I believe in whispers of the angels,
I believe in signs from the seas,
The answers I’ve been seeking so long…
Are somewhere deep inside of me…
There’s something about Autumn! Something magical, fairy-tale like. Streets nap underneath the shriveled leaves, the air is crisp and fresh, the surroundings are decked in some kind of special colours, those that were being worked on laboriously for the rest of the year. And the hypnotic scent of burnt wood.. that’s the best.
When everything around is so alluring, there’s no specific time to hit a cafe.
A midnight amble after my cappuccino and this is what I got. This building was decked up for Diwali, just like the others. But looking up at it through the foliage, it looked different. Magnificent. Like a colossal glow-worm twinkling in the sky.
This was the exact same spot I’d stand along with a bunch of friends and watch young boys of our complex make a human pyramid. Amongst all that laughter and cheers and many many attempts of crashing and rising and crashing again, they’d manage to reach the top and finally break the handi. What a spectacle it used to be!
But, that was long long ago. Two decades ago.
Now, I was at the same spot… again… Everything was the same… the compound, the rains, the crowd, the euphoria. Except, there were smartphones. And, the boys who used to be a pyramid themselves, were now helping and cheering their kids in carrying the tradition forward. Time has moved on a great deal.
Evening drive has to be like this… Azure skies dotted with cottony, rain-soaked clouds and most importantly, traffic-less roads 🙂
When the monsoons put on a show, trust me, Mahabaleshwar has got the best seats. And we waste no time in grabbing them every year.
There’s some sort of romance associated with those pattering rain-drops and this place. Verdant hills seem to quiver in the freezing mist, which is why they keep themselves warm in those velvetty green quilts. Singing of birds, shrieking of monkeys, fluttering of leaves when they leap, mooing of cows… is all what you see and hear. No screeching horns, no yelling alarms… just nature at her seductive best.
A walk on these lone misty roads and Langoors suddenly prancing out of nowhere. Our romantic walk quickly turned into an adventure and we scampered towards our hotel with those bags full of goodies.
Doesn’t this look straight out of a horror movie…
Uncle Patel, quiet a raconteur, took us for a wonderful long ride on the lake. Longer than the others did. With hair-raising tales of goats and dogs being kidnapped by leopards at night, tigers been relocated and sinewy bisons still inhabiting the place, it was a relief to know all these awaited the other side of the lake. Uncle Patel also took us to a place right above a house submerged 12 feet under water. He actually made us hit the oars on the roof…evidence corroborated! When I asked if I could click him, he beamed. Said this was the first time a tourist had asked him for his pic. Else he’d always been behind the lens. That sound when the oars whack those calm waters is so therapeutic.
Venna Lake is quiet generous with amateur photogs like me 🙂
Mahabaleshwar has some of the best and out-of-the-farm produce to offer.
Don’t dare miss the piping hot ginger tea
With corn pakodas and green chutney for company
Roasted sweet corn is another option if you don’t mind those vampire teeth later… except for the burnt black hues instead of red 🙂
Shivneri Restaurant has an array of Maharashtrian dishes, including North Indian ones. We gorged on the fiery Malvani Chicken Curry, tender fried Kolhapuri Chicken, straight-out-of-the-pan Chapatis and steamed White Rice. Jowar and Bajra Bhakris are awesome. They take 30 minutes to come after the order is placed.
The gorgeous fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven and a mug of hot chocolate mocha at Mapro. It’s as touristy as it gets. They even have their own baked bread for their wide range of delectable sandwiches. Now, that’s something you cant afford to miss. (visit www.mapro.com)
This is the time to lose yourself, get engulfed by the smell of wet earth and let the cold mist kiss the tip of your nose. Leave the city behind for those two days of sheer rejuvenation… before the rains bid adieu.
Go, experience the beauty of monsoon in Mahabaleshwar…
The moment when rapture exploded within and around, this one’s that moment.
I’d heard these guys squawking in the mornings and evenings. But by the time I scampered with my cam to the balcony, they’d either be far off or vanished.
Last evening I absolutely nailed it and how!
I was gleaming all the more when I zoomed the pic. It had “Indian Air Force” written right below the wings. I’ve been breathing Pride since then. I clicked an Indian Air Force baby in action…