So much has passed in 2011 right? The great Anna effect and protest by him, I leaving my present Job at the starting of this year ( uh.. I mean ex job. hehehe) . My parents going to Canada with me being king of my house for almost 6 months.( Again legally 2 months as my dad came back after only 2 but remained out of station nevertheless) Wandering about and going and visiting distant places all alone . My niece born at end of year and in middle of this year almost... I am getting to see her almost everyday and playing with her.2 of my clicked pictures getting to be there in exhibition in Ahmadabad..... In short many many many.... things came and went by. But have you ever just packed your bags and went off to a place you have just thought of in your mind one fine day ? Yes You guessed it right guys. we are going to talk about that today.
Job can do you wonders when you get all weekend off. You get the urge to follow your wishes every weekend. One fine week, I had the urge to go and visit the one and only one hill station in Gujarat. I just called my uncle who arranged for a place to stay for 2-3 days and off I went the next week to Saputara with minimal belongings. 3 pair of clothes, camera, a book to read and my mood.
We sometimes feel the need to travel and see places.I am no exception. I asked my 2 friends if they wanted to come along but they were too busy to come. I thought what the heck ! I will go alone with myself.
:) I went to the bus station to get into the bus at 8 pm . The bus didn't come and I was stranded there for full 5 hours. My dad would call me to come home, but when one goes about to win a war... does he come empty handed. No. I waited till 12 am or pm or midnight, whatever you call. I was going to lose my patience and go home defeated when the next bus came and it looked like it had came just for me. As soon as I stepped into the bus, it started off without waiting a minute more.
The journey was uneventful except for the fact that the morning came about with a puncture . God gave me an opportunity to do some photography in and around till repairs were done. 8 hours later I was there in saputara. I expected it to be a big place . But it is smaller then a small city. 6000 people only as per census of 2001. If we guess at 2011 census it would be , lets say only 10,000 people. I just loved the place from where the saputara area starts. Greenery , forests, Rivers flowing. The area starts at dang or vaghai.
I soon found out my abode for 3 days on entering saputara. It was a small guesthouse covered with garden.
Being monsoon, Flowers were blooming at their best and greenery was giving itself a stiff competition.
I rested in my small room for some time and in afternoon went about sightseeing. My remaining stay there consisted of this timetable. Waking up at 5 30 in morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise, Walk or jogging depending on my mood for half hour, Nasta on the way back, back to the room , bathing , reading newspapers, again wandering off and having my lunch at about 1 , coming back to the room, sleeping, resting on the veranda late evening and that's it.. By about 8 pm, the streets of saputara are almost deserted being a jungle area. It is one of the last station before Gujarat ends and maharashtra begins. Dinner you might ask me, My dinner consisted of 1 glass of milk or lime juice or 1 coffee and sandwich.
During my 3 days stay, it rained for almost half a day one day, so I had to be content with sitting on a chair on the veranda and stare at the vast jungle down there. My rest house rested on a high altitude, So I could see 10 kms down . What a sight It was. Greenery. Steep land, Jungle , Serpent like roads and people on other side enjoying. With no tensions on my mind, I just sat there the whole afternoon contemplating, watching birds, dozing off and meditating in the cool breeze. I also saw a very clear bright lightening stick across the hill with a clear force. It was just WOW. I also saw some horses roaming freely like cows do in early morning. Wow. I have a small dream of owing a horse one fine day and riding it in the city.
Saputara is a place worth visiting if you want to learn something about tribals ( Adivasis) and their culture. It has a museum specially dedicated for it. It also boasts of rearing bees or taming bees which we call it horticulture if I am not wrong. It is also famous for sunrise and sun set points . It is also famous for wild animals and leopards as well.
Speaking of leopards, let me tell you a real story. Its about me. On the second day, I wanted to see the sunrise so I got up at about 5 30 am , and readied myself to go up the hill to see sunrise. As I had to climb the hill a little bit, I decided to take a long stick so that I could support myself in rough land. I soon reached there and sun was just about to rise. What a beautiful sight it was. The sunrise is always beautiful to watch when you are in nature's lap and there is greenery all around you with support of mountains. It was like the mountains were calling me to sit in their laps forever and be one with them. If it would not have been the love for my mother and love for my job as well, I would never have came down from there and would have become a wandering sadhu.
What does one do when one is on top of the mountain in early morning with absolutely no one around? Yes! Shout out aloud your top desires and what you normally want to say it loud but don't want others to listen. I did just that. I let out my most desires in a loud way and echoing myself. That's called freedom , ha. I was reminded of a song at that time. " Tanha dil.. tanha safar.. "And just as I calmed down, I started meditating for 15 mins in that silent void. Now guess what did I see when I woke up and started to see the surroundings around me. I saw a small animal figure at a distant coming out from the forest like trees . At first, I thought it was a dog or a fox, but as it came closer, I got the shock of my life. It was an adult leopard. I was face to face with a leopard without a zoo, a circus, without any barrier between us. It also noticed me and we looked into each other's eyes for around 3-4 mins looking for any movement or any signal. I could have ran but it would have caught me in just 2-3 jumps and I would have forever gone as missing in police files. My grand father had told me once not to turn your back and run when you are confronted with a wild animal but to just look for some cues and just stand. I did just that. Running as I said would have been meaningless. The leopard must not have the mood for a fat breakfast so it just turned away and went back into the wilds. Thanks grand dad, you saved me after all these years.
The last day , I hired a cab which took me down to see the waterfalls. There were about 3 waterfalls and as always they were magnificent. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed there. I came back and packed and went to the bus station and boarded the bus at about 8. On my way back, I made a promise . I will again and again keep returning back to see this wonderful land and explore more which was left. I could not see the sunset , the bee man and the locals performing dances.
Want to see the pictures I clicked? You can see them in my facebook id. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2505764721134.2138375.1163499024&type=3
In my next adventure, I will tell about pushkar, ajmer in rajasthan and the sadhus . Those will be in parts. So wait for more.