No one would deny that the last moment plans always work out and make the most exciting experience. I had such a eleventh hour trip to Khadavali, a small hamlet located on the central line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway system between Kalyan and Kasara
Although there is an overhead bridge to go to the west, the track on the west being not in use, everybody including me jumped the tracks to get on the other side. The liquor shops lined up and almost every household displaying boards of typical ‘gaoran’ countryside cuisine comprising of bhakri and kharda, on offer shows signs that the sleepy village is ready to cash on visitors. The caution however was “you have to place an order in advance” A sprawling bungalow with paddy fields greeted us to this county. Narrow sloppy tar roads amongst greenery stretching to the horizon lead us to the destination.
After a walk of about ten minutes, the cheerful, giggling, bustling and widespread river was clearly visible. On the left side of the river were tiny small steps leading to a small temple of Lord Shiva. There is a small hotel rather a shanty offering tea and snacks aptly named as “Nadikinara” for delectation of visitors. The marshy banks of the river provide multiple alleys from the bushes to reach the riverbed. There are two bridges on the river, one complete and the other under construction. One can see the huge complex of Matoshri old age home on the other side of the bridge. We decided to cross the bridge. The bridge was hardly a foot above the waters. The sound of running water coupled with sight of rushing water everywhere helped us to come close to the nature.
There are huge rocks in the riverbed. There were many young boys enjoying a dip into the water. There was a woman washing clothes. On enquiry I learnt that the river was also called Khadavali and it originated somewhere at Bhaskar. However, the poor lady could not answer what was Bhaskar. My fellow men religiously shifted into their swim wear and entered the waters splashing water at each other. The water was surprisingly clean. I was happy to see no plastic and other rubbish in the waters. I had never enjoyed getting wet- whether in the rains, waterfalls or water parks. The very sight of water reservoir gave me nausea. But this clean flowing water coupled with the envious happiness of my friends gave me an invitation which was too tempting to resist. I entered the water. The cold water touched my body to give every pore of my body a much needed rejuvenation. To add to his the rains which had always played a spoil sport for me, sprinkled heavy showers of joy. Today I and water had entered in to a new treaty of friendship.
As a result the black clouds of enmity in the sky suddenly disappeared and sun shined in its full brightness. The flow of water had a force and at times it seemed to carry away me with its currents. So was this invitation from the fate, a fatal thought suddenly crept my mind. On a second note the water gave me a feeling that it was pulling my leg just like a close friend would. After lying for more than two hours in the whirlpool, I got out of it. The bright sun worked as a dryer as well as room heater. Our churning stomachs directed us to the Hotel Nadikinara. There tables with bamboo roofs, overlooking a coulee, made a perfect holiday mood. The bright sun made a perfect lighting to develop a clear picture of the mesmerizing landscape. We were carrying ample food items with us and hence tasted only cutting chai in the hotel. The hotel otherwise offered cold vada pav and hot missal pav. After filling our appetite for food and pleasure, we were on our way back to the station with only wish that let Khadavli remain always clean and serene. Such was the impact of Khadvali and its nature
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.