River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad

8th Mar 2015

Life had already changed tremendously after having baby and when I joined back my office after maternity leave, I was just juggling between my baby, home and office. Even working for lesser hours in office initially didn't make me feel that I was doing good. I was feeling all the guilty about leaving a small baby at home who might need me so many times in a day (I was still breastfeeding him in the night), I was feeling guilty for not giving my 100% at work as I was already working for lesser hours in office. My house was not as up-to-date as it was used to be. In all these things, there was no question of thinking about me and myself. I was missing myself too much. I knew this was not me and I had lost somewhere. I was not able to even read a book, forget about my other hobbies of travelling and trek. I always thought I needed to change this situation but I didn't know how after all I was first time mother and all this was beyond what I had imagined life after baby.

And I got that chance, unknowingly. While riding back home from office, I heard on Radio One about some competition where prize was 'a pass for White water rafting' for Women's day somewhere nearby. I wanted to do that always but never had chance to go for it. I stopped my scooter at roadside and actually participated in the competition and then resumed journey. Just when I reached home, I received call from radio's office to get few details from me. I kept my fingers crossed and in few minutes I heard on radio that I was one of the winners. I had won A ticket for Kundalika Conquered event - which was organized by "Foliage Outdoors ". There were no words to express my happiness. I was just jumping with joy. The plan was to go early in the morning and come back by night. I was counting hours for my journey to begin.

We were supposed to report to Foliage Outdoors office at 4.45am sharp. We started at 5.15 am in the morning in a bus from Pune. Foliage Outdoors had arranged packed snacks for breakfast. We were surprised to see two senior citizen women too in this group. A girl had gifted this trip to her mother and mother in law both on the Women's day. Most of the women were like me who were taking a break from their regular routine lives for some time. Nikhil - from Foliage outdoors kept the bus journey as fun part by conducting various activities. We reached at desired place around 7.30 am in the morning. We were soon taken to the place where there were few experts who instructed us and showed demonstration of how to do actual rafting in the river. Some of us also tried to do a little rehearsal at the place we were sitting. Initially, looking at the river I didn't feel that this water was enough for rafting. We were informed that the water would be released at 8 am from the dam and then everything will be just flood away and it actually happened. The rocks we were sitting on or even the tree was completely drowned in the river water when water was released.

Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 1/6 by Priyanka

We were already ready with our life jackets and rafts in the teams. We soon started our river rafting. Heart was beating faster initially because of excitement and nervousness. However, soon our group and everybody else in the river seemed to be adjusting to the river and its Rapids. We were enjoying so much now that we did stop our rafts somewhere in between to enjoy little bit of water ourselves by coming out of rafts.

Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 2/6 by Priyanka
Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 3/6 by Priyanka
Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 4/6 by Priyanka

The 14 km run of this rafting did teach us the teamwork, overcoming the weaknesses for team members and using the strengths of them and enjoying everything no matter what. We did speedup at few times while stopped at few places as well in the river. At the end of the run, we were already too much hungry, it was already 2pm and we were doing the fun in the river for more than 5 hours. Still, nobody was ready to get down from the rafts, we were requested again and again to get down. After freshen up we had local village food and it was delicious. I did get my special Jain food there without onion/garlic/potato etc etc.

Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 5/6 by Priyanka
Photo of River Rafting in Kundalika River at Kolad 6/6 by Priyanka

After some rest, we had some talks in the group and we were given certificates as well for completion. More important was the feeling that everybody had... We had not conquered river Kundalika... that was conquering ourselves... our routine lives... the paradigm shifts, that was changing the mindsets and being ready to face Life again. We did come back by bus with the same fun mood and reached Pune around 8.30pm. and as expected, it took us more time to actually travel in Pune due to the heavy traffic than to travel outside.

This one day trip has given back me my confidence. I found myself after long time and I was happy to see that everything was good. I just needed to look at the things differently and I would be able to do the things that I wanted.