By Ranjan Pal for the New York Times
IT happened in an instant. One second we were riding a huge wave on the Brahmaputra River, our raft angled sharply upward. The next we were poised at its crest over a huge hole, and a huge diagonal wave exploded into us, flinging us into the maelstrom of white water.
I plunged into its icy green depths, suddenly alone in the grip of a force of nature over which I had no control. I was hurled along like a rag doll, the paddle still stuck in my clenched fist.
After what seemed an eternity (but was probably only seconds), I saw a familiar orange shape looming in my watery vision. Pete, one of the safety kayakers who had been hovering downstream in case of a mishap, came to my rescue, and I clung gratefully to the back of his boat as he towed me to shore. I collapsed on the rocky beach, my breath coming in ragged gulps, still not able to believe what I had just been through.