Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mahabaleshwar New Year III

This is the last installment of my Mahabaleshwar Odyssey, which had taken place about 3 months ago! Talk about promptness!! I have not been blogging regularly this year, unfortunately. It’s all got to do with working, not having Internet connection at home, and of course, plain laziness on my part!! After this blog, my next few blogs are going to be about my favourite Hindi phillumi songs of 2006. And I’m gonna try to keep those blogs coming in regularly! :D

Ok, in my last post, I’d spoken about Day 2 in Mahabaleshwar. Now I’m going to talk about Day 3, i.e. 31st December, New Year’s Eve. On this day we went to a lot of ‘points’ around Mahabaleshwar. The first one that we went to was Echo Point.

We saw some really beautiful views of the lake and the green, rolling hills.

P and J had a rollicking time screaming out our names and various other names making all of us collapse with laughter. We were acting like a bunch of teenagers! Heehee!

A five-minute walk away from Echo Point was Elephant Head, a bolder in the shape of, what else, an elephant’s head! :D It was quite an interesting sight!
Next we visited a Strawberry farm, where an enthusiastic kid explained the finer points of strawberry farming to us.
We had some delicious strawberry and cream there. We had had strawberry and cream every single day there. It was quite addictive!
We then made our way to
Lodwick’s Point. An avenue of over hanging trees covered the road leading to it. I thought that it looked beautiful, something out of a Gothic romance novel! :) I’m just sad that I did not take a picture of this tree-lined avenue. I’m sure it is one of the scariest looking places at night!
Anyway, we arrived at what we thought was Lodwick’s point, but our surly driver informed us that we had to walk a small distance to actually get to this point. So we started walking, and were in good spirits, and I was quite happy to see that a tree-lined avenue also covered this path.
But soon, our happiness turned into misery, when even after walking for about 20 minutes, uphill, Lodwick’s point was nowhere in sight. Says a lot about our level of physical fitness! But anyway, we huffed and puffed our way up, and by the time we reached there, I had some very colorful terms for it!
We decided that making us walk so much was some sort of revenge on the part of our driver, who didn’t seem to like us much, and was always in a hurry to get rid of us! Talk about conspiracy theories! Heehee!
At Lodwick’s point we found this ledge sticking out into the valley below, and took turns climbing up and posing for the camera.
With Lodwick’s point, our Mahabaleshwar darshan came to an end. We then had our lunch and retired to our rooms, anticipating a fun night ahead!
Oh yeah! We got hold of this taxi driver in the market who promised to pick us up at our guesthouse, and to drop us back too. So we were quite pleased with ourselves!
At around 5.00 PM, the lights went out. So N and I just lay on the bed and chatted about this and that. When the lights didn’t come on till 7.00 PM, I began to worry a bit, as the driver said that he would pick us up by 8.30, and it does take me a while to get dressed! Turns out that it takes N quite a while to get dressed too! :D Well, the lights came on at 7.30 or so and N and I tried to get dressed as fast as we could manage!
Our taxi came to pick us up by 9.00 I think. We were all quite excited and raring to go and party! When we reached Hotel Fredrick we confirmed with the driver that he would come to pick us up when we called him (we had his cell phone number with us). To our horror he stated that he would come only if he woke up, as he planned on going to bed by 11.00 PM or so. We were a bit mad at him, but decided to go and enjoy anyway.
So we made our way down to the lawn where the party was being held. We sat around for a while, listening to the music.
We then left our handbags with a family sitting around a fire and went off to the dance floor to boogie! We sure did have a blast dancing to songs ranging from “Dil Mein Baji Guitar” to “Hips Don’t Lie”. At about 11.00-11.30 we began to feel hungry, and went in search of the snacks, which we had been promised would be inclusive of the tickets that we had bought. Well, guess what? All the snacks were over! All that was available was ice-cold cashew nuts and cold drinks. So we bought a plate of cashew nuts and bottles of Mirinda and sat down to eat our ‘dinner’. At quarter to 12 we once again made our way to the dance floor and swayed somewhat to the music, our spirits slightly dampened. At mid night we saw a wonderful display of rockets and hugged each other and screamed “Happy New Year!!” at each other! We danced a bit more energetically now, getting into the whole “New Year” mode again.
But after a while we decided to call the taxi driver, but he did not pick up his cell phone. We wondered what to do, and made our way to the gates of the hotel. Ms. Matron had told us earlier that there would be taxis waiting outside the gate, but we saw none. We did see a middle-aged couple leaving the party at that moment. We ran behind them, P shouting, “Uncle! Aunty!” When they turned around we asked them if we could walk back with them to their hotel. They agreed and we heaved a sign of relief! On our way we came across a lot of guys zooming around in cars and on bikes. One guy drove his bike quite close to where P and I were walking, and his buddy who was riding pillion made a grab at P, but as I was walking right behind her, I pulled her away. Some men can be just so disgusting at times! But that’s a rant for another blog…
Anyway, we reached Hotel Rajesh where the middle-aged couple was staying (J hobbling the whole way because her shoe strap had broken!), which was about 15 minutes away from our guesthouse. We were wondering how to get back and decided to stay back at Hotel Rajesh, when the man, Shaukat, offered to give us a lift to the guesthouse. We will be eternally grateful to him and his wife for driving us to the guesthouse! They were quite a delightful couple, pulling each other’s leg all the while! :)
So when we got back to the guesthouse, we decided to go to bed at once, because we were to leave the next afternoon. But we were all still quite hungry. So we got out some snacks that we had, and drank the last of the vodka and Sprite. Later on when we recalled our adventures to our friends back in Mumbai, N insisted on telling everybody what exactly we ate for dinner in painstaking detail! LOL!!
We stayed up till about 4.00 AM, just talking and laughing the whole time! I don’t even remember what we had chatted about that had made us laugh so uproariously!
The next day we got up a bit late, had our lunch and caught the bus back to Mumbai. The bus driver was some kind of an idiot! There was a traffic jam on the way, so he drove on the wrong side of the road to cut ahead. And he kept on driving on the wrong side for a few kilometers! P and I saw some openings, where the bus driver could have cut back on to the right side, but he kept on driving on the wrong side! He had to stop at last when he came across a tunnel! He then reversed all the way back till he found an opening to get on to the other side! P and I wanted to get off our seats and give him a piece of our minds!
Because of all his shenanigans (plus all the traffic jams that we encountered) we reached Mumbai late. We were all a bit sad that our adventure had come to an end. This has been the best New Year’s ever! For the first time in my life I wasn’t sitting at home with my parents, watching insipid shows on TV. And for making this the best New Year’s ever, I would like to thank my buddies, J, N and P! We sure did have a fantabulous time! :D