This was a very different one. A much smaller group, to begin with. And the fact that somehow ALL 3 of managed to turn up completely unconnectedly in brown tracks and grey tees.
But somehow - maybe it was just a result of this group being smaller, but... this felt like a much more quiet climb. Hushed. Tandulwadi isn't a very popular destination... Do we leave a psychic imprint on places, or something? Popular spots - even when completely deserted - never felt like this. You could hear the wind moving dozens of kilometers away. Sitting on a rock halfway up, watching the Vaitarna river, clouds, and suddenly I could feel the size of the world, its movement, it's sheer presence. Gravity ceased. I was attached to the rock with a sense of something more... I don't know, cosmic.
There was also this wierd tree. It was - stark. computer-generated. more than just a tree. tree plus. tree ver 3.1. Maybe it was cursed, or blessed, or a murder site, or former human being who ran afoul of a vindictive god...
look at it. see the bigger pic for a while.
Then we reached the top, found (as usual) the remain of a fort and working reservoir; (Amit promptly turned into a reservoir dog) and a family of water buffaloes who seemed extremely displeased to meet us. In fact, for the second time in my life, I got charged in a non-bill and non-drink way. But what I'm proudest of is when there was a large black pissed muscular mammal heaving itself out of the pool glaring at us and waggling it's large untrimmed horns meaningfully, and then briskly heading my way with a evil look and slightly starey eyes with it's ears back, what did I do?
Yes! I got the shot!
All the stuff you never have time to see... how many times do we just walk by these things, in the city, unable to hear the birds, watch the clouds, see the stars... everything is the predefined flashing life running on its tracks, 8:11 fast, swipe in, log on, call up, do lunch, swipe out, head home, grab a bite, down a drink, hit the sack. When was the last time you actually saw something you had never seen before? SAW. Not just looked at and moved on?
The best part of this was the break at the top. For almost 3 hours, we were lying there close to the top on a large rock by a water pool, listening to the wind and the drip of the water. It sounded far away. The world felt bigger. Slower. Grass would rustle, a branch creak, a bird call. An eagle wheeled around the clouds for a long while. The rock was slanted, full of sharp protrusions... but the universe felt comfortable.