i remember reading randomly some honcho's book, Freakynomics or so and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and i had The Seagull story, spoilt for choice that i dint read any!! Vardhman's i-pod played some ok-ok songs to kill time, my boogey friends-some retired to a quick nap, others played Bluff and some just sat and watched what others did. Dusk came by and it was time to get some snacks from the platform, the train slowed and people ran in and out with packets of ready takeaways, vada pavs and hardened pooris, not bad!! Vardhman and Luqman did their bit and we also acquired a Ludo board and we welcomed on board 2 other Googlers and many more, Soumyajit( from now onwards, Somu'da) and Suparna( Supi/Sups will do)!!We played ludo and the instant Bong chatter was infectious!! By late evening, they came to our area and we pledged to stick by and blah blah!!
Ramya was capturing everything live, she was kinda lost as a seasoned traveller, too many kids around, she would say!! I always admired her fashionista sense,glad to meet you, girl!! She was the latest to our dormant team needing a name, Hakuna Matata was born albeit some hiccups :) and also, the credi goe to her for stamping that name to all of us!!
Until then, we have only begun assessing each other and like, we will get along, anyway, no choice!! But things changed with the ghost stories and the genies and the adorable first crushes!! ;) I would be killed if i told each story here, of course that i am harassed for the reverse crush tale of mine is another story!! I have the goalkeeper fixation and the English teacher and god knows, how many more names??
All in all, some 13 of us were huddled in 3 seats and Ram kept sentry and what befell our other travelling friends, we don't know, we dint hear any snores or mores!!
At 2 am in the night, we get down to have tea in one of the rarest train halts, it was raining and the air was cool and the cricket chirped!!Our guys, now we know them by that name, were caught smoking and the guy on duty was so damn honest that he refused to accept our bribe of 200 bucks!!Anyway, that matter got over sooner or later, who wants to fight in the night??
We were waiting for daybreak, Somuda dint allow anyone of us to sleep, but the girls and Krishna managed!! And i remember shouting some rubbish at their attempt to disturb me in my sleep, even 90mins of sleep is a matter of envy!!!
3:30-4 am, Ram woke me up saying destination ahoy, get up!! Took control of my senses and there is an eerie thrill in getting up that early, coz i forgot what early morning looks like. Freezing station, dirty staircases and running for loos and the waiting room to brush our teeth!!
Took the local train from Neral to Dasturi or the other way round, don't remember ;(, wet seats, thenkfully, no leaking roofs, no doors, wind blowing by the kph, shiver shiver!! Took the wind on my face and the chilled dew-rain, feels heavenly, really heavenly!!my eyes kinda longed for this wet monsoon feel, Shillong just reminded me of her :)
At the station, we took cabs on hire to climb a long winding hill and saw lovely dales and waterfalls till the point where we walk some few kms on foot or horses!! it was punishing for me, coz i was not equipped otherwise, my umbrella was the most useless thing i ever carried besides my slip-ons :( and sneakers, god help me!! regretted not going for contact lenses even if that meant some snobbish observation that it is cosmetic vanity:(
the walk from there to our resort was breath-'taking' and my feet just enjoyed the cuts and the hardniness of the red soil and the toy train tracks, fair feet, whitened and paled into paler, translucent mobile souls, what else could i ask, i was happy, i let go of my famous Mary Poppins umby as Jeanette calls and walked on and on, the umby however was a bone of contention between Gowtham and Krishna, the criterion of decision being who ditched whom and whatever??
We walked and talked, my slip ons came of twice, Luqman doubled up as the problem solver, Somuda and Gowtham and i,Ram captured all the pics that his camera could accommodate!!We reached tired and greeted by our original species in their native natural suit, monkeys are a common feature in Matheran, they watched me beat water of my hair and boy, they were frightened by a better specimen ;)
We grabbed the room keys, Me, Supi and Ramya in one room and the guys, let them figure out!! but all in one block, that was the deal, see you at breakfast!! dear departed/retired to our hovels