Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Post Trip Write Up - Cycling along Buckingham Canal, Sep 5 - Shailja Singh


I don't know how to start, but here what I am going to share with you people is not only about my experience with "THE TRIP", but "THE TRIP of LIFE”.

Since this is my first write up, my mind is going in two way direction. First, Should I go with what is coming through my mind or should I go with what I experienced in this trip mixing some flavour. (What girls usually do to make story..... )

Okay! Finally I decided to go with original “THE TRIP of LIFE including THE TRIP” (in stages)


Statutory Note: Please bear with me if this is too longer. In future you will not have to listen same and same story since this my first write with whole life acknowledgement.

Stage I

Here, I would like to introduce myself as girl from small city from Eastern UP known as Gorakhpur famously known for its Temple, Gita Press and some more historically events.

I was living my average life as usually girls from small city do with Do’s and Don’ts although I was aware that something extra running in my blood but not sure what? Is it “Living Life to its fullest”? But how and when it is going to start?

Sudden, I saw the change coming towards me in one or other way. The Change is “Adventure & Excitement in Life” at Chennai where my sister got settled after her marriage and started sharing her adventurous trips within Chennai and nearby areas individually and via group called “CTC”. This started creating excitement in me and my heart and mind started bubbling to join this Life as soon as possible and what better way to start with CTC and making new Friends with same attitude towards LIFE.

Now the question started, when I will be there? as my studies were stopping me to be there unless I complete my Graduation, means, still 3 more years. OH! NOOOO

At last, April 2012, the day arrived, when my Graduation completed and I was excited to be there (easily understandable that how a Girl can stop her excitement for such longer time and near to her achievement).

We had shift to New Delhi i.e. one or two more months, I had to wait it for. I hold my fingers crossed and firm for this waiting period. NO PROBS (attitude)

And the Day arrived, 1st August, 2012, 9:00 PM when my train “Duronto Express” arrived in Chennai and I stepped out to this new Environment.

I had heard a lot about Chennai (via people, social sites and not least via movies), but this was my first experience in Chennai to meet the people here and to have unique experience of “South Indian Food in South India”.

Should I write more about Chennai in Stage One, I think No, as all you people already had spent enough time that it will be not Honest View to write about Chennai Life in such short experience.

You Got It! Now I am Jumping to Stage Two.

 

Stage Two (Shaking Hands with CTC)

What is CTC? Yes, I had idea about it but yet to know how it works, what is its mission, how to join it and what will be my part of joining it.

Well, joining is easiest part, but whether it will full fill my dream to live life to its fullest not limited to Adventure and Excitement in Life but something more that I had dreamt about my share to world

Okay, Let see and join it and experience it.

I joined it two days later after my arrival to Chennai and I started receiving mail from Group about their activities.

YES! This is what I was looking for.

Now should I go and start activities at its peak via CTC. No, It will never be a good idea to exhaust at every step in excitement.

Let’s start with attitude One Step at Time. i.e. “Join It, Experience It, Live It and Share It”

Now time to experience it, I started enrolling myself with “workshops” but because of some unavoidable situations, common for first timer experiencing Chennai Hot Environment and being Girl, I missed two workshops, but managed to attend “Mountaineering, Trekking and Climbing”

Good Experience but I was not well prepared with all requirements. But what I experience was cooperative nature of CTC members on each and every step and it CONCLUDED.

Next Level of Experience was to add some more energy within myself and go for one higher level with Live It and Share It motto i.e. coming forward as volunteer for next event.


And the Invitation Arrived “Terry Fox Run at IIT Madras”.

Here I Go……..

I registered myself as volunteer to guide other participant at “Terry Fox Run at IIT Madras” and was excited to be part of it.

On D-Day, I reached at venue under God blessings through Rain.

Wait, Wait, Wait and Wait………

People started gathering as well CTC members and here I started involving me with other members and making friends.

Run Started, but wait here, where is my “Volunteer part”?

Forget itJ; let’s enjoy Run for the Cause.
Wait! I was here as Volunteer, I was lost somewhere but PEOPLE provided me the opportunity to act my volunteer part during the run via collecting the pet bottles thrown here and there in our one of Our Highly Graded Institute that maintain their Beauty one or more way in world.

Finish! Wow I was able to finish 6 km THE RUN, received Certificates and again Finish as my mind was searching something but not able to gather pieces.

At end where do I belong to? Nowhere, I was lost again. NO PROBS (attitude), this usually happens in large events (some time in our Indian Marriages tooJ)

I was relaxed as it was my First event and happy to learn a lot from here.

Relax, Relax, Relax….

