Nagala first timers trek, Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thanks to all for making this Enjoy!!! the beauty of nagala trek as more enjoyable & memorable one to each of us...

Special thanks to the cooking team (Elamaran, shankar, Arthi Pichaiya, Sri Arvitha, Mohan sir, mahesh & etc...), hot soup was awesome

thanks to all the swimmers for helping non-swimmers in the pools

thanks to all the volunteers for( cars, buying foods, collecting money, to get the form signed, photography & etc....)

special thanks to vinodha, sri, jey and sudharsan

see u all soon

Learning Life - one trek at a time.
- By Sriram Raghavan

The trek was over. I got off the bus and walked across to the nearest tea shop. It was out of tea. I bought a packet of buttermilk and quenched my thirst. And then in happened! In one fleeting moment of ingrained habit, I flicked the empty plastic packet on to the busy street. It hit me - even before the plastic hit the tar.

This trek was (as every single preceding one had been), a new experience to me. It was a first timer's trek and I was no novice. I spent most of two days (and one night) goading people to move on, encouraging few to stay +ve and repeating Peter's eloquent words that had kept me moving in my very first trek - 'Mind Over Body'. But most of all, I had repeatedly, and vocally stressed the importance of not littering the beauty that Nagala is. And yet it happened - the minute I was back in the city. I littered. Old habits die hard.

It's an easy wonder to picture for a trekker, but I'll explain it to the ones who've never trekked before. Nagala is forest, within mountains. It's filled with lush green and ample aqua. The water tastes heavenly to the point where it will take us several days after returning to the city to get used to the sewage we drink everyday. Nagala is paradise.
It's also pure nature. There are no roads yet the commute is smooth. No vendors to sell you hot chocolate and Lays chips, yet there is enough to fulfill you. There's no heating system for the chilling night, yet it is as comfortable as being a baby in a cradle. There are no security systems and guns to keep the wicked away. And yet, it's the safest place to be. It's pure nature.

Beyond all the goodness that nature comes with, there is one thing that keeps Nagala as pristine as it is. It is the single most, unquestionable, non-negotiable policy that we strive to preserve - NO LITTERING.

Here's a statistic. On an average, about 40 people visit this trail every week. These are people who live in the junk yard that the city is. People who (like I did), flick cartons, cigarette butts, plastic and paper onto the streets. These are people for whom the only thing that needs to be kept clean is their 10x10 room or their 1000 sq ft apartment. Each of these 40 carries with them at least 20 plastic pieces. That's 800 a week. That’s 41600 pieces of plastic a year.

Imagine the injustice if we had innocuously flicked these 41,000 pieces of plastic in those mountains every year? Nagala would be a garbage hole. None of us would have dared go there, for there would be little difference between the city and the mountains. And CTC would have never turned three.

If there ever is one policy that keeps us alive, it is this. And somehow, magically, we all seem to follow it in Nagala but forget it as though it was said under a coma when we return. How wonderful can our everyday life be if (and ONLY if), the policy managed to follow us to our routine?

Here's the kicker. It takes all of 40 to keep a weekend clean. Not one - all. But the 40 is made of each and every one of us. It's the individual that makes the group and the group that makes the community. Gandhi, in all his wisdom, preached only the simplest of concepts and one of them that warrants application under the circumstances is - 'Be the change that you want to see in the world'.

We are the change and guess what - we DO practice it. If we can do it for 2 days in the mountains - I can't but imagine that the other 5 in the city must be possible. As an ode to my own conscience, here's me saying, I'll be the change and maybe, one day, I can see the beauty everyday that I see only rarely today.
I owe the respect to MY world, that I offer to my room. And that's why I trek - for the minutest of incidents, teach me lessons in gargantuan proportions.



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