This is the script for a radio show I did for AIR. You can also listen to the recording of this piece in my voice below.
पानी पर्यो स र र … छाना बाज्यो ग र र, मनमा उठ्यो आज मेरो आनन्दको लहर
पानी पर्यो स र र … भिजो कालिम्पोंग शहर , कालो कालो बादल चढ़ी फर्की आयो आसार …
નેપાળી ભાષાનું આ ગીત ગણગણતી Annie નામની અત્યંત બોલકી સ્ત્રી મને ગરમાગરમ ચા નો કપ આપવા આવી. બીજા માળ પરની Lee’s રેસ્ટોરેન્ટમાં બેઠો હું બારીમાંથી બહાર ધીમે ધીમે પસાર થતી સાંજને જોઈ રહ્યો હતો. ઝરમર ઝરમર વરસાદ ચાલુ હતો. નીચે રસ્તા પર એકલદોકલ જીપ પસાર થતી ત્યારે દુર સુધી ફેલાયેલા શાંતિના સરોવરમાં જાણે મૃદુ વમળ ઉઠતા અને ફરી શાંત થઇ જતા. અણધાર્યા આવી ચડેલા વરસાદથી બચવા રસ્તા પરના માણસો દુકાનોની આડશમાં છુપાઈ ગયા હતા.
Let me confess something at the outset of this blog that I am no avid trekker . For most time of the year I am stuck up in some or the other thing related to college and studies and end up not joining the Razalpat gang for most of their weekend treks. But that’s not the case evrytime. I still manage to get along for a few treks. Vishramgad was one such destination.
Vishramgad is one of those unexplored forts of Maharshtra and hence you don’t find a lot of crowd even on Sundays unlike places like Karnala & Lonavala . Also the lack of public transport to reach the fort maybe one of the reason. Also you don’t find many trekking organizations taking you there. Exceptions are obvious. Vishramgad is situated in the range of Shayadri starting from Igatpuri (also called as the Kalsubai range). Towards the western side of the range are forts like Alang,Madan and the Kalsubai Peak(the highest peak of Maharashtra). Vishramgad is on the eastern side of this range. The top of this fort is actually a vast plateau from where one can get a view of the whole region. Originally named as the Patta Fort by the Mughals, it was later named as Vishramgad by Shivaji Maharaj.
I have this belief about cities that they are giant living, breathing creatures. Each one have their unique personalities, which is determined by the collective personalities of humans living in them, their culture, their food, the architecture and what nature has gifted her. You may or may not like a city, but you can’t stay un-opinionated about it. Just how you can come to know if you like or dislike a person in a brief interaction; same goes for a city. The person you like, may or may not accept you. City also does the same. You go to a new city and offer yourself to her. It’s upto her whether to accept or reject you. When she accepts you, you can feel the connection through the favours you start receiving.
Below is the script of my radio travelogue which aired on Akashwani (All India Radio) on 14th June 2015, 18:30pm IST. Topic is Rajmachi / Monsoon trek. Here’s mobile phone recording of the show.
May પૂરો થઈને June બેઠો છે. ઉનાળો પૂરો થવાની આતુરતાથી રાહ જોવાઈ રહી છે. બુઝાતા દીવાની જ્યોત જેમ છેલ્લો છેલ્લો ઉનાળો વધુ આકરો લાગે છે. મુંબઈના એક ગુજરાતી પરામાના મારા ઘરમાં હું બારી પાસે બેઠો બેઠો ચાતકની જેમ વરસાદની રાહ જોવું છું.
“Darling, it’s just a tiny little coastal village in the interiors of Konkan. Why would someone want to go there? Like, there is no 5 star resort out there, not even a decent hotel (or “Hotel Decent” for that matter). Okay okay, agreed that the beach there might be pretty and all but what would I do there yaa? Forget about shacks or hammocks on the beach, there’s not even a Nariyal Pani wala bhaiya. And you know what? If you don’t have a car then you gotta change like 30 modes of transport to reach there. What will happen to my freshly painted toenails in filthy bus?” – Said Yuyu Kilawala, Maya Sarabhai’s distant niece.
Here’s why you must NOT ever go to Velas Continue reading
I’m a big fan of day dreaming. Although an escapist’s way, it’s a great way to stay happy and maintain your sanity.
As I’m writing the first article of 2015, a montage of exotic places is being played out in my mind. They are those places which I’ve been day-dreaming of since quite some time now and wish to go during this year.
Few of these places may seem a bit too ambitious but who cares? I’m just 24. No reason to not to dream a wild dream. Other places are rather within reach. Hence there are good chances of me (or one of the fellow “partner in crime”) going there. Which will obviously be followed by a detailed post here.
Shortlisting these 15 places was difficult which is why I have also mentioned my thought process behind choosing that particular place. Some of my reasons might seem rather silly. Blame it on my extremely fickle mind when it comes to choosing a travel destinations.
So here goes the 2015 “razalpat” travel bucket list. Continue reading
In the previous posts, the 3 of us met at Delhi and reached Leh 3 days later experiencing 2 of the most exhilarating bus journeys. It was well past midnight when we were standing at the corner of a dark, deserted street of Leh. A better part of last one hour was spent (unsuccessfully) looking for a cheap hotel in this strange town. Hungry, dirty and dead tired – alas we were faced with the prospect of spending that cold, rainy night on the road or bus depot.
I have yearned all my life to meet “real adventure” while traveling. That night “she” was staring straight into my eyes. I should have been excited by this chance encounter. Instead a sense of negativity had started building up from within, making me very anxious. “She” did not look anything like I had imagined her to be.
2014 has been a great travel filled year for all the people associated with Razalpat. We did lots of weekend treks like Sandhan valley, Rajmachi, Shirota, Chinchoti, Thakurwadi, Kalsubai, Visapur, Ratanwadi etc. Highlight of the year was our Ladakh trip. Tosh went to his “namesake” village (Tosh village) in Himachal. Shabbir got his first tent. All of us matured in some way or the other thanks to all this travelling.
Presenting my top 7 mesmerizing moments from 2014. These moments shall be etched forever in my memory. Continue reading
In the previous post
three of us reached Manali and were to leave for Leh the next morning. It gives me great pleasure to write about our Ladakh experience till we reached Leh. 2 days on the road; new people we meet and endure the most treacherous routes in the world.
Trip Decision #1:
Reaching Leh is possible by road via Manali or via Srinagar. We never had the budget to fly nor did we want to miss the road experience! (majorly inspired by Gaurav Jani of 60kmph). It was time for our loose plans to take shape; and decisions were to be taken. Manali was not a new place, but we didn’t wish to spend time in Manali which was just a transit point for us. It only made sense to quickly get moving towards Leh. Of course we were yet to figure what options were available and what made sense for us. Major trip decision #1 – We bought tickets on a HPTC bus on its virgin run for the season. The deal seemed worth (after much deliberation) for it offered an overnight halt and meals – making the trip relatively comfortable. Now all we had to do was wait for the next morning. After a comfortable night at the Dharamshala, in the morning we reached the bus stop in time.