Friday, July 12, 2013

Song of Hope

   It was yet another weekend. Rather let’s call it the same mundane, deterministic, weekend.The craze about Bangalore had vanished in 2 years and everything seemed to induce boredom. Be it going to malls or Weekend parties or simply lazing around in your room. A change was inevitable and an acute necessity.
   While I was pondering on this million dollar question about “What to do on weekend” my phone started blinking .It was Rajeev calling. I picked it up and before even I said hello he spoke my mind
Yaar bahut bore mar raha hai. To fight boredom our initial plan was to jam since Rajeev is a guitarist and I am a singer; but then we decided against it. After a quick brain storming we decided to go out for a trip. But we were not able to decide on the location.
  I called up Abhi, another close friend and our bassist .I briefed him the idea of trip and also about the inability to come up with a suitable location. He quickly thought over and proclaimed that “We are going to Doodhsagar...” basing his selection over the fact that “Ravi” (another) close friend stayed in Belgaum and he possessed the “Mahindra Classic Jeep” (yes because travelling in Mahindra Classic Jeep is itself a big pleasure).. By the way he is our “percussionist”
(Image taken from Google)
 Myself and Rajeev left Bangalore that night.”Abhi told he would be joining late since he had to attend some “random date”. And as for Ravi he was waiting to receive us .


        We both reached Belgaum at 7.Ravi had already arrived and was waiting for us.
  It’s always a treat to be in Belgaum. There is kind of “apnapan” in everything be it in the air, soil, houses, shops. Everything in Belgaum seems to be breathing a life of ecstatic joy yet possesses unruffled calmness.
      And as far as Doodhsagar is concerned, it is one of those places which God made when he was at his architectural best. If you consider Nature as feminine then “Doodhsagar” is an illustration of nature’s finest feminine grace and if you consider Nature as Masculine “Doodhsagar” is one of the strongest of nature’s masculine manifestations.

(Image taken from Google) 

   There is  a train from Belgaum every Sunday that drops you to Doodhsagar in the morning. It’s the easiest of the routes. But yet there is another route filled with excitement and adventure and in this case there is no train. As you predicted right we chose the latter one. And moreover we had Ravi’s legendary “Mahindra classic”. How could we think of tripping without it.
    We were actually supposed to leave for Doodhsagar at 9 am. But since our Friend Abhi’s date lasted longer than expected, (:P),he delayed his departure from Bangalore that resulted in cumulative delay in the start of our trip.
      Till our “punctual” friend arrived we had to somehow pass time. And you see we were all musicians me being a singer, Ravi a percussionist and Rajeev a guitarist. We started jamming and singing all the popular songs.

       After a few hours,Abhi called up and told that he is directly coming to Ramnagar and asked us to pick him there.We decided to leave for Ramnagar.Our  Mahindra Classic was loaded with all the stuff required for the Road trip and further trekking .We also carried our music instruments with us…Just in case. Little did we know that the very act of carrying musical instruments would make our trip the most memorable experience of our life  .

Doodhsagar..The adventure begins

              We were waiting at ramnagar for abhi to join. It was 2 p.m.when he finally arrived. He had to face verbal consequence for his delay. But it didn’t last long as we had to begin our adventure…
              We then drove from Ramnagar to Castlerock. CastleRock is a small village which is famous for two reasons .One because it is a busy railway junction and other due to the presence of Doodhsagar falls. From Castle rock you have to further cover a terrain of about 15 kms. Only vehicles of the sort of Mahindra Classic would have made it through this difficult terrain. To describe the road- it was a patch of land abundant in sharp stones, scattered over a muddy surface which eventually had turned into clay due to incessant rains. The road was guarded on both the sides by thick forest.
            After having covered 15kms, we Gasped a sigh in response to the meager achievement of crossing our first hurdle. But soon the next hurdle was in sight. We had to cross another terrain, but this time the state of matter being “liquid”. Yes we then had to cross a river of around 1 km .The very sight of this made us furious as well as pumped excitement  in all of us.The river wasn't that deep though. We entered inside with full acceleration. The very splash of water on the face when the wheels collided with river was like a prelude to the adventures that were about to come.
           After a slow, yet steady and limping drive we crossed the river. There was secret celebration in everyone’s heart .Especially in that of the driver. After riding for about 3 more kms on a comparatively easier terrain (land)we came across a tree which for some reason had slept on the road. It literally blocked the way. And that meant we had to part away from our dear “Mahindra Classic” momentarily and continue the journey by walk…If put in a right way- Our trek began.
           After walking for a kilometer more we met an old man who is supposed to be the only guide in this unknown area. Well what was amusing was his fees for the guidance. He just demanded a bottle of wine for his guidance. There was yet another noticeable thing. The old man had a dog …It seemed as though the dog was the guides guide. IT knew the terrain much better than the old man …It was our Trek lead for that day.
         Next up we had to cover a thick forest which literally had no road .and this time we had to walk through the forest .It was pretty dark. There were all sorts of sounds an indicative to the presence of wide range of animals. And then there were the smaller creatures like the leeches, and the mosquitoes. The smaller the creature is the more the trouble they cause. We slowly moved step by step cautious and alert yet internalizing and perceiving the beauty and jeopardy. Once we covered the land next up there was a water body challenging us.
        There was no way we could have walked through the water. The depths were unkown ,and the slippery rocks would have made us dance. Luckily we  found a kind of wooden bridge made by some ingenious .With its assistance we crossed the 500m wide stretch . The dog on other hand couldn’t climb the bridge as it couldn’t get a grip of it. He heroically swam the waters and reached the other side.
          All this  adventure had withered the sap out of our body .We were tired. We kept moving though slowly. After walking about 1 more km we saw something that took us to an apex of elation. The tantalizing sight of Doodhsagar was there in front of us.
         We reached the point where the falls originated from. If you look down ,u could see a valley which has no ends,In day time you could also see(from that spot) the Doodhsagar visitors who come via train and watch the falls from down. We had a sense of accomplishment standing beside the falls.
           It seemed like the nature was conversing with us.”I can make u furious with the terror yet I present to you so much of beauty. Unless you surrender to me completely I won’t let you sense my beauty”. And we having literally surrender to her, were soaked and mesmerized by her beauty.

