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A Splash of Memories

Swati

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~ Swati Sharma

River Kosi Jim Corbett National Park buffer zone Ramnagar

Tiger camp reverberated with our lilting laughter and joyous hearts. About 60 of us were ready for a visit to the river Kosi nearby in Ramnagar. We were a lively lot completely in a holiday mood. It was difficult to keep our wild spirits calm.

We started walking behind our guides who helped us feel the environment by making us observe the treasures of nature. A blend of greens everywhere was a relaxing sight. On our way there was much information to gather as each tree and plant we came across was unique.

After fifteen minutes we could hear a distant sound of water. Vegetation had reduced considerably. It was landscaped with fine sand, white boulders and stones. They were dazzling in the bright sun. We took off our footwear to have a feel around. The soft sand and smooth stones were a delight to walk on as they left a tingling in our soles. Our pace enhanced to cross the vast area as we jumped, skipped and hopped over the stones. During monsoons, this pebbly expanse was supposed to be under water so we were actually walking over the dry river bed!

Soon we caught a glimpse of the gurgling water! Deep green, hurried and with a rhythm that touched the core of our hearts. Lapping against bull-headed boulders and surfing vigorously but rushing past, forgiving all that obstructed its way. After the initial squeals of delight there was silence in the air. We were absorbed in the sheer beauty of nature. The moment we reached the river side, some of us glided in, some slipped and reached the inviting waters a bit earlier than expected. Soon there was a buzz all around. We were energised by the feel of cool water. The steadily moving river was a little scary for some people who had to be dragged right in. Amidst the brave and not so brave contented smiles were common features. We held hands and tried to wade but sooner or later slipped and had our dips in the liquid refresher. Shivers ran down our spines. Splashing left right and centre, we all freaked out absolutely.

Way beyond the river stood the grand mountains full of their proud green wealth amassed over the years. It was a breath taking sight to see the fluffy clouds drift over them caressing the trees with adulation.

Shortly we realized we had interesting company. A flock of chirpy birds was busy in their plunges. They dived in the shallow river bank, popped up, chirruped full throated, flapped and returned to the nearby boulders. Then, with deft strokes of their beaks they combed their feathers.  They all took their turns and repeated the same exercise several times perhaps till their hearts desires were full. Once out of water, they breathed deeply, with their chests out and tails pointed upwards. They seemed to enjoy thoroughly just as we did.

Tiny fishes tickled our feet and swiftly moved with the current along the bank. Most of them were black with grey stripes and their small agile bodies glistened in the sun.

Still soaking wet we decided to bask in the sun and dry as much as possible before we returned to our hotel. For those couple of hours, we had a memorable time and I wish to return to the magic of nature anytime, anyday!