A bike ride for the coming weekend was getting me and Vj so excited. But the increasing no. of the participants and someone’s constant “Ferry ride.. Ferry ride..” and “tain tu tain taain taain..” made us force ourselves to change the plan for only a Ferry ride constituting to a ‘Alibaug picnic’ instead of a ‘Murud bike-ride’. Ashok and Gauri were to join us as well. Rajo couldn’t make it as he was at Tirupati satisfying Gods. I dying to see Vj’s new Rebel XTi. Even after the disappointment of dropping the bike ride (me and Vj will continue to direct these sarcastic comments till we die), the whole scenario was perfect for a ideal weekend picnic, Cool weather, Vikrant, the ever so giggling guy, Vj adding dry fuel to jokes, Ashok and not but the least Mukti, the giggling ‘Kutch ki raani’.
Feb 2, 2008, @ 4.45am
The alarm as usual a little late, the excitement getting the better of me and making me let my drowsiness off before the ring hurt the ears. As by order..
Hello Mukti, awake?
Good morning … (she continued, I didn’t comprehend)
Good u’re awake, bye, cu later
At 6.00am I was @ Khar station boarding the 5.59 Churchgate local. It was not surprising, that Vj was just at Borivali station at that time, boarding a fast local. And to add to that..
और एक news सुनेगा? गौरी नही आरही है
At the Churchgate station, I waited till around 6.45 a train came, and I saw Mukti walking alone, lost!! I shouted her name out but.. Lost. I saw Vj coming in front of me and said
अशोक मिला? वो इधरही भटक रहा है किधर…
फोन किया था…
We couldn’t find Hundai anywhere, Mukti was slowly coming back to her own (giggling). Vj called Vikrant to schedule the rendezvous, when Ashok made his appearance. We decided to head for Gateway of India, By the time we were on road, Vj had revealed his new 400D/XTi. And as a true Moron(z) he kept clicking everywhere, Streets, Buildings, Taxi-cabs, busts, Walls, Fences, road-dividers, Zebra-crossings, Lamp posts, the list goes on. Mukti kept shouting, soon she lost hope and walked ahead with Sudani, with me dangling in between them and calling for Vj.
I kept burbling…
उधर एक ईराणी होटल है, हम उधर बन-मस्का खाएंगे
Mukti: अबे तू हमारा दिमाग क्यों खा रहा है? उधर जाके खा तू… hmmmphh!
At Regal we met Vikrant, and had few more snaps with him and finally landed ourselves in the restaurant, where we ordered masca-pav, chai, omelette. Mukti was excited to eat omelette. That was not enough for me, and we ordered for Bhurji. After all that, we got out in the sun, and booked 5 tickets for Alibaug.
हमलोग उधर जाके क्या करेंगे?
पता नही उधर जाके देखेंगे
We stood in the line for the 9.00am Ferry while we watched and wondered which one would it be. To our surprise, against my explanations to the group, our launch was comparatively well decorated, with the upper board full of wooden-feel-like decorations. The launch undocked and left ‘Apollo Bunder’. The sea ever so inviting, led all the people to get their cameras, phones out. Almost 15 minutes into the ride, and we found the seagulls following us. Vj must’ve clicked a 100 photos of just the seagulls. We were at the back side of the launch on the top at the very edge. Mukti said..
I’m Kate Winslet from Titanic
Rutu: yaa.. right..
मैंने बोला ना, केट विंस्लेट…
Vj: tain tu tain tu tain taai (Mimicking the high pitched voice of Mukti)
The journey continued with a lot of jokes, leg-pulling. We laughed a lot. Vj said to Vikrant
मैंने बोला था ना मज़ा आएगा (this was one of the 1000 times)
The journey continued for almost 1 hour when we could see the Mandwa jetty, and in few minutes we were there. The launch docked, we could see people walking on the Jetty, but we were glued to the launch, continuing to snap pictures. We had only 1 thing to do that day, “pass time” and we didn’t spare any moment. After the small walk of the jetty we reached the road, where the Ferry Services’ Bus was awaiting
Another 45 minutes before we reach Alibaug
This thought haunted us. The bus ride as expected was full of laughters. Mukti offered Snickers to Vj and Vikrant, at that I asked..
Mukti, how come u’r sharing chocolates?
with a villainous smile..
I don’t like that chocolate
and more laughter…
Sudani: कितनी हरामी है तू मुक्ति …!
Vj: मैंने बोला था ना मज़ा आएगा
Alibaug is a neat little town, very modern in terms of amenities, roads, shops. We knew only one thing where we could hangout, the Beach. We asked for directions and it was just 5 mins walk from the stop. But before that everybody had to drain themselves, Gents could do with the ST stand’s, not the female. Ahead we stopped for a lassi drink, Vj with his Saturday fast had to find something that he could gulp down. We had to find a Hotel with a ‘clean’ washroom, and we found ‘Dwarka’. We ate Batata vada and Sabudana vada, the ‘fast’-food. Now with everybody’s tank empty and clean, we headed out finally for what was expected out of an outing. (A bike ride could’ve been even more fun). We could smell the saline air, Vj saw a folk-exibition-shop, and he entered even asking us to follow, I did, but couldn’t stay in for long and came out, Mukti and Sudani followed me. There were shutters flying till Vj came back.
