Whenever I think of how to get the best out of my life, the following wise words of Mark Twain rings inside my head.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
I was fortunate enough to live these words of Mark and all thanks goes to Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance, who gave me and my MBA buddies a chance to pack our bags and set out on a unique & exciting adventure of a lifetime.
The memory of that day i.e. 7th June, 2018 is still very clear inside my head. I woke up bright & early in the morning, all set for the The Outbound at The Empower Activity Camps, Kolad. I had probably slept for a few hours but the excitement gave me enough energy to drag myself out of the bed.
All the students gathered outside the Bus Bay just on time, I observed the faces of everyone which was glowing by excitement. Everyone sat on their respective buses and the vehicles started there journey on the roads of Pune. After a few hours we left behind the busy streets and polluted air and entered into the lush green pathway of the mountains. I gently opened the window and the gentle breeze started flowing through my hair and straight through my body, which instantly started diffusing all the stress from my mind & heart. I felt relaxed.
Suddenly everyone realised that a vast white blanket of lightest mist covered the mountains and covered the entire view of our pathways, the travellers inside started shouting with excitement. As my eyes travelled to the edge of the forest it became silhouettes against a blanket of white. The sweet songs coming out of the bluetooth speakers made the journey even more enjoyable.
After about 90 minutes more, the signboard of THE EMPOWER ACTIVITY CAMP was visible and my heart started pounding with excitement. A few more minutes later, the buses came to a halt and everyone got down and followed the instructor. It was such a beautiful camp with tent houses, gardens etc.
We went to a open dining space. Two guys were standing there with trays full of welcome drinks and smiling faces. Smiles are indeed communicable because everyone started smiling by looking at them. “Welcome SSBF Pune”, said the TV screen in front of us.
After the welcome drinks we were assembled and divided into various groups. My group consisted of Amit, Sudhir, Nikita, Prachi, Atindriya, Pankaj, Satish, Aditya, Kaveri and me. The instructor heading every group asked us to decide a group name & slogan. After doing so, he asked us to shout our slogan aloud and as I started shouting Spectra- Saath Hai To Baat Hai, I felt an instant rush of adrenaline through my veins which made me warmed up enough for the upcoming activities.
The first activity was Passing The Ring i.e. to make a big circle by holding hands and passing a big ring through our bodies without breaking the circle or leaving the hands. It became more challenging as it started raining, the instructor told us two things when everyone started worrying about the rain:-
- The human skin is waterproof and
- The human body is not soluble in water.
Everyone started laughing by listening to these statements and started the activities without any further hesitation of getting wet in the rain.
While playing Passing the Ring, first few rounds we faced a few difficulties to pass the ring smoothly but as we kept on doing it we learnt a few techniques which helped us make the process smooth, the record for our group was 20 seconds for 10 people.
After that we did a few more team building activities, which helped us as a group to establish trust amongst ourselves and made our bond even stronger. The final activity of that day was the NDA Physical Activity Test. After doing that task we realised how much effort is put in by the defence association of India to ensure the safety of our country.
After all the activities were over we went back to our dormitories and after freshening up we went to have the sumptuous dinner that was waiting for us. After that the DJ played some really nice songs and despite of the fact that everyone was exhausted by the long day of physical activities, we danced our hearts out. That night is something I’ll never forget.
The next day I woke up really early for the next day activities. Everyone assembled in an open area after which we were taken for jogging and a warmup. After the warmup we had our breakfasts and we were ready for another challenging day ahead of us.
The name of that Activity was Mini Prahaar, which sounded scary but exciting at the same time. We were taken for a briefing about all the activities that were included in Mini Prahaar. The name of the various activities were Trust Track, Fast Track, Burma Bridge, Commando Crossing, Shooting the Target, Fireman Lift, Mountain Climbing and many more challenging things. I found the Burma Bridge the most challenging of all, where I almost felt that I wouldn’t make it but somehow I managed to cross it by the constant encouragement of my fellow commandos. We had to bring our team colour flags from the top of the mountain, which was the best part of the entire journey coz I felt like I am a part of an adventure movie.
After the Mini Prahar, the commandos made us realise that we can learn some really important things that can help us in life while having fun. We learnt how to challenge ourselves in every possible manner, how to never give up when you feel that you won’t be able to compete. I personally discovered some hidden talents and strengths of mine, which I never knew, existed. It also helped with the ice breaking in between everyone and helped us classmates bond and become friends.
After the Mini Prahar, we went back to our respective dorms and freshened up a bit after which we had our lunch. After that we were given our Commando Certificates and our team Spectra, won in the Mini Prahar and everyone clapped for us. It indeed was a moment of pride for me and my fellow commandos.
After the certificate distribution, it was time to return. We got into our buses and the exciting & adventurous journey came to an end.
While the bus was running down the hills, my heart was heavy that these beautiful two days came to an end but at the same time I realised that an end is only a new beginning in disguise.
“IN THE END, IT’S NOT THE YEARS IN YOU LIFE THAT COUNTS. IT’S THE LIFE IN YOUR YEARS”
– Abraham Lincoln
Pic Courtesy- Roshni, Piyush, Bhavuk, Hitesh & All my other classmates, who definitely are born photographers :p
Thanks For Reading
Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance, Pune, Maharastra