So yesterday, after a good fun ride of about two hundred and fifteen kilometers, we reached the Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand.
It was around 3 p.m. We were told that the resort was another ten kilometres into the jungle and we should take the safari before heading on to the resort. We decided to take the safari at Cheela Gate.
After a good three hours safari with some great views but no elephants or tigers, we reached back. The hungry little kiddo picked up the plastic bag containing the Lays wafer packets. As we headed towards the canteen, a naughty little monkey started chasing her. Missus took the bag from her but by then more monkeys had started coming towards us. In a reflex action, the Missus immediately threw the bag towards the monkeys. The Mister was checking his phone and suddenly realised what was happening. He leapt and picked the bag again shooing away the monkeys. Some other people came forward and scared the monkeys away. One of them even snatched a packet back from a monkey. It left the kiddos frightened and the Missus a bit shaken for a while.
We got into the cafeteria and ordered meri waali Maggi with adrak waali chais. To distract and calm us, Mister asked why an elephabt’s ears are huge. We couldn’t answer. He said, “It’s because elephants’ wives nag them a lot.” This made everyone around us burst into laughter.
By the time we finished our Maggi it was pitch dark outside with no street lights. The cafeteria waala bhaiya said if we could wait for a little while more we could spot the leopard on our way. We asked if it wasn’t unsafe and he responded, “You are inside the car. It is the leopard who is unsafe!” 😛
And then the Mister and Missus along with the kiddoos started off for the resort. After about twelve kilometers we realized that we had lost way and come ahead. No human souls around to ask, no GPS and no network connection. We drove back up to a bridge where we waited for someone to pass by for instructions. Seeing us stranded in the middle of nowhere, two guys on a bike stopped by to help. They gave the directions and said, “Hurry up! It’s time for the elephants to come out on this route.”
And this is exactly the moment when the Missus froze and forgot all the directions in panic. Yet in an extreme act of demonstrating courage in adverse conditions, she maintained her physical calm despite her incoherent and jumbled up directions that she started giving to Mister. She also kept repeating, “Don’t worry! We’ll be safe.”
It was at this second point that she regretted not learning Hanuman Chalisa by heart. The first instance being the monkey encounter earlier in the day!
We reached a calligraphic T-point on top of a bridge and Mister asked, “Which way did the biker bhaiya tell us to take?”
Missus acting fully composed, “Yes. I’ll just tell you. Give me a minute.” Starts searching for GPS on her network-less dumbphone. One look and the Mister understood how well she remembered the directions. God sent two more bikers who made us reach the desired destination by following them. We finally checked into the resort and it was time to make an honest confession.
“Darling, I must tell you how scared I was but didn’t want you all to panic.”, said the Missus.
Mister calmly responded, “Yeah. Yeah. Your immense courage was all visible on your pale face.”
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