The road was narrow. On one side were the steep hills and a deep valley on the other side. Our car moved slowly up the slope. I went click, click, click, like some curious tourist, clicking the pictures of trees, stones and leaves. Most of my pictures will be deleted ofcourse, but thats the advantage of having digital camera. As we neared our next site, I adjusted the setting of my camera to get different look. What setting I should set for our next site? Portrait? Landscape? I had read about Shivneri fort and was curious to visit it. It seemed like an important historical place to visit. This is the place where the great Maratha warrior Shri Shivaji Maharaj was born.
Shahaji, the father of Shivaji Maharaj,a general in Adil Sha of Bijapur sultanate put pregnant Jijibai for her security in Shivneri.Shivneri is a hill fortress with steep rocks in the mountain ranges of Sahyadri.
As we neared the historical site, we were in for a surprise. Such an important tourist spot and there was too much commotion. The honking is the next most famous passtime of our drivers in India. if the FM radio is not working due to poor reception in their vehicle, you will hear them honking for some music. a person with musical ear might rubbish this honking as irksome noise. But for un-musical person, there was a reason. There was no parking space, not enough space to drive through the road to reach the steps! All I saw was traffic jam.
Big huge tourist buses, scrambling for space with different sized cars, trying to reverse in small space to escape the mayhem, little wonder that the expert drivers were not plunged down the deep valley to give me some extra-ordinary shots..
My friends complained about the 700 crores rotting in Swiss banks when they could be easily used to beautify the tourist spots and create jobs for low income groups.
"Are not the authorities in the higher place aware that there are thousands of tourists who would be interested in visiting such historical places." grumbled my friend, "The least the government could do was to build a proper infrastructure to make the people’s life easier and pleasant."
There was open space one kilometer away from the actual site and those who braved to climb up the fort to appreciate the site had to walk a mile in the hot sun to board the comfortable vehicle which was parked so faraway.
Had I climbed up the fort I would have seen the museum and also a Badami Talav, my friends went up there and came back panting, sweating and grumpily shared their experience with us.
I was not that brave to climb those steep and high rocks they called steps. I am a delicate darling and only pure comfort will suffice. I chose to wait in the vehicle, rather than climb up the fort and then walk back one kilometer in hot sun. I shut myself from this commotion by switching on my smart phone and entering the virtual world, reading the comments of my friends on twitter and facebook. The face-to-face interaction in the real world is diminishing nowadays and online virtual friends walk into my mind to scream their rants. When I woke back to the real world surrounding me, I sat listening to the endless rants of my friends who complained non stop about our inefficient system of government and their insensitivity towards common man’s comfort.
I could not solve their woes and I am sure nobody will.
It happens only in India