Rollin’ on the river

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                                                                                                                                              Pragya Pokhriyal

Whoosh….whoosh! The sound of the water made this adventure even more adventurous. As I sat on the raft, feeling nervous, beads of perspiration ran down my forehead making me scared shitless. My friends and i started this journey with a lot of hope-filled in. Our freakish yet entertaining guide gave us the basic instructions that were to be followed while paddling up the raft. Initially, it seemed to be boring with absolutely placid water on which were cheering our paddles. The crisp air was rich with winter jasmine and cold and grew even colder. Then suddenly a rapid wave came and our raft hovered over water and we all shouted enthusiastically on top our voices. The sky was grey-white and sunless. A spine freezing breeze. My bloodstream halted with ice. It took a couple of seconds to realize that our guide told us to jump in that chilly cold water. We tries to resist but our guide seemed to be made of metal; he all of a sudden pushed into the water abruptly out of the raft. The moment I got drenched in the water  i started to shiver incessantly. I lost my balance inside the water until our guide helped me. Cold stalked me through the mountain passes like a spectre death. While i was still thinking how to I would survive further, my friends shouted and laughed sitting on the raft, enjoying the view. I could see the overhead dense white cottony clouds lining up the cobalt blue sky.

Rafting

Then I realized that I was still in the cold water baring the harsh cold winds. The bitter wind laughed as it tore right to my heart and turned my blood to icy sludge. My muscles began to ache and grind like the cogs in old machine. I became cognizant of something that was approaching me. I had a gut feeling that something terrible was about to happen. It only took me a split second to realize that a gigantic wave was coming towards me wildly and swiftly. Terror gripped my body. I lost my senses; the cold that had seemed mild at first now numbed my face and extremities. Rafting is adventurous nut in my case it was less of fun, more of terror driven risky adventure. As I tried to catch hold of the rope attached to the raft, the ferocious wave collided with me, splashing all its water on me, hurting my eyes.

Excited, wildly my friends jumped off the raft nervously waiting for something magical to happen. As i saw my friends next to me, I felt happy, could feel the calmness of the area. We played with water, throwing splashes of water on each other until our guide commanded us to get back to the raft for safety purposes. We went up the raft, to get some relief and bracing ourselves for more fun to come. We were enjoying the waves, sharing some witty jokes with our guide when I saw that one our fiends was missing i turned to my shoulder only to see that she was not missing but enjoying herself ,diving inside the water .Despite the strict instruction of the guide she dared to break the rule!! Suddenly she lost the grip of the rope .Although she still had the life jacket on, but she seemed to be swaying away from our raft. WE hurried past her; our guide went into the water to help her. Thankfully, he brought her safely to the raft. We lay her on the raft; still unconscious, the biting cold chilled her fingers into clumsy numbness, and cold seeped into her toes and spread painfully throughout her feet. Her lips turned a more bluish hue and her teeth chattered like a pneumatic drill. She began to lose his sense of time, had she been out there for minutes or hours? The frigid wind poked her like icy fingers and wrapped around him like a shawl woven from the snow itself.

Rafting tour
Rafting tour

Soon she gained back her consciousness; while the guide was rebuking her for doing such a risky act, we reached a point where food was served to the people on the raft. Our raft was tied to a rock and we all jumped off from the raft towards the food point under the tent. An old lady was firing up logs of wood to help us get some heat and restore from cold. As we sat on rocks to enjoy the bonfire and the weather which didn’t seem to be friendly at all, a boy came to serve us food. Looking at the hot brewing coffee and sizzling- spicy hot Maggie that was given to satiate our hunger, my stomach started to growl even more.

As i held the cup of coffee in my hands, it shook continuously and spilled itself on the ground. I ordered for another one. When a spoonful of Maggie went inside my mouth, I could feel my body blazing with heat and warmth we all, who were starving, ate everything quickly and after having ourselves filled to our guts we decided to carry on with our journey. Now it was time to paddle back from where we had come. To be very honest, I didn’t want to move o, my body was tired heavily and was asking for some good sleep. But them we had to go back to our pavilion. With all the strength and endurance left in us, we started to paddle back in the river. On the way back, I absorbed what it felt to be on the raft with my friends, enjoying the weather, the chilled winds, one last time. God knows, we might get another chance to raft again with this wonderful team and not to mention our ‘Captain of The Ship – our GUIDE!’  We sang songs, laughed, shouted at the top our voices while our guide cracked se really funny jokes. Finally we reached the point where we all had to leave our raft and cover a bit of walking distance towards our hotel. We bid goodbye to our guide, and happily went our way.

I must say it was my first water trip ever. You might call it a mini adventure but for me it was really an unforgettable one! Thank You God for being with us and guiding us throughout our short, yet adventurous journey.

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