Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Friendship Day

This year I celebrated friendship day in style - like never before. I was in Pune, again, on deputation, but this time for 3 days only (1st-3rd Aug). But I decided to stay for the weekend so that I could meet some friends. I am not going to discuss work this time. Anyways that was insignificant to what i had done the last time I was in Pune.

Eve of Friendship Day:
On Saturday morning (4th Aug) I checked out of the guest house and went straight to one of my collegemates place in Magarpatta City. After having spent some time with him, I borrowed his bike to visit other friends. I picked one up from Hadapsar and met the others at FC Road. Over lunch we decided to visit Panshet and nearby areas the next day. So we called one more friend of ours who was still sitting in his office on a Saturday afternoon. After much persuasion he agreed to come. Having decided all that and having booked a Qualis for the next day I headed for Kalyani Nagar to meet another classmate of mine (from DPS). I met her and told about the plan for the next day.
Friendship Day:
I got ready by 8:00am as the car was supposed to come and fetch me at around 8:15. But it cam only at around 9:00am. Aman, Apurva and Shankar we already in the car. We headed for Minakshi's (my DPS classmate) home to pick her up. having picked her up we picked one more friend (Sandy) in Hadapsar and left for Pashan where Vidushi was waiting for us. By the time we reached Pashan, we had decided we were not going to Panshet but to Panchgani. Thank God that Vidushi did not agree and said that she had to reach home by 6:00pm otherwise we were in for a really long picnic.

After much debate we headed for Tamini Ghat. I had absolutely no idea what that place is like, but by the time I realized I was awestruck by the view all around. It was no particular place that we were planning to go, it was just a long road in the Wstern Ghats and believe me the sight in the Ghats during monsoon is breathtaking. You need to see it to believe it - so much greenry and water all around. There were waterfalls, big and small, streaming down the hills all around. We were practically driving in the clouds - one moment you could see the hill that lay ahead, the other moment nothing was visible, except a think layer of mist - or were those the clouds? We kept on driving, making short stops at waterfalls and to take snaps, but more importantly to let the view sink in. At times I wondered how Scotland would be, since I've already hard so much about the place, but whatever it would be like, it would not be better than what I was seeing then - I was sure.

We had our lunch at a dhaba which appeared suddenly out of nowhere. There was this solitary building on the one side of the road in the midst of agricultural land. Facing the dhaba was a hill which had several waterfalls running down. The view from the place where we were having lunch was such that any five star hotel would be envious. As far as the food is concerned, the dal was fabulous, while the chana masala was very hot. The chicken, however, was pathetic, but we didn't complain much because it was around 3 pm when we had sat for lunch and none of us had had breakfast.

After lunch we carried on with our journey ahead, but after a few kilometers the sight was not as beautiful. So we decided to return. We dropped Vidhushi home at 7:00 pm (I guess we managed pretty well). But, I had to return to Mumbai the same night and by the time we reached station with our baggages, it was around 10:00 pm and it was raining heavily. But that is another story...

We had a great time in the lap of mother nature. The experience will remain etched in my memory forever. I recommend this beautiful Ghat to one and all. Now don't just sit there. Get up, pack your bags and get going. Keep a pair of extra clothing and a towel. You'll need it after you get wet, else you'll be shivering like we were. Don't forget to devour the local bhajia and chai that is available.

Acknowledgements: To all those whom I call my friends and more importantly to those who consider me as their friend.
Happy Friendship Day to one and all!

In the photograph (L-R): Apurva, Vidushi, Aman, Shankar, Minakshi (and you know me)


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