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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Week-end to Heaven

The alarm clock makes noise at 4 30 am and I am awake. (Yes, you read it right, I CAN get up early if I want to) this is a special day. There is a long week end ahead. 26th January is the 40th Republic day of India and this call for celebration. A celebration of a country that can survive riots, terror attacks, floods and still stand strong, a celebration of a country that has 31 states, 1618 languages, 6400 castes, and 29 festivals and I am proud to be the part of it. In the wee hours of the morning, I get ready, finishing my morning formalities and I am at my gate at 6 am. My friends arrive and we drive through the empty streets of Mumbai, watching the sunset filtering through the hills, its rays glowing on the passing cars. The best time to enjoy the ride in Mumbai city is during those early hours or on holidays. (On other days it is real madness crawling through that traffic.) At 10 30 am, we reach the ‘Doctors Farm’ which is in the village of Airvahal in Raigad district, off the Mumbai-Pune road. The path leading towards this resort is narrow and broken, guided by the directions chalked out on random stones lying on the path. For the last fifteen minutes of four hours ride, it is a bumpy path, but once inside the gate, I am in heaven. So close to the nature, the air sings the tune of birds; the cool breeze has a sweet fragrance of blooming flowers. There is a great variety of plants and flowers. I ask the owner, Dr. Mirajkar, as to ‘what plant does he have’ and he replies, telling me to ask him as to what plants he does not have. In 16 acres of land, he has planted great variety of plants and trees which give opportunity to villagers to earn a steady income. We go for nature trail, walking on an uneven rough path, I am careful, reminding me to be careful, we are tired, the slope has left us breathless, we come to the dinning hall and while we wait for lunch, we play a game of Carromboard. After lunch we come to our room which is small but cozy with clean attached bathroom, we are in no mood to sleep so we play cards during the afternoon. In the evening, after tea, we walk down 80 steps (path carved from stones) and reach the river. We spend the time catching fishes (and then releasing them back into the river) I am sure that those fishes might have a good story to tell other fishes and can finally be unafraid of mankind. We go for a boat ride; the owner’s dog enjoys the swim and gives us company while we paddle boat. There is a group of other youngsters who are now fishing for pleasure. The sky is changing colors as sun sets. As it gets dark, we climb up those big, broad steps and come to the terrace of the dinning room, and watch the stars. The waiters serve us starters which are very, very delicious. After dinner, we go to the park, where there are swings and hammocks, and slides for children. Dr. Mirajkar tells us that best time to visit his resort is during rainy season, when there are natural waterfalls behind the hotel. He has artificial waterfall, landscape and swimming pools too but the other groups of people enjoy playing cricket and darts in the well-lit open playground. The entertainment went on till 1pm, when we finally called it a day. Next morning got up to the chirping of the birds, came out of my room to see the sun rays filtering through the trees. It was time to return to hell. Want to see more picutes? go to my album on face book

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