Thursday, May 29, 2008

BMC banned??

The aforementioned BMC stands for Bangalore Mountaineering Club which is basically a bunch of adventure enthusiasts who organize treks and camps in and around Bangalore at very affordable prices. They work on zero profit, for the sheer joy of bringing to others the opportunity of coming close to nature and its infinite beauty.

And yet, with all those noble intensions, today I ban it from my list of worthy, coveted, joinable and likable organizations.

Why?? Good question!

Well, the story started a couple of weeks ago when I received an email from BMC saying that they had banned me because “based on the attitude and behavior” I had shown on the two treks I had been to with them, they felt I treated them like “hospitality industry” and expected them to provide “services”.

Now, that did NOT seem right. On both the treks that I had been to, I had been more than happy with the facilities and at no point had I expected or asked anything of the organizers at all. So I contacted BMC and asked for a clarification.

So this is what it boils down to: I was banned because on one of the treks 7 of us had moved ahead of the rest of the group with the government certified guide accompanying us. Since the visibility at that time was low, getting separated from the guide had caused anxiety in the people left behind for some ten minutes or so before the group leader could come down and stop the bunch of us that were moving ahead of the rest.

Booo! Hooo!! Hoooooooo!!!!!! I am banned because I moved ahead!!! Get out of here! Please ANYONE with any trekking experience at all, point out one expedition in which on not even one occasion some people moved ahead or behind and got separated from the rest?

The weirdness does not end there as there is a twist in this story… I am (to the best of my knowledge) the ONLY person of the 7 (who had moved ahead) who was banned, and (again) that did not seem right!

So the explanation offered by BMC is that “it all adds up”! Apparently, the concerned BMC organizer had been informed that on an earlier trek I had gobbled down a couple of sleeping bags at night! No really….! And, he didn’t care to find out the truth from me while on that trek or at any time after that.

Now BMC accepts that the informer may have misrepresented facts, but is also indifferent enough to not want to set things straight with her. In their own words “This was not the main issue and it was really the second incident (moving ahead of the rest) that brought the first one back to mind”. Yeah right!

The initial bewilderment over the incident has now given way to mirth! After all isn’t it ridiculous that BMC did not bother to face up to me BEFORE sending me a ‘You have been banned from BMC’-email and instead told me later that they “expected me to respond to it”. That to my mind is concomitant to hanging someone and then asking if he has anything to say in his defense! .... What the hell!!!!

I cannot cure the insecurities people have and if that means that random people will ban me from random organizations for random reasons, I couldn’t care less.

Human nature often puzzles me… and this is just one of the many times I am left chuckling with the thought “You have GOT to be kidding me!”