Monday, July 26, 2010

Mesmerizing Matheran

Mesmerizing, mind boggling, mystifying…there are so many words that can be combined to define the trek, but there is no one word. It was an experience way out of dreams or more precisely Out-of-the-box trek.
Torrential rains, slippery rocks, untamed waters, sliding soil, steep treks…all against ten determined souls defying stamina and fear, stretched “impossible” to “I-m-possible”. Of the ten who trekked, there we seven daring ladies and three guys. There were no professional trekkers and the max experience was of hiking mountains on a known path with professional trekkers at lead. And here we were dealing with a nil experience on an unknown path.

To top it, we decided to take a shorter route and it was rather finding the route. As Nikita says, “The trek was complete package of expedition including rock climbing, mountaineering, jungle safari and waterfall crossing” or as Akshay says, “This trek was full of adventure-cum-treking-cum hiking-cum-rock climbing and mainly Lost and Found game. This was my first trek and I got good experience.” When the first trek of the season (and the first trek in life for most of us) is this complete package, then the memories are lifetimers.

The only thing that we missed was clicking snaps, which could not happen due to the continuous heavy rains. And we take that positively…looking at our efforts, “the Rain God too showered his blessings on us, throughout our journey”. For us, every moment of that trek will be memorable. All that we did like crossing a waterfalls holding hands and trust of a friend on the other side, walking along a one-person path half of which was down a land-slide, crossing a free-flowing downstream with the help of a fallen tree, watching awestruck as Komal’s bag rolled down the slope, seeing the trail end at a waterfalls and realizing that the we had just crossed a path which we would not be able to trace back. While we have the memories to share and talk about, there are not many photographs to show…so those who missed a lucky enough to not know what they missed. We have some shots describing the “blissful scenic beauty” to share, but that cannot give the experience of the thrill and adventure that we had.

This blog cannot be completed without due thanks to all the 10 who made it to the trek and made the trek so memorable. This special note is not just for attending the trek, but for the standing united in tough times, for the positive attitude and undying spirit, especially to ladies (for standing tough) and to all those first-timers (as the route was difficult for even seasoned trekkers).
For once we had lost and we learnt that losing is not necessarily a bad thing. We lost the route, we lost our lunch, we lost our booking. We gained a new strength, capacity to deal face challenge in return of the route we lost. We gained hospitality (and extra time at Matheran) against the lunch that we lost. And the lost bookings saved the day as there were a large number of drop-outs. It’s truly said, “Whatever happens, happens for good”

The more we learn, the more we know how less we know. The more we trekked, the more we realized that had we known more, the chances of us trekking would be lesser. Had we known that the route was so difficult (adventurous), we probably would not have ventured out on that route (and now that we know, it is very unlikely that we would do it again). Finally for those who missed it…better luck next time, but wait, will there be a next time?
Well, yes, there will be…might not be on the same route; may be on different route. And then too, there would be a few who would miss…but sadly would not know what they missed.

If you have missed this and you want to ensure that you don't miss the next one, stay in touch. For details on how, please email us as or feel free to call Ashutosh (9820992403).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Golden Moments - Revisited

Remember those days when we used to sit besides our grand-parents and they would tell us the wonderful stories of their childhood...of the pranks they played and the fun they had. Those moments still bring on a smile. We were lucky this Saturday to re-live those moments when the aaji's & ajoba's shared some of their childhood memories with us. It was very touching to see the joy on one of the ajoba's face when he was telling us how he hit a woman with his cricket ball when he was a teenager.
In those days of our childhood, we loved cutting magazines and creating cards using all those bits. We called it craft. As we grew, we moved to electronic gadgets, emails and e-cards. Today we got a chance to get back to those days, bring back the creativity in card and paper. Though we were a bit rusty at the start, but as we caught the colors...imagination flew. Starting from cutting pictures from magazines to some finger-paintings we went on to create quite a few "un-imaginable" cards. (We had never imagined that we could do this) Saturday afternoon which otherwise would have been a lazy one was spent on this activity. And efforts bore fruits when we saw the smile after we gifted them the cards.
This was our second visit to Shantikunj and like we did last time, we were inclined to make their time a memorable one. The response was low initially, but as they started singing...we joined in and then it was a "mehfil" of songs and bhajans. No ipods, no decks, no network was so very wonderful that we had moved to those good old days when there we no computer games and one of the favourite games was passing-the-parcel. We passed parcel around and they enjoyed it.
For them, we tried to help them enjoy their Golden moments and in the process, we too, recollected those Golden moments that we had experienced in our childhood days. The visit also brought back those moments that we had with them in November (during our first visit). It does give a sense of satisfaction when you make someone of their age smile. Returning home with a "blessed" feeling... it truly was "Golden moments-revisited!"
Twice we have been here and both times we have collected some lifetime-cherishable moments. We are back home and we are again waiting for the next time to visit the place, waiting again to "visit the Golden Moments!"

