7 April 2006

59

I'll be 59 next January, and still stupid. Its hard to find a stupid 59 year old man.
I am special, a rare kind.
One would associate wisdom intelligence to 59 years of experience.
I am allergic to wisdom
I am allergic to intelligence.
Look at this bird, don't ask me what it is called, I am too angry to give you any details, go find it for yourself. I got into trouble taking a picture of this chap. Just my stupidity. Nothing else.

Yesterday same time I was in Amravati forest range. Came back home this morning. I had no idea of going on a trek as I was not prepared for it. I had two days free after meeting my friends in Coimbatore and Pollachi. This is how you go to Amaravati forest. Coimbatore - Pollachi - Udumalpet - Amravati. By bus, no trains. I wanted to go to Top Slip, since I had to wait for an hour for the bus I jumped into Udumalpet bus. Then to Amravati. Went straight to the forest office to find out about the accommodation. Saw the range officer at his computer struggling with power point. Without invitation I sat down and showed him how to make a PP presentation. It took less than 5 minutes. He became an instant fan, arranged a beautiful room for me at the PWD house, it was like a palace for me, just 200 rupees a day.

Very well maintained beautiful garden, care taker Chandran was all pleased to make me comfortable. Had a badly needed hot cup of tea.

Decided to go on a trek with wrong kind of shoes. Stupid idea. I was given a guide, Dorai was his name, nice chap, a tribal, had breakfast with him and left very early in the morning.


This was one of the toughest treks of my life, very rocky, hardly any trees and I was doing everything to avoid a twisted ankle. Within a couple of hours I became aware of every bone in my body and I became aware that I have a skull which seemed empty at the moment as I was trekking with shoes utterly unsuitable for rocky terrain.

I thought it would be like any other forest in south India. The efforts were rewarding as the trek took me thru lovely terrain had to cross the river a couple of times, sat down on the rock had a badly needed wash.

I was completely wet with sweat, early in the morning april sun was burning me stinging me. What a feeling, dipping yourself in cool river water, I think Its Amravati river, not sure, I have to check. Dorai filled up the water bottle with fresh river water. I drank stright from the river like a horse.

The Trek ended with a lovely water fall. Perhaps only the tribals enjoyed the beauty as there was no other way of reaching the spot. Sat under a tree Dorai my guide and I had some biscuits, felt like sleeping there under the shade but I had a train to catch and I was taking my time quite willing to miss the train. Every bone was crying with pain.

We had to walk back the way we came and it was quite steep. I was going out of breath. Had another wash and drank river water to my hearts content, it was refreshing, what a joy. Wished I was younger to enjoy the place more.

This happened on our way back
Took us couple of hours to reach the plains, no more rocky terrain, which was relief for my feet, ankles were still fine.
This was my bad luck.
I spotted this fellow.
Clicked one, wanted still closer, took a few steps forward.
Dorai warned me please don't go any further.
He is a kid, I am an experienced trekker with a skull full of cow dung, I ignored his warning and took few steps forward and clicked a couple of frames.
I felt my feet sinking.
This chap turned and looked at me, ah! 62 kilos of dumb flesh and bones !
Please click on the picture and take a look at his expression. A sneer, a look of contempt. In my view finder I could see him laughing at me. I was too busy to realise that I was sinking, my feet felt cold.

The surface was looking like this, a dry crust of river bed, safe enough for me. I woke up like a fool and realised that I had sunk till my knees and dorai calling me extending his hand to reach me.

Still I am busy clicking pictures. I thought I could come out easily but i was sinking deeper. Dorai couldn't come near me. I tried to pull my right leg and the left leg sank deeper and I was off balance. With an effort I swung the camera holding the strap, dorai was smart enough to catch it. He was leaning forward to rescue me. Now both my hands free, I was doing disco to maintain balance. Now the bird turned completely towards me, watching my disco perhaps did not want to miss the fun. I was getting angry now, but no panic, I have been through this before. I was desperately trying to pull my legs and sinking deeper, I was going down, last thing I wanted to see was a crocodile crawling towards me, none in sight. The big bird was watching me sinking deeper. Free entertainment.

Hey big bird ! ! I have a degree in Physics and Chemistry. I am not a complete waste. All I had to do was to displace my weight, I could do this ballet bending backwards, until me head and my back touched the ground, now slowly I could work on releasing my legs which had sunk till my thighs, inch by inch I kicked forward, with little effort my legs were free and rolled to dry and hard surface. I thanked myself for eating less. By this time two tribal ladies who were carrying a bundle of fire wood on their heads dropped the bundles and rushed to help me, and started yelling at my guide for letting me go to the river bed. Now they too were laughing at me as I was looking like I had just emerged out of a gutter, dark mud sticking all over me. I couldn't wash myself as I would get into trouble again.
Lets go I said. No embarrassment, only angry at myself for ignoring Dorai's warning. Now these dumb goats were looking at me, Is he one of us ?

