come up with interesting topics!! Nice post.. :)

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  7. Sahana: yes it was a tense situation.
    Even I went to kerala with the same set of friends with the same tours. It's a different sort of fun to travel with friends.

    Aparna: Seriously..and we had no choice but to trust the boatman..and even more dangerous part was that only one of us knew swimming and that too somewhat...!!!
    aha..masala is it? glad you liked it..:-)

    Radhika: Thanks so much Radhika, glad you liked it..
    that's when other blogs come to your rescue..:-)

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  8. Glad to know that my post inspired you to write this :)

    An Adventure in every sense!!!

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  9. Glad to know that my post inspired you to write this :)

    An Adventure in every sense!!!

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  10. Tan: hey Tan..thank YOU!! :-D

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  11. hey suma: enjoyed reading ur blog. hope many women cud enjoy a similar experience and for a moment forget bout their 'home and hearth.' women esp mothers shud indulge in pure pleasure at times be it physical or mental. we deserve it! dont get into d guilt zone an forget that ur alive and ticking!

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  12. I know everybody is sympathising how u felt & stuff but all I can think of is....U WENT TO KASHMIRRRR, u lucky, lucky woman;-o

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  13. Nancy: YES!! I went to KASHMIRRRR...muhahahaha..;-)

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  14. I know how scary that can be... as I have been to the place and have seen it first-hand. Every place in the lake looks exactly the same. We too were at the mercy of the boatman, but thankfully, he seemed pretty decent and we were able to place our entire trust on him and enjoy the scenery around.

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    Replies
    1. cheers to reliable boatmen :-)

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