Oviya, in the 11th grade at Isha Home School, shares her experience of a recent class trip to the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve – and of the leeches, snakes, fire ants and other friends they made.

Earlier this term, the 11th graders went on a trip to Parambikulam, a solitary town standing at the edge of Tamil Nadu. For many of us, it was a new experience because we had never spent three entire days being part of a forest. We learnt things we wouldn’t have usually come across in textbooks; we touched animals we would’ve intensely avoided elsewhere; we discovered nature in a whole new way.

We were in the middle of a forest (a tiger reserve), equipped with raincoats and dirty shoes. On one of the days we were to go for a 4-hour trek. We genuinely believed that the teachers were overestimating our physical capabilities, but as we went deeper into the forest, time seemed so inconsequential. We had charming encounters with the bloodsucking leech, made friendly acquaintance with the clingy fire ants and came to terms with the intricacies of the forest.

Overall it was an enriching experience that shall remain etched in our memory. We had incredible fun and learnt a lot at the same time, and not to mention, vanquished our fear of snakes and leeches.

Editor’s Note: The Isha Home School was founded in 2005 by Sadhguru. The school has a holistic and comprehensive curriculum which is imparted in a home-like setting. In addition to conventional academic requirements, emphasis is placed on exploring and pursuing various co-curricular activities.