Armed with an array of music on an ipod borrowed from the father-in-law, resting on the direction powers of google maps, with just the two of us for company, we drove.
Unlike in a romantic movie, we drove straight into traffic.
It seemed like an exodus of sorts, for there were that many cars on the road. All intent on getting out of town. Hundreds of Tata Sumos, Taveras and the like, each with half a village packed in, and all their belongings packed on the roof ! Suitcases. Pots. Bags. Chairs. Cycles. Rice bags. We suspect that there were cows and buffallos up there too, that we didn’t see! Enough, in my opinion to last a travel to Jupiter and back !
It was quite like a Hollywood movie with aliens attacking the city and everybody moving out of town !
We then hit pristine highways. National highways that at some points could be well termed as notional highways. And state highways in such a state of disrepair, that it must be blamed on some other state ! By and large (make that LARGE), the roads were inviting with undulations and scenery that we only get to see in big budget movies!
But the drive was worth it ! The Konkan coast is beautiful!
We drove through hills and beaches. Through small towns and smaller hamlets. Chatted up with fisher folk, caught up with cow herds, asked directions from kids playing by the roadside and their burqa clad moms. All of whom responded with so much precision, kindness and care that it was an education in manners for us. And it was coming for free !!
The waves seem to dance in unbelievable style and synchrony, leaving patterns on the sand that would make designer salivate ! We saw off the sun. We walked as far as the eye could see. Stopping by streams and drinking off roadside taps! We zipped by elegant simple village dwellings that made some of the city high rises appear as straight out of ‘Architecture for dummies’ !
We stopped by long forgotten bridges, only to be looked at by the villagers as through we were from the Public Works Department ! All that remained was them handing over a petition to us !
Ofcourse, we saw the Ganpati festival in small village homes, where they were more than glad to have us ! Unspoilt, homely and simply nice ! Devoid of Salman Khan songs and Rakhi Sawant gyrations that adorn the Mumbai Ganpati mandals ! Ramzan in village surroundings was so much more simpler, quieter yet so much more splendid !
There are hundreds pictures. Some of it will make it to the blog here! And stories ofcourse ! Stories of a 5000 year old temple. A 5 Km long clean beach with less than 5 couples on it ! Stories of gold and treasure chests told in hushed tones with elaborate hand movements that made us wonder if we were state guests !
Bear with me people ! As I share the excitement ! Look out for blog posts not only on all of the above, but also on mentally stimulating topics like ‘how to endure a traffic jam’ !
Actually, I was in two minds about writing about the ‘serene’ experience. Not wanting to give the place any more publicity than they have now! Wondering if the writing would fuel more people visiting the place and spoil the tranquil.
The missus, inbetween cups of coffee chipped in, ‘Remember, people read your blog out of politeness. Don’t mistake it for following’ !
That sealed it. People, you will hear from me !