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BTC night-trek to Nandi Range

WOW agent on a BTC night-trek to Nandi Range
Friday 18th April, at around 3.45pm:
The scene at Kempe Gowda bus stand, platform 12, terminal 3 was quite hazy. Both Captain Virander and I knew none of the participants that were to arrive. [ok! So Viru knew another guy, Varun, whom I hadn’t known!]. The rest were all gonna be – BTC first timers (most of them first-time trekkers too!).

After a rather vague introduction to each other, the group of 12 BTCians boarded the Chikballapur bus and landed at destination. Took an auto where we packed ourselves like primary school kids and reached a hotel near the base of our trek. Again, the evening snacks-time was little blur -> basically we all were on our own, randomly exchanging conversations while Capt Viru was busy with his own bit of  ‘organizing tasks’. Post snacks, we had a formal round of introduction / take-100-breaks assurance / Rules & regulations; and finally started walking towards the hill.

So, here ends the ‘vague’ part of the journey (that was pretty much expected among people all-new to each other). Characters and Fun – will come, one-by-one. Read on:P !!
The Group - and the story...:)
At around 6.30 pm:
We started climbing. These 2 Odiya ‘jigri-dosts’ Anand and Rahul, alongwith Saurabh, opened up conversations straight by enquiring more about WOW treks – what kinda events, how are they organized, what levels and blah blah – which I answered with full pride (thanking that our leader was not anywhere around us – else we would get the same old ‘WOW-is-a-part-of-BTC’ blasting from him :P!). At the first pit-stop is when we all got into the core-trekking groove [all puffed-panted and warmed up!].

The difficulty level of the Nandi range is slightly moderate [with steep climbs at certain spots that will challenge your stamina]. Few stretches of bushy-walks are a slight relief in between the climbs - that will help you keep going. The  breeze of air at the open regions of the climb, were a bliss while the core workout was happening!

We continued climbing further, with few halts in between (and the guys discussing everything – from Visa processing, to bikes, to Swiss-bank, photography to topics I never understood and don’t remember at all!). It grew dark as we reached the base of our destination-peak. We had another halt there. And Neeraj aka Neer opened up the topic on grave encounters. A little scared I was with all this, but Neer’s opening of the story with ‘once there was a couple – a girl and a guy’ convinced me it was gonna be a ‘comedy of horrors’! :D After 2 stories, we continued climbing further, and surprisingly reached the peak at around 9.15pm (almost an hour earlier than planned), despite sufficient breaks – yayy! An achievement :D!

The Peak &  the Ice-breaking session:
We settled down, had a nice view of the civilization down-there, enjoyed the short drizzle, had a photo session; and then gathered  for another round of ‘knowing-more-about-each-other’. We had more than sufficient time to kill and we did that efficiently by talking a range of topics - ‘I am Rachit from Kashmir, but I am not a terrorist’; ‘My name is Rahul, but I am not SRK’; Vijay, Abhishek, Neer & Rachit’s sincere Job descriptions; Viru’s love affair with Harley; Neer’s list of girlfriends and his designer role with Allen Solly; Saurabh’s ‘state-of-confusion-in-life’ and so on and so forth. Now-and-then, poor Rachit had to ‘remind’ people to talk more about ‘themselves’ and ‘why did they decide to trek’ and that this was not a job interview :P. Post this session, we changed our spot to a more closed one (for dinner) and had nice Maggi-break.

12:00 am : Camp-fire and the ‘blast’ :D
After dinner, we collected dry woods from the surrounding; and then lit the camp-fire. And with the camp-fire, the load of fun began!

Fun phase 1: BTC’s traditional ‘first-timer’ ragging session:
Varun, Viru and I (being the only oldies in the group) – called out the freshers one-by-one for dance performance. We realized that we again had a bundle of talents, when the freshers (after a bit of hesitation) finally came in full form, and freaked themselves out dancing to the extent of ‘Baby-doll’ moves [baby-doll = Rachit’s initiative]. That was later followed by Neer's spontaneous acts of proposing the camp-fire [he actually proposed the camp-fire in a brilliant flow of apt dialogs] blowed our minds off :D

Aratrik, stole the show with his act of proposing Viru in a gay-style, his dialog – “Upar chaand hai, neeche aag (pointing to the camp-fire, of course). Ab bol bhi do” became the highlight of the entire trip! :D [poor captain, had to openly declare that he’s straight! :D]

The dance-club (or the Club Baby-doll, if you want to call it) closed at around 1.30 am [no strict deadlines as such, just that we audience – Varun, Akshay, myself and Saurabh started getting little bored of watching repetitive moves]; and we moved on to playing dumb-charades.

