Saturday, October 5, 2019

Stories on Wheels- Kumbalgarh

There’s a lot that happens before the moon shows up above the hills. The orange hue is dimmed, the colorful sky rests to the darkness, the birds give out their evening calls, then the night would be called in for. 

Shankar, Aman, Azhar, and I began our evening walk near Azhar's place. Too pleasant to hurry, too lazy to get out of the township, we didn't want to get out. However, we went out to fill our craving tummies. 

“In normal times, it takes at least half an hour to receive your order,” says the food joint guy explaining the popularity of the food joint. 30 people or 3 people, he took the same time to give us our order. Over the conversations and stories, we called it a day to begin a new journey on a new day. 

There’s a lot that happens even before the Sun arrives. The orange hue is thickening. The moon stands high in the sky, hung amidst the cloudless skies. The hills are rising through their silhouettes, the darkness has painted. 

We began our journey towards Kumbalgarh. Before the sunrise, we were enchanted by the moon, that stood above the passing trees, concrete buildings, and high mountains. Thirty-minute drive onto the highway, at a far distance we were welcomed by the sunrise. 

Cruising trucks, Heavy chilled wind. Warming our hearts and the earth, the Sun rose up above the hills, making the drive more beautiful.

60 KM drive, a few breaks here and there, Shankar was inquisitive of the water stream, that’s flowing along the road. The water stream reminded him of the elusive waterfalls that he failed to visit in the span of three years. “Where’s the Tilkeshwar waterfalls?” we asked. 

“5 Km ahead and 20 KM drive into hills, you’ll find the falls,” suggested the villagers. 

Change in the plan and change in the course of the trip, we took a road for waterfalls. Wavy roads, lush green grass meadows, we enjoyed riding above the hills. The pleasant morning Sun was kind to us. We enjoyed our ride, halting at water streams, Sitaphal trees, and everywhere to take a moment, breathe in and enjoy the place. 

 We climbed down a hill to check out the attractive water stream. We went in and began our photo spree. At the same time, Gulab along with her Bhabi walked in for a bath at the water streams. It seems to be a usual routine for the 10-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl to take the bath in water streams. The girl waited for the strangers (us) to leave. Trenched by the trees and plants, a few rocks at place brought in the force for water to tumble down. A place worth living for. A swim at this place is a daily routine for these kind people. Deprived of nature and holed up in urban fuss, we were grateful to spend some time in nature and take those little pleasures. 

We continued the ride and trekked for the falls. Trees stood tall, in their own graceful shape. A walk over a few pebbles, stones and big boulders, we were at the water falls. 

Nature is not all warmth, soft, and pleasant. It’s also wild, rough that can gobble us up in a trice. We went till the place where we could go. A further step, that could be the ticket pass to take our last breath. We enjoyed the view we got. Jealous of monkeys, that can jump all over the places, we leisured over the rocks and ate the junk food we got from our homes. While monkeys were gorging on the fruits from the trees on high mountains, we were eating chips and biscuits from our plastic wrappers. Who are privileged? I thought. 

Later, I lied on the rocks and under the tree shade, I took a nap. The rustling of leaves, trickling water, I closed my eyes, experiencing the environment. Azhar found his place reading a book for a while. Shankar, a swimming newbie got excited about water and played in water for a while. Aman managed to trek to the temple. Went halfway and returned. “It’s risky” he mentioned. I was comfortable with water, trees, rocks. No interest to visit the cut-rock. 

While Shankar was playing in the water, Azhar and I observed the crab that climbed the rock where water was flowing in force. The crab climbed against the water stream. Slow and steady, it climbed. The more we observe, the more we appreciated little acts, little things, the moment of ‘being.' How much more is happening in this nature?. I wish I learn to be appreciative of the world a bit. 

Every few kilometers, I observed the kids playing on the roads. One climbed the tree, another sat at the trunk. One ran along the road, the other demanded us a ten-rupee note, “Dus rupiya de,” the kid shouted. 

One kid carried the water, others carried the fruits. They were going on with their life. Observing their daily routines, I found them being in their zen mode. They were there, present, doing what they were doing, unlike how we were distracted. Managing to see nature through screens and filters to share but, not to experience. 

On the hills, there was this kid who had this toy made out of three tiny wheels, three wooden sticks. Creative kid, I say. He made a cart for himself to slide through the tar road. We stopped and I requested to try it out. 

Happy teen offered me the ride but, the little toy couldn’t bear my weight. I moved a few inches, fumbled to slide down but, I had fun during the little distance I covered over the road. 

It reminded me of the slides, I played in my childhood. Never, have I ever expected that I would slide on the road, like the way, I used to slide as a child. Thanks, mate for the experience. 

“80km away from our destination, can we reach before 5?” I asked. Before we realized the time, we spent the whole afternoon at the falls. We hurried to our destination. 

Shankar and I sang throughout the journey. “You sing in Telugu, I’ll sing in Hindi,” suggested Shankar. Leaving the over-dependence on youtube and music players, we sang our hearts out. Unconscious of what others think, we were singing out loud and surprised all the people who listened to us for a second. In another second, we moved ahead, surprising the audience who sat ahead.  5 songs, different words, different pitches, a few more hours, we reached our destination. Lal Bagh Resorts. 

Resorts reminded me of my college memories. All the outings with Bala, Elli, Vikas, Sachin, Faddy, Shaik, Sathwik, Sam, Ding, Raul, Kiddo. What did we do during the college days?. We were making memories. 

Recollecting all the college memories, Azhar, Shankar, Aman, and I was looking forward to enjoying and creating memories. 

Sudden decisions and adventures make trips awesome and interesting. Garima and Swathi, Mainly Azhar's and Shankar’s friends were on their Kumbalgarh trip and were staying in the same resort. Coincidence! how often do we run into our colleagues on a holiday? 

Swathi and Garima were cool pals to have. I enjoyed meeting them. 

Swathi is sweet and shares stories with calmness while Garima brings in the energy, sharing stories with hearty laughs. 

Amidst the moonlit night, we hung out at the poolside, sharing our stories and what ticks us. Conversations never stopped. Thanks to the poor network area, we were hardly distracted and disturbed by our phones. 

It’s the people as well as the vibes. We enjoyed the night filled with conversations and songs. While Aman sang the soothing melodies, Swathi was making sure to bring in the best dinner for us. Shankar was still learning to swim. Azhar was trying to capture the moon as it was without polluted light. 

What was Garima doing? Garima was appreciating all the acts done by everyone by her one-liners. 

Thanks to Swathi, the resort guys presented the best dinner, they could ever make. Under the stars, scolding Shankar for the wild decision to sit in open space for dinner, we had our Dal, Chawal, and Roti. 

Thanks to the dinner, we were back in full swing, gathering to talk and share our stories with full energy. A walk on the deserted road, at the resorts, we retired at the swing and had fun over the drinks. 

Drinks didn’t last for a long time however, the talks went on. Appreciating each other’s lives and sharing what matters to us, we went on talking. The clock struck 2.30 AM, not thought about sleep. 

Around 3am, We all returned to our rooms. Swathi stayed all night without sleep. “Waking up before 11 is a sin,” shouted Garima and retired in her room, only to wake up at 6’O clock in the morning. Azhar tucked himself in a towel, so did Aman, and waited for the Sun to rise. 

A new day. A new beginning. So were the stories. All new. 


Thank you for reading.

Thoughts- Trust

Delving in the question of what it takes to trust others, I discovered that through trust, we evolve in our lives. Sometimes it's easy t...