It was another week of mounting excitement for a walk amidst natural glimpses (not the usual bird watching) that was greening my head. Thereafter my main agenda of talks with my friends was trekking. The first experience of Vangani this season, was highly encouraging and I asked my team whether they were willing to tread again! The members were not certain initially whether they would have an off on Saturday when we were planning for the outing.
We had an email ring amongst us where in people were arguing between Trek, Movie, lunch, esselworld and well, others stated that they had some “Special” appointments over the weekends. I was somewhat disappointed when we were not able to freeze on an outing. That’s when I decided that I would go solo to Matheran.
That’s when my “intelligence agenct” in ex-office told me that a group from the ex- sister -concern, whose members were very close to me, were planning an outing. To their surprise (hopefully pleasant?? ) I inquired and got myself a berth for a wondrous trip to Malshej.
Friday night fury
I was almost disappointed when my client called for a meeting on Saturday. I told my boss that I had a personal commitment which I had to oblige (Like a good subordinate I revealed it to him the same evening). My way with words and fate helped me escape the clutches of a Saturday meeting.
After being cleared by my professional boss I had to face my domestic boss, not my wife, meri to shaadi bhi nahin hui hai, still safe and scot-free. It was my mom saying “tera character phisla jaa raha hai, you don’t stay at home in weekends, you are roaming like the wind, look at your niece you don’t even play with her (niece smiles and shies off to her momma) You don’t go to the temple and are going away from God and religion, And when I tell you anything you don’t respect it”
I smiled and asked her whether she could pack me a loaf of buttered bread…. She agreed and packed apples and chocolate too .. now that’s my momma!!
Saturday Morning Raga
Saturday as usual my alarm failed, but my mom was accurate and she struck more than six times at six o’clock. I was half awake when she reminded me that it was time. Quickly bundled myself and reached Bhandup station well before time. The best thing to do was admire nature and her creations sitting on platform one. But I found my creative imagination getting stressed with not many faces to see.. except…Thaaaat one.. that unforgettable face which passed me from the women’s first class!! Ahhhh She was the first good omen of the great day ahead. While she sped towards VT on the train, I walked in the opposite direction towards the ticket counter where I was supposed to meet Prafull and Sudhir.
The Fineart of “FACT” Fabrication
Soon the team was together, with the girls disclosing a very ancient fine art that they had written. The fine art of bluffing.
Alibi # 1 : For girls with conservative parents ( some of them commissioners of culture police) : Statement : “I told my dad that I was going for a magazine launch” . The only magazine we found there later was in the form of torn pages with the wada pav wallah. She did innaugrate one such Magazine to eat peanuts packed in it.. So effectively she did not lie.
Alibi # 2: A lady with an injured toe who cant be allowed for a rough trek … “Mama I am going to esselworld and I promise not to sit in the dangerous rides”. Ahem .. madam .. slight change in plan.. We are going to Water Kingdom!! No, not the plastic one but of real solid rock and pure non chlorine water!!! She ain’t lying again!
These great girls have lately resolved to write a book of bahaanas (soon to be a bestseller) to help other aspirants. However I am sure their parents are also maintaining a log of bahaanas and their corresponding connotations (soon to be a bestseller too).
Sometimes wind and sometimes rain
The weather got humid and the sun started playing hide and seek, threatening to ruin our outing. We finally reached the venue with our Ooh aah Wows echoing the valley as our vehicle sped past to the top. There we were catching the first glimpse of the vertical rocks. Just when I was wondering how are we gonna climb till there, I saw that there were plenty of waterfalls by the road side with some of them already occupied.
The beauty of the place was that we could see the clouds playing close by us and the temperature was cool. All we could see was different shades of green and grey, as though the other colours had disappeared from the spectrum. Prafull and I took the first splash and all of us were soon wet and brrr brrr shivering like a nokia phone on vibes.
We sent our vehicle down, back towards the base and decided that we would take a nice long walk and test all the waterfalls on the way.
On our way back we had our primate cousins who were closely supervising the passerbys for some goodies. One of them was lucky since he got a big bottle of bisleri thrown at him by a “good Samaritan” from our team in a valiant act of self defence ;-).
The beauty of the place filled my heart with creativity and I managed to take few snaps with a different angle. Prafull and the rest of them were great volunteers. Few oblivious visitors were also a part of the picture frame, psst psst without their knowledge as you may see in the photo..
This was one of the days when everything went perfectly fine, Murphy’s law was defied big time. The weather further welcomed us with her cooling raindrops whose taste blended well with that of appam and foreign chocolates.
We were reminded by our group member that her “Magazine launch” was coming towards the end while the other member wondered that its too early to reach home from Esselworld. We finally added some more bahaanas to the list to save their days and we all set off towards our homes.
On our way back we raised a toast of Paani kam chai which Prafull also splashed me with due to reasons unknown. We promised that we will unite once again for another memorable day…….AMEN!