The two-day- trip to the misty hills of Coorg was a memorable experience with rappelling, night drives, kayaking and above all an opportunity to make new friends.

Have you ever been on a trip with people you knew nothing about? Ever knew what a family outside your family feels like? Well, I hadn't. At least not until the most memorable trip of my life —The National Management School Outbound Programme for students at Coorg. The two-day-trip was part of our orientation, designed to enable us to bond better, discover something new about ourselves, and merge into a team.

Thrilling day

An overnight trip from Chennai and a few hours of rugged drive brought us to the camp site. Our program facilitators greeted us and helped us settle in quickly . After a quick lunch we departed for rappelling on a waterfall. Topaz, our main facilitator, gave us a demo on rappelling.

After a brief explanation on the harness, and an inspirational speech, we were off in groups of two. The speech did us a world of good by giving us the motivation needed to do the ‘impossible'.

We descended to the base of the fall with great caution. After we all re-assembled at the top, Topaz asked four of us to volunteer for a task — two of us are to be rescued and two to be the rescuers. I thought it was going to be cakewalk, but half way down, I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew. By God's grace we somehow reached the bottom in one piece! This exercise really gave me a new perspective on team-work. After a tiring session, we returned to the camp site, freshened up, and readied ourselves for the bonfire-dinner. The facilitating team —Topaz, Ashley and Sagar — joined us for dinner and very soon had us all sharing about ourselves; even things we never thought we would talk about. Soon, I realised this random batch of strangers was beginning to be like my family. After dinner, we assembled for the night drive! Topaz had told us earlier that Sagar would take us around the winding roads of Coorg at 80kmph! “That's rubbish” I thought, but it soon became evident that Topaz wasn't joking. ‘A hair-raising experience' would be an understatement. A steep drop on one side, and this guy was doing 80kmph with his headlights switched off! Scary as it may sound, it was one of the best experiences of my life. We had enough thrills for one day, and so we decided it was time to hit the sack.

Kayaking

The next morning we planned some water sports, but the rain and the swelling waters compelled us to do a milder but equally engaging activity –— kayaking. We had no time to lose. The following session was the final piece. Topaz gave us an hour long motivational speech.I've heard many motivational speeches, but what set this one apart was the personal nature of his talk.

I know it's a cliché, but all good things must come to an end. The four hour downhill ride back to Mysore seemed to take forever. But at the end of the day, we had to get back to reality. And when I look back at those two days, I feel the programme helped me to improve my personality and to bond well with the classmates with whom I will be spending the next two years. I wish we had spent more time at the camp, and I hope to go on more trips with my new found family at The National Management School.

Rahul is a student of NMS.

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