The 15 day trip trek to KuluManali after the class X exams was the most memorable one in our entire student life. It took a lot of convincing on our part for the parents to !et a teenage girl travel with an assorted group of boys and girls. The bus journey helped us bond as a group- singing, sharing our tiffin, etc really rid us of a lot of inhibitions brought on by groupism in school.
We were a big gang of anxious excited adolescents looking forward to having a blast!! Accompanied by three teachers and the cook- Sanatan (who earned the nickname of tan liana tan) and the driver. We started our 10-15 kms long treks between Anni, Luhri, Khanag and Jibhi. Most of us were very very uncomfortable with our hunter shoes. blisters and all! Ably helped periodically by Mr. Gulshan (the one with boundless energy and an indefatigable spirit) and SunitaGodara (who danced like an item girl and left all the guys breathless when she performed to the foot tapping ‘duniyamein’).
The bonfires every day helped us keep warm while we gobbled up spartan dinners (which seemed like lavish meals at the time of mainly dal, chawal, alookitari. There was a Maggi night where us girls tried our best, stirring a huge quantity of the two minute wonder food, behaving as if we were gourmets in a five star hotel !! It turned out very salty but was consumed with great gusto!)!
The picture post card scenery was captured by many a lens, with girls posing as models for most part. Sliding down on ice covered slopes (on plastic sheets with chattering teeth) and making a snowman were some of the highlights of the trip. An accident on our way back home where a couple of us suffered minor injuries did not dampen our spirit. Parting ways after 15 days was really painful and I continued to be in the “trip daze” for days!
It was a landmark trip in my life that ensured everlasting friendships. Till date when we get together, nuggets of individual experiences are discussed at length and savoured by our gang- 4 girls and 4 guys who share a very special relationship thanks to the trip.
Class of 1986
MrRao showing off the skills of his students. MohitKapoor, Ashok Jain, Ashwin Jain, Vivek Lakshmi lyengar and Supriya can also be seen in the picture.