*SOUNDTRACK: THIS MAGIC MOMENT – THE DRIFTERS*
It all started off when I boarded the train from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus ( CST) at 6:55 am on a Sunday morning.My friend Bhoomika and I sat next to the window and marvelled at the greenery.
The Base Village
We boarded a rickshaw that took 30 minutes to start our trek.
By the time we reached, it had started to pour. I realized that I was the only person who had forgotten a raincoat.
Fun Fact I learnt from the trip : if you ever lost signal all you should do is change your internet service to 2G
When we reached the base village, There was 2 full buses of people, 109 to be exact, who were to trek with us, so we decided to start quickly.
The Trek Begins
I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful the neon grass was and how was the perfect getaway from the everyday monotony.
At certain times on the trek, I laid down to embrace the rain. After that, I got up and started trekking.
Now 3/4 part of the trek was done, and it started getting steeper and steeper and very slippery.
Stories you hear
I asked Nimish and Bhoomika how they met and he said that he had first encountered her on an app called ‘letters’. They only had met a couple of times after that and now they were taking a trek together. Crazy, isn’t it?
The cliche deep conversations we had
We were sitting at the edge with our feet hanging down over the beautiful neon green valley with the river flowing through it and spoke about life
Motivated two young girls to reach the peach
On the way to the top I met these two girls called Nidhi and Prescilla who looked quite tired but very determined. I smiled at Nidhi while she sat down to take a break, and told her that I had met a couple descending, and I eagerly asked them about the view from the top. They said they didn’t make it, as it was steep and very slippery. They looked quite dejected.
Determined not to feel that way, I told Nidhi that we had to do this as this couldn’t be one of our life regrets. She laughed and agreed, and I continued talking to her about how I had planned Mahuli 4 months in advance and never did the trek because I thought I couldn’t, but there I was, promising a stranger that I would meet her at the top.
I moved on further and the climb just became tougher, as we had to climb over huge rocks and up 90-degree ladders.
When we finally made it to the top, I touched the wall and had a little tear in my eye, because had I conquered my fear of heights and tough treks.Me
I was truly unstoppable and highly motivated. We finally reached the plateau and lay down in the clouds. It felt truly amazing to have done something so incredible. We completed the 4 hour trek in 3 hours which made us feel absolutely elated.
Leaving any place is sad. We stood in line to climb back down the ladder.
When it got tough, I slid down the rocks, in a safe-ish way.
I was descending with my friends but then again I lost them, though that was always the best part. Losing them, in a good way, motivated me talk to other people.
People I met along the way : 2 Older Men
The 2 older men who spoke to me in fluent Marathi, and though I couldn’t understand anything, I nodded and smiled. Once they had completed their story, however, I told them I hadn’t really followed what they said, but could communicate in Hindi if they wished. They laughed and told me that they were speaking in Gujarati so I laughed along but then quickly picked up pace and walked away, feeling quite embarrassed.
On the way down, I started slipping cause it was pouring very very heavily and I was soaked through, when this sweet boy smiled and told me to be careful. I smiled back and started walking much more carefully. I could make out that he was stalling, he seemed keen to talk. I decided to make the first move. I told him that my shoes had lost their grip and that was probably the reason why I was slipping.
The Gujju Clan
He informed me that their tour group consisted completely of Gujju’s and they were of the Kutch caste. They were the main people who sponsored these trips.
By this time, I felt like being more adventurous so we decided to go on the steep rocks, where I started to slide but couldn’t stop myself in time and I fell on a rock and bruised my leg real bad.
Re-encountering the Gujjus
We continued the trek in silence now, and it was wonderful. This time, when again I was left behind and sat down for a break, I ran into the familiar men who immediately and smilingly recognized me as the “no Marathi girl”. I laughed and agreed, and they asked me how the trek had been. I told them it was amazing and that I was really tired cause I hadn’t eaten anything since morning, and when they heard that, they immediately stopped and started removing boxes
Kindness of Strangers
and lots of rolled silver foils, filled with food. I was so touched. He told me that they contained thepla , pickle, & rotis. I was so happy, and by this time, my friends caught up very conveniently and sat and ate with me. As we parted with the 2 men, and I asked them when or how I could return the box, but they told me to keep it. I smiled and said that I probably would, as it held a lot of memories.
Missed the train
After eating the most delicious lunch we made our way back. This meant that we, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to M-dawg, and we were quite sad since we were all together till the end. We got to the station and missed the train by 10 minutes. However, luckily, the frequency of the trains was quite good, so we caught the next train headed for home.
P.s- I bought a shady looking ear-cleaning device in the train which only caught my attention when it lit up and I couldn’t resist. (Tehee)