Monday, September 12, 2005

Yeh hai India meri Jaan

We were contemplating going rafting to Bheemeshwari for some time now. Its about 100 kms from Bangalore. The grade is about 1-2 which is easy. I informed everyone by email that they don't need to know how to swim cause they would give us life jackets. Duh!!! Remembered to put a disclaimer that if they don't function properly then its not my fault :-) And each raft would have a trained guide. The last time I went we had an ex lawyer called Sridhar, who was at that time running an adventure company. We had gone for the 4 hour trip. I enjoyed it quite a bit. We were thrown into the water where it was safe. So that those who didn't know how to swim would feel more comfortable with the life jackets. Towards the end we jumped into the rapid and went down with the flow. The guide told us to put our feet forward. Due to the aerated water I went in and out of the water but it was fun.

Anyways we were thinking of leaving Sunday morning... then raft on the Cauvery... The plan was to be back by evening a little bit tanned and stuff but thats ok. We could also trek in the nearby area if we get time. The last time I went some elephants had rampaged thru some villages. So I warned junta that they should not talk to the elephants!!!!

Sunday Morning: 5:30am.
People started dropping out as usual. The number boiled down to 6 till the night before. I phoned Ankit in the morning to wake him up but he just fell off to sleep. Ok that makes it 5 of us. Finally when we left by about 6:30 types the number boiled down to 4. Maybe its cause I told them about the elephants. Hey I was joking!!!!!! There are no talking elephants !!!!! So Saurabh and Namita were taking turns driving while Dhruv and myself lay prostrate in the back. In case you are new to this blog, well Saurabh's van doesn't have back seats, courtesy IITM. Its replaced with a nice mattress, cushions... the works. ZZZZzzzzz.

We arrived at Cauvery fishing camp by about 9ish. Booked our places for the rafting. We couldn't get the morning slot but managed to get the afternoon one. We then had a very heavy breakfast which was proportional to the price. Since we had time on our hands we decided to go on a little excursion. Someone told us that we could go to the watch tower. Hello the watch tower was like 100 feet from the camp!!! You call that an excursion. We don't look that old do we.... do we???? So we strolled along the banks of the river. Climbed some trees... with some help of course :-) The coming down part looked tougher. When we decided to head back, somebody got this brilliant idea not to follow the same path back. I think it was me but since my mind denies coming up with any such thoughts, I have decided to give myself the benefit of the doubt. Hey.. I'm an understanding and lenient person. Someone also said that the road should be parallel to the river and just a little ahead. Hey!! lets not get into the blaming game ppl. So we then climbed a pretty steep hill. Had to hold on to grass for dear life. It itched. We thought we would get to the road and walk back along it but we just kept going up and up. When we looked back it was too steep to turn back so we again started going up and up. Finally reached the top where there was a watch tower. See... we found the other watch tower. I knew those ppl wern't lying :-) The view from the top was amazing. Well worth the climb. We had a birds eyeview of the river and the hills around us. There was another marked path to get back. Finally when we reached the road there was a board pointing in the direction we just came from. It had some pictures of bears and something was written in Kannada. Maybe it was a warning that we should not talk to any bears.

Finally we went rafting. The rafting was nice. The final rapid was a grade 3 but I enjoyed the trekking more. That was a like a grade 6... The type which only lunatics take :-) Hey later in the evening we even landed up in the lunatic asylum but thats a different story... Well read on for more.

We packed up by 6 and were on our way back. I dozzed off again at the back dreaming of the nice hot bath and the bed at home. When we neared Bangalore, we found a hit and run case lying on the road with a lot of ppl around him. Sometimes ppl like to look at others in pain. They would be afraid to help cause it would be a police case but they would just stand and look. Half asleep I suddenly hear Saurabh saying to clear the place in the back as we were taking the guy to hospital. If I were alone I don't know if I would help. I mean I would actually have to be in that situation to tell you what I would have done. Anyways, so we carried the guy into the van. None of the other onlookers decided to come to the hospital with us. I was sitting in the back with Dhruv. We found the guys phone but it seemed to be out of balance. So Dhruv used his phone to try and call some numbers from the guys phone. Couldn't get thru to anyone who could recognise who the guy with us was. Tried calling the police too, to let them know that we are talking the guy to hospital but couldn't get through. The first hospital we reached told us to take the guy to Nimhans govt hospital for a CT scan as there didn't seem to be any external injuries except for blood that kept oozing out from his mouth. We informed a nearby policeman about what we were upto and headed towards Nimhans which would take about 30 mins. Saurabh offered to drop off anyone who wanted to get off at this point as we didn't know what we would get into next. Everyone stayed :-)

Blood kept oozing from the guys mouth all the time and he was making involuntary noises. Namita covered her ears... I was beside him in the back with Dhruv who was still trying to get intouch with some relation/friend of the guy.... Didn't know if he would die in front of me. One of his eye was open and the blood was frothy. I thought I was afraid of blood but I was ok. I was wondering if the noises were due to the guy choking on his own blood but then he moved one hand. "Ok make more sounds"... Cause as long as he made sounds I knew he was alive. whenever he stopped I thought that was it but then he would make some sounds again.

Finally when we arrived at Nimhans we told them that it was a hit and run case. Nimhans is the government mental hospital. We took him there to get a CT scan done. I expected people to come out running with a stretcher but I guess that happens only in the movies. So I went in to search for a stretcher but couldn't find any. Found a wheel chair and decided that that would do. The guy was heavy to lift. None of the hospital guards offered to help to lift him up and so I put all these years of gyming into use, along with Dhruv of course. Pretty heavy to carry. He kept on sliding off from the wheelchair. Must have been 60 kgs types but he felt really heavy. A little while before this we had also realised that the guy was drunk. We decided that we would call up Neeti if the law tried to turn things onto us. By this time the police arrived and took over. There were no problems. The doctors said that he was not in danger.

After the episode we were discussing that maybe we just wasted our time on a drunkard. Which may have been the cause of the accident in the first place. But then again hindsight is always accurate. I was also thinking of the incident later and the fact that I had missed Sunday church. Some of the sermons are about helping ppl in need to which I would internally nod my head. But theory is so much diff from practicals. Later on when I felt he was out of danger and a bit drunk too my thoughts of helping him further were biased by the fact that he was drunk and probably a riff raff type of person... Maybe I'm just a Sunday Christian. Well it was still Sunday :-)

We decided not to call it a day yet. We then went to a karoake lounge called Opus to get our minds onto something else. Anouksha, the viva singer and channel [V] VJ happened to be there and sang some numbers. There was also this guy called Karthik Iyer who was singing in Tamil. He sang 'Beat it' and another number in Tamil just to prove that Michael had been to Chennai :-) Barry, one of Saurabh's friend also sang. Namita too.

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