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In Search of pure oxygen

The weekend in the Ghats

After a few failed attempts due to my weekend preoccupation, finally I made it to one of the YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India) trekking trips which are conducted once a month regularly...

With my only expectation being pure oxygen out of the trip, I dozed off nicely during the night travel in Swaraj Mazda from bangalore to the Bisle village awaking only for the good masale tea at midnight. Validating my previous experiences, seeing the village first time in that DAWN light was exhilarating as the same village would have been dull and colorless if I was to see it in the broad daylight for the first time. The quiet way in which the whole crowd (17 of us) dispersed in different directions for morning duties and assembled again showed the first signs of orderliness and discipline which are trademarks of such YHAI trips.

By the time we started walking, my comfort level with the team members grew better and tended to be relative. I found a frequency match with two IT people who could talk tamil. Though I was willing to acknowledge the diversity found in the group in terms of age, occupation and mindset, when my freedom circle is overstepped, I couldn't avoid being annoyed.....

The trek itself shall be termed as moderate. The first day being a 'climb down' the Sholas (valley formed by the mountain ranges at the higher altitude) to reach the camp site and the second day being more adventurous with the walk along the river making our own way to reach the final destination... a local guy in the front clearing the way for us with a big machete in hand. Leeches, flies, multi-colored insects, snakes (saw two russell vipers sleeping in our way) mammoth trees, thorny plants, real long creepers all living in harmony…….western ghats is truly bio-diversified. Didn’t happen to see much of birds, wild animals and flowers :-(

With the trek being devoid of any breadth taking panoramic views, the feast was really for the ear, nose and the tongue!!! The rich aroma of the forest sparsely filled with mango, jackfruit and other less familiar fruit trees keeps the energy level growing. The wild taste of those small ripened juicy mango fruits lying on our way, lets one appreciate the normally forgotten link between the nose and the tongue. With the whole team walking densely than the forest trees, we were generating quite a sound and smell as the dried leaves beneath got crushed, unaware of our catalystic activity: In western ghats, due to the heavy rainfall, where the erosion of top soil is faster, these decomposition of the fallen leaves make up for the lost richness, thereby completing the bio-cycle. These small nuggets of information are again thanks to the YHAI trek which provides oppurtunity to interact with people from various walks of life, doctors, BPO people, microbiologist, entrepreneurs, school kids, college brats etc etc....

Well, couldn't have asked for more during that otherwise normal weekend!!!

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