Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Wild and the Mild! 

My guess is that tortoises are one of the most adventurous animals on this planet. Which other animal have you seen that actually moves around with its own little tent?? Naay! I can't think of any others. It's almost like they were made to camp. I can almost visualize two tortoises having this conversation:

Tortoise Uno: Hey remember the time we went to the field on the other side of the road for a camp. Boy, that was fun. We haven't done that in almost 50 years. We should do it sometime.
Tortoise Deux: Yeah! That was fun, man! The trek was a little too long. It took us two years to get there. But, boy, was it fun!

Personally, I've never realized the sweet joys of camping and trekking. And that is surprising since I'm surrounded by outdoor enthusiasts. What do you think was going on in the mind of the man who came up with camping?

"Hey, mate. Let's go for a walk. Now that we've worked a thousand years to reach this point of civilization, let's just pretend we don't have it and go and spend some time in the wilderness."
"Nice idea mate! Let's take some beer along with us too."

What? Have you noticed that it's almost always a compromise. You want to face the wilderness while carrying you beer cans, mosquito repellent, hiking boots and new-age synthetic tent. These days people even have special camping spots with man made toilets. It's like "Yes! I love to spend time in a barren land but I want some tissue for my tushi too!" If that's your motivation, I'd say the best thing to do is just switch off the lights in your drawing room, switch on Discovery Channel and drink beer. If walking is your motivation then buy a treadmill and start walking on it as you hear the lions roar. That way whenever you get bored you can switch off the machine and start watching a re-run of Seinfeld.

Obviously, I'm missing something. Coz thousand of people can't be wrong. But will some kind ones please explain what it is that evades me???

U better be careful abt that beer thingie man....last time i went camping with the beer cans i was barely let off with a warning by the forest rangers :) but all in all it was a gr888 experience
Why do you go out to eat in a restuarant or in a 'tela' and look for homely taste when you can try the recipe at home?

It is just the outdoor experience that pumps the adrenaline.

Camping is just another getaway from the mundane life. The excitement lies in preparing/organizing for the trip than the actual trip :)

Jeez! I sound like Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S!!
Have you ever been to a spot where you actually filled your drinking water from the lake that you just swam in?

Have you ever slept out in the open rather than inside the tent, because the open air was so much more comfortable?

Have you ever not had to worry about insects while you were in the wild?

Have you ever actually been able to see the stars as you lay on your back, and not known whether to go to sleep or to keep looking up, because once you return to civilization the stars will be lost to you?

Of course, after some time you realise that this tiny island is not supposed to have animals on it, but that certain kinds of cattle can swim. That yes, the bucket of food wasn't knocked over by the wind. That the grunting sounds you hear aren't the guy next to you snoring, or your friend and his girlfriend taking advantage of the dark. That maybe you should have carried a torch. That it's actually not that easy to keep a fire going, and even with it, you can't see beyond three feet from your face. Without it, of course, you can't see more than six inches in front of your face.

But it's worth it :)

As you can see, I don't think it's just about the preparing and the organizing :)
@RJA - I do agree with all your points. But, for me I think the high point is organizing/preparing for the trip. That is why I said I sound like Monica :)
I hike a lot.
a. its a good excuse to take a break & travel.. (with the result that i have seen 35+ states in america, hiked/camped in 20+ of them)
b. Immutability.. in a world where everything changes so fast, the mountains and rivers have been there for a long time and will be there. Makes you realise how insignificant you really are and why you should not take things too seriously. watching them on tv does not have the same effect.
c. i think its a travesty to carry beer on a hiking/camping trip.. and also a big inconvenience.
It is fun to be a bears lunch than your kids dinner j/k :)
@Manchus - We all have our own personal likes :) And if it wasn't for people like you, then who'd organize the trips in the first place? So, thank you :)
@rohan - i barely (or is it beerly) drink dude - and i trek even less :)

@manchus - ha ha - excellent pt but useless when tried on me :) i eat in restaurants coz i can't cook (for) nuts :)

@advaniji - aap to kamal kar diye ir - mere ankhon mein ansoo aur hoton pe hasi aa gaya :))

@manchus aka monica - as far as organizing goes i love friends like you who do everything and then when you tell them that you can't make it for the trip they feel bad and send you your share of food :)

@finggeek - hats off to you - drop by when you come to SD - i will drive you around - it'll be a good break for both of us :)

@ratna - :)) nice!
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SD's already been done twice.. so its off the list...:)
tortoises hikin. good one. imagine a bengali, fresh from kolkata burrabazar hiking. what to pack? flask, muffler, monkey cap, entroquinol, odomos, colgate, red toothbrush, wooly-cott( how can u forget "ooly-kot"!), mugur chap ajanta hawai, keds, blanket, moshari( chorai pakhi sized mosha, ore baba!), chaner mug, hagar mug......etc....add to this...
p.s. read your other post jst now, am recovering from indignition, but cant muster up enuff of it because mention in the great sagnik blog has me very malliable.lol.
You are gr8 !!
Who on world would come up with tortoise analogy !!
Tortoise carrying tent !!
I need to tell this 1st thing in the morning !
@finggeek - whatever happened to bar bar dekho and then bar mein piyo ???

@sayantani - ah lovely observations. and do not forget the famous "deri hoye jabey" and setting out hours before you actually have to

@debalina - oh then you should hear my views on the kangaroo - i feel that they are like teenagers here - but let's make that into another post :)
Someone is copying and pasting your work as their own

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