It was a relief to see the road. I had to walk a further 2 KMs to my room, that was the longest walk of my life. By now the mud was dry and falling off my body in bits and pieces. Any dumb sleuth could tell you where I had gone, as I was leaving such a trail behind me. There was a silver lining, I thought this mud treatment could make me look like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, After a wash I found that I am still me the hairy gorilla and not Pitt.

Now I go and respond to the comments of my last post.I am still alive.
Blunt Knife
Photography and Travel Blog

39 comments:

e2d said...

Hi Rauf!Great to see u back.
Nice but hectic trip u had.Thanks for sharing yr experiences as always.
Brad Pitt and George Clooney---Boring People both of them!
Thank God you didnt trun into either of them.Good Mud!lol.

e2d said...

Rauf: I checked out the bird's expression.U r right he/she was getting entertained by you.LOL!
So funny..although just realized it could have been dangerous .Wasnt that quick sand u got yrself into?

Rauf said...

I wanted to cut the story short e2dees, but it was looking like no head no tail. I have done stupid things all my life. Now my family and friends accept my goofs. They all are tired of trying to put some sense into my head and trying to rectify me.

Rauf said...

This has happened to me before e2dees in Madras while shooting a huge hospital under construction. Special effects, wanted a dynamaic low angle shot. so I went low and very low and very low, hey man ! why am I going so low ? I found that I am sinking. Luckily I was only 50 kilos at that time. Physics helped me. All the construction workers rushed to pull me out. My hands had become sort of greasy with mud all over, they brought a crane to lift me up, by that time I did my physics trick and rolled out to safety.

Lorraine said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos Rauf and wonderful story. You give me hope :)

Rauf said...

What do you mean ? Where can I post my nasty comments ? Please sit right there Lorraine and receive all my dumb comments

Chinna said...

why are the goats dumb? were they in the mud too?

Rauf said...

the goats are dumb Chinna and I am dumber, They are much lighter than me, and they know where not to go. they are aware of what not to do.

Davo said...

grins..

Davo said...

Rauf, post as many 'nasty' comments on my blog or in my house as you wish, your history tells me you are welcome, whatever.

Am bloke, been around a bit, can cope.

Sangita said...

Ur trek sounded exciting.though I know it must have been dangerous but at the end of it all, it's an experience to savor :-) that water looks so cool..I love all water pics .kudos to u for beating april heat..That's I felt was the most diffcult part..

Imemine said...

You are just being modest. I can see thru that. You should have more self-confidence. Grandiosity can pay your rent and retirement. ;>)
Beautiful landscapes and pictures of landscapes!

Rauf said...

Sure I would Davo, yours is one frank straight forward and honest blog I have come across Davo, no complications no strainon my mind.

Rauf said...

on the contrary Imemine, I am very arrogant and a big mouth. I have two extremes, complete lack of confidence or over confidence which always lands me into trouble.

Rauf said...

We left very early in the morning Sangita, I don't wear a watch, and I did not want to know the time, a stupid idea when you have a train to catch by the end of the day. When I know the time i become aware of the heat and feel hungry. Its all mental Sangita. I was completely drenched with sweat. I kept drinking lots and lots of water and i was not peeing, that was dangerous, that was an indication that I am getting dehyderated and I am not drinking enough water.
There was a huge rock, i saw my guide dorai taking a round about way, i wanted to be smart, went the other way round and lost him for nearly half an hour. I panicked. then He came back looking for me. Follow the guide, thats the rule and don't try to be smarter than him. I never learn.

Hayden said...

THAT was a very scarey adventure Rauf! Am glad that all worked out and you brought us the pics, but....

We humans are strange creatures. We have that ability to get so focused in our eyes and minds that we forget our bodies and our surroundings.

Perhaps the danger of that level of unconsciousness has a connection to people's usual distrust of those who "think too much."

Cari said...

Amravati river reminds me of Great Falls here in that runs through VA/MD it is a very nice place.

Rauf said...

This is not the prettiest or the greatest of waterfalls Cari, after a long and tiring trek, it lookd very pleasant to me. Rivers here in India are highly polluted, they are clean only at the source, This river is clean because it is not accessible, you can reach there only on foot. Rivers are lifeline in India. Most of the rivers in the south have dried up, I have seen them full of water as a kid.
this is very alarming. there has been a massive deforestation around Amravati. There are hardly any trees left. Hope the government wakes up before Amravati too dries up.

Lorraine said...

Rauf, what camera did you use, please do tell. Your water and rocks photos are the real thing...well all you photos are way superior to any digital I've ever seen. I'ts got to be a 35mm, is it? I'd be so thrilled it this was indeed a digital...but there's none of that blotchy feel to the water that a digital always seems to bring. Is there any digital that gives that type of quality and doesn't cost an arm and a leg????
Thanks Rauf:) I'll be 47 in a few weeks, when's your birthday?

Rauf said...

