The trek began at the base of the Tungarli dam. The road initially tar, quickly changed into a rough trail. Rocky patches sweet with fresh rain from the previous night made the usually uninteresting sector jump with life. Crabs and all forms of miniature wildlife began making their appearance. We strode along the path at a steady pace. The others had taken a head start and by this time had a long lead on us.
Kids were doing well as they enjoyed the huge rock mountains that flanked us as we continued our trek. However, it didn’t take us long to realize that we weren’t the only ones who were planning to enjoy natures treat on offer. Car after car, the crowd began flowing in. At one end it was relatively pleasing to see trekking find recognition among the younger crowd but at the other end the demeanor was left wanting.
Awareness is key which was aptly demonstrated by the ones who took this passion seriously. As we covered some good ground we got to hear bird calls so melodious that we were reminded of melodies from A.R. Rahman and the likes. Singing songs we marched ahead till the sun began to wrap up its days duty and began setting behind the Sahyadri ranges leaving us with a Picasso equivalent in the skies.
Darkness fell and bird sounds got replaced with sounds of the forest. Crickets, croaking frogs and insect sounds never heard before. An eerie feeling filled the air but got soon wiped off as the crowds came in hoards. In the next few minutes we came to a small bridge over a brook and I saw something shimmering in the distance. That was my first encounter with fireflies.
The entire tree was covered with fireflies. The sight left us in awe. Nature had its ways of letting us know it was in true command. Spellbound with the sights on display I forgot to pull out my camera and capture the sight. On second thoughts a thought crossed my mind which made me fold my hands and let my eyes do the capturing. Not everything in this world can be captured through the lens on the camera, some are best captured by the lens and stored in the memory banks god provided us. For the next few hours we were provided with captivating display of lights by these miniature marvels of the world. ‘Aahs’ and ‘Oohs’ filled the air as the group ahead of us passed turns on the trails and came up with tree after tree full of fireflies…millions of them.