The New Year did come in with a bang!
And it was followed up beautifully with a day spent out in the open.
Kumbu had asked me keep my day free and he wanted to take a few of us to a special place.
By the time we had to leave for the drive, it was the three of us, including Chota Bomb.
Everyone else had things to do and people to meet. We had the day free, so we took off!
We left at 1230 hours. The place where we were headed was kept a secret. Sneha and I knew it was towards Nasik. Where exactly, we weren’t sure.
But we didn’t bother too much about it. Kumbu was at the wheel of his beloved Achilles (Honda Jazz) and we were making good time with not too much traffic.
In fact, the maximum traffic we found was in the restaurant Green Lawns just after Kasara Ghats, on the way to Igatpuri. Human traffic, that is. The place was packed and the waiters were super busy.
I wish I could say that it was the awesome food that drove in the crowds. I think, it was just the location. Easily accessible and visible.
The food, by my experience, was spicy. The dal khichidi was spicy, the pav bhaji was spicy, even the masala papad was spicy. It was like the cook decided to ensure everyone has a spicy and hot new year! Thank fully the chaas (buttermilk) was cool and saved me from my peril.
It was already 1600 hours by the time we left for the secret location.
The road seemed familiar – it looked like we were heading towards Shirdi. I told Kumbu if he had told me before, I would have gotten my mum along. She would have been thrilled!
By now, I thought I knew where we were going. Towards the sea of windmills!
But what could be so special about these windmills? I can see them from the road!
This is where it got interesting. Kumbu took some turns through some villages and we found ourselves at the base of a curvy road leading up the mountain.
Do you know the feeling you get when you know you are going to be greeted by something that is totally awesome and breathtaking?
That is exactly how I felt.
I became quiet, rolled down my windows and sat up.
Nothing can prepare you for the first sight of the windmill, standing tall and straight, going up towards the limitless sky. What appear like sentinels guarding the Western Ghats, keeping a watch over the sleepy inhabitants from a distance, ends up being a force that you don’t want to mess with when you come close to it.
It seems like such an everyday thing – windmill. It’s there somewhere in the deep recesses of our brain. We don’t pay so much thought to it. Because it doesn’t really affect our day-to-day life. But now, faced with this giant, I am forced to think. To acknowledge. And be amazed.
It is a man-made wonder and common but yet – not so common. The weight, the length, the height – I cannot even think to put that in numbers. I am sure Wikipedia will do that for you.
For me, I cannot attempt to put AMAZING into numbers.
When you stand close to the windmill, you can hear the blades making the whoop…..whoop…..whoop sound as it slices the air. And the unmistakable sound of electricity buzzing through the wires. You want to just lie down on the ground and keep looking at the humongous blades as it keeps going round and round like the propeller of the airplane.
And the view! It felt like you could see the entire world from up here. It wasn’t really the entire world, but that’s what it felt like. Of course, we had to keep in mind, one wrong step and it would be the end of our worlds. So we gave the edge of the mountain the respect it deserves. And kept away.
It was the silence that was the added gift. I mean, you can try to listen to silence anywhere – you only have to try a bit. Here, you don’t even have to try. It surrounds you. And if I had to stay there long enough, I would become Silence.
Of course, we did the city-people touristy things and clicked hundreds of photos. To share it with people who were not there with us. I think we clicked them for our memory bank – so that when we come across these pictures, we live those few moments where we experienced feelings of complete joy and freedom once again.
The air started getting cooler and the sun, softer. Everything was bathed in magic dust. And it was time to leave. We travelled for almost seven hours to spend just a half hour at this place. And it was totally worth it. I had started the journey not knowing what would I find and whether I would be disappointed or not. Faith prevailed. Of letting the day take its course and that it would be worthwhile. It was totally worthwhile.
And sometimes, you just have to do things on faith. Like a road trip, not knowing what the destination holds. You will be rewarded with Magic.