Thursday, 19 July 2012

The trip

Firstly Iet’s get to know the place where we were going for the trip.
Away from Bangalore, is this camp set up by the name of Xtreme Zone. It is situated off the Mysore Road, right on the banks of Machinbele Dam, in the middle of a jungle. They have a provision of some adventure sports along with Kayaking and swimming in the lake. You are provided tents on a sharing basis to rest for the night.

50 km away from the city, at an adventure camp, post 10 pm with no light around, my head out of the tent, looking up at the cloudy sky and I was doing nothing literally, or so it seemed! Usually such a place takes you away from the humdrum of the city life, with me it was no different. I was away too but with a difference. I was away from the tiny tent, from my hostel, from my home. I was where my thoughts took me that night.  My head was full of thoughts racing past one another. There was a quick recap of the entire day playing in my head.

Jayasi and I got out of bed earlier than usual, all pepped up for the trip and looking forward to spend some time with the girls, but to our dismay, after reaching Deepa academy we learnt that we wouldn’t be able to make a move before 10! With our stuff packed, rooms locked and not having much to do, we got all cranky as we waited for the clock to strike 10. It sure wasn’t the best start one could have to a day we had been waiting for from almost a week! We decided to wait outside the academy and pass our time somehow. Suddenly a little later than 10, we saw the girls coming out all wearing yellow T shirts, with bags on their backs and smiles on their faces, wishing us “Good morning akka!” and starting with their round of questions “Had your breakfast akka ? “, “ What did you eat for breakfast akka ?” standing in their pairs. They were all set to go. Surprisingly in the following five minutes all the crankiness was forgotten and, Jayasi and I were as excited as ever. Such was the effect of these girls on us!

Entering the bus, Jayasi and I were invited by a 10th standard girl Pallavi to sit with her for the journey. Initially we were amused at her excitement to sit with us rather than her friends, but gladly accepted her invitation. 15 minutes through the way two tenth standard girls came and gave us our promised bangles. A day before in class we were told that is a tradition for girls to wear bangles when they are leaving the house. On getting to know that we didn’t have a pair of bangles, the girls promised to get us bangles even after repeated refusals.

The camp was a twenty minute trek from the point till where any vehicle could come. Walking along the path, we started wondering if bringing the girls to such a camp was really a good idea! There were steep passages, big rocks, and slippery sand ways, all that we had to cross just to reach the camp. But like always these girls never fail to amaze me, not only did they successfully find their way, they managed to complete some activities at the camp with such ease which even we were faltering while trying to complete. There was no fear seen in the girls when they were given the option of trying the rope course activity at the camp that included walking on the rope and walking on the steps without any support. Rather we saw them fighting among themselves on who would go first and then later on pushing us to go and try as well as convince us to not get scared as it was not very difficult!

Rest of the day was spent doing some more team building activities which everyone seemed to enjoy. As it started getting dark, everyone proceeded to the area where usually the food was served. Sitting there, singing Kannada songs, everyone seemed to have a gala time! Not knowing the lyrics of these songs Jayasi and I were simply sitting in one corner and trying to hum some of them.

All of a sudden, between the songs and not so known language, we heard something familiar, we heard our names being called out by Mr. Shantaram. He was requesting us to come and stand in the centre, we noticed that the girls sitting on the mats placed on the floor had made some way for us. Before we knew it, we heard Mr. Shantaram, principal of Deepa Academy acknowledging us ,our work and the time spent at the academy. He was followed by our supervisor Mr Murali appreciating our efforts and in no time we saw ourselves receiving certificates with all the girls giving us a huge round of applause. Surprising us further were the girls singing the English song we taught them in the class infront of all the people present there.

Receiving the certificate yesterday night was something! Something I am sure Jayasi and I will never forget. I did not have words to express what we felt at that time. We couldn’t stop ourselves from getting nostalgic when we were asked to say a few words describing the time we spent at the academy. The classes, the thinking, planning, the games, the smiles, everything was special!

Yesterday night I saw Jayasi carry the broadest smile. And deep down I know I saw myself in her! That smile I know, was just that way on my face too!

Before my head went inside, it was decided that the morning would be filled with water activities.

Today, as the sun came out, the girls were taken for a swim in the lake. All wearing life jackets entered the lake for what they called “a swim”. There were some who decided to go boating. In a while, hearing about the breakfast being served, everyone came out of water and rushed to get ready.


Soon coming to the end of this short but memorable trip, we had a small group photo that was taken before we made a move back to the academy.

This trip was different, yesterday night was different and we knew the days ahead were going to be different from the past month. We were excited about receiving the certificates but knew that now, things won’t be the same anymore.
That one night, this one day trip, this one month is something that is very special to me and will always remain close to my heart.


  1. Wow! Looks like you had a great time at the camp "Xtreme zone" with the girls from Deepa. It is inspiring to hear how the girls took on the various activities at the camp with a sense of challenge. It really looks like you and Jayasi are having a wonderful time at Deepa giving and taking from the various experiences.I am sure both of you must be having a tough time saying goodbye to the team at Deepa. Waiting to read more...

  2. The camp was great! We will definitely miss the times spent at Bangalore with the girls.
    This was probably the hardest goodbye I have had to say till date!