Being a kid all you want in life is a set of few friends who take care of you as family. They are your family outside the four walls of your home. I found such a friendship when I came to Bangalore. We had already been classmates in Delhi for four years which we spent just talking casually. Even after coming to Bangalore we only got to be friends in 11th standard. Her name is Maneesha and she is like a small sister, though highly matured.
We both had found another friend who was over caring and we would call her ma sometimes. Archana was the third friend in our group. Our houses being close to each other, we got close as friends and daily we would meet in ground every morning to jog.
When the school life got over, we joined colleges, me and Maneesha joined the same college whereas Archana had joined another. This difference of colleges did not tear us apart. In fact, it brought us closer. Our jogging hours increased because we had so much to talk. Our friendship is now 9 years old.
As we passed out from college, we moved to different streams of jobs. And that has brought gap in our talking times. But the friendship goes on. And this distance gave us an opportunity to plan trips together.
So this was our first trip, we three heading for the big city of Mumbai, Archana lives in Pune so not that far for her. But still the excitement stays.
Our journey began on October 1st
Day1: Running for washrooms in rain--------------------------------------
We left in evening and reached majestic bus stand by 7pm even though our bus was at 9. You can see the excitement. Maneesha had to use the washroom so we both searched for it near bus stand. There were none nearby and all the paid ones were closed due to rain or some event, I am still looking for answers. We went to check restaurants but no luck. Finally, at one corner we found one small washroom which we used it for like two minutes and ran towards bus stop. We thought we had come far but it was just a roundabout from the bust stand.
The bus came and we got relaxed that finally the trip begins. By 10am we reached Pune bus stand where Archana was waiting for us. Me and Maneesha looked like rag dolls, that’s what travelling in buses for about thirteen hours does to you. We were happy it was all sunny.
Day2: Fort and an Army man---------------------------------------------
One of our dearest friend was in town for his trip as well. We had our day planned but as we came to know he is there, we changed a bit and added meeting him in our list of to dos. He is from army but he knows nothing about time and punctuality in life.
Shaniwar Wada: one of the most beautiful forts I have seen. It represents the place where many Marathas have lived from Sivaji to Mastani. Also the murder of Narayan Rao is quite famous as the folk story says that his screams during his murder is still audible. The place is serene and peaceful now. It still stands tall to dignify the Marathas.
After visiting there, we moved to a temple which is quite famous. The Ganapati temple has its entrance opened right at the edge of the road. So you can sneak up and see the idol rather than standing in line. It’s all about devotion and not dedication.
After this religious and historic visit, we wanted some entertainment of our tastes buds. So we went to a stall where the Vada paws were being made so fast. We stuffed ourselves with one, two and I don’t know how many Vada paws. They were so delicious that we wanted to pack some as well but Archana was like, “kitna khaayegi Moti? (how much you will eat, fatso?” So I didn’t get one for home.
Standing in the corner of the road, we were waiting for that friend who is from army. We waited for ten minutes, then half an hour and then almost one hour whereas he had mentioned he will be there in five. What a liar!!
Finally, he arrived. We wanted to put garlands around him and show Diya to his face for showing up as we had lost all hopes. All he wanted to do was eat now. So we booked a cab and moved to absolute barbeque after lot of research of restaurants as many were closed by this time. We hogged on his money as he paid the bill. All our hatred for his late arrival disappeared. It was time for him to go and carry on with his own trip and we with ours. After a lot of laughter, jokes, and whole lot of hugs, we said good byes to him. He is actually a very sweet person. It’s just his time that he has no sense of.
Day3: Run, catch and float-------------------------------------------------
It was 4 am and Maneesha was dancing in the room, screaming “I am ready, Sadhana get up and take bath, Archana wake Sadhana up.” I was thinking if am dreaming, but it was not a dream, she was screaming and dancing. I got up, took bath, and wore a dress that I didn’t understand (no fashion sense). After that we booked a cab and left for railway station. We reached in ten minutes. And our train was about to leave so we rushed to get the tickets and get in the loaded train. At 5am it was loaded. It was the local train so I had not much expectations. The ride was for four hours to Dadar station. Again the washroom search began as we couldn’t use the local trains restroom. After a 20 km ride, we found burger king outlet. That was just the dream come true. First thing that we did in Mumbai was use the washroom and then ordered a hell lot of fries.
Maneesha had suggested Elephanta caves as our place to go so we went to the gateway of India, the magnificent building and then hoped on cruise and left for an hour long journey in the sea. The breeze was awesome and view was just serene. Elephanta caves were not that good an advice but the whole journey of going there and coming back was amazing, also we got some awesome pictures. I liked the cold caves. The sculptures were deteriorating bit by bit every day and hence many of them didn’t have full parts. Still, overall it was a good deal for four hours.
After floating in sea, we booked a cab from gateway of India to Juhu beach. And on the way, the cabby had promised to show us everything that Mumbai has. So, on our way we saw marine drive, the sea link, Haji Ali Dargah, Ambani’s costly but empty building, Lata Mangeshkar’s house, Galaxy (Salman Khan’s villa) and Mannat (Shahrukh Khan’s home).
As we reached Juhu, we lost all the zeal and excitement. There were huge trucks of garbage and people were still littering the sea. After a quick gulp of samosa and a feeki (tasteless) chai, we left the place. We caught our bus back to Pune by 9pm and reached at around three in the morning back to Archana’s place.
Day4: Meeting Gandhi----------------------------------------------------
The next day I met my cousin who stays in town and then left for the Aga khan palace. The place was quiet and in afternoon it was lit with sunlight. The domes were shining and the shades looked more dark. The windows were reflecting the story of this place as fresh as it is. Also the stories written on the boards were reflecting Gandhi Ji’s stay in Aga Khan palace.
The trip had come to an end and we were all a bit sad. But the fact that we successfully made it to the trip gave us hopes that this friendship of three people is unconditional. We don’t need to do something or come closer or be on call constantly to keep it going. We just needed these memories of all the moments to be alive in us. Well, we did make it to another trip this year. But about that we will discuss later. Aatasaatthi goodbye.
Now devour the pictures we clicked.