Without women, this world wuld be a boring place
When I got an invitation from ‘Lavasa Women’s Drive organized by Lavasa in collaboration with the Times of India’ to celebrate the spirit of modern woman, telling me that my opinion counts, that people care to read what I write, and that there is someone out there listening to me, many random thoughts flooded my mind quizzing my position in cyber arena. I was elated with a false sense of pride for this achievement, thinking that I was filtered out from million of bloggers for some unique reason unknown to me and I happily debated with a bloated mind….thinking.. .. I am a strong woman, I am good blogger, I occupy the popular position in the social world, my writing has weight, bla, bla, bla....duh!.... My ego was in the fourth gear, speeding shamelessly. I wanted to share this news with all the people I knew. I was bragging near everyone who cared to listen, till I discovered the real reason behind this event and the seriousness of this ‘Social Cause’
This event was not about me or my ability to write......
‘Lavasa Women’s drive’ was about the creating awareness for early detection of breast cancer in women….
A message with responsibility……
“OVERTAKE BREAST CANCER”
I was bribed into this event with the perks to cover this event as chroniclers of Lavasa Women’s Drive. (Which I could easily have blogged for free,) since this is the ‘social cause’ very close to my heart, having lost my 3 aunts in a row and missing them terribly even now. But this bribe was no ordinary one. Besides giving me an opportunity to get free screening for Breast, Cervical and Oral cancers at Tata Memorial Hospital, it would also allow me to enjoy the new city called ‘Lavasa’ free of cost. (a place that I was planning to visit since a long time, and had neatly tucked aside twenty grand for this purpose).
I realized that I had a responsibility of posting my message across that screamed loud and clear that ‘Cancer is curable if detected early’. It was an event to help promote women empowerment.
So, on 27th February 2011, when I reached the venue.....
I discovered that there were very large crowd of women who, like me, cared.
I woke up early at 5:30am (which is quite rare) to be at Bandra reclamation grounds that was bustling with positive energies. There were 350 cars participating in the Rally from Mumbai and (I was told) 150 more from Pune. Every car had a message to share.
It was all about saving the girl child and promoting women empowerment.
Comfortably, we drove for 5 hours, in a specious Inova, following the participating cars, cheering the women drivers and their girl-co-passengers on route whenever we overtook their vehicle (they had a map and certain rules to follow. Later, eavesdropping at the promenade, I heard one woman speak about her fright at speeding at 140) We drove through express highway, some 211 kilometers, via Lonavala, Hinjewadi, Pirangut, driving up through western Ghats, behind the majestic Sahyadri Mountains, along the contours of the Warasgoan Lake to reach a complete new world, a planned city of Lavasa, a city with an European crown.
Once there, the atmosphere was emotive.
Women, women, everywhere.
A carnival of music and dance.
Many of the women enjoyed one day carnival and headed back home but me and five other bloggers (two bloggers went back the same day) along with the members of windchimers, discovered the blogging world as we exchanging our stories of the virtual world in the luxurious service apartments where we spend the night as room-mates. Twenty fours hours ago, we were strangers but forty eight hours later, we were blogger buddies who had exchanged stories worth more than thousands of words.......
On the first day, we walked down the promenade, meeting participants and asking about their experiences
All the women were having fun, dancing and singing.......
And bloggers were communicating in their tweeting world. The virtual world were kept abreast with all the events and happening by live tweets of @shaaqT, @anushankaran, @ideasmithy, @monikamanchanda @kiranmanral and @Cemonde
When they were not tweeting, the enthusiastic bloggers would go yakkiti yakkiti yak yak, making interesting comments, sharing their views of their blogging world, it was the best time ever for me. Thank you girls….you were sooooo very adorable.
Although there was much to see, our one-day-stay limited our tourism. We did drive up to Ekkant retreat which allowed me to commute with nature and we visited a bamboo factory called Bamboosa where I purchased a hand crafted walking stick. But apart from that, we just walked up and down the Dasve town, discovering the European architecture and the scenic natural waterfront. (I was told that there is Nature Trail, Christel House, Xthrill, Boating, plant Nursery, convention hall, and adventure tourism which offer camping grounds, rock-climbing, para-surfing, and other water related sports like jet skis, catamarans, motor and peddle boats, fishing and pool volleyballs.
The city was clean and refreshing, steps and potted plants everywhere, with hundred of steps to climb up and down the hills but unfortunately there were no railings anywhere, (I think they forgot that senior citizens and handicaps need support during climbing up/down the stairs) Being hilly city and easily accessible by road, many would also like to cycle around but there were no lanes for cycling, all the paths lining the driveway were filled with flora and fauna (which looked pretty, no doubt about that) but a thought for a lane for mountain bikers would be appreciated (anybody listening?)
And surprisingly, being an Indian town, there were no beggars! Strange!! But that must be because there were no traffic signals. Not as yet! Hahaa!
It is hard to believe that it’s an Indian city, easily accessible to every Indian, with no visa requirement. All one needs is just a desire to stay with the nature, away from the maddening crowd and screeching horns of busy streets.
Just few hours away by road from Mumbai,
A city of dreams where there is sound of music in the air...
I am motivated to go once again.
Maybe I will,
if travel bug bites……..under my tapping feet.
Co-bloggers who also travelled with me and then blogged
Anuradha one more and more
Nisha, one more
Idea Smith, one more