Note: This post was written about a year ago and just transferred here.
I am very fond of traveling and exploring new places specially those close to mother nature. But ever since I’ve got my SLR, its been my bad luck that many a times, a few things doesn’t turn the way to make a way for a trip to some place where I can enhance my photography skills a bit. Finally my urge was fulfilled last weekend and I was invited by one of my colleagues, Pritesh, to come with him for some serious photography along with two others, Gayatri and Saurabh, of which Saurabh backed out because of some personal reasons. The best day to go was Saturday obviously but due to some prior commitments, the plan was postponed and we three settled for Sunday. On Saturday noon, I got a call from one of my college friend, Pathak, that he, along with a friend of him, will be reaching Pune in the evening. They arrived and as we had met after a long gap of more than a year, we chatted and chatted and chatted till 2 in the night. After that I asked them to have some sleep as they have to leave for Mahabaleshwar the next day, together with some other friends. Oh sorry! the date was changed till then, so correcting myself, they have to leave for Mahabaleshwar in the morning. I was also invited to join them but I was in no mood to change my mind and miss my maiden photography extravaganza. After they slipped into their beds, I was left with two choices. The first one was to remain awake for another 2-3 hours and start the journey straightaway. Another was to catch a wink with the hope that I’ll surely get up after that. They say time is money so without wasting a single penny, I chose the former, because waking up after a sleep of 2 hours has lesser probability than India winning a football world cup. The plan was to reach the Pune Railway Station before the sun at 5:30, so that we can board the train at 6:05. Pritesh has reminded us of the schedule a day before by calling us, and that too in strict words. However as I’ve expected, he was the last one to appear at station. Though he clarified for being late, but I checked and confirmed that those words don’t changed the fact. However despite of his efforts and the train from Indian Railway being on time (surprisingly!!!), we managed to catch the train and that too not in a ‘Jab We Met’ manner. Usually one cannot get a seat in a train plying between Pune and Mumbai, unless (s)he has a reservation and we three, being just another common human beings, faced nothing different. So we grabbed one entrance of the coach so that we can atleast enjoy the relatively moving nature scenes. The train ride ended after about one hour and there we were, at Khandala Railway Station. We roamed, explored and remained real close to nature for more than 4 hours. It was soul refreshing experience and also triggered a wish to stay there for more time. But few things were going against this will of heart. The eyes, stomach and several other parts were beating a hasty retreat to get back home soon. The heart fought for sometime but finally surrendered to them and we had to start with the end of the this excursion. Back at Khandala Railway Station, we were thinking that now the rebel parts were happy and they will not be facing any more torments. But we were wrong and the most cruel situation was yet to come. The station was deserted and quiet and later on we realized that it was the calm before the storm. We get into the train, and true to our expectations, didn’t get any seat. However that was not the storm. The real torture was a act by a group of students, which they were calling as Antakshri. Antakshri – the favorite time pass of people while traveling, provided there must be some females of age group 15 – 25, along with some boys drooling over them. Here all the requirements were meeting to start it but what they were doing was nothing close to Antakshri. They seem to be the best people in this world to learn how any damn song can be the worst song you have ever listened. We were just wondering on each song that how such a nice song can be sung in such a pathetic way. This mental trauma ended with the journey only and all our organs took a sigh of relief as we were back in Pune. But our ears, brains and to an extent our hearts were happy because they were the only ones suffering from the so called Antakshri also. On reaching home I realized that I have not blessed my body with a sleep for last 31 hours. So I decided to grant, my completely tired and exhausted body, a hyper sound sleep. I slept for 16 hours with a break of 2 hours in between and when I wake up…alas!!! Its the deMONDAY again!!!
PS: The next post will be about our close encounter with death on this excursion.