Trips to Panchgani are always looked forward as they help me get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. Not that I do not enjoy Bombay, but I also value quiet, tranquil moments that the hills have to offer.
What set apart this trip from most of the recent ones is that I got to be a kid again. And gladly. This time around, my friends were these three little kids named Dev and Disha (10-year old twins) and little princess Khurshid.
I spent all my first week’s afternoons playing Badminton with them in Desai’s garden. I would go there thinking it is afternoon and that I should get some sleep so I should play for like ½ hour and would then take leave. But ½ hour would soon turn into an hour and then two to three hours would just sweep by without realizing. Time flies by so fast.
I have always been horrible at sports, including badminton, but after practicing for like 4-5 days with them, I must say that my badminton is not all that bad! Carom too was played over steaming hot cups of ginger tea - the best that I have had in a long time – prepared by Mr & Mrs Desai.
What else? I observed that I would get a bit tired after about 2-3 hours, but the kids would go on and on and on. They are such a bundle of energy; we adults tend to get tired after some time, but they don’t. Of course on my second day itself, I decided I would play with them the whole afternoon. After all, where do I get a chance to let loose myself and become a child once I am in Bombay. And unlike some people who feel too “grown-up” to be playing and mixing with children, I have no qualms and instead look forward to such opportunities to play with them.
When I go to Panchgani, a trip to Wai’s Ganapati temple is a must. Nestled in the foothills of Panchgani and just before the last of the four ghats you climb to reach Panchgani, Wai is a temple town, famous for its Ganesh temple.
This time we went with our Phiroozmand neighbours and Farida and her little sweet daughter Khurshid. The Phiroozmand neighbours are a good company as they are constantly arguing and fighting or heavily discussing something or the other in Dari language which, by the way, does not seem to have a full-stop or a comma in its vocabulary! The way they talk; they could be discussing something trivial that barely merits your attention, but the way they talk and discuss and keep going on and on and on and on for hours, weeks, days and months, you feel as if they have more work than the prime minister of our country! You don’t understand them, but they still amuse you. But the Phiroozmands are very helpful and resourceful and always ready to lend a helping hand. We feel nice when neighbours are around, otherwise it can get very lonely in the hills.
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