One of the valves in the canoe breaks off.

Murphy Strikes

Though it is unknown whether Murphy was the one who actually coined the law that goes by his name, but it essentially states that, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” And like all good wives, there is another law attributed to Murphy’s wife, goes by the name Mrs Murphy’s Law and states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong when Murphy is out of town.” The management guru Peter Drucker modified Murphy’s Law and formulated Drucker’s Law that says, “If one thing goes wrong, everything else will, and at the same time.”

And why exactly am I remembering Murphy now? Well, it is because he just paid a visit. Well, he visited and I will need to pay for it.

The air intake part of one of the valves in the canoe just decided that it did not want a tryst with the sea, parted ways with its conjoined sibling, and is now sitting forlornly on my desk, far away from what used to be its logical seat of power. It has abdicated its duties and responsibilities, leaving me with a decision to make. How to repair the valve in time for the launch of the expedition.

Unfortunately, India is still at a very nascent state as far as adventure gear and equipment is concerned. More so for an inflatable canoe, that according to me is the only one of its kind in India. The sole representative of a waterbound vessel in this vast country of a gazillion people. Adventure Axis in Rishikesh is one such store that almost exclusively stocks gear and equipment for watersports. Fortunately they are also a supporter of this expedition. I managed to establish contact with the owner Nitin Goel through a sketchy and scratchy phone line (so much for Digital India) and told him of my problem. Unfortunately he does not stock the kind of valve that goes into my canoe. He has valves for larger rafts. I then sent a message to the boat manufacturer Sea Eagle Boats in USA telling them of my problem, requesting them send me a few pieces. They have been very good to me in the past and I suspect I will hear from them in a few hours.

However, I have Plan B already worked out.

I will replace all the three valves in my canoe and replace them with valves that are meant for the bigger rafts. Which means expenses for buying the valves, carting the canoe over 500 odd kilometres to get to Rishikesh and back, and other associated costs. An expense of nearly Rs 10,000. A cost head that was farthest from my mind given the sturdiness the canoe has displayed over the past few years that included a paddle down the Ganges.

Well, thank you Murphy for at least having the courtesy to come a few days in advance and not when I was inflating the boat and getting ready to hit the Indian Ocean. That would have left me with no choice but to abort the expedition even before it had an opportunity to start.

To repeat, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”



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  1. I am really so thankful that I cam across Sea Eagle boats. I sent them a message telling them about the broken valve. Even as I on chatting with Navneet Syal, their Export Manager, he had shipped three valves to reach me in the next week. I am so happy with every interaction I have had with them. Not to mention the canoe itself and the wonderful things that I have become capable of doing because of it. Thank you Sea Eagle.

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