camp stories or the woe of never finding original titles for my unoriginal pieces (Part 1)

The plan was to write this piece on the morning of the 20th but due to some reason or the other (mostly because I'm one lazy ass), it has already become 24th of June and the memories are slowly becoming less and less clear. My head tends to always be in extreme states - either in complete turmoil or in complete blankness; the latter is what is happening now and hence even the most vivid memories of kids crying around me and asking me not to leave seem to have faded away to a large extent. I guess this is just the nature of things. You just forget things or the things that meant a lot lose their intensity quite soon, the painting dulls down quite fast, dust falls on, the colours fade, everything seems less real and soon it is just a painting on the wall that is never looked at anymore. I'll try not to dwell on that too much, at least for now and get on with the task at hand, getting down everything I saw and felt during the duration I was away from home from June 1st to June 21st. 

Compulsory pretentious picture in Flight 


Cute Fish building picture 

On June 2nd, I went to the Kaarmic office and finally realised what working in an NGO meant. The office was a tiny place with a handmade chart stuck on the door that read Kaarmic which was a little scary for a me who had no clue what was coming but was (and is) too proud to admit that I was super nervous and scared to anyone. People kept coming in and I realised that there would be around a 100 people that I was supposed to interact with over the course of 3 days and at that moment I was very thankful for the 2 people from class who were also there with me. 

                                                             video courtesy Kaarmic 

We then took a bus to ICM (whose full form I still haven't learnt) for our training session. Having entered the bus last and having no particular concerns as such, the three of us ended up being the few people who didn't get seats. ICM was a pretty campus, nowhere close to what insti is but a really miniature version which elicited enough oohs and aahs from people who I judgementally assumed were from Delhi who hardly ever see pollution free areas.




The training session at ICM was interesting. After the first day, I was slightly confused since they were spending a lot of time teaching us energizers and what not and hadn't even started to explain what the curriculum would be or where we would be going or who are teams were going to be. In fact, a friend and I were laughing about how the sessions felt like an extended Christian retreat (complete with the action songs and random claps). Only on the 3rd day of the training did they give us a brief (and when I say brief, I literally mean brief) idea of what we were actually going to be doing. Soon after, they told us to dance some more and at around 1:15 pm they informed us that we would be taking a bus at 1:45 pm to our camp sites. Planning on point. 


our first performance as a group. my superior dance skills on showcase

The 6 of us who were meant to be going to a certain campsite plus another 5 who were going to a nearby campsite got on a traveller which eventually left at 3:20 pm after having a rushed lunch and a missed break. The 11 girls were travelling on a traveller with a driver whose language we didn't know, to a destination we couldn't find on google maps - I'm so proud of myself for covering it up so well that my parents never were as stressed as I was. 

when i found out the name of the camp site we were going to 

but then realised i couldn't find the place on google maps 


first gimpse of the camp site

We reached around 6:30 pm and I was quite taken by how peaceful the surroundings were and how quiet everything seemed. A big ground and a big school laid out in front of us with open skies that to us folk from the city, is a privilege. The quarters we were allotted were more decent than I expected, the only issues being there was no light in the bathroom and as it became dark, insects seemed to manifest itself in all areas where we were supposed to sleep. While on any given day, I'm shit scared of insects and can't fall asleep if I knew there would be some in company, I felt super at ease to sleep on the floor knowing there were insects, only because everyone else seemed a lot more freaked out than me and it was evident that I could be the brave one who would do all the, ironically enough, saving by killing off these little things. 

Now someone who knows me quite a bit will know that I am a convenient mute. I talk when required (sometimes) and at other times refuse to participate in conversations at all. During the training sessions, in the presence of 100 others, I felt quite intimidated and unsure of myself to open up, raise suggestions or queries or anything of that sort. But sitting with my 5 other teammates, I realised that I couldn't completely give into what they wanted to do. I wanted to participate, I cared which meant I couldn't do my usual, don't give a fuck so do whatever thing. There was a hall where the 4 north indians stayed and a room which the 2 south indians took. This division seems very amusing to me now knowing how that never even occurred to me at that point. 

(end of part 1, hopefully part 2 comes up tomorrow)