After a hectic and long office hours and chaotic life of city (a Friday evening coffee added bit of relief though) it was obvious that we were search for a weekend gateway. And Mahabaleshwar is the most ideal candidate for the post of quick outing for us Puneites. Deep, Soumitra and Chaitanya were the mates this time. Though Deep was looking for other partner with car to run away from the driving, to his dismay we didn't spare him. Obviously he had to drive to Mahabaleshwar.
Everyone in us had a different agenda in mind. Chaitanya wanted to get away with the camera during weekends but not a flower shoot. Deep wanted to do a para-sailing in Harrison Folly of Panchgani. Soumitra wanted to do some good photography stuff. And me everything of that plus wanted to take revenge of Soumitra's boring torturing chats during the weekdays (preferably send him rolling down the valley with the help of Deep).
As usual picked up Soumitra from his home and reached at Deep's planet at 5:30am. And what a fantastic morning it was. Leaving home early always proves to be utility, not only as to get beautiful photo shots but also avoids the traffic hassles on the highway. The drive on NH4 is always smooth as usual with the sun rising from left horizon. Soumitra started off his sessions early morning. Taking a tea break at Surur (Mahabaleshwar diversion of NH4) we headed to Harrison Folly where Deep had his dreams of para sailing. But no one was present there. Near Panchgani we called one number noted from the roadside hoarding and waked him up at 7:00am. He obviously refused to come telling us that it will start at 9:30am. His other partner, to whom we called later from the same hoarding seemed serious about his flying business and at least came to the site with us and then looking at the wind direction indicators said wind direction is not appropriate and expressed inability to fly. He also added that if we wanted to fly had to wait till 4pm and assured us that as soon as condition gets better he would call us. Now it was almost 99% sure that para sailing is not going to happen. Everyone in us was trying to push this trip "credits" to each other like "pass the ball" game. The para sailing plan went in total disappointment.
We had no option other than roaming in Mahabaleshwar area and return to Pune. Even Mapro garden wasn't open with their restaurants and we had to retract our grilled sandwich aspirations for the breakfast. We reached in Mahabaleshwar and decided for Old Mahabaleshwar (Kshetra-Mahabaleshwar). On the way we stopped at the local sub-standard (so called) restaurant. The worst bun-omelet had no beat anywhere in the world. The kawwali audio played there was worse than the omlete. First time we heard kavvali with the words "Jaldi se ***pur ka ticket dilava do, kahi gaadi na chhoot jaaye...". The backyard garden nursery provided few macro shots though. After the darshan at Panchganga temple and AtiBaleshwar temple we went to see the ancient Krishnabai temple hidden in the jungle. Despite of being such a beautiful stone carved temple there were absolutely no visitors. This provided us a good opportunity for photos and we went to see the Arthur seat point. This point was a typical tourist spot of with a chaotic crowd of the city from which were running away and been to visiting unusual weekend gateways. No wonders we returned back very early from this place. After a awaited grilled sandwich break we returned to Pune and decided not to have such a trip once again in future. And if its Mahabaleshwar at least we won't carry our cameras.
On the return Soumitra Baba provided some entertainment with his world class english pronunciations like "stoberry" (not strawberry) and contruction (instead of construction). His explanantion to this was "सगळे मी साजूक तुपातलेच बोललो तर तुम्हाला भेळ आणि पाणीपुरीचा आनंद कसा मिळणार...?"
That night I was planning for a pilot shoot of the star trails to check whether I can do it or not. This was mainly to avoid the the disappointment, if in case, our star final trail trip fails. Borrowed a shutter release cable from Deep and to my surprise the pilot was successful. Now the only agenda for the next week is to get Shutter Release cable Cable for myself.
Next day, Sunday, was a bag design session at MG Road Barista and Deep/Soumitra came up with few fantastic ideas incorporating my few. Very soon Deep'll finalize the design. The meeting ended with the "Vada-Paav" and Chicken Shorba (which we didn't have).
The contribution to the P@P dictionary from this weekend was these two phrases:
Para Sailing होना and Chicken Shorba होना.
The next weekend's plan is to be fixed for the star trails shoot. Any interested members please reply as comments in this blog.
Photo courtesies of this blogs are Chaitanya and Soumitra.