Trek to Prabalgad (26 Nov 2004)

K, S, M and Prabal..!

Scene 1 (Time: 2 pm, 25 nov)

C! Mr. K (read me) working on his computer for a moment realized nothing what happened. It was the power-cut on part of load sharing. He was in middle of doing some important work, when the power went. Ever since he left his job Computer was the important means of his entertainment and these regular power cuts troubled him. Now he was thinking what to do, when the telephone ring rang.

H i K, how are you? S(read swapnil) here. What are you doing?

N othing important. K replies.

W ill you come for a trek tomorrow? I am planning to go to Prabalgad. Yes, the one near Panvel.

K had often committed to such treks to S, and many times S had ditched the trek. So he didnt plan to take it seriously. S, I am planning to go for Kulang after two days, I dont think I would make for the trek. By the way, who else are coming. I will tell you later if I can join you.

That’s ok. Till now I haven’t asked anybody. I will call you when I come back from office. Bye.

K hangs up the phone, and takes up the newspaper which was kept near to telephone and starts reading.

Scene 2: Its 6 in the evening.
T he telephone bell ringing.
K receives the call. May I speak to K.
Y es, speaking. K replies.
H ey K, I am A (read Anurag, my IIT junior doing his last year). What are you doing? If nothing, then why don’t you come with me for a night trek. We will leave tonight after few hours to Naneghat and will do Jeevdhan and come back tomorrow evening.
K doesn’t seem much interested. A don’t you have your endsem and BTP going. How can we go for trek?
I just finished my last paper just now at 5.30. I desperately wanna do a trek. I can spare tomorrow, after that I have to do BTP work. Will you come.
( silence..K thinking seems less interested in night trek)..Arre sorry yaar. I don�t think I will come. I have gone to Naneghat once. And also I will be going to Kulang on Sunday. Hey, why don�t you join me to Kulang. I hope you remember the last time we went to Kulang, both of us, and we lost our way..I made you to drink dirty water. We could do Kulang this time
B TP!! I cant come. If you are not coming, please suggest me some one day trek then. Its too hot nowadays, I didn�t want to trek in sun.
W hy not then go to Siddhagad, I just did that last weekend. Whole trek is in shade. You can do that..I will mail you the details if you want.
O K�mail me the details..I will see where I can go..Chal bye..
C, click, back on computer, mailing A details.
Scene 3: 8.30 late evening.
A gain the telephone rings, and again K receives the call.
K , S here. So coming to Prabalgad tomorrow? One of my friends is also interested. We can go, and also you too haven�t gone to Prabalgad before.
K thinking for a moment: .OK we will go! When and where should we meet? I will check with one of my friends if he is coming.
O K, I will call you then when I reach home, may be by 10. Telephone hangs up.
K don�t know how he became ready for the trek. He had already told no to A. K searching for some number, finds it and dials
M ay I speak to M sir (read Madhu, teacher, ex-IITian).
Ya, Speaking:
H i, Its K here. Sorry I dint call you. I told you, we will go for two day trek to Ratangad or Harishchandragad. Actually, I dint want to do two day trek. Would you come for one day, my friend is planning to go to Prabalgad tomorrow.
P rabalgad-tomorrow, sounds little uninterested..actually I had been to Prabalgad once, but it was way back in 1991. I will come. But do you know the route?
D on�t worry, I have couple of books. And net has loads of data. I will just read.
O K, I will read too. Tell me where and when to come.
A ctually, I am not sure of my friend. He has habit of giving Kalti, many times. I will call you by 10 in night. If I don�t call then we are not going. K smiling OK bye..
K tried then desperately reaching A. But all in vain, couldn’t catch him. People who don�t have mobile make other people�s life difficult. Suddenly realizes he too don�t own a mobile. Smiles..
Scene 4: 6.10 am of 26 Nov.
D ogs barking all round. Newspaper wala and milkman seen rushing to business. Some office going people too seem to be in hurry.
T his is Mumbai! K thinking, when he just saw the Panvel bus going. Now wait for another half an hour, he thought.
K reached the bus stand and saw the timetable. Next bus at 7. Nahhiiiiiii!
S and M reached in couple of moments, when K told them the tragedy.
K >> What�s the time?
S , the only one who had the watch, replies 6.15
K > No way we are waiting here for another 45 minutes. Should we go to Manpada phata, and get buses coming from Kalyan?
M >> Not a bad idea! But how to go to Manpada.
S >> Share auto! While he was calling one auto.
S ome 5 mins later�
M >> Hey this will is the bus to Kalyan…Hurry up! Check if we can have the seats.
B us seemed to be empty. Few passengers sitting in front with back seats vacant. All three occupied seats at back.
M >> We are sitting on the wheel, be ready for a rough drive.
K >> S, what have you brought for lunch. I have brought bread, butter and some apples.
S >> I haven�t brought anything. It was too late at night and too early in morning. But I have brought extra bottle as you have told. We wont be getting much water on top.
M >> Not sure, but we may get water this time of year. It was not there in march when we went. By the way I have brought Khichadi, would be good for all of us, and few apples.
K >> Good!
A fter about 40 minutes, Three of them are seen in hotel just outside Panvel bus stand.
