Among the holy place of Rishikesh is incredible beauty hence the word incredible india=) The road curves along with the Gangas river with the water on your left and the mountains on your right. The water is an aqua green that shines bright with God’s touch.
Outdoor sports and activities such as: camping, trekking, and rafting is the most popular. For $6, I could go rafting, I could not really pass that up. Always wanting a challenge, I spoke with my little Indian friend requesting to go with a group of guys. It is peak season and many families and Indian women are in town, which means boating not rafting. Indians and adventure sports do not correlate at all. I figured though a group of young Indian boys would be strong and fit and able to pull their own weight through a bit of rafting-this is the assumption that I made.
It turns out to be a group of boys from Delhi who are all students studying engineering at the college. Half of them look fit and the other half look like they have probably never been on a boat. One boy is a little shrimp with glasses and the other is chunk of love who had one too many chapattis for breakfast-so precious these two.
The guide is quite experienced and does not even look or act Indian, especially with his outdoor nature. I call him Mr. Peruvian. He even rides on top of the jeep with the raft when we drive to the starting point. It is only a real man that would be able to stay on top of the jeep when the driver is driving like a maniac twisting and turning every few minutes. We get on the boat and he is explaining everything in Hindi, which is fine because I am familiar with rafting. It is not the American we should be concerned about, but the Indians. He starts to give instructions and I see paddles moving in different directions all hitting one another. We start to drift away from land and I know that I am in for an adventure- 8 Indians, 1 American girl, 1 instructor.
The instructor is saying, “Forward” and there are peddles going backward. I am just ignoring this because I am paddling in the back with the instructor helping the boat to stay afloat ha!
Ahead comes the first riptide (I do not know what this is called). We approach the riptide and Mr. Peruvian says, “Forward.” The Indians paddle like 5th graders, which is useless for the boat. 3, 2,1 and the raft flips over. Within seconds, my guide picks me up first out of the water. The boat begins to drift away from the eight Indians floating in the water. In 5 feet of water in a low tide, the Indians are floating with their life vests-struggling to stay afloat with looks of terror in their eyes like the world is ending. A few of the fit ones are able to hold onto rocks and are laughing.
I look for my chunk of love ahead and I can not see him. I hear someone shouting, “Help, help”. Near the boat is the chunk of love drowning in the water. I take my arms and hold onto his life jacket, but it is difficult to grip the wet vest. I take my paddle and tell him to “Hold on.” He is just barely staying above water let alone following my instructions. With shortness of breath and words, he is not responding to my requests, but with little effort he is able to grab onto the paddle. The guide helps me pull him up out of the water.
When all the Indians are out of the water, we are all laughing about. Everyone even got their flip flops back and our paddles that all went floating away in the water. Thankfully, we had an expert guide with us otherwise it might have been trouble in paradise. I am going to guesstimate that over 70 percent of Indians do not know how to swim. Almost every Indian I have come across does not know how to swim.
The guide saves me and I save an Indian. I did not even think I did anything special until he kept saying, “Thank you for saving my life.” And his friends also said, “Thank you for saving my friend.” Oh the Indians are so cute-like twenty three year old children. The little chunk of love took a break from rafting and sat in the middle of the raft with his wet black shirt and his big crack hanging out. I had to go and pull down his shirt because I was getting tired of staring straight at his crack. Mountains, glistening waters, and butt cracks-not nice for Priscilla.
I became a drill Sergent with the Indians shouting, “1,2,3” and telling them to use their muscle and work off their chapatis. It was probably better that I was pulling weight for the rest of them because it was a better work out for me.
When we stopped to do some cliff jumping that was even more entertaining. There were some terrified Indian sitting at the tip of the cliff looking down like it was the end of their life. My little shrimp made the jump and I was shocked. I congratulated him for his accomplishment. It really melted my heart that he actually jumped-this will probably be the scariest thing he does in his lifetime.
At the end of the day, Indians are not adventure, thrill seekers. They enjoy safety and lack of physical activity. Indian boys are just as bad as the women actually I question which ones are better competitors when it comes down to strength and persistence. They do not want to move a muscle for a physical activity. Many mamas boys running around India. Oh India….