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Archive for matheran

what stuff are holidays made of..

this is a kind of evening i like. i am in matheran.
i am in a mansion look alike resort. my suite has oldish black rose wood furniture and it smells of herbal incense.
i come out to the spacious verandah that has a big grandpa’s swinging chair and wooden fence on which I prefer to sit. a family is staying in the adjacent suite, and an old lady is sitting in their verandah sipping her coffee and keeping an occasional eye on the monkey hanging down from the roof vying for the biscuits kept on the table aside.the whole place is surrounded by trees trees and more trees and you cannot hear anything but their rustling.my ears have taken a day to get used to the infinite calmness. 
i proceed towards the dining arena that has its old grandeur preserved in the large oval mirror with carvings and other furnishings and the tea pots like other crockery that makes you feel like a movie that’s in flashback mode.. the food tastes great !
i feel like going for a walk.. i walk out towards the gate, only to find a couple of guys with 3-4 good looking and tall and healthy horses in tow.. “ madam 5 point leke jayenge.. bolo kitna ? “ .. as in we will give you a horse ride to 5 sightseeing places / peaks ( as matheran is all of a hill top ) .. how much would you negotiate..i just nod at them to not invite further offers and start walking..

                    on the way…

the road is tiny and muddy and red. It is winding down amidst the trees and greenery is all that i can see as far as i can. it seems to tell the road.. uff you are coming in my way.. occasional boards and advertisements of  other resorts/hotels arrowpoints etc hanging down from the trees help me find my way. a cheering of crowd and a fading sound of horse hoofs in the mud tells me that theres a road next to mine but theres no way I can see it through that dense a greenery.
now I see a chai stall that play hindi music and two old men sitting on the bench outside with legs folded and knees near their chins sipping tea and chatting away after the day’s work. this is the first sign that market is close by. it is followed by a “futwear mart” – note the spelling and slowly the shops have increased in density next to each other.
on my left is a railway track were the matheran mini train comes thrice a day in the mornings, enough to make the place noisy and hustling bustling with chaiwalas, coolies to carry people’s luggage to their destinations, horse wallahs etc.but now there are kids playing on the tiny tracks and people posing for snaps on it.
i have reached the market. it’s a very chirpy colourful and entertaining place. i realized here that it was already sunset as now I could catch a glimpse of the sky due to the wider road. shops clamouring and clinging to each other on both sides of the road and curiously vying for attention with their colourful ware and misspelt but decorated lighted name boards. some have embroidered scarfs and shawls while others have pretty brown handpainted typical matheran bags, still others have wooden artefacts waiting to be bargained and taken away.
there are eateries that smell of hot samosas, and spicy chaat and a vendor frying bhutta (sweetcorn) on charcoal. the chikki shops draw most of the people to them.
the market boasts of an eager crowd with myriad variety. You can see faces that can be traced to different cities and sometimes different countries.some look busy, some are eager to buy, some want to wait outside a eaterie for their turn, a traditional indian wife here wants to strut her new fashionable outfit which she is uncomfortable to carry off, and of course there is also a variety of people who are just strolling for leisure.
i go up a smaller bylane off the market road, that has many leather ware shops.. leather that is manufactured locally by the villagers. i am already hungry and getting ready for a round of bargaining as i see pair of  flowery slip-ons..

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