Having one of the most winsome experience in Auli, we depart to the land of adventures in Rishikesh. Approximately 25 kms from Haridwar, both the cities claim the title of Twin National Heritage Cities of the Country.
Encircled by Haridwar and Garhwal, this spiritual town is the Gateway to the World Heritage site – Valley of Flowers and is also Yoga Capital of the World.
As you enter the city of the holy gods, all your senses are awakened. You are ringed by the sound of bells and chanting all across, smell of incense sticks around, a view of faith everywhere and the taste buds tingling at the flavour of Chotiwala food.
I found myself adrift at the edge of Laxman Jhula, swinging somewhere in the lap of Himalayan foothills, beaming through the crowd and feeling a part of the it yet sovereign.
Next morning we head to JumpinHeights, the only official organisation to conduct Bunjee Jumping in India. JumpinHeights is a tie up with NewZealand based company who are excelled to conduct these activities for over a decade now with a record of ZILCH accident cases. While we reach there, I smirked at the thought of jumping only from the height of 83 mts. I was that preposterous and unwise to estimate how high can 83 mts be. Its actually 273 feet or rather 22 stories high. Phew! I realised how wrong I was when I actually stood trembled on the setup from where I had to jump.
When my turn came, I was hovering in fear. Perhaps I have always been scared of all different adventure I have done so far. But the bar was raised by several notches when I had to jump like this.
What made it worse was the girl behind me who was constantly crying her heart out of fear. It just made me panic and wanting to quit. I sat on the hot seat confidently and the only vital instruction I got was not to look down and stare at some random yellow point. While they were all setting up the gears, my eyes had already hit the gap between iron structure beneath the chair. That’s when I truly realised what what 83 mts can feel like.
This demanded a 100 times more audacity than any other feat and a thousand times more will power to jump by yourself. In this very moment of aghast, with my quivering feet, feeling chilled beneath my sweat, I finally arrive the dead spot.
The instructor refused to push even for a bribe of 300 million dollars. Everybody’s eyes spotted on me. All the team shouted THREE – TWO – ONE repeatedly. After almost 20 minutes of jitters, only the feeling of I will regret later if I miss this now helped me conquer my fear. You just have to let it go. I could no more feel the earth beneath my feet quite literally. After a brief moment, I realised that I was hanging in the air upside down, only trusting one rubber cord tied to my ankle somewhere in the middle of himalayan ranges! FAITH INDEED.
I was there in the air not for very long and everything else was taken good care of by the team. Quite frankly, I was not scared of any mishap but the jump. This reassured me that fear only plays mind game. One can perform far beyond than they can think. They just need to push themselves. Philosophies apart, that adrenal rush felt so good!
I took up for Giant Swing also. There is another one named Flying Fox .Although that one looked dull and not challenging enough.
I was happy that the tuff part was over and the Giant swing would just be a cake walk. However, the instructor had to make it more interesting by saying that its not easy for you brain now knows that the last one was tuff, so it will react more sensible to this. As I step to the dead point again, he said that this is my only exit point make it a little cowardice for me. But I knew deep down, with all the butterflies again in my stomach, that I was out of other options.
The day was not over yet. 24 kms of river rafting in high currents of the Ganges was calling. It was indeed the first time ever I was so close to this holy river.
The experience became more so fascinating when Shakti, our instructor, carried out sacred chants for the river which gave an absolute beginning to our voyage. He explained the rules and geared us up for the ride. Bolo Ganga Maiya ki – Jai! and we started. I must admit, he was an astonishing singer as well. It became an incredible moment with thrill, devotion and music all coming together in harmony.
Rejoicing the water splashes, in unanimity, we used all our strength to direct the boat in right way. In the spur of moment Shakti asked us to dive in the water and I did it in a flash. The waterbody was so cold that the we went numb in a blink of an eye. Feeling the strong currents of Ganga over you was just intimidating. Getting back on the boat was tough but manageable. Swirling through the waves and fighting with the rapids, we reached the maggie point. I suppose these are the fine moments which makes Maggie so special. We eat the maggie, channa choir garam and bhel and bid adios to finish the journey. It became so peaceful and content after a while that I could cherish almost every second spent in that boat.
No, I do not regret that its bygone. But, I would wish and try hard for more such experiences to make this life worthwhile.