Posted by Priyanka Nag on 11:54 AM
We reached Garudmaachi in the evening. The sky had already started getting dark by the time we reached. The very entry to the place gave a different feeling. It was green all around. Nature had opened its arms to welcome the Msc.CA students of SICSR. We gathered at the lawn and were guided as to where our tents were situated. The tents were very different from what picture one will generally have of tents. These tents can be called as five star tents. It had beds with clean bed-spreads, clean white towels, blankets, 2 clean toilets in each tent. Each tent could house 6 students. There was an envelope on each bed with one soap, one shampoo sachet and a set of needle and threads.
That evening we took our first trip around the High Places campus. The dim lights of dusk made the walk romantic. We all were still stranger to each other, but that beautiful walk was the initial start to the friendship which will now last for a lifetime.
When we got back to the lawn, we were divided into four groups and taken to separate places for a chit chat session and informal introductions. This session acted as a window through which we got a small glance into each other’s views, beliefs and individuality.
I am sure many of us had witnessed the beauty of early morning (6am) after a really long time. We began our day with a morning walk. The early morning breeze and beautiful view of the Kundalika valley made the whole hard task of ‘getting up so early’ totally worth it. We did some warm up exercises and stretches and then returned back for breakfast.
The first task of the day was ‘Passing the ring’. We were made to stand in a circle, holding hands. A tyre ring was introduced into the circle which had to be passed through the entire circle (from one person to another) without breaking the circle. It needed a lot of coordination. Initially it was tough, but as we started to coordinate more and more, even two rings were easily passed (in opposite directions). This game taught us the most important thing of life, give with grace and receive with gratitude.
The next game was ‘Pipe and Balls’. We had small pieces of pipes. The task was to pass small balls from one end to another by making channels with those pipes. The balls couldn’t be touched, they could only move it one direction and they couldn’t rest at any point. Slightly physical but mostly the game was all about team work. The more coordinated a team was, the better the task went. We just had to do our own task and have trust that the others will also do their own tasks as required.
Next in line was the game of ‘Number tapping’. There were 40 numbers scattered on the floor which were to be tapped with foot in the minimum possible time. No member of the group could speak anything through the game. This game taught us to concentrate. It required sufficient presence of mind and a good strategy. It taught us to make optimum use of resources.
The next was a very interesting game. It was a physical game for sure but also required a great amount of team work. The team had to move from one end of the ground to another. Sounds easy? The twist comes now. There were very limited places where footfalls were allowed in the entire ground. A lot of hurdles had to be crossed and in order for the whole team to cross over, the team had to help each other. Not only did the each member had to help each other, they had to help the other team members as well. The other team had to cross over in the exact opposite direction.
The game that followed lunch was known as the Tower of Hanoi, a very interesting mind game. It consists of three rods, and a number of disks of different sizes which can slide onto any rod. The puzzle starts with the disks in a neat stack in ascending order of size on one rod, the smallest at the top, thus making a conical shape.
The objective of the puzzle was to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying the following rules:
- Only one disk may be moved at a time.
- Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the rods and sliding it onto another rod, on top of the other disks that may already be present on that rod.
- No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.
There were 5 such stacks. When five different groups started solving the task, it created nuisance beyond imagination. Finally we learn to discipline ourselves, organise ourselves and follow one leader. This was the only way through which each group could achieve its target. We learnt that competition is not always the only option; sometimes only cooperation can lead to success.
The next event was a fully fun event. We had to prepare 2 skits per team (team of 18) which should be for 5 minutes each with the theme line ‘Five years down the line’. I swear I never had so much fun preparing a skit before. We weren’t actors, we weren’t writers, we weren’t directors, but each skit was so beautifully put up that we received the best possible compliment-“The winner team of the task consists of 70 members (the entire crowed of Msc.CA present in the camp)”.
Coming on was one of the best tasks of the entire camp. After the lights of the day had completely vanished, we were sent down to the jungles to find a particular resource, at a fixed destiny. The path was difficult, there were stones, fallen trees, insects, thorny twigs and most importantly complete darkness. We were shown a map, only once, and had to find our way based on that. Again a lot of team work was required. Only when each member of the team was sufficiently courageous to travel the entire path, could we achieve our goal. It was an awesome fun event. We were provided with torches through and to ensure our safely, each team had one High Places’ volunteer accompanying them.
The more colours were added to the night with the bonfire and songs.
Another early start on a new day. At 6.15am, we went out tracking. It was a complete physical task. Climbing hills is not easy, mainly for us who are not used to it at all. By now we were so used to help each other, no one had to instruct us, we simply gave a helping hand to the person in need, knowing well that if we lose balance while helping the next one to climb down, we could be hurt as well. The help came from within, without any selfish intention. The 2 days could now be called a success on the part of High Places.
The next game of the day was called ‘Shepherds and the sheep’. Each team had one shepherd and 8-9 sheeps. The sheeps were blindfolded and scattered all around the ground. The shepherd had to guide each sheep to a destined place but he/she couldn’t use a single human language. First was strategy, and then concentration which were the keys to success. When two teams were made to play the game together, there were some really funny and confusing unhumanly sounds all around.
Many of us did rappelling for the first time in our life here in Garudmaachi. It was thrilling! The first feeling when we lean back entirely supporting our body on the ropes is beyond description. Its more than simple excitement. Its way more.
The concluding activity was a group activity of around 36 people together. There were a set of brings on the ground. Travel was only possible through those bricks. Each brick got alive with the first footfall on it and to remain alive it couldn’t be left without a footfall at any point of time. If a brick died, it couldn’t be used again. There was one red brick at the centre which if died, the game would end right there. First we needed a proper strategy, then a lot of coordination. When several people tried to give their opinions together, it was a total chaos. We had to discipline ourselves in order to move ahead. When the game was almost at a successful end, just a small mistake, one foot picked from the red brick and the whole hard work was in vein. This taught us how one small mistake could at times ruin an entire project.
Never thought small little fun games could teach us some most valuable lessons in life. High Places has come up with a really wonderful concept. Three fun filled days, which will remain engraved in our minds forever.