Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yes, I am from Alibagh - 2

The Siddhi ruler - I forget his name - watched the fort being built, and ordered in a special cannon. A large, loud, heavy long-range one. It was supposed to make your fort (along with your ears, one presumes) ring for 3 days with each shot.
It was fired twice. At the completed Maratha fort, which had taken 22 years to build.
The first salvo blew away half the fort.
The second blew away half the island.

Sambhaji then abandoned it and went home.

I keep thinking of the Siddhi ruler, having ordered in the gun, set it up targeted on the island, and watching them build for 22 years, peering through the telescope and chortling merrily every day for 22 years, and blasting it to pieces in ten minutes... they had an evolved sense of humour, those ancient Ethiopians.

Beautiful sail back to mainland... doesn't it look like an old-time Ironclad, swollen to ten times its usual size?
Peaceful chai and cig (first of the day!) in the falling dusk at the village, then walk back in the moonlight along a completely deserted road watching the stars to Murud. The rest of the gang took TumTums, the 5 of us walked. Dinner. Long walk along Murud beach. Go back and sleep. In between, also realize the keys to the room are with a Deepesh, now missing... and the odomos is locked insideI Arrrghh! but we found him, took the keys, and went for a walk. Found him sleeping on a bench on the side of the road when we came back.

He looked so peaceful, we decided to let him have his well-earned rest, and went in leaving him there.

Apparently he was woken up by the Tourism Police later and had to convince them of his legitimate presence for several minutes at . So was a little grumpy and very possessive of keys in the morning.

Ahh, morning... walk down beach again, (that's a racing bullock cart in the distance warming up for the races) chai and bhaji, back to beach, water frisbee, dry off in the morning sun, and back into the ricks for the Phansad nature preserve. This was the wrong season - too dry - but we did manage to see a brown vine snake, and several trapdoor spiders. I performed an Insect Sacrifice and was suitably rewarded by the trapdoor spider darting out, grabbing the victim, stinging him, and disappearing back inside with him... in under a tenth of a second. Man, these little guys are fast.

And creative. One had used cotton balls to augment his webs...

Had to go to another fort, but decided against it. Admired it baking under the noon sun from a distance, and went for a nap at Kashid beach having narial-paani, listening to the wind in the trees and the joyous cries of several drunk induhviduals who had come up on bikes, gotten sloshed on beer and tadi, and hadn't yet realized they needed to drive back as well.

That was the high point, really... the wind in the trees. Watching the eucalyptus bordering the beach sway, sun flashing between them... it was quiet, calm, slow, relaxed, and so alien from Bombay... unbelievable. That one and a half hours has recharged me, spiritually, for months to come.

And finally... the catamaran back to Bombay. I managed to find a little niche in the stern, on the side, where I could watch the sun set and the Bombay skyline grow from a line of sparks to the concrete jungle, all the while getting the spray from the wake splashing up on me.
Amazing experience, the wind, the smell, the taste of the salt... and these catamarans are pretty fast in the water, too. 40-50 kmph easily.

And that's it... back in this world now. But you do need to get away, occasionally, regularly, to remind yourself - there are worlds beyond this. Beautiful ones. There for the taking, if only you just reach out... and... touch.

1 comment:

Dnyanesh said...

Hey man,
Awesome writeup. Was worth every second you spend with us. Hope u remember me asking you "why mutton" during your lunch. This lik was given to me by Ashish Tiwari. The worlds a small place isnt it?
p.s I would love to post it on natureknights@yahoogroups.com.



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