Ripped these photos off from the Internet. These images were found with "whitewater rafting in Rikikesh" as the search term.
The waters were turbulent, considering that it was summer and the Himalayan glaciers were melting all too quickly.And so, after establishing the context, allow me to reflect on my experience:
I'm not enamoured with sports. So it was with great trepidation when I went along with my friends for a whitewater rafting experience down India's Ganges River.
27 km? What if I die? How do I advance humanity without passing on the genes for enhanced lips and water-sheltering brows?
Drowning in the icy glacial waters from the Himalayan mountain range wasn't how I envisioned my death. I often thought that I'd die from a series of stabbing cardiac pains while teaching. Perhaps struck by lightning while jaywalking. Just not drown in a freezing river. Nope, drowning didn't cross my mind.
To my great surprise, I survived the trip. And enjoyed it as well.
There are experiences that become beautiful on hindsight and there are experiences that are beautiful even as one experiences it. This adventure was the latter.
I found myself wishing that my close friends and family were with me. Floating along the life-giving river, hemmed in by picturesque mountains on the left and right. Swirling in tornadoes of water. Swallowed by towering waves.
It was sheer craziness. The thrills, the adrenaline rush. Crazy, crazy fun. It reminded me of the time when I cycled freehand down a particularly steep slope. One mistake then would result in a grievous injury. But the fun, the fun!
The more notable rapids even have names. Three Blind Mice describes a series of three somewhat milder confluences. Roller Coaster is a rather unimaginative misnomer for a mighty terror.
I didn't lose my life. And I gained something important:
It is okay to live wildly. It's even okay to jump off a cliff occasionally.
Yes, the creature jumping into the freezing waters (above) is me.