Saturday, July 21, 2007

Monsoon Trip !!

Finally managed to get a break last weekend. Took Friday off from work and went with Anjali on a 3-day extended weekend trip to Lonavala. The start was more dramatic than the trip itself. Was a bit lazy in leaving home on Friday morning and then got stuck in Mumbai traffic (always an emotional topic for me - refer previous post) while going to Dadar station. When finally the cab stopped outside Dadar station, the train had arrived on the platform and the announcement asking passengers to board and take their seats was already blaring. As we started descending the railway bridge taking us to the required platform, the train started moving. And just as u miss the local train, I missed an outstation train for the first time in my life (thankfully, decided not to do anything filmy by trying to catch a moving train as it happens in the Bollywood movie climax - in any case, the lady to run after was besides me and not in the train :)))

Thankfully, we were going to Lonavala and had the option of buses readily avaliable. So that was not a problem and we reached Lonavala by bus at almost the same time as the train would have taken us. Lonavala on Friday morning was comparitively quiet. But come Saturday morning, and it changes completely. Suddenly, thousands of people descend over the town like a swarm of locusts, especially in the monsoon. Restaurents are full and the roads are jammed just like in Mumbai (we took an hour to cover a 4km stretch between the Valvan Dam to Lonavala station). While Lonavala is certainly beautiful (check out the pics), the abuse it bears every weekend certainly does not do it any good. It must be acknowledged though, that its economy is very much dependent on Mumbaikars and Puneites and the money they bring in. That said, it is still quite distressing to see garbage (prime amongst them were the left-over corn cobs) thrown nonchalantly on the road. Which is why I believe that the Taj being amongst the seven wonders will do us no good until we have an attitude that respects nature and our heritage.

So the next time you plan to go to Lonavala, do Lonavala and yourself a favour. Avoid the weekends !!


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