Here I coming to Stage Three (Buckingham Canal Cycle Trip)


Stage Three (Buckingham Canal Cycle Trip)

Now what Next, This is not Enough.

Mails, Mails and Mails I was going through.

“Hey What’s here, Is this what Peter’s Invitation for Cycling Trip?” These are first few word came from me after seeing one mail.

Oh Yes, I pumped my hand in air with excitement and said “this is what I was waiting for”

I had heard and seen him in so many mail write ups and previous CTC trip pics. Experiencing his leadership will itself a new experience for me.

Without going through much in details, I registered myself for it so as not to miss this opportunity.

My heart was beating faster and mind was not in place while registering and while seeing the mail which would bring the list of confirmed participants.

Here I Go, I found my name in confirmed list of participants with other 29 members.

Now What! I was confused. Why? Okay let me tell you.

Reason, I was going under leadership of personality who has inspired more than imagination (yes, here I am considering about number of CTC members).

Plus, how do I prepare for this trip? No Idea! How to start this trip? No Idea! Where to start? No Idea!

Time to get an Idea! Who else can better guide me than the person who inspired me to be a part of CTC to start my new journey?

In addition, one Big Guru who is always available for everyone to help in all matters, Yes, I am talking about GOOGLE Guru.

Once confirmed, I started collecting items required for this trip from time itself when I received mail viz. Fully Charged Camera, Knee Pad, Thigh Pad, Gloves, Track Pant, Light T-Shirt, pair of Shocks, pair of Shoes (not like of Forrest Gump), Sun Screen Cream (although I didn’t utilized it), Spanner, Air Pump, Cycle Light and not least First Aid Kit and arranged all items on my bed sheet with pen and paper.

Even though my physique is like USAIN BOLTJ, I had to make arrangement for my energy materials too for the day of journey like Chocolate Biscuits (for everyone’s knowledge, Chocolate is always good source of quick energy), Bread Slices with Butter and Water Bottle.

I was missing lot of thing, but time was constraint there. Better Prepared Next Time is always good slogan for first timer and learner on basis of experience.

 

Now the Journey to Start

I collected the idea that registered group will be gathered around “Tidel Park” and will start their journey from there onwards which was opposite in direction from my residence

Then Google Helped me here, I decided to meet the group at somewhere at start of their one hour journey on the way to ECR Link Road from Shollingnallur.

Mailed to Peter, collected their time frame that the group will be there around 6 A.M

Set the Alarm to 4 O’Clock so that I will be well prepared before it.

This was somewhat like exam instruction i.e. Go to bed early so that you can wake up early even though you will not be able to sleep whole night because of excitement( use “scare” word for exam)

Woke UP before alarm decided to wake me, Removed Mr. Alarm from my clock and was staring in half sleep mode at watch to show sign of 4 O’Clock.

Now time to Brush my teeth, take bath, have light breakfast, collect all items for trip, get ready my bicycle with Air Pump and Light on it.

Yeah! Writing above line is easy but while getting ready, mind was roaming in multi direction that I will do this and I will do that.

I took a long breath and pushed my first pedal for this much excited journey around 5 O’Clock.

It took 28 minutes to reach me OMR and take a long breathe.

What I am seeing here, although I had heard a lot about it, that mostly during weekends’ morning, OMR and ECR are full of “passionate people” riding cycle, riding bike and driving cars.

Amazed! with bikers and sport cars disappearing in front of my eyes and within few minutes, I was not alone.

One voice touched my ears, “Hi”. I turned my head and found one companion on cycle joined my journey.

Excitedly, I asked “Are you Peter?”  “No, I am not”, but your CTC members are waiting for some more members at Tidel park, he replied.

“Okay! May I Join you” I asked him. “Yes, Sure”, he replied.

Although, he was experienced, he slowed down his bike for this first timer and had some long and interesting discussion on the way up to mid-way of ECR Link Road from Shollingnallur.


There we took break, had sip of water and then he departed for his long weekly routine journey.

It was 6 O’Clock and my heart started beating faster to see the group and nonetheless our Leader.

In excitement, I called to Peter cell, to check their exact position. He responded that they will be there within 10 to 15 minutes.

Since my muscles are fully warmed up and charged, it was good time to get relaxed and breathe in open air
In mean time, slowly and slowly members started gathering at my meeting point some from CTC and some from non-CTC or individuals, but all are aware of this CTC cycling trip schedule.

Here, I met one more Friend, Ravi working in CTS and he shared his short and excited experience with CTC. He was looking cool and reserved guy with lot of passion hidden inside him.

After wait period of around 30 minutes, at some distance, I found one group was coming and within minutes they joined us and all of sudden on “Blue” bike arrived like air breeze, brakes squeezed and bike was at some distance from its rider gathering group members.

