Thursday, May 26, 2016

Moonlit trek to Sinhagad

They told me it was a night trek to Sinhagad. I had childhood memories of Sinhagad being a really easy trek and for me a trek at night was a first. So I said yes lets go, how difficult can it be?
So the seven of us met at nanded city (a colleague lives there) and we then proceeded from there to the base. All pumped up by how beautiful the moon looked and how pretty the starlit sky would look from the top, we started our ascent at 12:30 am. We imagined it would be dark but the moonlight was with us at every step. We imagined it would be really cold but only after a few minutes we were getting rid of our sweaters. In childhood, I believe, I must have had loads of stamina because, this time, in less than 30 minutes or so we had made our first stop trying to cool off and get our heart beat back to normal.
Here's us at our first stop trying to capture a people snap in moonlight.
We finally reached the top at 2:30 and we all sat down getting hold of our breath and the visuals that awaited us. Our trek captain who has trained for even harder treks was really patient with us, gently coaxing us to go on by answering questions like "are we there yet?" With an "we are almost there". In fact he used "almost" so often that it has now stuck to his name forever. Once the climb was done, we sat there staring at the world below and realizing what we miss in our daily monotony of bread earning. Rather, we wouldn't have missed it if technology hadn't advanced and Edison hadn't invented the bulb (or so we think).

As we climbed higher, the view of the city and the hills around filled us with awe. The moonlight, the cool breeze and the serenity coupled with the adrenaline that comes with achieving something just keeps you going.

We then made our way by stairs to find a place to lie down. We reached the top and it was so windy that it could displace our bags! Then captain saw a small hut type structure which they probably use in day time to serve the famous bhajjis and jhunka bhakri. We all went in happily and sat down with some knick knacks to eat. We started off with ghost stories as that was the only logical thing to do, given that the wind was howling like it does in those horror movies.
A couple of stories and a couple of spooky moments later we also had some "please not horror stories" moments after which we all settled down to take a nap. It was so cold and windy that the hut would have blown away, but we stayed put, since we wanted to witness the sunrise before we started the descent. It was almost 4:30 when our captain woke up asking how no one was feeling cold and we said, we are shivering!

Even though we wanted to wait for the sunrise the wind was so unreal that we thought lets find some sturdy shelter or move down. Just as we were moving out we saw some small shops opening up and a savior came in sight who agreed to make us hot tea! And to top it, he also showed us a small enclosure which had "real" walls where we could wait till he prepared the tea. And how we blessed the mud walls and the hot steaming tea. Wonder how people live up there, everyday!

After the hot tea, we were energized enough to spend some more time capturing the sunrise moments.

We started moving down by around 6:30 am and the number of people was exponentially large as compared to those that we saw at night. It almost felt like walking through a market with literally one person on each rock! So we paved our way to the base passing by many regulars who were running up and down the slope.

Once we were back at the base at around 7:30 am, we had some little breakfast and then started moving back to pavilion with so many happy memories. And yes, not to forget a realization that our leg consists of so many muscles (Yes, I could feel each muscle move in pain,  after a day of rest) 

Cheers, to many more night treks! 

P.S. Captain, this is a note for you. Please organize some easy (easier than Sinhagad) night treks :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Moon

As I mentioned in my last post, we bought an amazing camera that has increased the range of our vision. When we decided to buy a camera though, it was just with the intention of taking snaps that are better than the ones taken by the phone camera. We started out with this one basic need and then since a good zoom is always welcome, settled with the Canon SX60HS after a lot of research.
Once it arrived, we tried giving each function a try and took a few snaps here and there. The first weekend, we thought 'why not give the moon shot a try'. We went to our building parking area, where we could see the moon. We looked at it through the lens and zoomed in, as far as we could go and we were spellbound. We could see the craters, the famous (this name will seem familiar only if you are a 2001 space odyssey fan) Tycho crater, the seas, the undulations. (This is one useful image)

The moon has always mesmerized me, and looking at it up close, firsthand, is a feeling that I am not capable of expressing very well in words.
Till date, I had seen such details only in snaps available online (Yes, now these snaps will be one of them) This experience was mind boggling and post this, the enthusiasm just went up by leaps and bounds.

P.S. I am sure you will see a lot of new posts because of the new lens that I now have.

P.P.S. That tells me, that I should also get down to study the moon in better detail.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy New Year!

Yes, I just came by to wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year, but I also just took a peek at the posts I have written in the year that went by and its been just 2 (Actually its one more post than I had written in 2014!)

No, the year that went by was not un-eventful. Infact it had so many travels, so many stories worth jotting down and so many emotions worth expressing.
I should atleast write the "end of the year" and "new year resolutions" post, so that way I have a count of 2 posts by default each year. And then maybe I will one day complete the new year resolutions so that I do not have to just copy-paste it in the next year too.

