Am I the only person uttering ‘Nagalapuram’ in extreme low pitched deep bass voice. Com’on ! At least you might gave a shot once. Yeah! This brand has a witty slithering essence to it right. Whatever, Lets rewind !! Shall we?
Thursday morning (13th Aug), as I was sharing my dream with Alia Bhatt; I got kicked out of it when my smart phone screamed out loud. My friend it was.
“Where are you..??”
“Any plans on weekend..??”
“Lets hike Nagalapuram.”
“Assemble the team” I replied with my husky voice and hung the call.
We are kinda crazy fellas who plans a trip for an entire year and never executes it but a sudden plan will always turn into a wonderful experience. Phone calls everywhere and the trip is officially announced in Whatsapp. Nine people, two light motors, one destination was the plan. rs700 x 9 = rs6300 was the budget.
Things should get fucked up somewhere and this time it was the ride. One of the light motor was busy on the scheduled date and we had to come up with another solution and that was to replace it with two bikes.
Now we are good to go.
Saturday- 69th Independence day, noon we buckled up, filled the tanks and set the Google Map pin on Arai, Andra Pradesh.
I prefered bike ride. The reason is that I had been the rider and the pillion; trust me there is no satisfaction when you are the rider according to me. Every dot on the Google Map has an unique artistry, essence, music and aroma which you don’t get a chance to feel or live the moment if you are busy with traffic signal or balancing the clutch plate against the gear wheel or-else you get squeezed into the light motor with air conditioner aimed towards your skull and speakers with shitty song to your ear drum. Once an wise man said, “The Journey is the destination”.
After one-eighty minutes of bike ride with lot of pit-stops to stretch the quad and refuel the tummy; we reached Arai, a village with vintage touch everywhere. It was three quarter past, We are in the plan to nap under the stars that night so we left the rides back in the village and walked towards the lake near the foot of the hills.
We are pleasantly surprised thanks to the sudden rain from nowhere. Even an apocalypse can’t stop us that day. We still kept hiking towards the hills across the lake. The rain gave us the energy by not letting the sun to suck it up. We are super wet and really excited.
We encountered lot of IT clans on their way down the hill. Maari the trek guide, at his mid thirties,short beard, dark and athletic fit took the lead with the tent above his head. We followed. Not a hard trek I must say. We had to stop in the mid way since we are camping. The rain took a break.
Maari hooked-up the rope between the trees and set the tent which could fit 10 people. Wet clothes were dried and we decided for a fun bath at the nearest brook. Maari went up the hill gathered the woods for the fire. He and his assistant lighted up the campfire. We had a dependency issue since nothing was planned ahead for the hiking. After the fun bath we sat infront of the fire to gain back the lost temperature.
Sun left us back as it is time to greet the States. Within few hours we are surrounded by nothing but darkness. Very first rule of camping is always bring the torch light. We are nine in numbers and ended up with 2 torch lights. Few inside the tent discussing about the future and the present, few struggling with the fire and not let it die and few decided to take a small hike just to experience the unexpected. I was in the third category.
I was scared to death but I decided not to show up on the face. We hiked with a single torch light. Along the way we met a pedestrian trying to cross the path. He is nothing but a predator that stings with its tail.
“FUCKING HELL !! I’M OFF THIS PLANET” I pulled the other two and started walking back. Since the night hike fucked up we decided to find our food in the woods and eat like Bear Grylls does. You can ask us why such a decision?
We saw a lot of fish when we had the bath so we ended up fishing. Since we are not prepared we used the lightweight bath towel and a torch. Since the goal is to experience the wilderness we decided to set our own fire from scratch.
We collected sticks, logs and woods from nearby and started setting our fire. It took us so long and we are about to quit but since it was wilderness we had no other option. We tried again and again. We burnt our eyes and fingers, sored our hips and knees, deflated our lungs over a million times and finally ended up with ashes.
“I think we must start over.”
“I’m done. I am ready to get stung by the scorpion but not this again” I replied with the jabbering voice.
“I think we should play low. Since this is out first camping we should start from rookie level. Let us use the fire made by Maari.”
“It is cheating”
“Why don’t we borrow some fire from our friends and we can return it back once we are done with it”
“Sounds like a plan”
We asked for some fire. They laughed back. We used some Bear Grylls quotes. They laughed more.
We set our borrowed fire and we struggled to keep it alive. By the time, the fishermen arrived with some fishes. We took a long stick to pierce the fishes. We started barbecuing it.
The fish seemed dark and cooked. It looked awkward at first. I took the first bite and it tasted pretty good without spice or salt.
That night was not a normal routine night. We laughed on our own mistakes. We teased each other. There were zero technology. We spend the night talking to each other by gazing the stars. Sometimes all we need is a break from the stuffs around us and to look back the place once we came from.
You can think that we crazy people took a long drive, hiked in heavy rain, bumped into the venomous scorpion, slept under the stars but we had a different experience. We don’t claim that we really did something adventurous but we are pretty much sure that we didn’t do the routine stuffs.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” – Paulo Coelho.