by Nic Olson
Busy times. I’m in Guwahati. I spent one night at a friends again, sleeping with goats and a Bihu festival. I danced. I ate. I laughed. Then I spent three nights in the heaven that is Kalapani, Guwahati, Assam, India. But this time I did not dance. I did however, eat lots. As well as laugh. I also, nearly died. April 17th, 2009 is my new death birthday. Or Not-Death Birthday. Or Near Death Day. Something. All I know is that myself and a man named Jiten should have died, if it weren’t for an incredible feat of strength, a few long toes, and one single branch. And my lucky Habs hat.
Remember that time that I said I could feel that I was going to die soon? Well this was it. This was where I was meant to die, impaling myself on a large rock, and being eaten by the local tiger. I called my death a few months ago, predicting that it would come in India. April 17 was the day it was supposed to happen, but something went wrong, and I’m still alive. Here’s what happened.
These photos explain it all. The first picture shows our size in comparison to the rocks at the bottom of the second picture. Yes? On the second picture the small blue scale is about six feet, the height of myself or 1.5 Jitens. The thick red line shows our approximate climbing route. The red circle is where we ended up with not much help.
Firstly I followed Jiten’s words, “Oh, very easy.” and climbed his way instead of the alternate way, which turned out to be much easier. When we arrived at the red circle area, a plane of about 60degrees with nothing to hold on to, we got stuck. Basically we couldn’t go anywhere because there was a lack of things to grab and a lack of places to go. My feet began to slip and I reached up to grab his ankle, and pulled myself up to his area, pulling him down slightly. We both started slipping down the rock and somehow Jiten reached up at a previously unreachable branch, pulled himself up, and offered his foot for me to grab hold of. We ended up at the ridge at the top the circle and tore through piles of thorns to reach a flat rock and a pathway.
I’m not much for bragging, but I nearly died. Because we were climbing barefoot, the skin of my feet peeled off as I was slipping, reaching for my life. My hands and arms were scraped from the rocks and thorns that we had to rip through. In the end, I’m alive, and to celebrate, I cut my hair very short and ruined my life instead. Biggest mistake of my life. I should have died, then people would have remembered me for my unreal Jesus/Samson/Triple H/Lead singer from the Used hairdo, and not my cowardice.
In other news, I can now read and write Hindi. Blogger offers Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam script, so if you have a Mac or a computer that is able to read Hindi, here you go! This means (with likely incorrect spelling), Good night! सुबह रहती !