If you feel you have lost a Golden oppurutnity, we will re-create it again. So do let us know your thoughts and how you would like to contribute to Maha GSB. Please email us as or feel free to call Ashutosh (9820992403).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coffee and more with Maha GSB

After a really long time, we had our traditional "meet". Not that we had not met in between, but after the Wadala performance, Khandala outing till the latest Lohagad trek, we have been meeting more often than not. But the traditional way in which we friends first met had not happened for a long time. Hence this time it was decided we would go back to the basics and have the very simple Aswad meet.

The last time we had met was on Dec 13. It was slightly more than a month and we were all looking forward to meet-up again. Though some of us keep meeting each other, the get-together of the whole group is yet another experience which none of us want to miss. Those who haven't joined us yet keep wondering what is it that drives us travel from all corners from Mumbai to meet-up just for a couple of hours??

Just as a cup of garam chai on a chilly morning or glass of nimbu-paani after a heavy work-out or mug of black coffee after a nap can do wonders…similarly even a couple of hours with the Maha GSB friends de-stresses us from all the day-to-day hectic schedules. Probably it is our monthly dose, which we cannot miss.

Though we had planned for the traditional Aswad meet, the number was more than Aswad to manage and hence the destination was shifted to CCD. But we are as we are and we are never bound to change. On the way, there was a gola-wala and we had to have our stop there. After a few golas and some PJs (not AJs) we proceeded to CCD and even they found it difficult to accomdate us. And then as it always happens, either the time runs faster or we don't realize how it goes by…and what we feel has just started is already past a couple of hours. By then the stress is relieved and memories built-up. We wonder why do we have to leave…and I guess it is so that we can meet-up again.

फोटो धुवायला टाकले आहेत! Will upload pics shortly.
We have been enjoying this for quite sometime and would continue to do so…If you feel you have missed out, then please email us as or feel free to call Ashutosh (9820992403).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

...आणी गड जिंकला!

Saturday early morning, Pune climate, chilly weather…an apt time to pull-up an extra blanket. It requires an extra-ordinary enthusiasm to step-out of the bed, pull-up your socks and go trekking. One of the source of motivation that is required to put-in these efforts, comes from the group you are in. And that is exactly what the Pune group displayed on January 16.
At times, we do feel that the number makes a difference, but when it's Maha GSB we make-up for the missing numbers. How?? Simply by enjoying so much that those who miss, realize what they missed! While the team strength was on the lower side, but not the strength of the team. Determined to make every event a successful one, we are ready to scale any heights and trekking Sinhgad wasn't a challenge (to the enthusiasm). First it was (wind)-cheating the cold and then beating the heat while scaling the heights. And by the time we reached the top, a lot many calories were burnt and energies drained. Or as we say in Marathi "खरच फाटली!"
Of course, when we meet "food" has to be there. And after so much of calorie burning, it definitely deserves a treat. When you are in Rome, be a Roman…when you are on Sinhagad, have पिठलं भाकरी and ठेचा. We do capture the food we eat so as to share the temptations, but I guess too many calories were burnt…hence the plates just have the left overs.
In all, another weekend morning exploited, another set of memories added, a different experience worth sharing and looking forward to meet-up again! We decided, we planned, we executed…आणी गड जिंकला!
Feeling like you have missed something?? If you don't want to miss it again, please email us as or feel free to call Vaibhav (for Pune meets - 9860355206).