This morning I drove out of Bombay, it is hard to do because it’s an almost never ending city. However we got to the ghats still clothed in mist and climbed up to the strawberries.
There’s indescribable beauty, huge boulders of mountains, forested, road lined with large banyans with hanging roots. Suddenly you come to a corner spouting a tinted blue waterfall falling over cement rocks? Nature did not do it well enough, we will better it!
Picture perfect little strawberry fields, full of people picking and posing for photographs. Every few turns bring an ATV track, old and young furiously driving mindlessly around in circles between used tires.
Pink, yellow, green resort buildings with large signages all but obscuring the lovely vistas that you have ostensibly come to see. Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. The retreat in the hills.
Now I find myself sitting a half hour drive out of Mahabaleshwar, it’s a tiny village, the Jai Bhawani hotal serves a mean maharashtrian thali. The store next door has only two real cotton saris which we promptly bought.
The car is parked under a large peepul tree beside the temple, we walk a few meters past down to the banks of a huge, sparkling lake. A gaggle of multi hued ladies sit under the tree waiting for the phut, phuting, colourful boat that soon appears to take us across the lake to the far shore.
There is no one and nothing here but pristineness. We are come to see this little camp, irrelevant, other than that it provides an un intrusive way to to stay in the surrounds of this little place that actually exists just a short way away from the ugly tourist hub.
A moonlit night casts it silvered spell over a silent expanse of water, there are only three visible lights. The magic in my life continues.