3.30pm...after an awesome fabricated chicken biryani for lunch, 6 friends, out of which 2 i was meeting after a year almost, we settle down. It's a lazy Sunday afternoon and everyone is slowly getting to that time in the afternoon, when one just cant resist a little shut eye.
Stupid conversations ruling the roost and people including my self struggling to get even simple words right, we were so high on the food. Anish, sitting on the bean bag...Prachita or shetty as she is affectionately called, sitting on the floor mattress alongside Kavita, who is enjoying her smoke..and Kevin, who is already negotiating a truce with his sleep inducing hormones..lying face first on the floor. Ummu, trying to save Barca from the torment that two of her pals are inducing - supporting Man Utd just for the heck of troubling the lady! Finally, me...sitting beside Ummu, shuttling between the laptop checking prices for 2nd hand SUVs and actually trying to notice what everyone is doing, whilst engaging in the Barca bashing going on :P.
Its true, the most fun things in life are unplanned and this statement will go on to prove its mettle once again on this day. So, lets go somewhere? and the only two bikers in this group, suddenly have a new light on their face, 'Lets go see the sunset' says Anish. Lavasa, I suggested.
Yeah! lets go to Lavasa, we'll reach just in time for the sunset :-)
Pushed the ladies to get ready, not that these are your run of the mill fussy girls mind you! Nevertheless, we all got ready. Now, the real problem, Anish said he wants to ride, yeah right! not with the stitches from his surgery still intact, noway! The car, an Alto...and 6 people..not easy is it? :D
Down the stairs and into the drive way, I line up the car for the acrobats to start their backseat performance...the first three get in rather easily, Shetty is nominated for the 'godis' as she would be the lightest :P and then Kevin who squeezes in and shuts the door just before everyone has a fallout..literally :D.
We drive towards Lavasa...the 'ya ya' time..Shetty says some thing..we go yaya, we say something, Shetty goes yaya..yayayaaaa. Driving along singing the worst songs ever composed...tan tana tan tan tan tara...'yeh chand sa roshan chehra' The Anish version...Shetty says, your singing it wrong! Anish goes yaya :P
We turn off the Pirangut ghat towards Lavasa and awesome views of the foothills and the western Ghats surround the overloaded 800cc 4-wheeler :-). We decide to skip going all the way to Lavasa and stop near a picturesque hillock. Everyone gets out but I turn onto the hill...off-roading my way up a quarter of the hill...by now everybody else is walking up this little bulge i call a hillock...I start off with my camera clicking snaps of my car in her rarely attempted 'slightly off-road' avatar..and also the ascent of tonight's adventurers.
They are at the top, posing for me against the sun...and then my phone rings. 'dude, you see that mountain on your left?' and I say yes, and Anish goes 'we are going to climb it!' and I go 'are you out of your mind?' the phone is put down.
I am still busy at this moment with photographing my car and the surrounding ghats and valleys...and suddenly realize there is no one on top of the hillock, so i climb up and see my dear friends, having conveniently left their photographer/driver guy behind, making their way towards the mountain...damn! its gonna be one hellova climb this one, i said to myself.
Clicking my way along, I too found my own way to the foot of this mammoth task...and then again the over adventurous spirit kicked in, I decided I would climb straight up the face of this over grown hill, rather than take the practical zig-zag way up. I don't know why I took this decision but I know one thing for sure now, when one takes the path nobody else does...one may fall more but one certainly learns way more..
I pushed myself up through the thick foliage...it kept grabbing at my boots even though I stepped over it rather than through it...slowly catching up with my buddies...and then i see this tree...standing alone in the foliage. By now I am drenched in sweat and totally out of breath, halfway up the mountain and with the sunset knocking I start clicking...spent 10 odd minutes trying to get my picture right...and then i finally got it! 5 stars...made by the sunlight coming through the leaves of the tree, in the arrangement of the Olympic circles! Here itself this climb was worth it..and if I would have taken the path which would be a little easier..I would never have known that a photograph like this could ever have been taken. I was so happy..
Climbing further up I could now hear Anish's and Kavva's voices..and i thought that meant the climb was over..sadly they were just taking a midway breather. I too decided I would rest for a while before giving it the last push to the top...I found myself a rock..and sat on it, catching my breath and not moving off the rock I tried to capture whatever I could around me.
Got off the rock, and started trekking upwards again...I came across a trail, probably the one my pals took...coz I could make out the grass was fresh and bent over..yet again, I decided i wont follow the trail...and suddenly the foliage just vanished, apart from short grasses...realizing that the top was right over the ridge, also the place where my friends were relaxing, I could hear them distictly now. Stopped again coz i wanted my share of the sunset, now that I could see it...doing what i love..my phone rings again. Anish, 'kahaan hai tu?' . 'i'm almost there dude', he heard me and shouts...Oh he is here!!
I walk up to them and click their achievement filled emotions...and then Anish takes the camera and starts taking my photos! Finally! :P :D
Kevin and I doing our trademark kung fu poses et al...
Finally at the top..I look back...I cant see where we parked my car..wow...It was quite a climb...:-)
feels nice...eh Anish?
We sit...lounge around in the clearing...singing songs, listening to songs..cracking jokes, making Pjs...laughing and getting laughed at..the usual..
Its dark....can see the moon clearly..can even see our moonlit shadows..:-) lying around there, we realize Shetty is more worried about the climb down :P. Shes been saying ' lets go' for a while now...we laugh..:)
Anish showed us a constellation with the help of which we can get the east-west line...now i have three ways to know the same :-)
Some conversations later we decide its time to head back...so under the moonlit night we start our walk down along the length of the ridge of the mountain...slowly and steadily..singing our way down this naughty little overgrown hill. I might just climb over it again..someday :-)
All the way down, at the road again...but our car was on the other side of the ridge...we kept walking along the road...till we reached the point where in the evening I had turned the car onto the hill... walked to the car and drove it down again, back to the road.
Lap time! Shetty! ya ya yaaaa yaaa.....:P:D
We drive back to coffee stop - our favorite cold coffee joint...and have a couple of coldies and hotties each...much deserved I have to say.
Thank you all for the lovely evening and I hope we never stop doing such crazy stuff!