HMI Darjeeling Basic Mountaineering Course — Part -8
Rappelling Classes at HMI Darjeeling
This is 18.09.2014 and I woke up in the morning fresh and fine. Last night was a good sleep and my body had recovered its lost strength. Today, Indronil Chatterjee Sir, the one who taught us about the tectonic divisions of Himalayas, took us for PT. The exercise was mostly stretching limbs. Taking long steps and walking fast.
After return, we were asked to leave for the rocks for rappelling classes. The instructors demonstrated different types of rappelling techniques which are classified broadly as direct rappelling and indirect rappelling. Indirect rappelling was more difficult. In shoulder rappelling, two rappelling jackets are used while in side rappelling only one is used. They also demonstrated stomach rappelling.
I also tried indirect rappelling and shoulder rappelling. It was fun but I tried it only once. Others including my roommate Pranav tried it multiple times.
After lunch we took some rest in the hostel room. I wanted to sleep but there would be next class at 1400 hours and sleeping in day can affect my sleep in night. So, I avoided it.
Rasheed requested that I should write something about us roommates. So, I spent this time writing about my room-mates and I will start with Rasheed himself.
Rasheed is a good boy with polite manners. In the morning he sleeps till everyone is ready. He loves to remain clean even in the cold of Himalayas which is evident from his practice of taking bath regularly. He tried his best at all the activities and remains excited about new things. He trusts his friends as I have never seen him locking his cupboard. An easy going person, he has come here after completion his Bachelor in Technology. He will search a job after finishing the course.
Pranav, 19 years, is the most energetic and the youngest of my roommates. He is a student of Bachelor in Computer Science (BCS). He has a well built physique. He is deep in adventure and is aware of the intricacies of adventure sports. Even before this course, he was aware of map reading. He is also easy going but to the extreme limits. But, may be, since he is aware of himself he loves to try his limits time and again. Questions on his impatience and free spirit are answered by a simple statement that he is too young to care for anything. His dressing sense is awkward but practical like his pants are worn out and his fancy colorful shoes without laces which he wears everywhere, literally. His way of packing is intelligent. I see him loving the company of people engaged in adventurous activities.
Rituraj (Sameer): He is studying in the final year of Engineering from VTU (Karnataka). He is a dedicated NCC student and is proud of the same. I have never in my life seen such a dedication to ones organization. I believe he must be well respected and popular in his NCC Unit because of his dedication, courage, politeness and bravery which he shows in everything he does. Right now after the yesterday’s trek he is treating his ailing arm which seriously got hurt. He had carried the maximum weight possible in his rucksack for better practice. His shoulder is showing signs of improvement after spending last day and today applying mustard oil, hot mustard oil, garlic mustard oil and so on. He too faced some problem with his blood pressure initially but after his extreme efforts of taking bath in cold water, drinking three liters of water just before check up, wearing t-shirt and sandals in the cold evening outside the medical room — I guess he cleared the test.
Sagar, a civil police person of West Bengal, posted in Asansol area under some police station. He is a likable person but quick to talk about his posting place, coal thefts, bribery and the loopholes in the system. A very kind-hearted person he loves to listen old Hindi movie songs. He is a very social person and lover to talk to everyone in the group. He always calls all of us together for classes and mess. He waits until he is sure that all roommates have come for supper.
Buddhabed Bajpayee is a very lean boy, talks real fast and most of the time attentive of every detail. He is also a reservoir of energy and loves to show off his athletic ability irrespective of time. Both Buddhadeb and Sagar are cool with each other as they are from YSIT and had talked on phone when their organization introduced them to each other as batch-mates of the Basic course at HMI. They had come together from Burdwan to New Jalpaiguri together in train for the course.
Pemba Sherpa is a sanguine persona with bright eyes, smiling face, fit physique, smart wardrobe, curly hair and handsome looks. He is generally very silent but when spoken to, speaks in quick and small sentences with a tone quite common to this area. He home is about four hours bus ride from Darjeeling. He is working with a trekking company and has been to treks in Jammu and Kashmir, Garhwal and Sikkim Himalayas. He is here for learning the traits for professional development.
These were my roommates, there are other friends too. Mukul is a banker who also shared high BP case with me and was as frequent to medical room as me. He is a cool, polite and keeps his head shaved. Another is Manpreet, he had read my blog post on HMI and contacted me. We had been talking even before coming to this course. Subho was a banker who left his job couple of months back and is now travelling. This course at HMI is also a part of his travels. I found that all students are interesting in a way or other.
Broadly I classify the students in three groups:
- NCC and Defense Forces: There students are sponsored by their departments and there is a compulsion for them to complete the course and return to their departments. But, looking at most of them, it feels that how easy this course is for them.
- Adventure Sports Professionals: People who are working in the business of trekking/adventure/mountaineering etc. They come here to acquire an additional certificate and skills for their professional development.
- People like me, Mukul, Rasheed etc. Who have come here out of interest, zeal, fun etc. They are self motivated and want something different, challenging and adventurous in their lives.