A concrete ramp lead us to the beach, ahead we saw a huge beach with very little water ahead of us. We saw the Alibaug fort in the distance. People were literally walking through the waters into the fort ! We had something more than just the beach !! yea…!
हमलोग घोडागाडी से जाते हैं ना…!
No guesses to who kept nagging. Finally everybody started walking in the wet sand. It was around 12.00 noon. Mukti was very scared about something biting her legs and thought jeans was the best armour. She kept dragging it through the water, never caring to fold it a little. Finally the water, but just ankle deep. It was like walking through a water logged school ground. We had ample of photos over here, with Sudani posing.
We reached the fort in half hour, Vj couldn’t just keep his camera idle, Vikrant and Mukti their giggle .(arre waah! kya rhyme hua hai !) Vikrant’s laughter reminds me of one of the members from “Perils of Penelope Pitstop”, with the voice like the vocal chord is laughing by its own as well. We had to purchase Rs. 5 ticket for “Indians”, lucky we were not “Foreinger’s” or we would’ve shelled out “Rs 100/each” for the not so well maintained “Kolaba fort”, the official name of the Alibaug fort. It was Saturday and there were many visitors for the fort, there was school group as well. We walked along the walkway till we turned through the door into the fort temple, there was a very inviting slanted tree just at the right height to climb on. Everybody pleased it. The tree incremented its count of snaps it posed in.
We came to the fort wall where Vikrant had an idea of jumping from the wall while the cameras capturing it. And this little idea was great enough to keep us busy for around 20 minutes. Each one had themselves freezed in mid-air. Sudani with the highest ground clearance and as usual no clues required for the ‘lowest ground clearance’. Vikrant had himself clicked in some amazing mid-air positions. The best snap came off when Vikrant, Ashok and Mukti leaped off in a synchro. As of writing this snap is my desktop wallpaper, and probably will continue to be for few more weeks. Mukti too had her ‘tain tuu tain taain taai’ chapar chapar captured.
Vj, Vikrant and Ashok continued along the periphery where they snapped along with two huge iron canons. I and Mukti waited for them to finish off the photo shoot. We decided to head back to the Alibaug beach. The journey back was even more entertaining as we all decided that there can’t be enough fun without splashing water on someone who’s resiting it. The target was Mukti. Loads of snaps and khee khees later we reached the beach, where Vikrant, Ashok and Vj laid on the beach. It was around 2:30, Vikrant had a tennis ball and we decided to play ‘catches’. Vijay’s odd, ill-directed throws reminded Mukti of Ishaan Awasthi’s problems.
Food, our other priority on this trip was next, it was close to 3:45 when we were back in ‘Dwarka’ for flash and flush. Punjabi food was ordered with parathas and Naans. The next thing was interesting, Vj decided for another round of Rotis only for the waiter to say
पराठा, नान खतम, चपाती मिलेगा…
Vj stared and we ordered for chapatis.
सर, चपातीभी खतम, भाकरी मिलेगा
and he was back with some bhakaris and more ’empty’ news
भाकरी भी खतम हुआ
Vj was furious,
और क्या क्या खतम हुआ है?
We finished off with steam rice and jeera rice. And outside Sudani was interested in grapes. I was not interested and kept strolling ahead, when I heard Sudani laughing with his brakes engaging and disengaging. Ashok was staring at Mukti and laughing..
कितनी हरामी है तू मुक्ति !
I’ll leave Mukti to comment on that incident. We waited for the bus and watched the snaps when Vj’s batteries drained out. Mukti was punching in air with joy.
मेरे कॅमेरे में पॉवर है, hmmmph!! अच्छा है अब तो विजय फोटो खींचना बंद करेगा
The ride back to Mandwa jetty was just as enjoyable as the one in the morning in the other direction. At the jetty, the sun was slowly setting down, it was 6:15. Mukti shouted..
विजय तेरे कॅमेरे से फोटो खींच ना..
and laughed off villainously. The sun had set few minutes later and the ferry was calm and peaceful. Everybody kept remembering how we were apprehensive of what we’d be doing at Alibaug, but as it had turned, time was not enough for more enjoyment.
Just before we reached Gateway, everybody was lost in thoughts, calm and pensive. But this was to break, as the launch docked alongside another launch which was roaring with loud Pub music. Vj couldn’t control himself and started dancing in his weired body wriggles. Mukti distanced herself not believing what she was seeing. She is not a stranger to Vj’s this fact, but … Another group of teenagers too enjoyed the loud beats and followed Vj’s path. Our Jamka friend couldn’t resist either, and he showed Mukti how a 3 step Garbaa is performed on those Pub beats. Me, Vikrant and Mukti were laughing when we finally came on terra firma. The Mumbai festival was rocking at the Gateway with a Fashion show, we moved quickly through the crowd and Vikrant parted with a cab to VT.
Rest of us too waded through the traffic to Churchgate station and back to our homes. A lovely day coming to an end.
PS: Special thanks to Vikrant for probing me to write this one.