Note: Names are not divulged for the sake of fun and anonymity. Neither any malice is intended towards my friends who accompanied me, nor is any secrecy being maintained from those of you reading it. Mentioning their names, I feel, is a pointless detail.
Try to enjoy this, and be patient and read till the end. Suggestions and remarks are welcome in the “Comments” section. I just wanted to try something new, hopefully this way of writing clicks with you readers.
The route we followed was this. Use the points as a reference. The points A and H coincide, because the origin and the destination, was the same.
A, B, C, D, E went on an impromptu road trip. This is their story, a little bit jumbled up.
10th July 2011
10.30 A.M. Point H
( An almost empty petrol tank, returning back to Nagpur. )
A : Let’s go home now… Forget about the petrol pump.
B : From next time onwards, yaar, we’ll always plan out our trips. This one was an almost utter failure. We didn’t achieve anything we really set out to do.
C : (grinning) Well, let’s review the situation once again. Where do your parents think you all are? I just talked to my Mom and told her that we are headed back. I told her the truth, maybe you all could have done the same.
A : Remember, if we reach my home early, tell my parents that we saw the Bor Dharan, (Bor Dam), okay?
C : (smiling) Okay… Why lie, though? It’s not as if what we did was anything wrong. Every step we took seemed right at that time. (smirking) Now, not so much…
E : Oye, let’s fill petrol once again and go back to Bor Dharan. My parents think I am in Saalbardi. I can’t go back home so soon.
D : (nodding his head) My parents are not expecting me back so soon too. Let’s go to a movie, or Krazy Kastle ( a water park ) instead. No one has to know what really happened.
B : **** **** Saalbardi. Let’s go back home already.
C : At least we got some experience dude…
( Everyone’s tired, annoyed and a little bit put out although it’s only the start of the day )
9.45 A.M. Point G
A : How far is the Bor dam from here?
6th innocent bystander: It’s about 7 kilometres from here.
(After 10 minutes down the road, making an inquiry again.)
A : How far is the Bor dam from here?
5th innocent bystander: The village Hingni is 30 kilometres from here, from there the Bor Dam is some 2 or 3 kilometres away. In the way you will get Lake Zhilpi.
(B grins back at C, C is already trying not to laugh)
B : It’s 30 kilometres from here now…
(Everyone starts laughing.)
(The person standing outside, seeing five youngsters laughing at an apparently serious topic gets confused.)
C : (Pointing at the petrol indicator) We don’t have enough petrol.
A : Where’s the nearest petrol pump?
5th i.b. : It’s about 10 kilometres behind, no petrol pump ahead in Hingni.
E : Let’s fill petrol and then come back once again yaar. Seriously!
5th i.b. : If you want to enjoy only, then there’s a bar at the petrol pump behind. [ Agar aapko maje hi karne hai, to picche ke petrol pump mein bar bhi mil jayega aapko. ]
(Everyone including the bystander laughs again.)
C : (Thinking) Great. Now he thinks we are alcoholics.
E : (Thinking) We all have never touched a drink, and he thinks that we are drunk at 9.40 in the morning! Idiot…
A : [ Arre nahi bhaiya ] O, you don’t know from where we are coming.
5th i.b. : Are you coming from Katol or nearby?
A : (Saying all this in one breath) We left in the morning from Ramtek (Point B), went till Deolapar (Point C), came back because the Pench national park was closed, and went till Bazaargaon (Point D) to go to Saalbardi (not in the map shown), only to find out that it was 100 kilometres from there and decided to go to Bor Dharan. And on the way we were given wrong directions twice and so went from Point E to Point F, only to come back again here, to Point G. And all this in the last 5 hours.
5th i.b. : (Exasperated) Oh dear God… [ Arre bappa ]
C : Let’s head to the petrol pump. I don’t think we should go to Bor Dharan.
8.30 A.M. Point D
(After having breakfast, and everyone making their calls home.)
D : I talked to my father, he said Saalbardi is 100 kilometres from here. Now what should we do? We can’t go there.
C : I sleep for two hours, and find myself in the exact opposite direction of where we intended to go. And ALL FOR NOTHING, again.
A : **** **** E, you said that it was 30 kilometres from Nagpur (Point H). And now, apparently it’s 130 kilometres…
B : We’ll go to Bor Dharan. Yesterday, we heard A’s father say na, that it’s around 50 kilometres from Nagpur. It’s still morning. We can return by late noon to Nagpur.
C : Okay. We’ll go to Bor Dharan, no use arguing over anything now.
(Calling the waiter, asking him for the bill)
E : (to waiter) How to go to Bor Dharan from here?
4th innocent bystander (waiter) : Bor Dharan? That is near Hingni. [ 30 kms southwest from Point G ]. You’ll have to go back to Point E and take the bypass.
A : Okay. Thanks.
(After a few minutes, on the road, going from Point E southwards. The road diverges into 3 directions. The actual road we have to take is west towards Point G)
B : Now where to go? Continue south [towards Point F] or west [towards Point G]?
D : Go south… I think that Bor is in that direction. I did a project on that, while in school.
A : You sure? Even E thought Saalbardi was 30 kilometres from Nagpur, turned out to be 130.
