On a hot summer afternoon, May 22, 2012, thirty-two people — ex-students and their families – came out to Minto Road, huddled in a few groups a little away from each other, ready to board one of the numerous Volvos parked there that would take us closer to our destination – Camp Himalayan in the picturesque Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
The 1st adventure camp organised by Mother’s Blossoms was conceived in one of its governing body meetings where everyone felt that the association needed to energise its members to participate in various events to strengthen the bonds amongst all the ex-students. Thus a place and a date was decided and mails were sent out. Bookings were followed by cancellations and morale were at an all time low. Ashok Jain, from the batch of ’86, stood like a rock throughout this phase. His determination prodded us all that the event would happen irrespective of numbers and with the support of Mr. Navin Bahri, CEO of Camp Himalayan, we managed to hold on to our bookings.
The journey from Delhi to Himachal was peaceful through most part of the evening and the night. The group de-boarded near Aut next morning and from there to the camp site, the journey resumed in a couple of travel weary Tempo Travelers. We were greeted at the camp by warm smiles and a much needed hot breakfast. Sleep deprived as we were, we rested thereafter and then woke up to a sumptuous lunch that got us ready for a nice village trek. Even though none of us were mentally or physically prepared for the trek through the beautiful villages but none refused and even the smallest members of the batch kept pace with the others through the trek. After walking for maybe a 1000 km (actually it was only 8 km) we reached back to the camp, dead tired and cribbing. Our energies were restored by the consumption of hot tea and pakoras. The bonfire that followed melted all ice between batches, ages and mindsets. The three age groups of below 16, below 30 and above 40 (buzurg log) were all in their elements now.
Amlan Deb and Deepanjan Sengupta of 1999 batch were a little upset that there was no yoga at 5am unlike the school trips of yore. Sorry guys, we will surely incorporate these important elements in our next trip. The next two days were filled with adrenalin fuelling adventure activities which we all mastered like pros thanks to Sumit, Jasmine and their excellent and competent team. Who can forget the long treks, standing under the freezing waterfall, crossing the mighty Tirthan river holding on to just a ‘rope’, the ice cold water during the stream walk, the floating floaters, the empty water bottles and the ‘proud to be an idiot’ T shirt.
The Manipur express Dineswori, the level headed and calm Kaushik, the ever smiling Rajesh Narang, Kumudani and Raj, the silent Rajni and doctor sahib, Jaideep, Alka, Rajdeep, the enthusiastic Ashok, the daring Shampa, Geeta and Ritu, and the cheerful and in demand Amlan and Deepanjan were the stars of the trip. The kids rocked too. We surely would have missed them if it had been an alumni-only trip. On the last day the entire group sat together under a pear tree and shared our experiences at the camp. All of us were brimming with joy that we had participated in all the activities at the Camp. Only to be reminded by Sumit on what all we had missed and was still left to be explored and experienced. New plans were immediately made for the next trip in 2013.
On May 26th, as we all boarded the bus for our return journey to Delhi, everyone wished that maybe somehow we could extend this trip (just like good old school trips). And some of them actually did enjoying a group breakfast at Green Park, on their way back home.
This adventure trip created new bonds and new friendships that we hope will strengthen with the passage of time and of course Mother’s Blossoms will be more than happy to receive new ideas from all its members for such activities in the coming months and years.
For those who couldn’t join us this time there is just one thing to say -‘Come live the adventure with us!!’