Nagala 35 – N/35 – September 12, 13 2009

3 Ho boy! Ho boy! HO!!! I had longed too much for a day when I’d get to camp by the side of a stream with water falls on one side, surrounded by trees and bugs singing lullaby, and under those millions of shiny stars. And that day did come. Oh yeah! It happened. I had trekked with this organisation called CTC, and boy what an experience. Something I’ll never forget. During the trek one person told me, “Either you be the story, or have a story to share.” Well I am not a story yet, but I do have one to share. Clinging onto to the grass like our only lifeline with the torch held in our mouth, very cautiously we crawled to the other side, none wanting to fall off the steep bouldery other side, and all happening at night. SHIVER!! SHUDDER!! WITH FEAR I WAS! Guess many were too. Yup, this is my first night trek, and first times are never forgotten forever. So many times while climbing up and skating down, I wished I had grown atleast an INCH taller just enough to reach that tiny little rock that could save me, I prayed. Oh yeah! The prayer was answered in the form of Brijesh’s hand. He pulled me off to the other side like a twig! I wondered to myself what do they eat. And not to forget another save, actually twice by Guru, actually I was saved by many people. Oh well! At a point I began to hallucinate. Very bad sign!! I thought I will not go on! This is it. END POINT. NADA for me! But after reaching the base camp I changed my mind! WHAT A LOVE IT WAS!
waterfall1Under the starry night,
Stretching every limb, left and right
Little bugs, big bugs, whats the difference in that
They sang a lullaby while we made our bed.
The gentle flow of water was all we could hear
Three, tucked away in a blanket slept with a lil fear,
Surrounded by the black depth of night
Under the starry light.
Oh well, after that beautiful poetic night, it was back to a day of walking uptight. But we need energy to move on, don’t we. So we ripped open the soup packets, fought over boxes of bhel puri and had several cups of tea, enough to keep us going on. And after having so much no sir you don’t walk immediately. So while they dipped and dived into the pool I sketched a bit. Until my turn came to jump off the ledge, which after a dance and fuss I did. There’s a first time for all and first times are not forgotten! There are too many good memories to share, guess they are better off as memories! I might have been pushed, feared and tested to my maximum limits. And now I want more!
2A jungle trip in contrast to the normal visiting places was nothing less than a wild dream getting fulfilled.Its pretty hard to actually mend wid the militarish kind of upbringing and make my family accept for such kind of trip,well things just had fallen in place with my brothers help and was alll set from hyd to chennai.All along the train journey was thinking abt the Nagala,is it a thick/dense jungle or a moderate one?!,wud i spot any wild beasts?!,will i hav to encounter strange jungle beings falling on me?!will by chance anything will stuck to my legs in water?!etcetc kind of stuff plus more gripped thoughts and imaginations now n then went off the track. Clock struck 3 30am and am up for the 12th sept to keep an unforgettable memory in life. 4 45 am to be at the given place in an unknown city was something very crazy for me.And the great chennai autowallahs are so gud at their business!!No guesses how gud pl!U knw all.hehe.Somehow managed nd reached on time.I felt the car pool up was quite a nice thought for the distance.Am in  the car with veena,max n others and  while the location was nearing wasnt believing yet that am there….felt sumone must pinch me..ugh..yup cud see the two hill ranges facing each other frm distance. As went deep its quite a dry forest type,no animals,nothing,not evn trees bore much fruit, just trees ,small pools,hills, boulders,rocks ,pebbles,tine fishes,butterflies ,ahhhhh soooo sweet.!!! Everything had bestowed upon us to lead our way thru.It was as if nature has been in its spring in all its hues,if sun was scorching hard making us sweat,rains showered on us making us cool.Quite a jingle combo.phew man!!!The lunch we all had whn drizzling was perfect enough as pickles were also ther in our menu alongside sum of our witty men like basky,basheesh,n thers,cracking jokes.Saturday evng after finishd trekking up the hill,the break time on the top of the hill was so unique.People seemed Like all pawns on a chess board,or like all monkeys sitting exhausted after a fight,or like everyone ran off from city to see a khajana here….hehehe yeee all crazy thoughts..