D : Ya. I think I know.
(Reaching Point F the road is blocked. Three people are standing nearby.)
A : How to reach Bor Dharan, if this road is blocked?
1st, 2nd, 3rd innocent bystander : (Talking almost in unison) Arre, you have come the wrong way… Go back the same way you came, and take not the 1st, not the 2nd, but the 3rd left [ means west towards Point G] This road goes to Wardha, Bor Dharan is west from here, not south. Remember, not the 1st, not the 2nd, but the 3rd left. Don’t forget, okay?
A : (Irritated) Okay… (To D, in a mocking voice) “Ya. I think I know.” Again, we go back the road, we came…
C : I have a feeling that we are going to return to Nagpur, one way or another. (smiling) Let’s go back now, and take not the 1st, not the 2nd, but the 3rd left.
6 A.M. Point C
(At the closed entrance of the Pench national park.)
C : What the hell!!! The park is closed from 15th June to 1st October… All this for nothing. What now?
E : Arre, don’t worry. We have plenty of time. I know a place called Saalbardi. It’s like, only 30 kilometres from Nagpur. Let’s go there. We can return home by late noon.
B : But that is in a totally different direction. We will have to go all the way back south west.
A : Yes. It’ll be a big drive back. But what can we do? We will take a bypass, and go to Saalbardi. E, are you sure that it is 30 kilometres from Nagpur?
E : Ya. I think I know. It is near fun and food village, I think. Somewhere around Point E.
C : Okay, whatever. I have had a crappy night. I am going to sleep for two hours now. Wake me up when we stop for breakfast.
4 A.M. Point B
( In a crappy, sub-standard hotel room, which seems apparently filled to the brim with fleas and all kinds of insects.)
C : Wake up, guys. Big day today. I hope you got some sleep. I couldn’t sleep a wink. Now, seeing a tiger in the Pench reserve is going to be the only consolation for me.
A : Dude, this is going to be the best part. We will leave at 4.45 A.M. And drive from Point B to Point C.
B : Yes. It is good that we decided to come here instead of going to Bor Dharan. The forest is much more interesting. (To A) Your father said that Bor Dharan is an option, but it was the LAST place I wanted to go.
D : Ya. I had done a project on that place in school. It’s not very interesting.
E : I hope this trip will be as adventurous as my family’s last trip to Saalbardi.
9th July 2011
10 P.M. Point B
(After having finished dinner at an okay-okay looking hotel, and feeling happy that they got a room for five people at such a low price, compared to the REALLY expensive M.T.D.C. [Maharashtra Tourist Development Corporation] hotels.)
E : At least the food was nice… There was no salt in the Hyderabadi veg though.
C : I ate only Paneer Butter Masala mostly! It was tasty and dependable, as always.
B : The Paneer Saoji had too much salt. Paneer Butter Masala was nice.
A : I don’t think the water here is so good. My stomach is paining.
D : This trip has been good so far. Let’s play cards for a while and then sleep. We have to wake up early tomorrow.
A : Yes, because only the first hundred cars are allowed into the Pench National Park. And there is a long line. The gate opens at 5 A.M.
C : We are five people, I guess we will have to arrange a vehicle too. I will wake you all at 4 A.M. My mobile alarm is so annoying, it always wakes me up.
7 P.M. At the lake near Point B
(After spending almost an hour at the lake, throwing stones, seeing which one bounces the most times before going down, and a round of motorboat, which lasted about ten minutes in the Lake Khindsi.)
C : It’s getting dark now. Let’s search for M.T.D.C. hotels. My father said that we should choose a proper hotel, otherwise, we won’t be completely fresh tomorrow.
A : Yes, but let me do the bargaining, okay? We will find a hotel within our budget, and if we find a less expensive one, it’ll be better still.
5 P.M. On road, going from Point A (Point H) to Point B
A : Woohoo!!! Finally, we are out of Nagpur. We should do more of these kinds of trips.
C : Yes. And, so what if we are doing this without much planning? It will be fun too. I read on the net, “If experience was so important, we’d never have had anyone walk on the moon.”
B : I hope we can still make it to Lake Khindsi and spend some time near the water before it gets dark.
D : Oye, let’s take a lot of photos on the way.
E : I am feeling a kind of freedom. At long last, we are enjoying our holidays and going out of station.
3 P.M. Point A
C : Chikhaldara (230 kilometres from Point A) is too far away. And the road is dangerous at night. We will have to go somewhere near by.
A : My father said Bor Dharan is about fifty kilometres from here.
E : I want to see a tiger. How about we go to a forest?
D : We can go near Lake Khindsi. There’s Pench National Park near it.
B : Whatever, let’s just go already!!! Let’s not waste time here, sitting and planning everything.
1st July 2011 – A film called “Delhi Belly” was released all over India. Its tagline was $#!T HAPPENS
15th June 2011 – The Pench National Park is closed for visitors during monsoons from Mid – June to Mid – October. This is the time when the park receives heavy rainfall and there are chances of floods which rush the animals to hideouts. Hence no one can visit Pench National Park during this period.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
– Soren Kierkegaard
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