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A Journey to Madh Island - Part 3

I started walking through the narrow lanes that had small buildings on either side with an occasional departmental store at the ground floor. I could see a temple on the road, it was temple of Goddess Durga. This was largely a fishing village. The air smelt of sea and fish. Fishermen hurried around the road. The demographics seemed to be divided between Malwani, Koli and Catholics. I came down the road it forked into the distance. I started walking towards the left.
Knowing nothing about the destination I kept walking but the sun was too relentless for the luxury of wandering around in the open. I fired up my GPS and was searching where the road was leading. Having made the sense of place I understood that I was now in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t want to travel all the way back to the jetty it was too dull a prospect. And then suddenly a rickshaw came my way. “Andheri Station – Twenty Rupees.” He said. It was great a deal at that moment. I hopped in.
The Rickshaw was soon packed…
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A Journey to Madh Island - Part 2

I came out of the Malad Station. It is a typical suburban station with a bazaar sprawling in its vicinity. A newspaper stand stood right next to a lamppost. I asked the person, “Where I can find the bus stop?” He had committed himself in reading the newspaper, without shifting his gaze he pointed straight towards the serpentine road that went into the market.
I started walking along the road on one side I could see the main entrance of the Malad Station and on the other series of Hotels. The hotels made way to the snacks and sweets centre. The air was filled with aroma of Gulab Jamuns, Jalebis, Dhokla, Samosas and other bucket load of calories. I was amazed with the volume being prepared in each store at the end of the street there was Soda pub where you could cool down your senses after a fiery intake.
I took a left turn. Now the street was full of apparel stores. Clothes for men, women and kids. Every store seemed to be busy with people buying something or the other. I could fina…

A Journey to Madh Island - Part 1

Waking up in the early hours of the day I decided to visit Madh Island. Having heard the name of the place and its somewhere in Mumbai. I wondered where would it be. Nearest station near Madh Island is Malad the Google Assistant told me promptly. It was seven thirty in the morning. I was packing my bag with a bottle of water, crisps and snacks for the day. The gentle luminescence of the sun spread across the road leading out of my society was inviting. The birds where chirping as the gay parrots flew across the blue sky. I left my house and started walking towards the bus-stop for the station basking in, the vitality of the sun.
A few people where aboard as I found many an empty seats in the bus. The conductor was manoeuvring through the crowd giving away tickets to the passengers. I took a window seat and was gazing past the window. The world beyond the window was a mystery as it unfurled before my eyes. My bewildered self wanted to go all out into it wholeheartedly and with certa…

Cycling tour to Shiva Mandir

The sun was mellowing down in the sky. The trees where living behind long shadows down the asphalt road. It was four in the early evening but sun sets early in the winter. I decided to take out my cycle and visit the Shiv Mandir near Gaimukh.
I started my journey. I kept a bottle in the bag-pack. The road was deserted. I stopped to fill air in my tyres. I started with a gusto that issued on my lips in the form of a song. The sky was clear blue with an odd cloud was gliding along obliviously. The wind was mild, yet soothing. The leaves rustled as if whistling. The trees slow danced in the symphony. I pedalled along passing by elegant buildings and suave shopping complexes.
I entered the Ghodbunder Road. Many a buses and cars whizzed past as I was cycling on the sides of the three lane road. The road had a decline that helped me take a breather as the cycle went on auto pilot. A couple of decade ago, Ghodbunder road was a single road passing through the forests of Yeoor Hills. A sole…

Our Birds Still Chirp in Karnala

After entering the base of Karnala fort I went to buy my ticket. The forest officer said “The fort is closed for the day. You can visit the bird sanctury. Give me your valid Id proof.” I gave him my pan card. “The other day when I came the fort was open until the evening.” I said. “The rules have changed since then.” The officer said. “Or is it because there are too few a trekkers today.” I said. “Yes and it is our responsibility to ensure that no mishap happens.” He said. Just then two more trekkers came along. Feeling an opportunity to make the climb I said, “We would climb the trek in the group of three.”

The forest officer agreed and gave us the permission to climb the fort. After the customary checking of the bag we were on our way. “Hi I am Sanket, I am studying Computer Engineering.” I said trying to know my fellow trekkers for the day. “I am Abhijeet. I am second year student of Microbiology. I am from Pune.” He said. “What’s your name?” I asked. “He is Sanjay. He is our pr…

Our Birds Chirp in Karnala

The other day marked the end of Ganesh Chaturthi. The ten day long festival comes to an end with immersion of the elephant headed god in the water. The devotees wait for another year in anticipation that their beloved god would come earlier than this year. Amidst the Ganapati Visarjan and nostalgia that comes after I decided to go for a trek the following day.

Waking up early in the morning. I started out for the trek to Karnala Fort. The fort is situated on the outskirts of Panvel city. It is one of the many forts built in the Sahyadri Range during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj the great Maratha Ruler. I took a train to Panvel from Thane station. Its a city that is back of the beyond. I could see the Thane Belapur road with its growing IT industry as the train passed through various important stations on the Harbour Line. I could see settlement and growing city on my left and miles of greenery spread across the land on my right.
I reached Panvel station. Its an elegant station wi…

Birla Mandir in Shahad

The sun was shinning bright in the morning sky. Birds were cooing in the morning dew. The smell of mist was dispensed in the air that carried a sense of freshness vivifying every heart with enthusiasm. I got out of my bed and quickly got ready. I had planned to visit Birla Mandir(Temple) in Shahad, a small town in the Ulhasnagar District of Maharashtra. Its a hindu temple of Vithoba also known as Vithal. Vithoba is incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. I was eager to explore this century old temple.
I packed my bag with a bottle full of water and some fruits for the journey. Boarding the train to Shahad I settled near the window. The train was less crowded for a week day. Gazing past the window I could see green fields passing behind as the train moved forward. Sleepy hills covered with green blanket. The leaves on many a trees where swaying to the tunes of the wind which was gentle and loving. People kept pouring in a…