We were woken up by Aapa at 5.30 am. As I looked up from the mattress, I didn’t want to move myself out of it.. What a pity that we had to get up and get going..
We had a good 5 hours journey to get back to the city and then back to the humdrum.
Now I really understood why Vinay was insistent on us driving that night itself to his place. To wake up early morning and just sit there and gaze, to watch the skies, hear those voices, soak in that vastness..
It was still dark but with the openness we could slowly see the wilderness waking up to a new day. It was still raining.. Rain is so different in different places under different circumstances, isn’t it?
Aapa fed the dogs their breakfast and we would drop him off near his house on the way back. This time we took precise directions from village to village so we wouldn’t get lost. I am telling you, you would want to be lost in a place like this and not be found..
We freshened up over some Chai and got ready to get out.. I kept on looking back and slowly walking once we started off.. That space was so surreal and timeless.. A beautiful escape from what we think is ‘our life’…
It was raining hard and finally we reached the car point..Trudging through mud, stones water and the rain this time seemed therapeutic.. We were looking around, at the vastness of this lush green landscape with the Sahyadris enveloped in this enigmatic clouds above and beyond and I gave a big Sigh.. So soon this is ending? My sojourn?
I knew I still had a day and night left and I would meet some awesome friends later in the day but how could one want to leave this?
We dropped Aapa near his house as he pointed it out to us. A beautiful rustic home on top of a hill and the his field nearby. I knew it was not a bed of roses for him but still human wants makes for more misery and less want meant less misery and being here to me meant that. To be able to breathe freely…
Babubhai drove through villages, roads, the fog and all I could do is gaze in silence. We were silent and lost in our thoughts for some time. These were precious moments before noise came back in our lives as usual.
Babubhai stopped at Lonavala since he and Pankaj wanted to show me a viewpoint. It was early and raining so there was no one. I looked at that breathtaking sight of those mountains, clouds and waterfalls.
Then Babubhai pointed out those mini waterfalls and rough paths sloping on the mountain and said, See? You see those waterfalls, vertically? and those paths? That’s exactly how we trekked on Saturday! I was like that’s Scary! very Scary! He smiled and said well, we did it, didn’t we? 🙂
Finally we got to Babubhai’s place, had delicious Kutchi snacks and Chai and it was time to get back to Pankaj’s house.
My friend had to get to work while I had a lunch with another friend. This was one thing I was looking forward to in the city, meeting friends and even though I wanted to squeeze in another meet up with a good friend of mine Sid, it became virtually impossible that day.
We could reach the house only at 2 pm and freshen up fast and rush out and in the evening I would stay over with a friend in Bandra, to the other side of the city.
As I and Pankaj got into a taxi and were crossing Marine Drive, we saw the sea.. Heavy rains and couples and friends under one umbrella looking at it with the waves sometimes lashing, getting them soaked wet and they were enjoying it all.
Pankaj said it’s so beautiful to walk on Marine Drive during the rains, you feel cleansed inside out when the waves hitting the rocks splashes you.. Yes how could one leave a city like this..
I dropped Pankaj near his office and went to Leopold.For those ignoramuses, Leopold is an institution. I love that place truly no matter what anyone says about it. I first walked in 2008 when my partner Srini showed it as part of our Cafe Research and no matter how it must have changed, I have a long life love towards it.
It was only perfect that I meet my friend there. Before I go any further, let me say a little bit about him.
We met through Facebook, yup and no judging here! I still have no clue how we became friends on social network because we didn’t have one mutual friend. But yes what we shared through each other’s posts was a mutual love and hatred towards certain stuff.
Love towards good Rock Music and yup hatred towards current shit they called music and anything remotely stupid, idiotic, narrow minded thoughts or perspectives.
He was a Lead Guitarist with a Hard Rock Band and seriously one of the coolest dudes with a killer sense of humor to boot. And even though I knew quite a number of people I could meet in Bombay, I wanted to meet people I REALLY wanted to.
No formalities, none for the sake of it, nothing. It was that simple for me. Yup when one gets older, all that bullshit goes away 🙂
I walked into Leopold, took a sigh, took a deep breath and thought OK, I know you are missing that wilderness, that silence but life is a balance and you have two amazing people you are going to spend time with on your last night in Bombay.
K called me and said he was parking and he would be there soon. I waited at the table and in a few minutes the dude walked in with this big smile and I knew I had an amazing lunch to look forward to 🙂