The written and the read.

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I received the most touching mail wishing me well with my new found love.
However, my little anecdote is not about a one love, but the discovery that I still have the capacity to throw my heart over a windmill and perhaps not worry about whether it lands in the right place. Just experience the emotion and the euphoria of doing it, without counting the cost – and most importantly the discovery that the cost is not what matters at all. It is the enjoyment of the feeling; whether it is fleeting or lasting must be left in the hands of the Gods.
I say that quite deliberately, because the moment you start to anticipate the where, what, how, what if ? It’s finished, it’s lost, the euphoria is gone. All those human things will creep in, the doubt, the uncertainty, the wanting, the needing, to have, to hold. With that dissapears the essence of that pure, soaring flight. Why would you want to do that? Also that is what prevents you from throwing that heart over in the first place. Caught for a moment, caught forever, who knows?  If one does it often enough maybe it will entwine with another such floating feeling and fly forever.
Also the learning that no matter what the age, love feels very much the same, there may not be as much angst to it with experience, because perhaps you, like me, can discover it to be a many splendoured thing, but it can be as silly, as electrifying, as embarrasing and as euphoric at 18 and at perhaps 80.
So in short, no my friend, I still have not found the man who will walk beside me and I wasn’t even looking. But now I think, if I can risk it then perhaps there is somewhere out there ‘The Passionate Shephard’ type of man who will risk saying those magic words too.
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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES INDIA

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES INDIA

I grew up with a family that roamed, we were constantly on the move, we sailed, hiked, camped, drove across the country on holidays. School in the foothills of the Himalayas created a love of nature and continued the outdoor experience.

When rafting first started in India (1985/86) there were a handful of young men who decided to train to be river guides, I went rafting, met them and became the sole woman to join the fledgling adventure industry. We all created the first adventure outfits in India.

Himalayan River Runners, Mercury Himalayan Explorations, Outdoor Adventures India, Snow Leopard Adventures. A few years later, Aquaterra Adventures.

Our businesses grew because we loved what we did, the sports, the environment and we were professionals. We formed the associations required to regulate all aspects: safety guidelines, environmental guidelines and we created an adventure fraternity that introduced our wilderness areas to the world.

First descents and first ascents. The first ever international white water championship, we few represented the country. Opened new areas and new rivers: Spiti, Zanskar, Kali, Tons, Brahmaputra and the so far hidden Himalayan valleys.

It was a wonderful adventure that I have lived. At Outdoor Adventures or OAI as it was called, Ajay and I led every trip personally and that was our USP. Our camp on the banks of the Ganga was our home, I lived in a tent for months at a time, our guests became friends and returned to do almost every trip we ran.

Why did we stop? Because we did not want to dilute the product we had created, we did not enjoy, or have the continued energy or enthusiasm to lead every trip.

There was a whole other world to discover too, and it was time to do more.

I still promote all the trips that we ran in collaboration with the associates we made, they are conducted by younger, more enthusiastic people with the same level of professionalism. Occassionally, I do still accompany a trip to add my stories.

I think Ajay is finally doing something with the wonderful photographs he takes.

PAVANE MANN

A wandering urge and a keen sense of adventure involved her in the  outdoors since the early age of 7. Sailing, snorkelling and diving  along the coast of India, the Andaman and Lakshwadeep Islands. Studying at The Welham Girls School, Dehra Dun, with  nature loving teachers led to camping, trekking, bird watching and   an interest in natural habitats and wild life. She has trekked  extensively over the high Himalayas gathering experience and    knowledge that extends to almost all aspects of the region-  geographical, natural and cultural. Pavane has been  associated with rafting since its conception in India and has run almost all Indian and some overseas rivers.

AJAY MAIRA
A natural outdoorsman, he has been trekking and camping since he was 8. Educated at the Lawrence School, Sanawar. Ajay represented India as a member of the first Indian White Water Rafting team that took part in the World Cup Rafting Competition in Switzerland (1987). He ranks among the top few professional rafting people in our country. Those responsible for exploratory first descents, opening new rivers to the sport – Spiti, Upper Teesta, Brahmaputra. Instructing, training and setting out guidelines that make white water rafting in India comparable to the best in the world. He also skied,  did mountaineering expeditions and numerous treks.