So, the year that went by 2015 - Highlights
- Lots of holidays and travel
- Lots of socializing and spending quality time with friends
- Also organised a treasure hunt event in office (yes, again!)
- I now have a nephew who goes by the name of Ayaan and yes, he is damn cute. (Should write something about the experiences with him some day)
- We finally learned to drive a geared vehicle, yes the clutch and gears etc and yes, we passed the license test too! Yoohoo!
- Celebrated M's 30th birthday in a great way
- Started decorating our home - and yes it feels awesome
- Bought a camera, an awesome camera, that has magnified our eyesight multi-fold.
- Planned and executed a holiday with both the families!
See, each would have been post-worthy.

Anyway, you have a happy new year and hope you fulfill all your new year resolutions. I hope to keep the post count to at least 12 this year i.e. at least one post per month. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Another weekend getaway..

This time the weekend getaway was split - at opposite ends.

Saturday the 7th of Feb, we went to Kashid, with office colleagues, a trip I thought, given our current planning and absolutely no discussion about the trip, we were never going to make. Happily surprised though, when we finalized the plan a few days before.

After a lot of shuffling and not this and not here and there, Sachin's car with M, Jitendra and me, met Sabhtarsha's car with Yo, Dabre, Rathod, Ameya and Manoj at Joshi wadewale at 7:30. Since Rahul's car hadn't left yet, we asked him to meet us directly at the Khopoli mall. We had a sort-of breakfast there, all excited for the trip. I also met a school friend of mine, got introduced to her husband and discussed school times a little, along with the newly formed whatsapp group. After the breakfast and chai and juice, we started out for kashid.

Jitendra, M and me continued in Sachin's car, with songs and discussions and jokes and a lot of jokes on the Honda-City that only wants to overtake, even when there is no one to overtake.

We stopped on the way for one small photoshoot, where we finally have one couple pic, thanks to Rishi. (yaay!).

We reached our destination by 11:30, everyone being very very hungry. One part of the beach is very crowded with eating stalls and rides. We moved on to a part where the number of people were less. Few of the others went on, to find us a room and a place to eat, while we carried on to explore the beach.

After changing and have a more than filling lunch, we moved on to the beach. Yes it was very sunny, but no one was bothered. We were running, screaming, playing with the flying disc, cricket ball, football altogether.

After everyone was red-enough we all sat down for a while, discussing what to do next. Everyone wanted to get into the water, but this time there were concerns about the sun overhead. After a few minutes of jokes and more jokes, we all finally thought it a good idea to not think and maybe just get into the water. The currents are really scary with a lot of force. The sand is silvery white but it shifts so easily beneath your feet, you never know when you will find yourself inside a ditch. No wonder this beach is infamous for accidents. And then Rahul insisted we have a banana ride. Even though I know how to swim, the accidents and talks about the scary currents just wouldn't let me say yes. I was almost going to miss it. When Sabhtarsha insisted that it IS a one time experience, I said lets. We went on the ride, M being so concerned since I was so scared. Even the people helping us with the floats were so concerned that I was concerned.
The moment they drop you into the water, its a feeling of complete numbness. You're not really sure where you are. Of course once you are at the surface, you know what needs to be done. But that moment, I can never forget.
The ride people help you back onto the boat, I got the first helping hand, and we were off to the beach. The second drop, near the beach, we all fell over each other, everyone being hurt some place or the other.
We did play for some more time and then a few of us, carried on to get changed. The remaining guys played a lot of cricket, I gather, with censored videos (which I am really not sure why they won't share). After everyone was ready, and had had a hot cup of chai, we came back to watch the sun set. And I can still see those countless colors smudged together making such a beautiful sight.

We overshot our leaving time, left by 7pm and were welcomed with a lot of slow traffic. We reached the expressway by almost 10pm and stopped to have dinner, yes we were all famished! We all reached home by 12:30 or so, with lots of memories to talk about.

But for M and me, we had one more day to look forward to, we had to travel to Ahmednagar for his college friend's wedding (Aba or Musa). Shri was to pick us at 7:30am, but luckily for us, he reached by 8:30. We left for another one day trip, en route Dhaval and Renu's pickup, to the nagar highway. We had a lot of talks and discussions on the way, so much so that we also missed the venue, for the lack of a bigger board, but reached in time. Congratulated the couple, had a nice lunch, heard a lot of jokes, had a lot of girl gang discussions and then started the journey back to Pune. Ofcourse, like last time all the gals got into DJ's car. We wanted to plan an evening outing, with dinner, but since everyone was so exhausted and Shri had a reception to attend, we stopped for chai and some snacks and carried on home, with lots of new plans in mind.

P.S. After the fun-filled weekend, we had to take one day off for the adrenaline to get back to normal.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The story that lead to..