Back from the falls –Surprise awaits

   It was about 6 o clock when we finally had to take a leave from this wonderful place. We were elated yet tired. The “night” had slowly begun to establish its empire. We came to the place where we had left our vehicle. We gave our guide his “fees” and began to headback.We were pleased that we had great experience and were relieved that the adventure came to an end. But wait the adventure was not over yet…Read along …
        On the way back we entered the river in our vehicle .I think we would have moved about 100 mts,a disaster happened .Instead of taking the left .The driver moved the steering to the right thus inviting a disaster. The wheels got stuck. The engine couldn’t pull the wheels up. We were panic stricken .Unaware as what to do. It was slowly getting dark too. Since the river was not that deep we jumped from our vehicle and tried to use muscle power to take the wheels out. But the strength was not enough. Moreover the slippery rocks were not supporting our endeavour.After much effort we decided to quit and leave the vehicle there and collect it the next day. We took our musical instruments; some left over biscuits; a small torch and decided to move on…
 But then something amazing happened. Read along to know….what was it

Amazing stuff happens

  Once we started moving, suddenly out of the blue our guitarist strummed his guitar. Listening to this  our bassist came up with a very crazy idea. He was like let’s jam in this beautiful place for a while before we leave. I and Ravi gave a terrible look at his statement. The night was taking over and the forest was thick enough to have all possible terrors in it. It was insane to have done something like jam there. But somehow our hearts had silently agreed to what abhi said. We looked at  our watch and it was 6 30.We decided to jam for exactly 30 min….and the fun then began….

 Song of Hope

  We came up with some random chord patterns and leads…for around 10 mins.But no tune was touching our heart. Then I gestured everyone to close their eyes for a while. We closed our eyes surrendering ourselves to the divine sounds.

The forest was full of haunting sounds, yet there was that sweet sound of the river flowing amidst rocks. The sky was almost dark, yet there was that small torch that gave light. The scenic beauty which we had seen a while ago was reminded.
      After 5 minutes of utter silence our guitarist played the first chord, and then the subsequent two chords. The chords were exotic and the strumming pattern was alluring. Our percussionist then followed on his djembe with a catchy pattern that acknowledged the guitar riff. Then abhi came in with his acoustic base and embellished the arrangement. It was time for melody now. The pattern kept on playing, and we together figured out the melody.
     The lyrics also happened very quickly .The sweet sound of river, amidst the forest’s haunting sounds, the torch light amidst darkness, the scenic beauty, the adventure everything amalgamated and brought one theme to the surface and that’s “Hope”.The lyrics came out as follows
I am music
Amidst austere Cacophony
I am torch
Amidst Scaring Darkness
I am your friend 
When you have none
Remember me 
And I shall be there
I am Called

We sang these lines with our heart.We were much more than elated .We were experiencing something more than ecstacy.After having a wonderful adventure ,the song was like an icing on the cake.
       But soon we realized that it was 7 15 p.m.And it was time to leave now.We   continued our journey fighting leeches and hunger.We finally reached castle rock at around 9 p.m.

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