The 11th Birthday is a milestone that I crossed very recently. Some people won’t agree with me but the best part of a birthday is what you do to celebrate it. I celebrated my birthday in a brilliant fashion with a trip to Kolad, a place in Maharashtra which is famous for rafting and other water sport activities in the Kundalika River.

After a long drive from Mumbai, our car pulled into DM Farms where we would be staying. After checking in we freshened up a bit and drove to the Wilder West Adventure area which is where my first adventure activity of the trip took place. At the reception desk we were shown a list of things we could do, some items were marked with ‘m’ meaning during monsoons only. We all were definitely kayaking, and I chose to do a bungee jump as well and tick it off of my bucket list.

Me and my father slowly climbed up a 43m tower from where the bungee jump would take place. There was a long, extended platform section at the top of the tower that stretched out onto the river, this area is where I was going to jump from.


The process of getting ready for the jump went like this; we were asked to sit down and wait a bit as the jump coordinator prepared the rope and harness for me. During this time, we clicked some pictures of the beautiful view of the river and the valley it was flowing through. Then they strapped me with a harness and strangely no helmet, but they said I would not need one. Next, one person wrapped some kind of felt around my ankles and connected it with some strong rope. The blood-circulation slowed down and so did my walking ability. After that came the final checks, 5 locks had to be attached to keep the rope on my harness steady and I stepped out onto a small balcony with no railing post handing my glasses to my father. I looked down and stopped. “No!” I yelled, “I can’t do this. NO NO NO!” They pulled me backwards and asked one last time, “Will you do this or no?” I thought for a minute and said “Real Ronits aren’t scared…yes!” they re-positioned me and waited for me to shout ready. I was steadfastly staring out into the mountains. “Ready,” I mumbled. 3…2…1…Aaaaaaahhhhhh!! They shoved me off the top and sent me shooting down. All I saw was blue then I felt a jerk and flipped upside down to see the ground. All this while, I was screaming at the top of my voice though no one heard it. I heard the ground team and my mother yell open your arms but I was holding onto my harness tight and not letting go. The ground team pushed out a long rod for me to grab onto and pulled me in nice and safe.

Later we kind of relaxed in the calm waters, kayaking. It was fun but took some practice before we got the hang of it. Me and my mother were together in one kayak and my father alone in another. Mamma and I had some problems in co-ordination but managed to work together in the end. It was hard to steer through the rocks which outnumbered us.

The following day we all got up early and prepared for rafting which was going to be a lot of fun. DM farms had arranged an auto-rickshaw ride to drop us to the starting point and pick us up at the end. There was some confusion about our rafting booking but after some phone calls between DM farms and the rafting operators, things got fixed eventually. We went down to the riverside and met some more people also there for the rafting. I made friends with some of them and learnt all about the various adventures they had had. The river water is controlled by a dam which releases a flood of water creating the strong flow required for the rafting experience. 5 minutes before they release the water, the dam operators give an air-horn blast and then, 30 seconds before they release the water, they do it again. I felt like it had been ages before they gave the first siren and at that time me and my new friends were wading in the river looking at a “hidden passage” and skipping pebbles on the water. The second I heard the siren I bailed and scrambled up the rocks to safety before jumping back down and helping my parents come up too. Our guide for the rafting adventure Krishna, then taught us the orders we would have to follow while rafting

1. All Forward – This order meant all of us had to use our paddles to displace water backwards pushing us forward.

2. All Backward – The opposite of the earlier command.

3. Right Forward, Left Back or Left Forward, Right Back – This command meant the two sides paddled in opposite directions making the raft turn left or right

4. Stop – Here you pulled your paddle out of the water and held onto a rope circling the raft.

5. Get Down and Get Back – The biggest rapid in the area was called the Johnny Walker which is very turbulent with a high chance of knocking us out of the raft. So, to prevent that we had to get into the raft and go down on one knee while holding on to a rope that went around the raft.

We also learnt the best grip and our seating arrangement. We practised on calm water and then shot off into the river. The experience was amazing and only two people fell off of the boat (my father did it purposely). The rapids were fun to go through and Jonny Walker wasn’t as dangerous as I had thought it would be. Probably in the monsoons it must be so.

Eventually after crossing some more rapids we reached the swimming point where we all jumped off the raft for a swim in the water. My father went in first stopping me from having any worries. In seconds I fell over backwards joining him. My mother joined us as well and we floated and swam happily for a bit. When we were done swimming something interesting happened. The other person who had fallen in earlier apart from my father did not know how to swim and floated away with another person . The second person knew how to swim and came towards us but I had a better idea. “All in the raft!” I yelled, “Paddles up, All Forward.” All of us stuck our paddle in the water and pushed moving toward the pair who decided it was best to stick together and wait for us. I was in the front seat for a change since the front spots needed strong swimmers but the rapids were over, so it didn’t matter so much. We heaved our stranded friends onto the raft gave them their paddles and continued on our way working our way through the last section where the water was nearly still.

To sum it all up we had the best time imaginable.

Tips and Tricks – Bungee Jumping:

  • Don’t Be Scared – The most obvious thing since being scared will ruin the experience. All bungee jump facilities have been tried and tested and must have licence meaning their equipment is up to scratch.
  • Make Sure You Are Comfortable – Not feeling comfortable is a sure-shot way of not having a good time so make sure you are safe but not getting poked or anything else.
  • Pay Attention – The best way to mess up is to not pay attention and do something wrong or not do something at all that you were supposed to do; so, listen to the assistants and do as they say.
  • Have Fun – That is what this is all about so have as much fun as you possibly can.

Tips and Tricks – Rafting:

  • Listen Carefully – Your guide knows what is best to do, so do listen very carefully.
  • Wear Water-Proof Shoes – You are sure to get wet but it is best if you wear shoes that are snug on your feet and water-proof.
  • Remember Sunscreen – It might be very hot and sunny on the raft and you have a low chance of finding shade so remember your sunscreen.
  • Can’t Swim, Don’t Bother – Do not worry too much about swimming, when you are in the rapids swimming won’t help anyways, and they give you a life jacket.
  • Have Fun – That is what this is all about so have as much fun as you possibly can.

So, I will see you in a raft or at a bungee jumping tower soon…Bye!

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