Sunday, 21 September 2008

Happy Birthday To Us!

29 years is a lot longer than most of us have walked the planet and it is has been one amazing ride. I haven’t been around for long but I have heard enough stories and plenty of ‘gyaan’ from the seniors to build my picture of how the past years have been.
At this point I have to make a disclaimer. Most people less than a couple of camps old will not be able to understand much of this article. But since this is the reunion special, I take the liberty of letting myself go on pen and paper (sorry, keyboard and monitor) here.
I have heard of all the beautiful places it has been to, and all the jungles it has explored. All the not-so-easy-on-the-backside- bus rides and all the towns wiped out of food! Cameras in the stream and eunuchs in the train! I have, in a way, been a part of it all.
What truly is the most amazing part of the experience is that every camp, every event has its story to tell. Something has always happened. The sleepless nights of the exhibitions and all the ambitious plans, some successful, others not so much!
For those of us who have been an active part of the Nature Club can probably never explain to anyone else what it is like. To be lost in forests somewhere, with no network, or to be stuck at sub-zero temperatures at one of the highest places in the country. To be stuck in a train for 60 hours or to just plunge into a random waterfall by the road!
Someone once saw the insect-bites I brought home from a camp and asked, “Why? Why do you guys do this to yourselves?”
I had no answer. Or at least no words to put it in. You have to experience it to know what it’s like. What it’s like to be a part of NC, and a part of this community. This remote sense of adventure and going to places where you would dare not set foot otherwise!
NC has also had some of the wittiest (and the most frustrating) jokes I have ever heard. Somehow, even in the darkest of situations, even when you know you’re in some serious trouble, there will always be someone who’ll come up with the odd wisecracks. And not just then, there are other times too. We are in a forest somewhere, and the COM (NC terminology) is talking about a rare tree or some bird call (which, by the way, I always pretend to hear, like most others) and someone would find something funny.
I have also met some amazing people here. The seniors who never carry food on treks and the juniors who are always noisy. The crazy nicknames everyone has and everyone’s individual, most specific quirks and that one poor guy (or girl) who becomes joke of the season.
Tradition too has been a part of NC. Each chairperson competes with the predecessor to beat the number of memberships! The dumb charades and the antaksharis with the same songs sung over and over again on every bus ride. The whacks, the exhibitions and the just-cant-take-one-more-step treks! It’s like rites of passage. Everyone goes through it and we are one proud lot! So let’s conclude this little trip down memory lane with…
“Sir! I just saw a spotted dove!”
“How do you know it was a spotted dove?”
“I just spotted it!”

1 comment:

Gentle Whispers said...

Wow disha.. This was brilliant.. I absolutely loved it.. You've brought back so many memories.. In fact, you've inspired me to post, which I shall hopefully be doing soon.