The eyes just looked red, before I opened up my eyes to see the sun striking down on my face. Sid was just lying around me at that time.
“Wake up, you lazy bum” was what I said while giving a nice kick to the area in question.
He woke up and just stared at my face, as if I’ve done some cardinal sin, by waking him up.
“dude???!!!, what’s wrong with you ? Can’t you just let me sleep for God’s sake!!”
“I would have, had we been in your cushiony bed instead of somewhere in the middle of nowhere, trying to complete the exploration, so get off your ass and get ready”. I felt like some coach of a sports film, giving a lecture to motivate the lads.
Only I wasn’t.
Sid, laughed hard on my face, seeing my “seriousness” but anyways got up.
Both of us had taken part in this competition for exploring the forests of Jharkhand, along with a few other crazy kids from all over India. We were supposed to collect items from a list and find our way to the other end of the forest before the other teams. On paper it was adventurous and super fun. Instead, it was scary and highly uncertain.
The first day, we were able to collect just “satavari”, which is an anti-oxidant and increases memory and is found to be beneficial for the eyes. This was our third day inside the forest, the second day had ended without much luck to complete the lisy. We both were already out of food, except a few pieces of biscuits. The list provided to us, not only had the names of the items but also what they are used for. Having read that this “satavari” can be beneficial for our health too, we tried this too. I’m not sure whether that helped, or it was just pure luck that we were able to spot “gaduchi” , “bala” and “vidarikand”, each of them help in building the immune system and also rejuvenating strength.
We needed strength and taking these things was more of a necessity now. The good thing about trying out these things is that, being herbs, they can only give more of benefoits, rather than the fear of harming us in any which way.
The only thing we needed to complete our list was Ashwagandha and Amla. The day had almost ended and we were unable to locate these. It was almost close to dusk that we finally found these, but to get to these plants, we needed to cross a natural bridge of tree, which might have fallen due to some storm perhaps.
“Come on Raj, we have to get it” cried aloud Sid after half-way going across the way. I am not a fan of heights. Not a fan as in, I’m a little scared. So, I kept my steps very carefully. Hardly, halfway through it, and Sid screamed and fell, and I almost peed. He held onto the branch and shouted. I was reminded of a scene from the movie ”Ishq” (for the uninitiated, the movie starred Amir khan and Ajay devgan in a very similarly funny scene). Funny, in a movie, but it was scary here. Sid, could actually fall and die. And so could I.
But I slowly went ahead and pulled him up, without any more filmy drama. Went ahead to get the other items in the list. Finally, making our way out of the forest.
We did not win. Some other team, completed it in 2 days itself, while we took an extra day altogether. Had something to blame each other knowing very clearly that this trip inside the greens of the forest was better than any other prize, which in this case was a huge bounty.
We were all given big boxes of Chywanprash along with the participation certificates. While coming back, Sid read aloud the list which we were searching for, in the forest.
I was about to say, “stop, it” for rubbing our loss again. But then I saw him reading it from the contents of the Chywanprash box.
We were surprised and amazed to think that things which gave us strength to stay put and survive in the forest are more easily available in these boxes.
At a time when germs like bacteria and viruses are everywhere, your immunity system needs strengthening to be able to cope with various infections and diseases.