We had been planning a weekend break since a long time, but nothing seemed to materialize. Finally one friend suggested we go to Rishikesh for river rafting. It was more than two years since I'd gone, and I couldn't resist going for a second time.
So last weekend I, with five other friends, packed our bags to leave Delhi and forget everything for a while. I was the last one to be picked up, and when we were all together, we just hugged each other, thankful that it's finally happening!
We didn't even realise where the 7 hour drive went. Continuously chatting, listening to music, cracking jokes, eating, sleeping....we didn't discuss anything about our daily lives, probably because we all wanted a break from our stressful routines.
We reached Shivpuri around 2.30 pm, and immidiately changed to hit the water. The ambience of the place was just breathtaking. Mountains, white sand and the Ganges, and around it, a whole cluster of camps. We were far from civilization, and that's all we needed.
We were all strapped up in the raft in the next 30 mins, ready to get some action. The instructor told us what we were supposed to do, and then finally we started off. As we approached the first rapid, we held our breath and wrapped our fingers tighter around the oar. Then as the instructor screamed 'Forward' we all put our entire power and paddled forward. Harder with each stroke. The water was ice cold as it hit our faces, and the raft bobbed threateningly. But it was over soon. And gosh, what a high! We cheered ourselves for our efforts and geared up for the next one.
With each powerful stroke, I could feel myself releasing all my pain, all the stress, all the misery that I'd been holding on to. And overcoming every rapid, felt like an accomplishment. We'd covered close to 20 kms, and boy that's something to be proud of! By the end of it, every lil part of my body ached, but I felt completely at peace.
We drove back to the camp and changed out of our soggy clothes. It was getting really chilly, and I was glad I'd carried my woolens. And when we stepped out of the tent, the sight that greeted us took our breath away. We looked up and saw zillions of stars, twinkling away in the sky. It was so beautiful, it didn't seem real. It was as if some one had sprinkled all the world's diamonds on the black velvety sky. We were speechless for a while and just kept gazing up, in awe. At that moment, I realized my own troubles meant nothing. Nothing at all. Why was I sad, when there's so much beauty and joy around me. I found myself wishing I could stay here forever. Just laying on the white sand and gazing at the stars that were there only for me. I felt one with the universe and nothing could break me down.
Needless to say, I was heartbroken the day we left. I knew it was going to be back to the same old, stressful rat race of life. But I also knew that life can be better; life is good, and that I'm taking all of God's creation with me, forming memories that would last for a lifetime.