Saturday, March 12, 2011

How do you manage to find time?

Earthquakes and fires
Suicidal desires
Bullet from a gun
Misplaces sense of fun
An accident or disease
In war or in peace
A drunk driver
Falling sky scraper
The failed brake
A poisonous snake

At a moment's notice
you are ready or not
it can spring a trap
and you can get caught

And you cant escape
Even if you think you can
And you still find time
To hate another man

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Lake mis-Take

4:16 PM Alex: whatsup?

4:17 PM Sagar: got up - slept - got up - ate - slept - got up - internet

Alex: heheh


what plans?

4:18 PM lets go to the lake!

Sagar: right now


4:19 PM Alex: yes.. before it gets dark

4:20 PM Sagar: ok you reach there -

i will reach on cycle in 9 minutes 44 seconds

Alex: :P


Sagar: cool see you then

Simple conversation, nice idea and an awesome adventure in stock - thats what was about to happen. The lake seemed to be an awesome place to go with the spring slowly setting in and the temperatures making it pleasant to be at a place like lakes. Sagar reached a bit early on the cycle - feeling fully charged with the fresh breeze that was blowing around the lake.
It was the lake cleaning day - some university student were engaged in picking up trash from around the periphery and a few were boating and reaching out to the places which were on the other side. And a girl playing with her dog - throwing a tennis ball in the lake and making the dog fetch it.

They had never been to the other side although it had been 8 months and several visits to the lake, the other side was still a mystery. As Sagar was taking in the pleasant smiling moments in, Alex arrived.

Alex: How long back did you reach?
Sagar: 15 minutes. This place feels awesome and you should have come a few minutes ago. A pair of swans had reached so close that i could touch them. I took this vide

Alex: Nice.
Sagar: And you know what that dog got into a fight with the swans. It was an awesome sight. The dog was all jumping around and barking and the swan was attacking with its beak.

So then what next?
Alex: Lets walk.

Simple plan - walk for 10 minutes around the lake - then go to GYM and play tennis for a while. But things dont always go according to the plan.

Alex: Have you ever crossed over to the other side.
Sagar: Nopes. Lets check it out.

A little sense of exploration sparked and they started walking along the lake to the other side. The path had already been made by a lot of people walking around the lake. It was a cake walk. And the feel was awesome. One side forest the other side lake and sun slowly setting down. The ducks at a distance in a huge group paddling around.

Sagar: Have you been this far?
Alex: No. First time.
Sagar: I enjoy being around natural places away from man made objects.

Maybe the spirits around the lake were listening. Because although the two were unaware - but between the trees and animals there - those two constituted 100% of animal life there. The spirits smirked - maybe they had seen a bunch of adventurers before heading towards the unexplored regions of the lake.

Sagar: Hey see... so many orange flags. What do you think they were put there for?
Alex: Beats me. May be that tree is of some significance.

It was a unique tree with white bark and white leaves.

Sagar: Impossible - look around there are a hundreds.

That was the first time they observed were amongst a bunch of trees which had a ghostly appearance - white bark - white leaves - drooping downwards and the white colour standing out between the rotting damp and dark trees around them.

The path became a bit tougher - lesser walked upon. But still path was clearly visible. They kept on going ahead. The path rising high - getting narrower at the edge of the lake and then coming back down.

Alex: Hey i found wilson.
Sagar: wilson who?
Alex: That wilson.

Alex pointed out at a brand new volley ball floating at the edge of the lake. Abandoned. It reminded Sagar of movie the cast away. The water, the forest and the volley ball, sort of added up to it. Wondering why it was left behind they took a stick and pulled it out of the lake. Although it was evident why someone might not have come to fetch it in that area. They justified assuming Americans like to waste.

The walk continued - there were massive trees that had fallen recently, because the roots were still holding on to the mud. Walking along the lake among mostly dead rotting trees and leaves they reached a point where the path no longer was feasible to walk.

Alex: thats one steep path.

As he stood next to a near vertical thinking about what to do next. As Sagar came and suggested

Sagar: we can make it if we walk on hands as well as legs.

Three minutes of contemplation in silence and collective foolishness took over individual wisdom.

