A PAT ON THE BACK IS JUST A FEW INCHES AWAY FROM A KICK IN THE BUTT
"No smoking till we catch up with the other rafts"... once again there was silence all around... we looked ahead... the other three rafts from our camp were almost a 100 meters away from us... then we turned around to look at our instructor (by the way his name was Drona - named after the Guru of the Pandavas and Kauravas in the Mahabharata). He was looking like a rooster in heat... i thought his life jacket would burst open if he tried to broaden his chest a bit more. "You also have a smoke.” I said, even though I don't smoke, I just needed the break. I had been rowing for four hours the day before... I certainly needed all the rest I could get and I was sure the same was the case with the remaining seven souls on the raft.
WHERE YOU STAND ON AN ISSUE DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU SIT
There were initially just four of us. Me (Harry), GD, Vishal and Neenu. The previous day had been quite a sad day... we were teamed up with a bunch of horny morons... whose idea of white water rafting was watching blondes in bikinis and not the adventure of taking on a rapid. As you would expect from such higher mortals... they refused to row for the better part of the run... and when they would actually get down to rowing... they'd stop within a few seconds to look at another bikini. I was amazed; these guys would keep staring without even blinking for seven minutes. And, then came the icing..."look, look... tits!!!", the most irritating one said whilst being bang in the middle of 40 odd people.
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS THE HEADLAMP OF AN ONCOMING TRAIN
Embarrassed, disgusted and definitely not looking like fresh daisies we made our way back to the camp. We took the manager aside and told him we won't do the run next day if we were again teamed up with those guys. I think it worked... 'cause he immediately suggested that we team up with another group of four girls, who'd just come in after we had left for our run. Then we thought... "What the heck? How bad could it be?? Couldn’t be worse than these guys."
A BIRD IN HAND IS SAFER THAN THE ONE OVERHEAD
So, the next morning the morons had a sulking face. They wanted to go with the girls... I think one of them was actually heart broken and was trying hard to hold back his tears. I felt sorry for this deprived soul... I wanted to tell him that it's OK, Life's like that ... you are a pathetic excuse for a man!!!
NEVER PLAY LEAPFROG WITH A UNICORN
But then, I kept these thoughts to myself... I am an evil man... but true evil hurts though inaction. Well, the morons were soon forgotten, and the introductions started... their names were Shilpa, Vijeya, Neetan and Priti. Nice peeps, and guess they had a similar story to tell about their run on the previous day.
SMART PEOPLE, COME AND GO. BUT, MORONS ACCUMULATE.
Well, coming back to the smoke break on the raft. Drona said, "okay, those who are not smoking will row the rest can take a break.” Me, Neetan and Preeti protested... you idiot... what do you think we are??? Then the rest of the smokers joined in...
A FRIEND WILL WARN YOU BEFORE YOU GET SLAPPED, A TRUE FRIEND WILL SLAP SOMEONE ALONG WITH YOU
I was so proud of my friends; I almost had a lump in my throat. And then he realised that actually no one was rowing anymore, so, to save his face, he said, "all of you take a break, but after that we have to catch up with the other rafts". That sounded like a fair deal. So, while they smoked, I rested. "One more smoke, said Neenu" and the anger in Drona's eyes could have turned into supahman's heat vision and probably toasted Neenu alive.
IF YOU FOOL AROUND WITH SOMETHING FOR TOO LONG YOU WILL SCREW IT UP
So we immediately got back to rowing and man what an effect did the nicotine have on these guys brains... they were rowing like mad. Only to realise that, the other three rafts had stopped at the next beach and were patiently waiting for us for the last 15 minutes. Obviously, we wanted our pound of flesh as well, actually an ounce!! Because we got to rest on the beach only for five minutes... and during that time we basically overturned the raft to throw out all the water. So no rest as such. The other rafts now seemed to be ready to move...
THE OTHER LINE ALWAYS SEEMS TO MOVE FASTER
After a few more episodes, most of which involved all of us jumping into the water and then me drifting away from everyone else and many exciting rapids, we got back to our camp... exchanged no.s and headed back to Delhi. The drive back to Delhi is another story... which I’ll tell you some other time.
THERE IS ALWAYS ONE MORE STORY
Monday, April 19, 2004
You need bad days to appreciate good ones
"FORWARD!!!" shouted the instructor, and she turned around and snapped back, "we won't row any more, what are you doing just sitting there and whiling away, now you row!!!" and the entire raft was silent, even the water seemed to have stopped splashing against the raft. Then a giggle started from the front of the raft... and percolated right down till the instructor. Then another one said, "We want a smoke... we can't row anymore... we need a smoke to recharge ourselves!!!”