Road to Matheran
60 European cents, 1 American dollar and some random foreign currency change. This is all we had when we left the stall at the Karjat fata.
This trip reminded me of our road trip last may. It was planned but with spontaneous adventures strewn all over. The night before me and Raju reached home at 0130hrs. Sleep was achieved at 0400hrs (approx.). We had to meetup with Sanket and Harsh near Sanpada stn. at 0730hrs. I sent him an sms to postpone the rendezvous timing to 0830hrs. We were in Airoli when they reached. It was decided that we meet in Panvel. They were waiting for us at hotel Shiv Shambhoo. :) After a longish break (in which we got a spark plug for Harsh), we started. Customary break at Chowk and the Neral fata.
The road to Matheran has been relaid. The going was good. We reached, parked the bikes and entered the forested fortress of peace. Keeping a strict eye open for all possible chicks we reached the market. It was lunch time so we decided to eat. Shabbir Bhai's biryani was to be tried. It was excellent. After a glass of chass we started for the school. Here we got some cool water and tea. Then headed for Harsh's place. On the way we had acquired some spirituality. Contemplation was always with us being first priority (above food).
We reached and then all rested, the walk in the hot May sun being tiring. Sunset and we headed for the spot. They all loved it. We decided we will go eat come back and then get spiritual. Shabbir bhai was again sampled. This time roti and chicken. Again some chass was demanded but was not found to be available. We got back.
Some excellent time was spent with Sanky singing, Chota on the guitar ... and huge amounts of talk. What I love about these trips is the amount of talk involved. Uninhibited talk. Loads of it. We decided to head for the spot. I had borrowed Harsh's old defunct air gun, and we went crazy with it. Then laid on the yellow grass and felt peace. We reached back and slept after 0300hrs (I think).
Next morning we were slated to leave at 0600hrs. We got up approx at 1100hrs. :) After a lazy time we packed up and headed for the market. On the way had breakfast and saw monkey's having sex in the background. It was proposed that we stay another day - It was difficult to leave the peace. The cash scene was desperate. After a few to-fro arguments we headed towards echo point. Lunch was skipped in favour of contemplation. Such is life. Such is philosophy.
After a lazy and utterly nice afternoon we decided that we will go and get dinner out of the poor Peon of the school. We did just that. Harsh went and asked if we could get dinner. He said yes. He and his wife cooked for us, set up the table for us under the stars and laid it out. While this was happening we had some excellent music from the musical duo. The lights went out and all we had was a lantern. There was rice, there was phodni-che-waran, there was batata-bhaji, there was wanga-batata bhaji and then there was papad. It was one of the best meals we have had in a while... We blessed the providers from the heart. Under the stars.
We headed back. Decided we will go visit the spot. This time we more silent, thoughtful, more at peace.
We slept early 0000hrs (approx). Morning was fantastic. We managed to get up by 0530hrs. There was fog outside. Fog. In May. It was chilly. It was exceedingly fresh. We packed up and headed back. Decided we had no money so would get the tea out of the poor Peon. We did just that. :)
Back on the road, the breakfast scene was tense. We had managed to scavenge all the change from Harsh's house and all our pockets. It totalled Rs.42 in loose change (8 50p coins included) and a Rs.5 note. At Karjat naka, we very seriously inquired the price of the wada-pow and the cutting chai at the hotel. We very happily ate 2 wada-pow's (Rs.4 each) and 1 cutting chai (Rs.2) each. Rs.7 were left. After a serious debate and vote it was decided to go for one more cutting chai each. We then asked the hotel feller if it was ok that we had Rs.1 less. He agreed. He had been looking shocked all along...
All we had left were 60 European cents, 1 American dollar and some random foreign currency change.
Harsh's old house.
the monkey hunter
Am I free now, O moon?
Vellurious, of the Guitar
the monkey hunter with dal rice (no monkeys found)
Sanky, of the Gazals
Come early morning ...
jungle in the morning
road turns back again
all photos with a SE w800i cell phone camera