I was new to the team, the job. I have interacted only with few people in the team. Slowly and steadily I was catching up with my work with the help of  Sri, my team lead. Sri is very handsome and was heart-throb of many girls at our office. A lot of them used to envy me to have gotten a chance to work along with him. He is no less than a model, I wonder why he ever joined software industry. 

Our team had an outing to Chikmagalur, a town which is 250 kms from Bangalore. I was very excited because, I am gonna do my first ever trek with this trip. Chikmaglur has many treks, it’s called  “trekkers paradise”. I was all geared up for the trek to Kudremukh, the highest peak in the chikmagalur ranges. It is an 18 km trek in dense landscape.

Sri cautioned everyone to stay in sight of one another and said since it had rained last night, there would be lot of leeches. He volunteered to help in case some one is caught by a leech. 

I was thinking within me, “a girl who has encountered snakes and was never afraid cannot be frightened by a leech”… I was quite confident that I can deal with leeches myself.

As we started the trek, in less than 10 minutes we could see lot of leeches. People were getting caught by leeches and Sri was helping them in getting rid of those.

I was lost in the beauty nature has to offer. Also, since it was start of rainy season, the entire landscape was lush green, variety of plants, wild flowers. In no time, we were walking amidst clouds, surrounded my mist.  

After an hour of trek, I found the first leech on my shoe. What to do now ? Oh My God, this looks so strange (the movement of leeches is very different than other species, they stick themselves to any material ). How do I get rid of this ?  

I started screaming, “Sri, Sriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, there is a leech on my shoe. Come fast. Please” . He came running towards me. I was still screaming. He stood before me with a cute smile for quite a while, without making any attempt to remove it. I started to get a little angry and almost said in a not so good tone, “What makes you smile? Can you please remove the leech ?”. He laughed and said, “Sure, why not, but that can happen only if you stop jumping”. Everyone around starting laughing.

My goodness, I had no idea I was jumping. I am not a kid to be behaving this way. But, no, I couldn’t stand still. He calmed me down and removed the leech. During the entire trek he was right behind me, observing my shoes, promptly removing leeches. It was only because of him, I could enjoy the trek.

We returned back to home stay by evening. Sri sat on the sofa at the entrance, he called me and said, “remove your shoes and check if there are any leeches”. I did so but, couldn’t find any. I thanked him and was about to leave, when he said, “Can you remove the leech that’s on my leg ?”. I agreed.

He raised his shorts up a bit. To my surprise, the leech was 1.5 inches long and 1 inch wide, it was big. My hands started to tremble. He handed me a pair of surgical gloves and gave me directions to remove the leech. As I removed the leech, huge amount of blood started oozing out as the leech bite was on a considerably big nerve. He made a sudden cry to express pain. I immediately looked up at him, he smiled and said, “It doesn’t pain. Leeches numb the area before they start sucking the blood”. You can imagine what could have been the expression on my face 🙂 . I cleaned up his wound, did some minimal dressing to stop the bleeding. We dispersed, I couldn’t find him during dinner. I was eager to know if he was ok….

The next morning, I sat on the stairs of the patio outside of home stay, with my favorite beverage, coffee .. Sri came and sat beside me, we exchanged a smile, before I even asked he told that he is doing fine and there is no pain. I was relieved !!! 

That was one of the awesome treks of my life. But, this particular leech incident taught me few  things

  • When something is new or unknown ( like I was unaware of leeches), often fear creeps in. It is just lack of knowledge. 
  • When someone is under the radar of fear, constant monitoring over time is very crucial. 
  • There is a certain way in which things can be taught and we should always choose the best time to do so. If Sri would have wanted, he could have removed the leech on his own, but he wanted to remove the fear that is instilled in me regarding leeches. 

I started to appreciate the beautiful soul Sri has, which is much beyond his outer charm .. 🙂

From that day I have cultivated the habit of studying about the topography, flora and fauna of the place I am gonna visit in advance to put myself in a better position.