Adventure, Bonding, and Homage [Part 1]
So much stuff happened this week. Got so much to write… So much to say… Maybe I will split this article into two parts. But I gotta start somewhere, so let’s start with Monday.
Let the show begin.
I left my previous article signing off at midnight on Sunday, hoping to go to college and finally start with my academics. Little did I know I had some new experiences waiting for me after a few hours. I booked an Uber Intercity Cab for my trip to college as I had no experience of traveling to the college by bus. Also, I had a lot of luggage with me so it would have been super hard for me to take my things from one bus to another, then from the dropping point to uphill till my hostel. Even though it would cost me less, it would give me extra stress and a lot of wastage of time. I don’t want that. So we left at about 6.20 AM from home. It as raining here in Chandigarh. The driver and I kept conversing while on the road, topics related to religion and movies were touched and deeply discussed. It was pouring down rain and there was no chance of it stopping any sooner. We had just started riding uphill and the clouds were already below us. The weather was super dull. There are two ways to my college- one is the main highway which leads to Shimla, through which my college comes at the halfway. The other way was following a road on “Chakki Morh”, which takes us downhill and through Nahan- road, it leads me to my college. This way is super beautiful and is still untouched by the destructive industrialists. At this point, we had not reached Chakki Morh yet. Still raining, I had only one thing in mind- I hope I reach college on time. It was no surprise to me when I saw a long line of cars, buses and carrier trucks static. Dark clouds were not helping me see what was going on. The windshield wiper contributed to my sight to seek help. We found a man with an umbrella walking down the hill. The driver asked the gentleman about the situation. Huge rocks had fallen down from the mountain edge which had blocked the entire road.
This was expected, taking into consideration the construction work to broaden the roads. I thought we had already crossed Chakki, so I suggested him to revert back and go from that road. It’s much safer from that side. I did as instructed. But on the contrary, we reached way back to a hotel from which the hillside begins. We entered the driveway to seek help from the concierge. There a man suggested us to go way back to the plain and come from a totally separate road which will indirectly lead me to my college, with no guarantee. He said it would be as uncertain as the highway because heavy constructions are undergoing there as well. Suddenly my driver got another idea, of going to Kasauli, and taking the road downhill which will follow the road to college in no time. We decided to divert and take the other road uphill to Kasauli.
It was a narrow road, unlike the four-lane roads on the highway. The mountains were thick green with vegetation and the scene was breathtaking. Small streams of water running down the slopes made the scene even more enchanting. There wasn’t much traffic in that area, so the driver kept riding at a good speed. We reached a point where the road branched into two roads- one uphill and the other downhill. We looked around for help. There we saw a middle-aged man standing under his umbrella waiting for a bus, I suppose. As he told us to go uphill, he further asked us if we could drop him a few kilometers before Kasauli as he had missed his bus. The driver was reluctant, but it didn’t take me a second thought of reciprocating to the man who helped me in the first place. We continued on our journey.
In about an hour or so, we reached Kasauli. Somewhere within the hilltown, we had our next obstacle coming. As we turned along the mountain road into a residential area, we found a tree trunk lying on the road. I did not want to get late. Fortunately, we had a few cars ahead and behind us. The driver and some other travelers got together and lifted the huge log, trying to make some space for cars to pass by. They were successful and we moved on henceforth. We dropped the man who helped us, and we headed to my college. On the way, a friend of mine, who was coming from Chandigarh as well, called me, asking if I had reached the college or not. I told her about the situation. She told me she was stuck on the highway where I was stranded about 2 hours ago. She got to know that the lectures had been called off because the faculty bus was also unable to make it. The bus was sent back because the wrecks were quite major. I was way ahead now, and at this stage, I wouldn’t prefer going back. We kept moving on. Finally, we reached Kumarhatti, a small town which leads to the range where my college is situated. But the real challenges were yet to come.
The track was downhill now. We were quite smooth with the flow as I had no rush to reach on time. We were stopped by another line of vehicles, rather smaller this time. Huge rocks of the size of a truck had fallen from the upper slopes. According to the information being told, the servicemen were at work and the road was to be opened shortly. We kept still and listened to some music. It is always essential to be positive in every situation, come what may. I enjoyed the rain from inside the car as the road was being opened. Wasn’t much an issue. We moved ahead to the next obstacle, which was even harder. Medium-sized rocks had taken over a major part of the road, and the remaining part was broken so badly, that it was more a swamp than a pathway. The driver left his seat, called up the surrounding car owners, and started lifting the rocks and started making a way to pass it over. The physical work my driver did was remarkable. Everybody appreciated his efforts as he finished building the path. He was so tired by the time he reached back to the car, that he made me aware that he had cardiac conditions, and cannot control high blood pressure. He immediately asked me to take the medicines out of the dashboard in front of me. I took out about 4 tablets as instructed, and he swallowed all of them at once with water. We moved ahead, hoping now that we had covered our journey. Just about 2 kilometers away from the campus gate, I saw something that I could never imagine to be true. A huge wave of muddy water, flowing at a tremendous pace, taking away huge rocks and belongings, as it came while breaking walls and establishments. We got out of the car and went outside to witness the scene. My phone battery started to drain out. I kept sending text messages calling out SOS and briefing them about the situation. I told my flatmates about the situation and how I was stranded. I started recording.
My driver started feeling unwell. He told me that he can drop me till here only. He had to go back. I couldn’t think of myself. I paid him his dues with an extra amount for helping me all the while. I told him to go and to be safe. He left me with my bags in a safe shade in a house. I was alone. I went back to the site to see if I could, in any way, pass through this wreck. But the flow was so fast, that no one could control it. Suddenly I saw a familiar face.
My mess in charge was also stranded there. The vegetables could not reach the hostel. They helped me with my luggage by accommodating it in the village head’s house. The owner was kind enough to have my bags in their store till we came with a solution. The building material from the highway uphill came flowing with the water. rocks came piling up and reached the level above the lowest floors. The neighboring hotel was in a mess. The restaurant on my end of the destruction was completely shattered. shelves and desk chairs came out floating in the muddy water. My phone’s network was almost dead. I sent pictures and videos to my parents, flatmates, and my college administration head, seeking for help. It was such a situation, where nobody could do anything. I was already building my impractical plans of climbing the hill up and crossing narrow ridges, which would lead me to the other side of the flow. Suddenly, the mess in charge came up with a similar idea. He climbed up the hill, jumped over a building under construction, and guided me to follow. I stopped caring about my clothes, left my bags in the hands of God and went with the flow. I held deep-rooted bushes in my hands, stepped on loose soil, and went climbing up the hill. I jumped over the building and saw that the level of the water was coming down. The natives of the place started making a small bridge with rocks and started helping school kids to cross the water. Women were helped with their belongings and few people started crossing the tide. We continued moving uphill. I started jumping huge rocks among the great speed of the water. I made my final jump towards the other end and went over a ditch. My legs were completely soiled. My shoes damaged, I just thanked God for helping me cross this obstacle. I thanked the mess in-charge for being there for me and for keeping me safe. I had no words to say, but only, “Let’s go to college”.
There was the university cab waiting for us on this side, which took me, the in-charge, and few hospital nurses to our destination. I ran towards my hostel room, looked at my flatmates’ faces, and breathed a sigh of relief. I reached home safely. I put my phone to charge, cleaned up and went to talk to my friends.
That was one heck of an experience. This week was filled with new things. There’s a lot more to share!!! See you super soon, Dear diary…
Spoke a lot tonight. Got a lot more to speak.