Monday, June 4, 2012

Thrill and Spills


I have this extraordinary knack of losing my balance under any circumstances. If ever any person was capable of finding a way to fall down and injure himself seriously, while seated in a bean-bag, I am sure that I will be that person. Maybe that is the way I will enter the Guinness book of world records. There is no other way for me, that is for sure.
With this extraordinary ability guiding me, it is no surprise that I have found varieties of novel ways to fall in treks. From the clich├ęd tripping over shoe-laces to the almost customary slipping on a banana peel, I have done them all. Slipping on wet rock and smashing in my nose (not that it needed any help in getting close to my face – any closer and I’d have only two nostril slits), sliding on wet leaves and tobogganing down or having an unexpectedly sturdy creeper snagging my feet and getting my face uncomfortably close to the ground with astounding speed – you name it and I had done it.
On my very first trek, while descending from Nandanvan, I made a false step, fell and slid down a boulder-strewn incline. Since I managed to stop inches from a huge boulder, the world lost the opportunity of finding out whether my skull really did enclose a modicum of brains. Of course, my family is united in its belief that it does not since that experience had failed to deter me from continuing to trek.
What can you say of a person who merrily walks out of a forest rest-house and falls straight into a six foot deep ditch, which he had only minutes before crossed thanks to a bridge over it? My companions burst out laughing since I was there one moment and gone the next. I must have looked like a jack-in-the-box in reverse. Before their merriment could turn to concern, I had hauled myself out of the ditch and continued to walk – prompting one of them to comment that I must be more cat than man.
The worst fall that I ever had was on a trek to Ahobilam. I was at the tail of the group when we turned a sharp corner and proceeded to climb up. About fifteen feet from that corner there was a place where we had to step up a foot to go further on the trail. The others had accomplished that with ease. I put my leading foot up the step and lifted my rear foot only to have a stone under the front foot turn. The next moment the sky described a dizzying arc and I was somersaulting backwards.
Afterwards, my friend said that he was busy crafting my obituary. It is one of those uncomfortable facts of life that one cannot turn round a corner while falling and failing to do so would have ensured that I would be spread as a thin paste in the depths below. At that time, however, I was too busy falling to pay attention to such insignificant details.
I can never say how it happened but I found myself sliding down face downwards after having fallen backwards. Luckily I had enough presence of mind to clutch at a rock that was speeding upwards and arrest my fall. (I am tempted to say that my feet were dangling over the precipice but, as it happened, I stopped a good six to eight feet short of the corner.) Otherwise, I would not be here describing this to you. (No! It is not a pity!)
The friend, who likened me to a cat, would not have said the same had he seen my performances in Bangalore. It is a surprising fact that my falls on treks have left me ambulatory but falls in Bangalore invariably manage to disable me temporarily. Imagine slipping down, landing your entire body on one heel and then having to walk for a month like a duck because you are unable to straighten that foot. Imagine stepping off a pavement and turning you foot on a stone and finding it impossible for a week to even put that foot down while seated and limping on it for two months. All these things happened to me in Bangalore and not while on trek!
Once again I am off on a trek to Brahma Tal starting tomorrow and ending on the twentieth of June. (And, yes, I will be back blogging after that, whether you choose to take it as a promise or as a threat!) This time, at least, I am hoping that there will be only thrills and no spills.

23 comments:

  1. Have a fall-free-fabulous trek :)

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  2. Have a great trip! n do not trip-over :P

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    1. Hi Apala! Tripped without tripping:)

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  3. Haha Trekking :D wonderful event...
    have a great thrilllll

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    1. Hi Deepak! It was tiring but thrilling.

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  4. i hope this time you wont have any of this experiences :)

    but well if you talk about trekking, i also had my shares of falls :) pretty weird falls too :) and sometimes it make it more memorable :)

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  5. Wonderful post. Lucid and fluid. Have a grt trek.

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  6. there are few posts that actually make you laugh and this is one of them. did i already say this before, anyway, no one will question me for repeating the same comment. have a wonderful time and do take care of yourself.

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    1. Hi Debajyoti! Thanks..and the wishes of all you good guys took care of me this time

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  7. Have a safe trek. Try not to fall, this time. :)
    As they say in Bengaluru -- Majja maadi. :)

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  8. haha suresh i sure cn giv u compitetion :) hav a safe trek .

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    1. Hi Alks! Yes a safe trek completed this time.

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  9. That was hilarious for more reasons than one! My favorite bit `Of course, my family is united in its belief that it does not since that experience had failed to deter me from continuing to trek.`

    Cheers!

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  10. n I am almost envious of you; have been dying to go on a trek for the longest while myself but alas the travails of the mundane!

    All thrills and no spills makes treks no fun; I think I`d like to hear all about spill number 1701! :P

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    1. This trek was fun for other reasons than spills:)

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  11. DO i have a mean streak? Your falls make me laugh hahaha....but let me compensate by saying that you are an expert at saving yourself even while falling,that is a valuable art,science or expertise ?

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    1. No mean streak, Indu! It is but natural to laugh and had I failed to make you laugh I'd consider myself a pretty poor blogger:)

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  12. It sounds funny but I know it's painful. Until my early 20s, I too used to fall off at a moment's notice (I still haven't figured out how I used to manage those feats) and I didn't even need uneven ground for that. Take care in your future treks :)

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    1. Treks are far less dangerous. the only bones I have broken have been broken in falls in Bangalore :)

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