K >> Bring us, two spicy mesal, and one kande pohe..and three cups of tea afterwards.
Scene 5: Around 10 in morning, on slopes of prabalgad
K busy with his new camera, taking close ups of some flowers. S sweating, M looking towards the village down.
M >> look that�s the bunglow from where we started the climb.
A fter the breakfast in hotel, they took some 6 seater from little ahead of panvel bus stand for Vardoli village. There is one diversion on Panvel-Chowk highway going towards Shedung village and ahead. The auto left them just ahead of Appolo hospital ahead of Vardoli in the Thakurwadi village. From there they asked few locals the route to Prabalgad. Actually there are two routes to the top. Seeing Prabalgad, one is from left, which climbs along the ridge coming from Kalavanti durg (pinnacle like thing on Prabalgad). While other one from right climb the ridge leading to lower plateau level of Prabalgad and further ahead. These three decided to climb from right towards prabalmachi(the plateau).
S >> Hey look, I am getting full strength orange signal!
K >> May be its due to the closeness to the Pune express highway, we just crossed enroute. Look there is our own Malanggad which we can see from Dombivli. We are actually see the back of it now. Behind that must be Dombivli.
M >> We can see the whole range. Malang, Tavli hills, Mhasmal, Chanderi.. On back side PRabal we must see Nakhind, Peb, Matheran and Irshalgad.
A ll started climbing some steep patch now. Silence once again.
S cene 6 Around 11
T hree reached the plateau and traversing towards the Kalawanti durg. They actually left one route which went directly to the top from the prabalmachi. Now they were making there way out of thick bushes. One small trail was leading them towards the other end of PRabal.
I ts butterfly farm K saying while shooting a butterfly. But you need patience shooting a butterfly and some luck.
M looked shocked. What happened? said S.
M >> Almost got a kiss.
F rom?
F rom a snake! There was one sitting on the bushes. It got shocked when it saw me. M said smiling, his experience in the wild gave him the nerves.
S >> Be careful now.
M >> Lets rest here in open shade for a while. S takes some biscuits if you can.
Scene 7: 11.30
K aluram, a local from the prabal village climbing the steep slope through a gully. Other three following them, they took Kaluram as guide. Almost lost the way for a while. The route was going right from the main trail, covered by dense bushes. No way one could have found the way in those bushes. Good luck that they found Kaluram.
S weating.. S>> ya, looks like we made to the top of prabal. Gosh! Great climb, hidden in the gulley.
M >> lets move towards the ganesh temple on the top.
D ense vegetation on the top. Ground couldn�t be seen, all grasses. All admiring Kaluram, leading them towards the Ganesh temple.
K >> Ohh, look at the temple, all hidden. We couldn�t have found that. But where is water, we read. It must be near the temple.
K aluram, leading them again to the slope downwards to a path where small stream was running. Water still there! After few months this stream will be dry, only one small tank will hold some water.
M >> time for lunch! Good place.. we will have our lunch and rest for a while. By 2 we will start from here.
K removing bread, butter. M removing Khicadi, pickle.
Scene 8: 2.30
M >> K, that small pond formed there was tempting. You had a good swim when I was having a nap.
K >> yes, it was cool clear water. S you should have come in too! Forget about clothes (read getting wet after that J )
S >> Hey look! We have just reached the northern end of Prabal. There is the Kalawanti durg at the bottom. Gosh! Look at the steps cut in the rocks. Must be great thrill climbing up. Good exposure. There is our Malang, Tavli, Mhasmal, Chanderi.
K >> And this is Nakhind on left and peb on right of col there. And look at the bunglows and tower on top of matheran. Great forest on top of matheran too.
W hat! With Kaluram pointing to the small farmhouse at the base. It is Salman Khan�s bunglow !! Look its artificial lake with small island in between. That green must be his swimming pool. Nice place to have a farm house!
M >> lets move from here! We have to climb back down too..
Scene 9: 4 pm
S >> Where will we find a rickshaw? My legs are paining.
A ll three walking on tar road at the base. They took the way down leading from Kalawanti durg. It was a national highway for trekkers. In no time they reached down. K regretting for not having brought extra roll. He missed many shots up there.
K >> Hey look, luck favored you. Theres the rickshaw.
C limbing the rick, they reached the diversion on the highway in few minutes. Took another 6 seater to Panvel.
M >> Its 6 pm now. Twelve hours since we started. Time for some petrol! Which hotel should we go?
K >> May be hotel visava! We need some rest. In morning we tried hotel rahul.
M >>Two plates vada sambhar, one missal and three cup kadak tea.
Scene 10 : 7.30 pm Char rasta, Dombivli
S >> OK guys time to leave. K get the snaps fast. Coming to Dhak Bahiri on 4th na?
K smiling, This time you dint give us kalti. I will try.
S miling too S>> Arre, there were some genuine reasons, else I haven�t given you Kalti any time.
M >> good! Was a good hike. Hope the snake wasn�t frightened too much. Good vegetation on top.
K >> yes, may be much people don�t come here. We saw lots of butterflies and many species of birds. Some little haze would have given me chance to shoot the mountain range. Otherwise, nice hangout. Nothing else matters!
Scene 11: 10 pm

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