Trekker’s Tells: Sharing Space With Wild Animals

Context

Before I present my much interesting story to you, let me get in clear with some context. I was 16, and it was my very first trekking experience without my family. I just finished my annual middle school test, and headed to a rural town in Odisha named Nilagiri with my friends at the “Sonarpur Arohi” ( “সোনারপুর আরোহী”, my hometown trekker’s club, which has produced many legendary adventurers like Satyarup Siddhanta, who climbed the highest Peak of each continent ) for my mountaineering course.

The Planning

It took a overnight journey for our group of 11 (7 teenagers and 4 trekking teachers) from Kolkata to reach there. I was young, my blood was boiling and I couldn’t wait more to become a mountaineer. Our teachers made our plan clear to us. We had to camp our tents at a village near the forest mountain, learn the techniques of trekking and climb the highest Peak of Nilagiri on the penultimate of the 5 days we had.

Feeling Cozy in Nature

Two days gone by pretty quickly, and now we were absolutely dipped into the nature. We had no phone connections over there. Our loud, city voices had sunk low. We learned the art of bird watching, stargazing and basic survival techniques in the wild. Our mornings were greeted with chirping birds and the stars and faint drizzling sound of the waterfalls guided us to sleep at night. There was no connection to the outside world, and we finally knew the true meaning of happiness.

Call of the Wild

On the third night of the trip, as usual, we stargazed, ate our dinner, wrote our diary and slept happily in our respective tents, only to be awakened by our teachers few hours later. They told us to come out, as something special was going on. We crawled out of our tent, with our somnolent faces, wondering what can be more special than a midnight sleep. It was the night of the full moon, the forest was turned silver in moonlight, the sky was filled with stars and the sparkling river water awakened our senses. But then what we saw ( or heard?! ) was beyond anybody’s imagination. We could hear the trumpets of wild elephants, the growl of hyena, ( famously known as Hyena’s laugh ) and growls of wild wolves all at once. I still remember this moment vividly as I was shit scared with this version of wild welcome, my face became pale and was getting goosebumps like hell. Luckily for us, the growls and trumpets were over within some minutes. Never know what we could’ve faced if consequences happened, but that was truly the moment I was no more a mere mountaineer, but a full fledged trekker.

Conclusion

After all this experiences, it doesn’t take me to tell that we easily climbed the peak of Nilagiri. But there’s something you may wonder of. Why do I take such risks for nothing? I could’ve asked for a city day job, retire at 60 and die with diabetes.. maybe much better death than being bitten by a viper or a pack of wolves! Maybe you are right. But these are the days I live for. I may not be lucky the next time, I might well die a horrible death. But believe me, I’ll be smiling at that moment. Cause I lived my life before I died. 🙂❤️

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