The last twelve sleep deprived days were full of fun, frolic, family, friends, green pastures, blue hills, really good home-cooked food, Innovas and Taveras, gorgeous weather, splendeferous views, irresistible shopping deals, mosquito repellent creams, bites and spurts of creativity inspired by the Vampire Diaries, hours long uncomfortable seating wedging between three people at the back of a car or a rickshaw and more chocolate than I care to see again in my life.
My mom's bff, the lovely Mauritian forever bestowing upon me the most fantastic of gifts, flew down a couple of days later, hence the subject.
There was a day trip to Panchgani and Mahableshwar which included a ride on a cart drawn by a horse called Sharukh over Tableland. The rickety cart took us over every rock embedded in the soil almost throwing us all off and the air was consistently full of yells of 'Bhaisaab, Sharukh ko control main rakho!' or 'Behave, Sharukh!' It was hilarious. Oh and the guide was very informative; he showed us every single location of every scene of every movie right from the 60s to the recently released Dabangg ever shot in the picturesque hill station.
There was a quick visit to a few of the points - Parsi Point (why it's is a point baffles me), Kate's point, Arthur's Seat and Harrison's Folly. The name of the last one always raised curiosity on my part. Who on earth was Harrison and what was his folly? Why was it such a huge deal that a whole 'point' was named in memory of it? Questions to guides have remained fruitless, unless Harrison was a Bollywood actor who got into a scuffle with a fellow star while shooting and pushed him off the cliff, no local guide in Panchgani would be interested in his fate. No one can enlighten me on the nature of Harrison's foolishness let alone who he was. That's where Google returned that apparently 'Harrison's Folly is named after a Mr. Harrison who built a house there that caved in under the winds.' Well if that's the truth (doesn't seem likely, I doubt the winds were ever that strong in Panchgani), it's obvious the folly is related to trusting the scum of a builder who must have cheated our unsuspecting Mr. Harrison on the quality of materials used in construction of his home. Poor schmuck.
|A view of the surrounding hills from Arthur's Seat, engulfed in an azure haze.|
On our way to some such point, we spotted the only wild animal on our short trip, a gaur (seladang sounds so much cooler) that we, and a few other cars that came to a halt at the sight of it, tried to take pictures of unobtrusively.
|A horse with a name such as Don or Veer (surprisingly there was no Rajnikanth), gets on his way after a drink.|
A day later was the trip to Panshet (40 km or so from Pune). The sun burned down but the place was exquisite. We went for a boat ride on the lake, 'woohoooing' on sharp curves, spraying each other with the miniature waves that rose as we disturbed the stillness of the water.
|On the way to Panshet.|
The bff's last day was spent quickly touring South Bombay, with the mother briefing us on the buildings and locations we drove past, pointing out the heritage buildings and asking us take note of the once glorious architecture. The weather was FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC. Never has the sun taken refuge behind the clouds for so long and the wind blown so freely in this city..
|Worli Seaface, where the sea usually raging and uncontrollable at high tide, lies still, biding its time.|
And after stuffing our faces with doughnuts from M.O.D. with the family that night, she left. At times, not much was said, but there was no need for it, in light of a strengthening bond, coupled with a strange, unspoken tenderness.