 5 And yo the “NIGHT TREK”,wch i havent at all expected evn in those wildest thoughts in train.Ayyoo really do i hav o!! in the night!!felt like this.Gosh,first felt scary,then made myself to trek in between many people than last.oooohh.I was in the middle of our full line of chain.Hill was steeep!Getting down it was such an exhilarating  exp.As team moved slow,I kept on drowned wid pangs of energy,got frustated.I truly felt,if i wud hv been married,shacks man!!happily wud’ve been in da bedroom……:D,heehee how cute it wudbe. still more”felt–god take me to hyd pl,wats this,why am here,am gone mad,why night trek,wat this line of people stranded,why this queue???,to go down??? why this route,??why crawl n go like four legged beings,why cant walk n go???? got to sleep down ah?so difficultily?why?at home wud go2my bedroom fall on bed…how contrast…? ahhhh and wat not….goshhhh , went down and also ate maggie at one pm…all of me…by chance.spl mention for guru,else wudnt hav gone down.WHATEVR THEN,NOW I FEEL SATURDAY NIGHT JUST ROCKED…DAMN HARD ROCKED.NO WORDS.Now i memorize and laugh. Ultimately not to ignore,Full appreciation to Rekha,for making me do that adventure,urging me to go into  water,taking my bag whn i wasnt able to carry,basky n balajee for helping me get thru on return with balancing,makka n hari for equally co ordinating on sunday when returning from the darkness of that wilderness…as i was dam scared of darkness,they lead me thru the way,thanks to all of them all thru the trek were soo helpful.Over all for Naveen  kudos to him.Senthil,ahh man hez no less a tarzan,for hard feelings….u jus go everywhere with  ease.Absolutely fantastic young spirited team.Hope for more such with ctc ,if possible.:))
[Hari Balaji]
Fear, loneliness, boredom, irritation, ecstasy….  How do you explain if these five different feelings put together dwell in !!!!! That’s how I would explain my N34 trek experience..   I decided to stay back in the 1st pool, I was completely in control of whatever decision I took initially..  But…..  sooner I realized that it was a BAD idea (But it was too late then) to stay in the forest for more that 30 hours ALONE…  Well, things were not so bad for the initial couple of hours, I walked around the pool, took a dip, clicked some photograph to kill time.. but left with nothing more..  I desperately wanted a Book, iPod, newspaper, something or the other to keep myself engaged, but unfortunately nothing was with me… 
_MG_3970 I was resting on the rocks evaluating options to destroy time till it became dark…  Now it was getting darker, the fact of the matter is that I had to spend the whole night alone… and that thought in itself killed me…  I started to hunt for a good rock where I could sleep, selection criteria was quite simple, it has to be plain enough without much of curves and safe enough to the extent that even if I slip I must not fall and get hurt, and yes finally found some place to sleep and got settled to spend the night which was first (and probably the last) of its kind.  Now it was pitch dark, I bundled myself into my sleeping bag to stay safe without being bitten by a snake or any insect for that matter… It was 9 PM, the sky was filled with stars, the moon was at its best, well I wanted a good sleep, not that I was tired but that’s the best and only way to kill time, but God was not kind enough to bestow me what I desperately wanted for the moment..  Now I started to sweat, it wasn’t too hot, later I realized that I was SCARED, and that made me sweat..  Trust me, I was scared..  A mild sound was good enough to upset me, the movement of leaves, sound of breeze, rolling stones, the strange noise made by the frogs, insects or whatever, irritated me to the core, it was a feeling of anxiety and frustration put together, I could not explain my state better.. 
_MG_3891 At some point of time, even without my knowledge tears started to roll out..  Not just because I was scared or alone, thoughts of my loved ones were haunting me..  how many times I would have ignored them when they wanted me the most, how selfish I had been throughout, all such unwanted, unnecessary thoughts breezed through my mind, my heart became very heavy and that was the cause for those drops which rolled out of my eyes…  Why such thoughts are haunting me, why that too now, I could not sense the reason behind, might be God wanted me to spend some time thinking about my past, my relationships, breakups which I had almost forgot for quite some time, that could be the possible reason why I was left alone in the mid of a forest for close to 30 hours…  Well that is how I spent the whole night, realized my own mistakes I had committed and reassured myself that I am not going to repeat them again (Constructive isn’t it)..  It was morning by then, I was relaxed, at last the lonely night came to an end, now I knew that I just need to kill time till 5 or 6 pm (which I know is not so easy) till my fellow trekkers find me and take me out of the haunting jungle..  Took a dip in the fresh water pool by which I was refreshed..  Since I didn’t sleep much the whole night I decided to sleep, and yes I did sleep indeed, in fact it was a sound sleep.. 
