13 Oct 2008

Musings on the highway stretch

I've a feeling this post might get nasty long but I'll try to wind it down as much as possible. A friend's blog post last weekend, prompts me to narrate a similar experience during my Mumbai visit couple of weeks ago. Returning back (as usual I'd caught the Dadar-Pune service quite late), the bus was inching out of the weekend Mumbai traffic. I don't remember exactly when I dozed off.

But I do remember when I woke up - midway on the Lonavala expresshighway. The twists and turns of this stretch never fail to ignite a spark of adventure in me. I often silently remind myself - when I'll own my car (Sedan/SUV should be the right word here ;-)), this'd be one of the places I'd stop by on a long ride. There is something else here that I always look forward too. It comes sooner or later - as you navigate a steep S-turn towards the old tunnel bridge - a construct on the previous NH4 route.

It was around 11.45 pm on my wrist-watch & I eagerly peeped out of the window towards the unfolding valley on the left. And the vista gradually came into view. A thousand twinkling stars. Not above in the sky but beneath on earth. A feeling of nostalgia surged through me as I watched the twinkling lights far down in the township below - the valley where I spent the better part of my childhood & formative years. There nestling in the lap of the Sahyadri mountains, camouflaged in the greenery of Lonavala hills, in a peaceful existence of its own, unmindful of the modernity & urbanism of the twin metros that lie equidistant from it - exists the place called Khopoli.

A thousand thoughts & a zillion pictures flashed through my mind in that instant. Time seemed to float by as the bus navigated that stretch. The valley with its quintessential existence was a reminder of how much I had changed since I was a kid playing down there. Whether for better or worse - I can't tell even now. However I've enjoyed the journey so far. Though the last few years have been pretty rough - I'm sure there are better times just around the horizon. What amazes me is that connecting with some part of yourself (old memories) can bring about a change in the manner you view yourself.

Philosophy aside, I'd love to write something more about Khopoli - as a place. But I'll save that for another post. As the bus moved on. I couldn't help but note that every fleeting visit by this place brings back to mind a silent reminder - to keep dropping in occasionally.


  1. This thought was completely untapped, till now. I liked the way you have penned down the irresistible nostalgia. Will definately expect more from you for all those untapped twists & turns.Wonderful representation - looked more than 100% :)

  2. Even I hav seen that valley with twinkling lights on my way to Mumbai during evening times. Was it Khopoli ?. Isn't that the place where u have those waterfalls.

  3. Fantastic post Giju...U really brough the memories of Khopoli alive in this post. I can still very well remember those countless twinkling stars.. the place that I enjoyed being the most in my life.