Fun phase 2: Dumb-charades:
The guys, high on fun-dose by now, displayed their brilliant acting talents. Rahul's ‘Chickoo-ko-hindi-me-kya-bolte-hain’ wala acting; Anand's 'book-reading' for 3 continous minutes (that kept us totally blank throughout); Rachit’s  ‘monkey’ing around (until Aratrik rightly came across the word ‘Forest’); and Vijay acting ‘Baba Ramdev ki Jai’ (on a totally unrelated movie title) – were some of the highlights! :D

None gave up on distracting the other with funny comments and guesses, but finally we won:P [we = the team of Rachit, Rahul, Anand, Neer, Aratrik and myself \m/].

After an hour of a hilarious session, few decided to sleep. The rest of us moved onto a new game ‘Maafia’

Fun phase 3: Maafia:
With the first 2 failed attempts of the game [considering that most of us were new to it], we finally took form and had an amazing time playing the 3rd and the 4th round. Aratrik and Abhishek took the role of god by turns and the gods played really awesome! Rachit (the target always), Rahul (the next target always:P), Saurabh, Abhishek and Anand’s debates got so intense; that towards the end Viru woke up from his sleep [probably to check on what was going on :D]. Whilst 'I' had a good time watching the guys standing in a circle, arguing like school boys over a damn-little game:D The heated debate abruptly silenced down only when Varun's sudden snore scared the hell outta us!

Time passed..It was close to 4.00 a.m. [which meant there was still time left]. We dispersed again, few to our original peak spot (where we had dropped our bags), and few to the other ends of the peak. In few minutes, everyone started dozing off one-by-one. Well, I did not want to be the only watchman in the troupe, and so I started waking up people one-by-one without letting them sleep [thankfully the pro photographer Varun (still half-sleepy), got instantly hooked to his cam with Rahul and Neer as his models]. Anand, Saurabh and Vijay did a hide-and-sleep every now-and-then; waking up, changing places, looking here-n-there, and sleep again –  and it was all kiddish and fun, till the dawn finally broke :D [BTCians – please note -> Captain Viru again slept; failing all of Varun’s and my attempts of waking him up!]

Breaking dawn, the Sun-rise and the Descend:
After spending the long 9 hours on the peak, (by somehow keeping the folks awake for the last 2 hours)..the Light finally dawned in. We all hopped towards the East side of the peak, and witnessed a beautiful sun-rise. The early-morning view was just mesmerizing .... spectacular...and in Neer's words 'pure Happiness' !! :-)
After another photo-session, we packed our bags and headed down-the-hill. Descend, again was much earlier than expected (with sufficient breaks). We had our breakfast and a feedback session, reminisced all the 'comedy-of-errors' that had happened since the last evening; and then headed towards Bangalore with hopes and promises of meeting in some other trek, some other day / evening...

And thus, Me - the only WOW member in the group had an amazzzing time watching a crazy BTC 'world of men' on the top of a hill, rejoicing their 'first-trek-ever' (that took me down-the-memory-lane of Rayakottai - my first ever trek); while side-by-side I was accomplishing my own purpose and personal challenge I had set from this trek :)
Wouldn't be exaggerating if I say that, every moment of this trek was purely 'childhood thrills re-lived' :) B-)

Virander - you deserve all the credits for managing pretty much everything single-handedly. Hats off and thank you!
To all the other guys - you did a splendid job as first-timers, and thanks for the sporting spirit shown, ensuring a safe-trek for the entire group :)

And finally, Trust I still have a long way to go, and loads to learn yet, but I'd like to pause and make a special mention to Captain Ajju and Kriba (WOW Organizers), for having hand-held me in my initial steps of trekking l! :) It felt unbelievable to have moved beyond the 'first-timer' feeling! :)

Written By        : Swathi Iyer
Organized By    : Virander Sirohi
Date of event    : 18th Apr, 2014
Members Count : 12
Place                : Nandi Range
Pictures            : BTC FB Page

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