_MG_4009 It was around 1:30 PM when I got up, I was hungry as I did not eat anything since last night, luckily had some fruits with me (apple, orange and berry) which I munched for lunch..  A local tribe named Munusamy passed by that way, since the place was located in the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, he managed to speak fragmented tamil which I struggled to understand, nonetheless I was happy to see a Human face after a long time :-).  I was asking him about his occupation, family, livelihood etc to pass time and poor fellow he responded to all my questions happily.  I requested him to take me out of the forest which he accepted to, we both walked our way back to the dam.  I thanked him and waited for other trekkers to join me, in the meanwhile informed Rekha (Organizer) that I am near temple  which is in the foothills and not to search for me.  Well, I really enjoyed writing my experience, I am sure you would have enjoyed reading too :-)….
flickr1-1232 44 brave and young-at-heart souls went home last weekend. Only that this home, even if they were from different places and had not even known each others names well, is same – the Nagalapuram forest. What bound them was the passion to reach out to mother Nature. Ofcourse the mother wasn’t so pleased with our long absence, she tested our will and spirit starting with a hot, hot day and quickly swapped it with intermittent rains. Well and we had no intention of convincing her in an easy way by confronting her directly. Instead we took a bit special approach, to choose a lesser used trail via the dry stream and should i say what awaited us? I leave this part to all fellow trekkers to fill with their version of the exhilarating and bit daring 4-5hrs night trek!!!!! Finally we crawled into mother’s lap – Picnic pool around midnight(!?!). The next day mother Nature sunshined on us and the fun, excitement, swimming, floating, diving, dare-diving, rejuvation, nutrition, photography; everything happened severally and simultaneously. As we made a reluctant departure, Mother wasn’t going to let us go, so easily. As we started climbing the gorge, her tantrums started again and after a break ideally timed for a photo session on top of the cliff, she restarted with much vigour and anger at the dead-end pool where our group photo session cheering was completely overpowered by flashing thunders and deafening roars. Go, hurry, run back to your city, get on to your routine workweek but dont forget to think about me and visit every weekend, seems thats her message….
Few toons by Santhosh:
Organizer’s note:
The successful completion of this trek, plus its safety and enjoyment were accomplished thanks to dedicated involvement of several core members:
Thanks to Guru and Brijesh for their excellent navigation and leadership skills.
Thanks Baskar, Karthick, Hari Kumar for sweeping, helping with freshers severally.
Thanks Senthil and Gopal for keeping the group intact and shuttling inbetween the group making sure of everything.
Thanks Rekha and Senthil for accounting the trek expenses and settlements.
And last but not least, i would like to thanks the volunteers of this trek:
Gopal who bought the bulk of food materials.
Karmuhilan and Veena for helping with rest of materials and shopping with me.
Deepak, Gopal, Srinivas, Vijay Krishnan, Natarajan, Jothikumar and Kavi for bringing their cars for transportation and safely dropping everyone back in Chennai. 
Special thanks to Kisshore who replaced the punctured tire of my car in flat 5mins! and Vivekanandan for keeping me awake throughout the returning car drive.
Thanks a LOT to Saravanan who came eagerly for his very first trek with CTC and helped to drive the injured 2 people back to Chennai, thus dropped-out of the trek selflessly.
(If i had missed anyone, please excuse me, the memory is fading…)
Photo albums:
Thanks Max, Vivek, Vijay Krishnan, Saravanan Rathavel, Hari Kumar, Chaya, Makka and Rekha for your photo albums of the trek.
Thanks Anitha, Chaya, Hari Balaji and Kavi for your excellant writeups.
And for the first time i believe a trek had so many hand-drawn sketchs, hats off to artists – Anitha and Santhosh !!
Written by: Anitha, Chaya, Hari Balaji, Naveen
Organized by: Naveen, Rekha
Posted by: Karthick Sundararajan

0 thoughts on “Nagala 35 – N/35 – September 12, 13 2009”

  1. I am santha and am planning for a trek to Nagala. Saw your wonderful photos and would need your help to proceed with my trip to Nagala. Appreciate your help in providing me details and request you to contact me at 9677176184.

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