Yeah! This Gentleman was Peter Van Geit.

Two minutes Photo Shoot and Journey started.

I had relaxed my muscles and had enough rest to re-energize myself for onward journey; I was the last in the group when it started again. Men Power have started to excel at the start of this phase.

Why I was not able to catch them even though I was enough competent to match them. Hmm! I realized that my gearing technique was not correct. I modified it slightly and my bike got power with little energy consumption.

No exception, for being a girl, you have to introduce yourself to the group and for doing so I had to catch one by one member of the group from trailing end.

Slowly and slowly I introduced almost half of the members of the group and got involved among them and while doing so my friend list was increasing (on Facebook, Google+, etc.).


About Peter “The Leader”

It will be dishonest part of write up, if I don't mention what I found the real leadership quality of Peter.

"What energy he is storing within himself. This is what enthusiasm should be in all Team Leaders (not LeadersJ).

He was one who had stored all team members list in his mind. Going to the Front of group, taking pics, coming back to end of the group to see if all is fine and again going to the Front and nonetheless not a single time but every often his mind click about his team members.

He has one unique style.

Riding on speed, putting sudden brakes, rotating bike on with both hands from below of his body, making impression of tires on road and leaving bike at some distance to wait for team members to get together at one point.

In meanwhile, he will take snaps, sip water, re-energize himself and again move forward.

If you feel him, you will get extra energy from his attitude towards his team and surely will learn for your future leadership quality."

Now here comes the beauty part.

Buckingham Canal with carrying beauty within itself alongside of green lushes, trees, grass and some small houses giving impression of villages with people catching fishes with nets.

On Canal side, I thought parallel canal is flowing, but it was not. This impression of parallel canal was "Salt Field".

Really! Wow! Impressed! to see it for the first time that how Salt is getting prepared with Sea Water.

Finally we reached to near to our proposed destination.


Hey! What's up, one watchman asked? You people are not allowed to be inside this area (Mutukadu Boat Point).

What? Why? We asked, but we were not ready involved with his queries (for KBC game) as our body was not allowing to do so (bit tired and exhausted).
Here experience comes into the picture, some senior members of our group presented ourselves to the watchman and then we are allowed to go inside.

After seeing the merger of Canal with our Bay of Bengal on eastern coast, I realized what "Vast Heart" means that our sea has absorbed within it and why it is called Ocean on larger part.

Is this also what I am seeing termed as "Backwater", I am not sure, May be some of my group members can put some light on it.

Time to Relaxation came after we reached near to Kovalam Beach area to re-energize our self with some food stuff (may be mice in our stomach can't survive for longer time with emptiness).

Now for first time, I was finding South Indian dishes in South Indian Style (Not Purely).

Had some Vada and relaxed for some time while gathering memories of last few hours and distance I covered. I was amazed that I have this much stamina and still more enthusiasm left within me.

Wondering that we started back immediately (yeah, time didn't permitted us) after catching some breath and storing memories in our Heart and Mind.

While returning back, we halted at Boat Point again for few minutes to catch some memories in our cameras.

Aahhaa! Wickets started falling with exception our Captain.

Men's are falling apart here and there and getting relaxed under shades and again running for return RUN.

But Captain, HE was as enthusiastic as was at the start of journey.

Yeah I too was losing my stamina and was exhausting but not because of lack of enthusiasm, but SUN was now showing his power in Chennai as usual by dehydrating us on every short steps.

Now way, we were not going to lose the fight, we will beat the heat and we will WIN and finally we reached back to our respective destinations. 


Fun Part:

Some members were showing their Man power at the start of trip, but was so exhausted on their return that they started screaming (within self), "I need Lift, I am going by public transport, I am going to stay here" and some were lying down every short span of back journey. I was enjoying their way of expression of their tiredness, but this too was learning period on how to save your energy for bigger stage.

Girls are known and blamed for their beauty freakiness, but at our break point, what I found Man known for their roughness and toughness have now become beauty freak applying creams and offering each other (Just Kidding Guys, I know next you people had to go back to your profession and girls will not talk if you lose your beauty)

(But the real thing is "Prevention is better than Cure" and here boys are were trying to save them from Sun Burn via Sun Screen, which I ignored and suffered later by seeing my skin back at home)

At Last, "Gangs of CTC Buckingham Canal Cycling Trip" dispersed to their respective locations and started posting their memories of on their social networking profiles and thus My Friendship Journeys started bounding with other gang members via sweet memory pics

Please forgive me I have gone too forward and bring me back to your Gang.

Hope you enjoyed this write up trip

See you people back. Thanks for Reading and Say No To BYE
Shailja

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