Update for week ended 15 January 2010
I looked at the gurgling river and the rope that was strung across it from one bank to another. Now this was not my idea of a river crossing. I was not a naïve urbanite who would assume that one used a bridge to cross a river, while on an adventure trail. I just thought it would be a gurgling stream that ran fast like a river, and I would roll up my trouser legs, take off my shoes and socks, and then gingerly find my way across the water trying to avoid slippery stones that are still visible on the riverbed. But this was a shocker. The trail conductor and my guide for this event, Ronny, quite sternly asked me to empty my pockets, take off my watch, and get ready to be strapped onto the looped belt that would then get hooked onto the rope. He was giving out instructions, as if by rote, to the bunch of once enthusiastic adventurers. I looked mortified at the prospect of being hung by a cord to the rope and then having to use my palms to thrust me towards the other bank. The rope was at least 30 feet above the roaring river. But I had signed up for this, so I sighed and said my silent prayers. The start was on high ground on the left bank and then Ronny shouted out his instructions like an army general – I just followed it. He thrusted me towards the river and in a jiffy I was on my way, trying to control my body from swaying too much, holding the rope with both my hands and wrapping it with my feet crossed together. I looked like a human hammock strung under the rope and my body weight added to the sag. I started my move in earnest and after some time and practice actually got hold of the momentum and moved along briskly almost hugging the rope. As I was reaching the right bank, I inquisitively tried to raise my head and turn around to see my path, when the unexpected occurred. Ronny gave a yank to the rope and I lost balance, which caused the rope to sway so much that I lost my grip, and all of a sudden I was plunging down 30 feet in a free fall like situation. I screamed, knowing fully well that it would be of no use, and then whoosh! I almost drowned in the water, as I was dunked into it. It shocked me into jumping up and grabbing the rope. But the sag and tension stayed and I was left hanging below the rope and almost touching the water below, when Ronny’s aids from the right bank held out their hands to pull me out to safety.
After 2 days of upswing at D Street, the D Boyz were looking forward to their weekend and did not want to try anything adventurous. But like they say, not all things in life occur as planned. So when the Boyz got onto the Street this morning, they were surprised to see the rope strung across for them to “street cross” to get to office. So they started from a height in the hope that this would get them across faster, by sheer momentum and G Force, but their path was tricky, jumpy at times. So they kept oscillating quite a bit, until towards the end, their enthusiasm to get to safety, got into some sort of scramble, pushing a few D BOyz and their SENSEX down about 60 points, before normalcy was restored. But I hear that about 30 D Boyz were injured today, pushing the SENSEX down as many points to 17554. For a week’s perspective, today’s D Boyz antics on D Street could be replayed and you would get a flat performance for the week. I am not sure what IT was, but the IT elements on the SENSEX did very well, while river banks took the toll of being plundered. But as they say, sometimes when the Big Boyz lie flat, the small and medium ones actually get active and outshine. (Small and MidCap Index up 2.5 – 3% while SENSEX up only 0.5%).
Drenched and petrified, I was led to the local camp, and given a cup of hot tea to calm my nerves and also warm me up. I did not have much time to savour the sights of this sylvan wooded river-bank amidst the silence of nature and the roar of the river. My next adventure was rock climbing. I wish I had stayed back in Mumbai to run the Marathon instead. At least the terrain was familiar and the weather more comfortable.
Cheers and wishing all fellow Marathoners a good dream run on Sunday……… Catch you there.