Sagar: Lets try it out.

With a little it sliding and slipping Sagar was down and Alex followed too. The walk continued and at a distance a duck started shouting in an ominous tone. Sagar felt like it was a warning of some kind but didnt heed it - his scientific brain taking over the intuitive one. Its just a short walk - he thought - We will be out of here in no time.
The spirits were grinning now - it had been quite sometime someone had ventured to that point. But they didnt mean to harm - but enjoyed to see some action in their regions. The path was like a game – you clear one round and you enter the next tougher one. Unaware of their heading Alex and Sagar kept on walking along the lake.

The sun thought of retiring early and in a hurry maybe – it was getting dark. The only two sound there was that of heavy breathing and the rustling of dried, decaying leaves – the remnants of the fall. The soil getting soft and damp and the tree barks soggy. They were entering the marsh – at once Alex thought of frodo walking through the dead swamp and harry through the forbidden forest. They thoughts were eerie.

They saw little streamlets adding water to the lake. There were many, mostly could be crossed with small jumps.

Alex: Can you jump from this point.

Sagar: Lets try. Jeranimooo. Whoa easy Alex.

Sagar 's leg almost went inside when he landed on the other side – the ground was very soft and damp. Things were getting interesting and a little bit sense of urgency was creeping into their minds. They wanted to finish of this walk around the lake asap, and not wait till it gets dark. Alex saw a small tent in the middle of nowhere.

Alex: Hey see just in case someone gets lost here in the night. A tent is made for their convenience.

That thought was more of a disturbance than assurance. The idea of getting lost there was unsettling. They started hurrying on. The small streamlets were growing in size. The next stage of the game was beginning. It was impossible to cross the streams by jumping so they started searching alternate methods. Nature had been benevolent for the first time here. Trees had fallen across the streams just at the right places to walk across. But it was not a walk in the park. The stakes were higher – the stream flowing underneath was flowing rapidly. Sagar had an idea.

Sagar: Lets take a huge stick and use it as a support when we walk across the stream.

The idea was technically sound – they started searching for a long stick. There were many around. Standing at one end Alex inserted the stick in the middle of the stream hoping to make some ground for support – 1 feet, 2 feet, 3 feet – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 . They thought - “Damn this thing is deep”. This little experiment had triggered an exponential rise in the level of adrenaline in their systems. They tried to walk across the trunk on feet but finally ended sitting and crawling across like riding a horse.

But the streams were never ending. Both thought is was time to call it a day and decided to start moving towards a few houses they could see at a distance. But still there was a huge stream between them and the houses. They walked along to find a place to cross it. There was a log kept across the stream properly – as if it was meant for crossing across the stream. But it was not as thick as the last one they had crossed. Horse ride crawling was not easy on this one. Sagar went first. After a metre his balance dwindled – his legs hanging on both sides of the log creating a higher potential for a swing.

Sagar: Alex this is tougher than before. See if you can find another way around. I cant turn around I will have to cross this.

Slowly and steadily Sagar managed to cross over, all the time fully focused on maintaining the balance. On reaching the other side he looked around for Alex – Alex was not in visible but he knew the direction in which he had gone. Sagar started darting in that direction. Searching for Alex he did not see the ivy plants in front and walked straight into them and it welcomed him with all the thorns it had. It was like a trap – any movement to remove a thorn would bring another one close to pierce him. Slowly Sagar got out of it with a torn patch in his pant and cut on hand and the wrist.

Alex had found an easier place to cross the stream. There was relief now – the houses were very close and no other hurdle in the way.

Alex: Hmmm you know what? Now I know what the orange flags meant.

Sagar: And why no one claimed wilson.

Smiles of relief and a pride of a foolish adventurer filled them both. As they walked on the tar road – demeaning the easy choice of travel – but internally glad to be using it. It was nice to feel hard ground under their feet again. Thinking back on things that could have happened – that could have gone wrong was not given a chance to surface by the joking and relief. But they knew not to push limits next time.

Trying their luck

Searching for fame

Seeking some thrill

Or in the name of the game

Adventurers and explorers

Around the world roam

Famous are among those foolish

who manage to return home