All of them are digital Lorraine, please check Blunt knife, more digitals pictures there, 'Art in nature' Snake bird and ' New Camera'
my pictures are not superior to anybody's Lorraine.
I don't have your magic.

All pictures here and in recent posts in Blunt knife are taken with
Panasonic LUMIX DMC FZ30 8MP This camera looks like a SLR.(Lighter and better than a SLR)with a terrific range 35 - 420mm Leica zoom. Its 464 US Dollars comes with 32MB XD card, 512MB card is additional. The camera should cost still less now. Please check Butterfly Cameras. Believe me Lorraine, I have not touched the manual and the CD so far, its still sealed and in the box, the operation is so easy, all controls outside, you have only to choose the quality and size of the picture from the menu.

EEEEEEEEEE me born Jan 8 Lorraine when's yours ?

Rauf said...

Lorraine its four hundred and sixty four dollars not 4 thousand. There are 2 types of cards slow and fast, faster 512MB card is seventy five dollars, slower is cheaper. around 30 dollars. I needed a fast card for wild life and birds, for Landscape I don't need a fsst card. Slow card does not mean it renders pictures after one hour, slow card may take 2 seconds longer, thats all. Please don't waste money on faster cards when you have all the time in the world.

Lorraine said...

Thanks for sharing the info Rauf, I'll certainly consider it. April 21 :)

Rauf said...

please look for SONY also Lorraine they employ Carl Zeiss lenses. Please keep all your pictures in your mind and decide if you prefer wider or tele. For landscapes your existing camera is good enough. If you choose wider you have to sacrifice on tele. Digital SLR lens like 17-35 alone costs a fortune,(cost of 2 8MP normal cameras) you can spend that much of money for a reliable film camera lens but not on digital which can stop functioning one fine morning and you can lose all your pictures from your card for absolutely no reason at all. Its all a matter of luck, I should say bad luck. Any digital is not reliable, no picture is safe untill you transfer them.

Jay said...

You are NOT a waste. Those photos were amazing - I really envy you your trek. I wish I had that in my back yard!

Rauf said...

I have only concrete in my backyard Miss Jay, and the concrete is on the rise. Have to go a bit far to get some fresh air.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Patty said...

Rauf, you are NOT stupid!

First of all, do you remember giving me the advice about wearing boots when going around the railroad tracks? I took your advice the first time(and my feet were thankful for it)-not the 2nd or 3rd times I went, though. I wore good sturdy sandals on the 2nd time. But even those gave me a few blisters from walking around for 3-4 hours & I scratched them up a bit. And I even thought to myself, "Why didn't I take Rauf's advice?" The 3rd time I thought good tennis shoes would do the trick. They were better than the sandals, but I should have worn my boots again.

I read this post a while back & tonight while I was on my nice bike ride, I was thinking this: Isn't it better to not listen to good advice, get into trouble, but gain something out of it, than to always listen & follow good advice, but never gain anything from it? You may have looked silly or have people stare & laugh at you or been uncomfortable, but at least you were doing something & at least you had an interesting experience.

Rauf, was your situation very dangerous? If not, then you have got to learn to laugh at yourself! I learned that a long time ago. If it was, well then, be more careful, but that doesn't mean you're dumb! You are smart. You just risked something. I think you're special for that. Some people will follow rules all their life & never have lived life or risked much. They are the stupid ones(perhaps smart, but still stupid). Not you. I know you are wise & intelligent. You are only stupid for calling yourself stupid. So what if you ignored his warning? That's not stupidity.

I like your feet photo. Mabey not the best shoes for the places you were going, but...oh well. Even if you're 100 years old, does that mean you have to stop learning? No. Even if you're only 30 years old, does that mean you should know everything & always wear the proper shoes, always follow instructions, never get into any trouble, always be perfect, never look silly? NO!!!

You live=you learn.

As long as you're living, you should be learning & not try to be perfect. Rules shouldn't always be followed! Warnings shouldn't always be taken seriously(of course I'm not talking about all rules & warnings), but I think you get my point.

Don't you dare feel bad about what happened!!!

Brad Pitt??? I'm not a fan of his. I like you just as you are, Rauf!

Patty said...

I forgot to say how much I love the other photos!!!

Now I must be going to sleep!

Anonymous said...

hahahaha ! silly ol' Poms ! you would never change ! you'll just be this stubborn ol' goat that i know you to be! and just when i had written to you to keep outta trouble! ullu!

Rauf said...

You're so sweet Patty, There's a lot to discuss here, I am leaving for Pollachi in another 20 minutes, have to pack, I'll get back and mail you Patty
.... all my love please eat well and sleep well, go to bed early

Rauf said...

Aree Ghodee, me leaving for Pollachi in another 10 mts write to you when I get back ...just 3 days.. ummmms

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Hayden said...

rauf, I keep coming back to read this story and send my friends to it. Sooooo funny in such a deeply human way....

looks like the spammers got you...

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