There are two beds in this cottage. I lay over one with my laptop. Tiwari lies on another, crashing, cuddled up inside the blankets. I am not sure if I am sleepy. I am not sure if I want t sleep. We are in Aambivalley. We are in Lonavala.
Lonavala. Beautiful place. The way it had been raining in Bhuv is nothing compared to the way it has been raining here. Any time you look up while walking on the pavements, you will see clouds passing right over your head.
My flight was supposed to leave Bhuv for Mumbai at 10:40 AM yesterday. I was supposed to leave the guest house by 9. I was supposed to get up early enough to do the packing, grab my breakfast and leave for the Biju Patnaik Airport. I got up at 9.
In twenty minutes, I finished bathing, packing and eating. By one, I was in Mumbai. By 1:30 I was in the Innova that was supposed to take me to Aambivalley in a 100 km ride to be finished in three hours. By 2:30, we reached the outskirts of the gigantic city. By five, we crossed Lonavala. And then the car broke down. 40 Kms before Aambivalley.
The driver managed to get water out of the engine. He did that once and then twice and then again and again. He kept doing that every time the car would stop. When Ambivalley was just a little over 8k away, at a place where there was no mobile network signal, the car refused to move finally, whatever you did to the car. It was then that I decided to run. I changed inside the vehicle, told the driver I would send back someone once I reach the place and hit the road. It was one heaven of a ride. Literally.
It was a run mostly uphill on a nicely maintained road in the picturesque valley where the white fog merged effortlessly with the greenery everywhere. I could hardly see anything beyond a radius of 200 meters. The air was chilled and I am sure had I not been running I would have frozen down in my sleeveless and shorts. The landscape almost felt like a combination of Havelock and Ladakh. It almost felt like heaven.
There is no better joy than getting free booze after an amazing run. I was in my room by 7. I was in the party by 8. The company party. 🙂 I started off with Whiskey with soda & ice and ended with a cold bottle of Fosters. By the way let me not cut the long story short and let me tell you that the Whiskey was followed by a glass of red wine while the beer had been consumed only after a glass of vodka with pineapple. Oh did I also tell you that we had a DJ who played awesome songs and all of us danced like crazy shitholes? Was there any better way I could have caught up with Tiwari and Anshuman? I don’t think so. I thank God with these gifts that He keeps offering.
Today morning saw me playing Paintball. It was so much fun shooting at everyone and getting shot at. It was just too cool to carry guns, running in the rain with safety jackets and protective helmets, over muddy battleground, trying your best not to trip. These memories shall stay for a long time.
I love paid vacations. I love my friends. I know that life is supposed to be one lonely path and full of hard work. But every time I am not alone, and not trying too hard to ‘work’, I feel life is probably about many more things than we always thought. Isn’ it?