Rushing down the Delhi roads, started a journey to a known destination but what it beheld in it, was an untold and exhilarating experience only to be cherished deep in our memories…
The Orientation week that began with christening of the first batch of the 1year PGPM program at Great Lakes IEMR as Championing Crusaders and were instilled with sense of responsibility and ownership to go ahead with, was about come to a close with Outbound team building activities at Rishikesh .
The batch geared up for the two day trip packing essentials and not to miss, the cams to capture the moments all along. With Prof Palhan and Ajit as our coordinator and managing authority, 47 students boarded two buses from Osho Men’s hostel and set off to a 9hour journey in the solitude of the night singing, dancing, playing Antakshari and cracking jokes almost all the way along with sleep finally kissing us goodnight very late in the night.
Far from the cacophony of the city life, we opened our eyes to the serenity of Himalayan foothills with refreshingly cool breeze. With the pleasant feel, we all started walking down to our picturesque camping locale on the banks of Ganga with small tents around and Ganga jingling down in her own swiftness a few metres away. Simply mesmerizing . Mystic charisma of tranquility and song of the river with winds whistling through some dry leaves set us all for adventurous day ahead in all certainty.
Post the welcome address by the organisers Mr. Munjal and the team and welcome breakfast, two teams were formed to begin with the activities for the day, namely Whitewater rafting for one team and Stream rappelling for another. For some, there was river Ganga waiting to take them in her lap with sheer playfulness and for others, there was the thrill of trekking up all along the foothills to a stream to rappel down with its flow.
The team for rafting was driven to the rafting origination point by the organizers and then briefed about the security measures to be taken in case of exigencies. Rapids in Rishikesh are rated class 3 and 4 and have different stretches to be covered in each rafting trip. We started up with almost 16km stretch, a first for many and enjoyed thoroughly traversing through the rapids each being of increasing menace and natural force, getting a fair measure of how effective communication and synchronization amongst the team members helps in resolving key issues and build a strong team. We also experienced the excitement of swimming in The Ganges, where we were ably guided by the lifeguards who went along. We finally reached the destination and carried our rafts to the shore. Akhilesh overwhelming mentioned “floating in the Ganges was such a liberating experience”.
The trek to the stream rappelling origination also was quite an adventurous one, covering an estimated distance of 3-4 kms. Many of us actually redefined our physical fitness and stamina up the strenuous hill. After a few rounds of testing, the setup was ready and we started the ascent to the top of the stream flow, one by one, to start the rappelling activity. That’s when we felt the adrenalin rush and the job that seemed easy was not one when you are put to test. While some of them managed to perfect the activity in the first instance, others took a bit of time before they settled in. There was continuous cheer from the team that lifted the spirits of the performers. “ The first step down the cliff while rappelling challenged us all but with a lot of encouragement and adrenaline everyone came through.” , Rachit added. Afterall, motivation helps overcome your fears and propels you to excel. Post lunch, the teams took up each other’s adventure ingredients to finally mark the end of thrilling day.
The evening back at the camp was decorated with lanterns, served with Tea and snacks and welcomed around a camp fire for all of us to unwind our souls. We got to witness the candid half of ourselves and others in the lighter side of those moments, lived with just enough light around, beaming and glistening the surrounding and cool soft fine sand below the feet. What followed was a sumptuous dinner to probably officially call it a day. But, the night had just set in and with its canvas in the sky glittering with myriad stars widely open , it drew all of us in sharing countless experiences amongst us in our lives. Surprisingly the fatigue had nothing to do with the gush of the minds. Quite reluctantly, late in the night, we resigned to our tents, with the prospects of another eventful day ahead. Siddhartha went on to add “In all it was an experience which set us on the right path for a great learning experience that we anticipate to have in the year ahead” .
The night that beheld us in her cradle along the calm symphony of its stream was over and a new day dawned upon us sooner than we thought. A new day with new possibilities and new opportunities that was going to be fun and learning at the same time. But, the start with an association with your own self within is what marks the day with a great synergy. So, we started with meditation channelizing our energies from within and letting our mind capture the presence of all the consciousness around.
We all assembled and came together for helping and handling our activities for the day as groups of people. And, we christened groups as the way we are and we should be, rising and shining above all adversities, come what may. The part needed to showcase our celebration of our victory was empirical to the subsequent themes. The act that followed the one’s identification as a team was to race up for the Frisbee tournament in a way that the frisbee should never land on ground and none of the member should run while throwing the frisbee. The idea was that of a strategy in place and a perfect execution and implementation of the same which was as expected good challenge amongst the four teams at a time. We started the practice session and a trail run which we rated to be quite decent as this is the first time we are handling the frisbee. It gave us time to re-strategize few things and reaffirm to our execution plan. Finally the first two races among four teams started and the winners from these races were brought together for the final race. The winners and participants had a really enthralling experience. The great end was followed by a wonderful breakfast of boiled eggs, bananas and bread, much needed after the fitness test. Vikas was so true in spirit when he said “The kind of team work and bonding we had will be with us for the rest of our lives”.
The next part of the day was marked by another activity among the teams which involved a rafting exercise to and fro from a designated point in minimum time. The teams were required to leverage their rafting skills learnt the day before and no assistance was to be provided by the staff on board the raft.
The teams went ahead with all possible twists and turns in the undercurrents of the Ganges and the real team work came to the fore amongst all. Each team struggled and competed to strive for the least possible time constraint. When one team was busy rafting their way ahead, the other set of teams were busy doing commentary with ad breaks for a wholesome entertainment and nail biting finishes. To put it all in Varun’s words: “It was an exhilarating trip full of adventure activities which each one of us having thoroughly enjoyed and gained so much from each experience”.
With the day’s physical synergy all in , we were all set for a mental synergy under the “Flowering of ideas” where we learnt to accept and respect each other’s views and build upon them to maximum possible options that we can have to form a solution strategy. We realized a lot of issues and their solutions are never reached as the issue is never understood in its totality and singularity and most of the solutions are nipped in the bud of analytical minds without an open consideration, no matter how silly it may sound. Lakshmi so gratefully added “ Thanks to flowering of ideas, we learnt how to come up with a large number of unique ideas collectively as a team”.
Following the lunch, all of us left to the destination with experiences to last forever. On the way, to carry upon the feel, teams discussed upon the topics they got to familiarize with the “flowering of ideas” delving into the richness and the beauty of the idea and the topics.
When are we making a trip back again is the lingering thought with which we pen down our experiences here….
“When the cool air caresses your face with the music of the Ganga flowing down, you will realize that you are in the lap of nature, in the midst of peace and tranquility far away from the busy city life”
Crusader,Class of 2013
Branding and Public Relations Committee
“The sun not only shines above you but also shines within you in Rishikesh.”