Adventure · India · Personal

One Early Morning, And A Thrilling Walk Back In Time

On Thursday my brother, Siddharth, knocked at my front door when I thought he was far away in Tamil Nadu. What a fantastic surprise! While I am anyway the sort of person who loves having family visit, this arrival brightened me because my brother is fun to spend time with and of course, I don’t have to make an effort to see that he is constantly entertained.

This morning Siddharth and I went for a walk to the Pashan hills at 6 am. It was indescribably beautiful. It felt as though we’d left the city behind, when really we were in the heart of it.

I took a few pictures. None, however, document the event as attentively as my senses and memory did. The silence was perfect. The kind that made us quiet our voices, focus on our steps and look around in amazement while we absorbed the things we never imagined to encounter just 30 minutes away from my apartment.

It reminded me of the time we went mushroom picking in the Swedish woods. The pine needles muffled our footsteps while simultaneously filling our senses with its heady perfume. So absorbing and personal was the experience of hunting mushrooms in this enchanting place that we’d have to call out to one another when we found we’d drifted somewhere alone. There was no visible path of any sort and every tree looked the same. It was gorgeous and amazingly frightening at the same time. There was the very real possibility of getting lost in these woods if we wandered too far away. There was an equal chance for the inopportune confrontation with Moose – an idea that brought feelings of wonder and fear.

Assuredly, Indian forests do not house Moose – at least not in the state of Maharashtra. Some forests here caution of tigers, leopards and elephants. But not this place. Today while whispering in the little forest of Vetal hill we saw a peacock! I wanted to take a picture of it but it walked away. Yes I know how absurd that sounds. But with its head bobbing it actually did a fast walk too far across the forest for me to keep up.

We saw 9 other peacocks in the course of our walk. Later over breakfast we made a list of the different birds we’d spotted. Not counting the birds we were unable to correctly identify, we saw 12 different kinds of birds!

•Peacock
•Hornbill
•Mynah
•Great Indian Roller
•Kingfisher
•Green bee eater
•Red vented bulbul
•Heron
•Cattle egret
•Munia
•Crow pheasant
•Drongo

We also saw the cutest weaver bird nest beneath an overhanging rock on the quarry. Oh! Did I not mention that at the top of the hill was a quarry?

Vetal HillIt was so calm and quiet. And thrilling! It made me feel glad that I knew how to do yoga and that perhaps I could try doing some Surya Namaskars here. Or maybe meditating. Or better still, Praying. It was the perfect shot of joy to remind us how magnificent it is to be alive and have command of all our senses.

Another exciting feature of this morning’s adventure included geocaching. And I was the person (between my brother and me) who discovered the much hunted container under a rock wedged beneath boulder and tree. Oh the rush to be the one who finds a tiny container with many little notes from people who were here too! To think that we’re now part of a secret that cannot be shared with just any muggle! (By the way I was an ignorant too until recently initiated by my knowledgeable brother).

One other incident that made this morning memorable was our encounter with the Great Indian Roller. We were returning from the quarry towards the foot of the hill when we saw this huge boulder with an interesting looking bird perched on it.  We also noticed a nearby photographer gingerly stepping around clicking pictures of the bird. Of course he was being careful because he didn’t want to frighten it away. But the funny thing was, was that the Great Indian Roller seemed perfectly aware of the photographer’s attentions and was quite pleased with it all! It even slow-hopped in a circle remindful of a twirl that gave us a lovely view of its pretty colours. You could even imagine it pouting and deliberately posing by the way it arched its neck. And waited. Turned. Looked back. Waited. What fun to watch a bird that flaunts itself. It makes one marvel at its individuality!

Today turned out to be one of the best adventures I’ve had in ages that I simply had to crawl out of hiding and write about it. It was incredible to discover such quiet beauty that brought back memories of time spent in Hosur, Tamil Nadu when my father used to wake us early in the mornings and take us on long walks across the country through similar terrain. On our way back we’d sometimes stop for breakfast in one of the tiny little shops that were just waking up. Such treasured memories! But the addition that makes today’s affair unforgettable was my facetious little brother, Siddharth. How we laughed this morning! – at ourselves, at the birds and their silly antics,  and at the stories we made up on our charming walk.

The Quarry

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9 thoughts on “One Early Morning, And A Thrilling Walk Back In Time

  1. A new blogpost! How perfectly lovely it was, to see the announcement of this post. Worth it. I could almost see the birds and laughed out loud when you described the preening & posing of the Great Indian Roller. I felt the silence of the woods in Sweden wondered at the possibility of coming face to face with a Moose. I look forward to more posts – without the wait 🙂 Perhaps Siddharth should visit more often.

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    1. Thank you so much Aunty Reena! I do miss writing very much. And the encouragement I’ve been receiving makes me more determined to find the time to write no matter what. However, I doubt I have many interesting things to write about anymore! Having Siddharth here definitely helps.
      My studies have been a major force in determining how I spend time. When I’m not studying I’m just glad to let my brain take a nap! :/
      But writing this post has reminded me of the many reasons I used to love blogging 🙂

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    1. Hi Elaine! This was my first cache ever and exciting enough to make me want more.
      I was just reading your blog yesterday. I especially liked your post on the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing. It made me see how valuable time spent in writing is.

      Liked by 1 person

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