There is always a special something attached with any trip taken with friends. But the one I am about to tell you about was different. If you’d call a trip awesome then it was awesome-est. At the same time if you’ve ever heard of a trip being jinxed then ours would surely be on the top of the list. It was a much awaited event which was finalized after many discussions, permutations, combinations and negotiations. The destination was decided to be Kashid beach. Kashid is a beach town on the shores of Arabian Sea, in the North Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. It is located 30 km from Alibag and 135 km from Mumbai on the Alibag-Murud road. The participants finalized to attend this event were: Suman Roy Chowdhary, Tejas Badgujar, Sandeep S Nair, Richa Mishra, Meetu Russell, Pooja Gupta and Me.
|L-R first row Meetu, Me, Tejas Second row Pooja, Richa, Sandeep, Suman (behind)|
We planned to commute the route by private vehicle which meant a lot of fun, songs, leg pulling and yea nausea & vomit at regular intervals. We started at the wee hours of the morning and were welcomed into the picturesque town of Alibag by the dawn. The fresh air, vast sea and surrounding green mountains were a spectacular sight. We checked into a very homely cottage, freshened up and had a sumptuous breakfast of puri, bhaji and barta. After the hearty meal our guys took their own sweet time getting ready to hit the beach. It is usually said that girls take a lot of time to doll up and want photographs to be taken in every mood, minute and moment. But this trip proved that it is boys who are more concerned about the way they look, they are finicky about what to wear and most importantly they are obsessed with clicking their pictures (I hope a certain Mr Nair is listening).
|After the hearty meal :-)|
Anyhow moving ahead, we reached the beach, the white sand and bluish green water was amazing and inviting. So without any ado we ran towards the high tide and entrancing waves. Water was cool and we were just about to start having fun when ….. Something happened. Actually two things happened, I have this thing of pulling out random stuff from under water. And this time ladies and gentlemen, the sea itself proposed to me with a ring. Now any normal person would have basically just smiled or maybe thrown away the ring. But me being, well me jumped up and down introducing high intensity drama quotient into the situation. The moment that ring came into my hand at that very precise moment another ring was taken away by the waves from Richa’s finger. Now this was not any normal ring, it was her engagement ring. Amidst the confusion of me finding a ring and her losing one it was an utter chaos. It took around 5 minutes for us to grasp the fact that Richa’s engagement ring is gone. Every word in this world will fail to express the emotions that crossed each of our minds. And I can’t begin to explain the state Richa was in and the affect her expressions were having on each of us. We all started to frantically search for the ring by randomly running our hands under the water but deep down we all knew that it’s next to impossible.
Needless to say, it was one of the hardest thing that any of us had to witness and to top it all it happened just 5 minutes after we stepped into the water. We had no idea on how to console Richa for a loss that was so precious and irreversible. After being a spectator of the fruitless searches being made by us, Richa finally stepped in the water with what I observed to be a slightly aggressive looking walk. And then the un-expectable happened. She just put her hand in water, grabbed a fistful of sand and with that the ring slid back into her finger. Can you believe it? I know you can’t neither could we. The intensity of what just happened shook us to the very core and brought us back into the groove. Then with double the energy that we initially came with, we just barged into the water like there was no tomorrow.
|The rings. Don't miss my sea ring in my thumb (the one with orange nails)|
Beach can get a tad boring after the first few hours but not when you have the prospect of water sports. So after some salt water tasting, sun soaking and mud fighting we geared up for THE adventure of Jet Ski, Bumper ride and Banana boat. First in the queue was Jet Ski. It is a sea bike driven by the instructor while you sit in the front trying not to bang your chin against the steering. In case I forgot to mention this before, the sea that day was particularly rough and the waves were in the mood to whip and lash anything that dared to cross their way. The Jet Ski ride was fun for all of us. Well, all of us except Tejas, whose driver fell into the sea while crashing with a particularly high wave and he was left stranded in the sea with the sea bike and the sudden surprise of finding himself alone. Thankfully the dude managed to come back and drive the Jet Ski back to the safety of the shore.
|Excited for the Bumper ride|
Next in line was a comparatively new ride for all of us – The Bumper ride. Basically a Jet Ski with an extension (the picture adjacent will explain further). This was a new ride for the organizers as well, so they were confused whether to take three at a time or two. So after adding, removing and changing positions, they decided to take Me and Richa. We were instructed to sleep on our stomachs on the raft and hold on. The ride started very roughly by taking us up on the first wave in the air and throwing us back with a bone crushing intensity. On the second wave the raft turned and both of us went inside the water. But neither of us left the handle we were holding, our guide kept shouting “Chod do Madam”, “Madam chod do”, “Chod dijeye Madam”. But both the madam’s didn’t budge, who would just drop the only ray of hope you have in the middle of the ocean. All this while we are being thrown hither and thither by the waves. And then by one majestic wave we were scrunched deep into the water. That was precisely when I lost Richa and felt the rope connecting the Jet Ski and raft tightening around my stomach. I somehow managed to free myself from the rope and in the process finally let go off the raft handle. Now I was entirely at the mercy of the waves. It was a state of sheer helplessness, the saline water was hurting my nose, throat and disturbing my mental capability. It seemed like eternity and a gallon of drinking salt water that finally I felt a hand around me. Someone was dragging me towards (safety of the shore I was hoping). All this while with each wave I inhaled and drank the salt water so much so that when I reached the shore I was completely bloated and breathless. Seeing my concerned friends on the shore was a short felt relief. The next scene was straight out of movies, people were pushing my stomach and back, water was gushing out from my nose and mouth. Few minutes after regaining conscious I suddenly remembered Richa. Everyone else too thought about her at the same time. All this while Richa was still fighting with the waves. She was finally dragged out by three people. Needless to say we gathered quite an amount of (read: unwanted) attention. I was terrified and literally pleaded my friends to not go on the bumper ride.
