Monthly Archives: September 2009

Panshet…An experience a of a different kind.

With Eid falling on monday, we would have two full days of chutti. Faced with extreme boredom we planned to head out somewhere. It was a tossup between Shivneri Fort & Panshet. With Hemant vetoing the fort with as much intensity as China did India for the UNSC seat, it was Panshet that won. The “We” consisted of Anuj, Anshu, Hemant & Me, with Raghav being in Mumbai & Soni refusing. The departure time was set for 8 AM, but being what we are, we got up at 7:30. :)… miraculously we were out by 8:30!
Had breakfast at Mayur Colony [Loni Dosa] after which we set our course for Panshet. The route was pretty simple, head onto Sinhagad Rd., past Khadakwasla, towards Sinhagad Fort & turn right when you see the sign telling you to do so 🙂 [If you don’t then you will end up at Sinhagad Fort & that we had already done!] From there it’s another 20kms to Panshet. The drive was the best, comparing to Mahabaleshwar & Matheran. Mahabaleshwar made us work the gears going uphill, & Matheran was not as scenic. This was a perfect mix of the two…the climbs were gentle, the road was smooth with minimal traffic, & we were surrounded with lush greenery throughout. Riding pillion, unfettered, I was completely mesmerized by the beauty. With my custom playlist [created esp. for the trip] setting the mood, I was simply in another world altogether. Glorious.
On arriving in Panshet, we followed the signs that led us to a small place that catered to tourists[food/water/entertainment]. It was pretty secluded & there were hardly many people at that time.
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The main attraction was “water sports“[if you could call it that!] in the form of Paddle boats *bleh*, Motorboats rides, water scooter, Speedboats & Kayaks. We settled on Kayaks deeming the others ‘unworthy’ of such a trip. It was then that we got an FYI from Anshu that he & water were not really compatible…infact he had never been in water that was more than waist deep.
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Thankfully there was a Kayak that held two people so Anuj & Anshu went on that, with Hemant & me going solo [another FYI :I am a pretty good swimmer, have been so for quite sometime & completely at home in water. All thanks to mum’s constant hounding :)]. So on went the life vests [damn bulky things I must say, made movement difficult 😦 ] & we climbed into the kayaks. Its one funny boat! You sit with your legs stretched out & if you want you can lie back too [atleast normal ppl can, Hemant could barely sit stretched out, let alone lying down :p]. You have some holes beneath your heels & your bum, I suppose its to let out the excess water that you bring in while paddling, the kayak stays afloat as its made of hollow plastic. You have a two sided paddle that you row with alternating bet. left & right [or would ‘port’ & ‘starboard’ be the correct terminology?:p].
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It took us some time getting the hang of it…the trick is to dip in the paddle deep, stroke, pull, repeat on the other side. Soon we were rowing like pros! [well almost :D]. I had taken a coupon for half an hour but it was so much fun that I extended it to one hour. We horsed around, raced each other [Anuj & Anshu won 😦 ] & had all sorts of fun!
Hemant went ashore to get the camera & took our pictures. While he was getting back on the Kayak again, he fell in the water! The best part? The camera was strapped onto his life jacket & that too took a nice dunking!! That kind of cut down the excitement & a few mins. later we were out of the water. Hemant was sad as there was’nt a photo of him on the kayak. He took out the batteries & the memory card & set it to dry. Will have to give it to the service center & hope it has not taken a major hit. The photos that had been taken were on the memory card & I was pretty confident that they would be OK, & they are.
As he was already wet, Hemant decided to take a planned plunge into the lake. Anuj followed him, on his return Anshu gave in & he too stepped in. Though he did’nt know swimming, the life jacket kept him buoyant & soon Hemant was teaching him how to swim. The heat was making the water look so very inviting that I could’nt resist :). Soon it was the three of us in the water & anuj was ordered to take the pics :). Swam around, splashed, taught Anshu & floated along enjoying the cold water against the hot sun.
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It was almost an hour later that we got out & changed. Everyone was VERY well tanned leaving Hemant very distraught! [I have made peace with my skin tone knowing that it cannot get any darker, so have no concerns whatsoever :D]
It was now 2pm & the only thing we had eaten was the dosa in the morning. All the activity brought on the hunger pangs [Rowing is not an easy thing! Our arms were burning with the effort . And they are still sore at the time of writing this!] so we decided to have lunch at ‘Preet-da-dhaba’. After taking a couple more pics, we bid farewell to the place & headed back.
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Reached Preet-da-dhaba in half an hour & after the scrumptious lunch, topped with the heavenly lassi, all we wanted was to lay down & sleep. Somehow we made it back home [approx 4:30 ]& after a nice cold shower I fell on the bed…& did not get up before 11!
Overall a day VERY well spent! Went to an offbeat place & did something new. One awesome experience the beats the hell out of the regular khadakwaslas, lonanvalas & the khandalas.
That’s how we do it!!

P.S:With this trip my bike has crossed the 10,000 Km mark ! [And about time too!]

Flickr-ing of memories

        I had come to Pune in 2006 & since then have taken umpteen pictures. Many ppl whine as they think I take too many pictures, well something happened that proves that this “annoying“ habit is like a good investment. It provides rich dividend in the future .
        I used “Yahoo! Photos“ to store/share my photos, as I had no physical media storage[apart from my phone. It was the only multimedia device we had then & it held pics, music & vids, hence space constraints]. Unfortunately Y!Photos became integrated with ”Flickr” & all photos were automatically transferred to it. At that time I was given a Pro account, free of charge. Unfortunately [again] that was for a period of 1 yr. which soon ended, resulting in my account being downgraded. To go Pro again I would have to pay their subscription fee. This was obviously out of question for a stingy kanjoos like me…& besides I wasn’t [& still am not] a hotshot photographer so I didn’t NEED a Pro account, just wanted somewhere to store my pictures. Being downgraded brought with it the limitations…100MB upload per month only, 2 vids per month ,[& the biggie] only 200 photos will be shown at anytime.
        Well I sure had uploaded more than 200 to Y!Photos, so when the [for the lack of a better word] “lease” expired many of my photos had been hidden. I stopped using Flickr due to this, moving on to other services [google, fileden]. Soon “Out of sight, out of mind” syndrome kicked in & I forgot what all I had uploaded & what had been hidden. Until yesterday that is…. 🙂
        I know that Flickr does inform you that your photos are being hidden, but its the way its actually done that created problems. I had created “Sets” to organise the pics, what Flickr did was show my sets but with some pics missing. Now how was I to know some photos were missing? I used to think that I had probably uploaded the missing pics somewhere else & forgotten [nothing new…my absent mindedness is legendary], not uploaded or lost it on the DVD I had made just before moving out of the Hostel[DVD’s are SO unreliable :(].
        Well yesterday I decided to download all online pics & make a backup, now that I have a lappy & an ext. HD etc. You can imagine my surprise when deleting the downloaded pics the made more appear!. [It took me some time to realize what was happening, ended up losing some pics.] These were photos of which I hardly had any recollection, or given up as lost. And here they were!!
        Looking through them was was fun, showing them to my roommates brought back old memories…many of them had us in splits :). I can see how all the pictures I have taken will make us all reminisce later in our life. Old friends….funny incidents…crazypana

I guess I should thank Flickr…its like it gave me a surprise gift !! [though I am still not subscribing 🙂 ]
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