This post was in a draft since, I guess sometime in the beginning of 2013. I just happened to visit my blog, and saw that I had written around 47 posts in 2009 and come 2014 the count has dropped to just one post. Only one post, in a whole year, in 365 days? This got me thinking and I started browsing my posts and came up with quite a few drafts. I picked this one first, to make a come back, since blogger has been in this, right from the beginning. So here it goes, I won't modify the content, just complete the post.

Now that plans have been finalized to promote the story to the next level, I thought it is only apt to recap a little bit. Not very elaborate, for the details are best kept for the memories of those involved to keep it fresh forever.

It started here with truth and dare as the ice breaker. After that there were never ending talks, discussions, arguments and time was always less. Snacks time would start and then never end until we thought its high time we start back home.

This phase continued for quite some time and then it was formal after this event or rather post. It was a moment of anxiety and thrill and fear and happiness and a whole bucket load of emotions and luckily they all behaved well. The courting period started (How it did start is another story, maybe some other post will mention it sometime) and had a lot of highs (of course there might have been lows but I decided never to note them and hence I do not remember them).

I am not sure about the motive to write this post back then, one obvious reason might be - the people who kept asking for a story. Even after a story, the obvious question almost always is, so who popped the question. So let me tell you, ours is a story which does not have dates to be remembered. Ours was a journey which started without being planned, which has climbed the official big step and will continue, forever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A weekend getaway..a group trip..after ages!

If you scan through my blog posts, you will notice that it had many posts of trips and its plannings between 2008-2010. After which, the office gang split, since the foreign lands always steal away friends!

Anyway, last year I met Mohsin's engineering friends and their wives briefly. We had another small dinner early this year, because the group gets together when foreign friends appear in homeland for a brief span. They seemed to be nice people. There is a planner 'star' in this group without whom this group would only exist on whatsapp a.k.a DJ. So he tossed out a fresh plan -> Diveagar over the weekend. At first I was a little skeptical, a dinner is fine but travelling and staying with people I hardly knew. To add to it, they were Mohsin's friends. We had some discussions and after a 'no' and then finally a 'yes' we decided to go for it.

We were to meet 'Galli' a.k.a Shrinivas at 7:30am at our place and move on to the meeting point. As for IST (Indian Stretchable Time) we assumed that it would not be before 8:30-9. However, Shri reached on time and we assumed this is going to be one trip where we were 'really' going to leave on time. But then, there has to be someone in the group who brings the delay. Thanks to them, we then munched on to some nice breakfast at some tapri amid jokes and political discussions.

We did move on at around 8:30, for another stop for breakfast, and then finally left by 9:30. The car time college stories were funny. I never remember doing anything remotely this funny, during my entire education. Wonder why 'boys have all the fun'!

Slow and steady, my fears drowned away. This is going to be a superb weekend. New friends are difficult to make, but with people this genuine and nice, it was hardly going to be a problem.

We had a small 'horror' adventure while reaching our stay. The boards read 'Diveagar 22km' then 20,19,18, 11. It then read 0.5 after a few minutes and 20. It was as if we were back to square one. No, it isn't a horror story, just a long drive due to a wrong direction on the board.

We reached our stay at around 3pm. One room for the gals and one for the guys, sounded perfect. After a sumptuous lunch, we then proceeded to the beach. The beach was cleaner than the last time I had been there. Water was salty, as usual. And snaps, umpteen. What with two huge cameras and all the phone cameras. Life is photogenic!

We were then back with appetites as large as a gorilla and we munched on some delicious fried pomfret, chicken and modaks! As for the talks and the jokes, I could not laugh enough!

After this, we had a planned 'night out' in the guys room which lasted only till 2am, but which made us laugh like crazy. The TV, the songs, the movies, the comments, made me cry (literally, with laughter) every time someone said something. And surprisingly everyone woke up early, eager to go back to the beach for some more fun.

We decided to keep this trip less hectic with only place to visit so that we spend more time with each other rather than travelling. After lip smacking lunch, we then proceeded with the journey back home. This time the "girl gang" grouped up in one car, which had a really nice collection of songs. The return journey was enjoyable, all of us humming to the tunes and the climate and scenery on Tamhini ghat added to the joy.

We then departed for our homes, at the meeting point with memories of a great weekend, spent with people and with many more plans to be together, to begin with the 31st December night out.
I hope we have many more such trips, that detox the mind completely.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The next step

The four and a half years starting here is now going to move on to the next phase in the next twelve days. The time flew really fast and I'm hoping the next phase too takes very less time to settle down.

All the emotions (possible) have started pouring in. Preparations are taking its toll both on energy and the pocket.

Holidays have been planned, plans are being planned and when there is lots of planning there are lots of runtime twists and turns and I am hoping we take them in our stride and move on, so that on the 'D' day, our important day, we are happy and enjoying the moment before it passes it away.

Fingers crossed, blessing solicited.