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The 41 that trekked to Makalidurga

1.. 2.. 3.. .. 39.. 40.. 41.. .. The list doesn’t seem to end. I count again. 44 members? Will it be fun? Or will the large strength ruin the fun? The Sunday turned out to be a memorable one.
Bangalore’s weather was at its best and so was everyone at the railway station. Quick smiles were exchanged. Old friends were catching up. “Hey, it’s been so long...” “How was the last trek…” … the crowd grew larger. We sign our names and fill out forms as usual. A bunch of them went for breakfast. Finally, it was time to leave. We all hopped onto the train. The entire half of the compartment was ours buzzing with excitement and introductions. What’s a better way to tell your name than enacting it out? Hence we started dumb charades which left our tummies aching from all that laughing. Archana’s was epic (had to mention). Breakfast boxes and a pack of potato chips made its way into everyone’s hands. Time went faster than I had anticipated. “Next stop is Makalidurga, get ready” said Ankit.
At the railways station, we were to have a quick intro session. So we stood in a “straight circle” and boy, it was one big circle of 41 people! Mahajan bhai’s birthday was celebrated with a really cute chocolate turned into a cake (Brilliant idea). We split into two groups and started the amazing journey.
It’s so much fun to walk on the railway track. I had only seen it in the movies. Balancing on the rail bars is not as easy as it seems (unless you’re Srikanth).
We reached the base and began the much awaited ascend. The hill stood mighty and was in its full green glory owing to the season. The terrain was rocky. Steep at some places and easy at others. It’s so nice when we help each other. It was very gentlemanly of the guys to offer a helping hand at difficult spots.
I suddenly felt more like a part of a family than a stranger who is a part of a group I knew from 2 hours ago. Every breeze tends to fill me up with energy. I can still remember the sound of the breeze brushing against lush grass. There was trickle of water flowing down the somber boulders. “Someone’s peeing from the top” says one genius. I mean, an eventful day like this one would be incomplete without lame jokes like these, right? The trail gets even more interesting. We take a few short breaks here and there and don’t forget the photo sessions in between. The lake below looks pristine and charming and yes, it has a “South American” feel to it. There is something about its stillness that evokes a sense of calmness deep within us. Its stillness is reflected in our inner self.
“Keep going, we’re almost there” motivates Veera. Sure enough, we soon reach the peak. It’s breathtaking or rather “breath- giving” after that tedious uphill climb. There’s something magical about the air up there that makes every step worth. The purity. The silence. Miles away from all the chaos of the city. The wind is even stronger up there. Each gush of wind tells its own story. There were vast ranges of hills in all directions for as far as the eye could see. Mother Nature had painted them with a layer of fresh green.
Wait. Did you hear that? That’s our tummies growling. Time for lunch. Time to lighten our bags :P. To call it lunch would be an understatement. It was a feast. Pulao, thepla of different kinds, parathas, idlies, poha, Ishitha’s much liked sandwiches, few more sandwiches with nutella, parathas, eggs, potato chips, bananas, Ashwini’s pongal and the mixed-flour (very healthy) chapatthis with mixed-vegetable kurma (healthy again), my chappathis and aloo and so many other delicacies were passed around. Way too much healthy and tasty food for a day! It was a sight to behold!
Now, since the “pet pooja” was done, all of us chilled out while soaking in the sheer beauty of the place. A few of us went up to another spot nearby. The view there was mesmerizing. It was the kind of view that puts me into contemplative mode and makes me want to stay there forever.
But, alas, it was time to head down. We scanned for litter lying around and did a head count. And hence began the return journey. Please forgive me for giving the idea of Antakshari. It started out as joyful singing to enhance the experience but towards the end it was just a handful people yelling back and forth “Kaunsa letter hain?!” It was completely fun nevertheless. No doubt about it.
We reached down and it was time for groupies. It was quite a task to fit in 41 people into the frame!
We reached the railway station after a walk on the track again. All of us freshened up and then began the feedback session. The huge circle was formed again. The tired party was seated this time except for Ankit who took in all the comments with much warmth and reception, jotting down points and all! It slowly dawned on me that the day was coming to an end.
“Ting ting ting” signals the arrival of the train. We take one last group picture just in time for the train. We didn’t have an entire compartment to ourselves this time but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits. The bubbly conversations went on. Majority of us got down at Baiyappanhalli and bid farewell to each other.
So, did the large number of people lessen the fun? Not a bit. ‘The bigger the better’ seems accurate in this context. I got to meet so many different people from different walks of life. Being the “kid of the group”, I got valuable career advice from all of them. I learnt so many new things. And, oh, I got to be part of a BTC record of the largest group going on a trek. Woohoo! Kudos to the organizers Ankit, Veera, Raksha, Hiren and Srikanth for carrying out such a herculean task so effortlessly!

Written By      : Snehali Tagat
Photo Credits : Amol, Premal, Archana, Deepak & Sudhier
Organized By  : Hiren, Srikanth, Raksha, Veera & Ankit
Date of event  : 25th June, 2016
Place               : Makalidurga
Members         : 41
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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