A few nights before I left Bombay, I met up with the Boys at Andy’s place. Sai, for a very long time has been trying to talk me into a night drive to Pelhar, a dam and reservoir not too far from the city. This night, he managed to bulldoze a few us into doing it.
So somewhere in the middle of the night, we waved goodbye to those whose work and other commitments saved them from this craziness, and set off.
It took us an hour or so to reach there. I dozed off and have no idea what way we went, except that we crossed the Dahisar check naka. At some point we got off the main road and with reasonable doubt took the path pointed out by Sai and Amit. The tabelas in this place hold the biggest buffaloes I have ever seen. GIANT ones. The size of baby elephants.
When I have a toddler, my mum tells me, I pointed out to a herd of buffaloes and yelled “Look Amma, ELEPHANTS”. Must have been these. I don’t blame the little me at all for the confusion.
A short walk from the tabelas was our destination -> DARKNESS. Complete and absolute darkness.
Looking back, a little bit of light, a glorious full moon, a sky full of twinkling stars, a gentle sunrise accompanied by the chirping of birds would have made the place seem magical to us city dwellers. All the inky black silence did, was to prompt me to consider which of the following options was preferably –
a) being eaten by a leopard
b) being robbed and murdered by drunk, ruffian milkmen
c) being thrown in jail by cops for being found at a desolate spot where we really had no business being at that hour
* khanabadoshiyon pe hi na jaane kyun, Ilahi mera ji aaye aaye – I don’t know why, my heart is always drawn to vagabond-like things