Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fear of Corpses

.....about my rafting trip to rishikesh and a deep rooted fear..... One of the greatest regret of my life is mujhe yeh saali Theory of relativity kabhee samajh nahi aayee. Einstein kee jo layman ke leeye explanation thee (the one in which he compares time spent with a pretty girl as opposed to time spent with your ass on fire) bhee kuch khaas palle nahi padee. Yesterday, I along with Kalia, Bombs & Chumms had this one day long rafting trip to Rishikesh. It was bit different from previous trips coz, this time we took a car and drank beer all the way to the spiritual land and absolute bliss. This time I did jumped from that damn cliff. And this time we did had the good fortune of having pretty girls on the raft, for company. One of those girls was a French chick named Lolita!! Pretty much, as good as it gets. As per Einstein's theory it should’ve felt like an hour, but it feels like it has been a week, since I last came to office.

Why this grave title "Fear of Corpses" for this seemingly jovial blog?

Well ..... I was sitting cross legged in the front if the raft toward the end of the ride. Despite the engaging company, my thoughts drifted toward my last rafting trip. The story is like this: Once upon a time (few years back), I went for rafting with Rahul & Rahul. At about eight kilometers downstream from Shivapuri, we saw a lot of people standing on the left bank of the river with weird expression on their faces (mixture of disdain and pity). One of them called for us and shouted “Abhee abhee ek piyakkad gaya hai neeche, save him if you can”. Guide on our raft refused to go, stating there might be strong undercurrent beneath the surface. I felt a strong urge to jump in to water, but I did not. We waited for about ten minutes and tried in vain to poke our paddles in water. We waited for him to die.
Why the hell did I not jump? Fear of death! I don’t think so; I’m rational enough to understand that in no condition I would have died, had I jumped with a rope around my waist. Later, I figured it was my fear of corpses. I was fortunate in my life till that time, not to witness any death. I had never touched a dead body. I was simply petrified to jump in water and see a dead body staring at me.

I witnessed this fear again, on another trip with family. A maruti 800 car was moving in front of our vehicle; suddenly it took a strange turn and fell in to a ditch. We stopped the car, I ran toward the ditch to find that the car was almost completely submerged in a sort of quagmire. I was again jolted by a deep fear of dragging out dead bodies from that sludge. I was almost completely rooted at that time. A strong built sardarji, plunged in to that ditch, with purpose. Seeing his strength, I too stepped forward. Together, we saved both the lives in that car. It felt good, but I still didn’t come over my fear. This I know coz, recently, a friend of mine, whom I’ve known for about fifteen years died in a road accident. It was a loss, I was really sad. But, more than that I was really afraid to see his dead body. I was almost trembling, as his dead body was taken out from ambulance. During his cremation, I gathered my courage to place his body on pyre, participate in rituals to bid him a respectfull farewell. Right now i don't know whether or not I've overcame my fear. I feel I'm doing better.

On this trip, an intersting thing happened. On the golf course rapid, which is like the most vociferous rapid on the route, one guy (a geman) fell in to river. Kalia, quite heroically pulled him back on raft. This time around I was not afraid, it was all just so fast, it all happened before I could react. I just kept rowing. My fear was not tested on this trip. But it sure was a god damn fun trip :)
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