But why would they listen to me, I was still vomiting when Sandeep, Tejas, Meetu and Suman took off for the bumper ride. The organizers learned a lesson or two from Richa and mine failed experiment. They then took everyone in three’s instead of two’s. They thankfully had a safe and fun filled journey with Meetu falling in-between and managing to come back into the raft. Believe it or not they went on the ride three times!! Yea, I know crazy fellas. Anyhow next in the line was the Banana boat ride. I had no will power or energy to initiate another round of fight with the salt water, so everyone minus me geared up for the journey. I was assigned the job of clicking pics and taking care of the luggage. Their ride started smoothly on the first few waves, which made me regret my decision. But my regret was short-lived because on the very next wave they had a massive fall into the sea. I couldn’t catch much on what was happening in the water but I did keep clicking pics. After some time I could see Suman coming out from the water without the boat and others. Rest of them followed soon, Pooja with her swollen eye as Meetu’s head banged against her eye, Sandeep with his feet cut, Richa with another round of vomit, Meetu with a smile and Tejas with a bigger smile. If there was an award for most time spent in water, it would definitely go to Meetu and Tejas. The way they spent time in water was like there was no tomorrow.
|And there they go|
While taking some rest we discussed the life threatening stunts while sipping coconut water. We somehow dragged ourselves for freshening up. Simple things like soap and shampoo felt like luxury. The bath was extremely refreshing and brought about a new spurt of energy in us. The remaining energy was induced by the mouthwatering Konkani food (for vegetarians the food was not that mouthwatering). After a hearty meal we again went to the beach for some rest or power nap (as Richa likes to call it). So when the batteries were fully recharged we left for the village from where we were supposed to leave for Murud-Janjira. A fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It was occupied by the Siddis and is famous for being the only fort along India's Western coast that remained undefeated despite Dutch, Maratha and English East India Company attacks. The ride through the village was a beautiful one which the perfect charm of a village and wells. I was surprised by the amount of wells in the entire journey and my excited shouts of “Kuwa” were not entertained by my audience.
|That's the fort|
|On the way|
The fort can be reached by a boat, which doesn’t deserve to be called a boat (Demo in the picture below). On top of it, they did not provide any lifeboat and just by looking at the water I was getting Goosebumps. Somehow in-between jokes and talks we managed to reach the premises of the fort and the sight there was bewildering. People were being tossed in and out of the boats, one step miss and you would go straight into the water. And without life jacket there was no hope of coming out. The other issue was of balancing, if a person stood up on the left the boat would tilt towards him and vice versa. My heart was literally in my mouth but somehow all of us managed to enter the fort safely. The guide (whose long speech all through the ride earned him Rs 500 from each family) showed as around the fort. The secret passage, the queen’s bath place, the bedrooms, the loos etc etc. We were just interested in spotting places for clicking pictures. That done, the ride back to the port was again filled with anxiety and apprehensions.
|The scary boat|
|Muskane jhoothi hai|
We enjoyed the sunset on our way back from the fort and on the sea overlooking small but very beautiful restaurant. The setting sun against the backdrop of sea and the beautiful fort together with Chicken and Panner pakoda was a spectacular sight. We spent a lot of time admiring the sight, enjoying the breeze and regretting the decision of not staying the night. At some point of time much to everyone’s chagrin we left the beautiful place and started the journey back home. All of us thought that this would undoubtedly be the most boring part of the trip as everyone was dead tired and in mood to catch up on some sleep. But this turned out to be the most eventful and exciting part of the trip. We played a game where in we shared our first impressions and current impression for each other. We loved it so much that we continued the game and discussed the negative points of each other as well. Sandeep was so overwhelmed with the game that he vomited in between (he will kill me for mentioning this) but I don’t care, it was another fun part of the trip.
After a stopover for a lite dinner, Pooja vomited as well bringing the total vomit count to 4-3. The topic of discussion ranged from Kashmiri pandits to current affairs to dowry and marriage. Sandeep and Meetu slept like logs somewhere between our heated discussions and dialogs. By the time we entered thane, all of us (except Sandeep and Meetu) were full of energy and extremely alive. None of us wanted to go home. So much happened on a single day which took a toll on us both mentally and physically but none of us felt it. I was particularly very chirpy and bright. After reaching home I narrated the entire details of the day to my friend in minute details. She got tired but I did not. Anyways I slept and when I opened my eyes in the morning my whole body was sore and I couldn’t feel my neck. Tremendous body pains and sun burns. Phone calls and whatapp messages shows that almost all were enduring the same trauma (which was good to hear). The day was over but the memories are still alive and will always remain with us. The trip brought the 7 of us closer and made us The Sensational Seven.
|Fun in the car|
Here's hoping for many more memorable trips, moments and fun. Cheers to the Group.