Today have decided to write about my memories about yesterday. Have been writing about memories of great people and festivals in and around India. But today, my readers, wish to share some personal moments with you all. Hope you all like it!
A day about spending time with myself.
A day about spending time with my other half.
A day spent well enjoying things what we like to do together.
A day of fruits and natural water.
A day spent in caves and movies.
We, both had decided to spend the day together as the kids have gone to their maternal uncle’s place and I had a holiday. We had planned to visit a place which I had never visited before, the Kanheri caves, located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in the suburbs of Mumbai city. And then go for a movie in the evening.A relaxed morning with a cup of tea and oats for breakfast. Oats during this year has become one of my favourite foods to eat. I have also learnt to cook them, as they involve nothing but a packet full of water and a simmering flame. I had my favourite flavour of “mint chutney”.
Our journey began at around 11am. We were in two minds whether to visit the caves without the kids. We reached the gates of the National Park, paid their entrance fees (Rs. 58 per head and Rs.50 for the scooter, cars and buses are charged extra) and entered in. Despite the wild animals, scooters are allowed inside, as it is very safe. The road was empty and peaceful with less vehicles and lots of monkeys and langurs. It was a delight to see the mother monkey lifting up her child clinging around her belly. The nature around the roads is waiting eagerly for the rains to arrive now. A beautiful sight! Was reminded of a poetry which I had read a few days back about the nature by none other than Rudyard Kipling.
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
Within half an hour, at a speed of 20km/hr, we reached the base which lead us to the caves. After parking our scooter in the parking area, we took the stairs taking us to the caves. My readers, should know that there a minimal entry fee of Rs.25 per head to enter the caves. The site has been taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India and should say that it is well maintained. There is a refreshment area serving snacks on the left side as one enters in.
The caves are said to be built by the Buddhist monks around 1500 years ago. There are in all 104 caves found till now and are well looked after. Some of them are locked as they need to be maintained. We started by entering the first cave which is quite huge and has beautiful sculptours of Lord Buddha enshrined in its walls.
The next cave which we visited has a big stupa inside it. It must have been their prayer hall. The pillars outside the hall have a transcript inscribed on it. And the pillars inside have different scenes from the life of Buddha carved out. Once one enters this cave, one has a feeling of awe and surprise, at the same time a feeling of peacefulness and calm. The eerie silence inside is broken by the wishful chirping of the birds.
After spending some time in this cave, we moved onto to th next. It was a small one with a room having a verandah type door and a small room inside, maybe to cook. Every room has small pedestal on which one can sit to meditate or even sleep. These caves made me think about the atmosphere when it rains and the water must have been dripping over the roofs into the verandah. A beautiful sight to be imagined!
Also every cave had it’s own water supply tank. A channel, even filled with water today. Water stored in the rocks during rainfall was used the entire year around. There were huge tanks too. There was water even now when we visited, but the guards advised us against drinking it. If maintained, then can also provide as a source of water for the visitors.
We moved on. And we entered a hall. Wide and broad with a table like artefact laid out along its length. We wondered what the room could be?
We speculated. As Gujaratis, the first thought that occurred to us was that it was a common dining room with shore houses and a kitchen place. (We need to think beyond food! Seriously!). Later one of the guards on duty told us that it is a SCHOOL. We both laughed our hearts out on our little and narrow understanding.We moved on to the other caves and slowly climbed the top of the mountain.
A beautiful view! On one side, one can see the high rises coming up around the national park and on the other, we can see a lake far off (the first pic I have uploaded before this paragraph). A scenic place with lots of air. Even in the afternoon time, there was a cool breeze blowing so as to cool us and the place.
Also the flora present around is few but leaves an imprint on our minds about the place.There were still many caves to be visited, but we decided otherwise, as we had spent more than 3 hours at the place. We walked down to the refreshment place and had the staple food of Mumbai, the Vada Paav. Later the watery watermelon filled us with sweetness. We moved back towards the National Park play area.
Here we savored upon the various herbs and fruits available. The Cucumber and the Star Fruit. The Kaala Jamuns and the various types of Imli. Later a stroll down the wide promenade inside, we decided to return back home.
It was 4pm by the time we decided to return and I was hungry. The urge to eat Idli was unavoidable. So my wife drove ourselves to one of the best eateries which would satiate my hunger. “Mani’s Dosawaala”, located in one of the prime locations of Kandivali West, Mahaveer Nagar. We tried a different variety of Dosa, Chutney onion dosa, a taste I still savour, in my memory. And the idli and medu wada served here are just to be enjoyed and not described. After a long time, I drank sambar which wasn’t sweet. Would recommend this place for all South Indian food lovers.
Later in the evening, we entered the last cave of our day. The auditorium at the Inox theatres, at the Raghuleela Mall. The movie we had chosen to watch, a gujarati movie, “Bahu na Vichaar”. A movie well made with a new idea but very poor screenplay. The actors have acted out well and the songs are good.Lastly we visited Mahaveer Nagar and were treated to a delight of Harley Davidson bikes modified according to the riders need. It was a beautiful sight! Amazing sight! I personally loved the bikes.
Spent the evening with a very close friend and his wife. We visited a new outlet (for me), Aroma and tasted the smokey brownie there. We parted with a promise to meet again and soon.We returned back home late night. But now, with the day behind my back, reminiscent the moments spent together with my lovely wife, strong lady with strong conviction. A strong support to me. A pillar on which our family thrives.
A day spent to talk and share.
A day spent being together.
A day spent without worries.
A day spent to learn to care….