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Adventures of Lonavla - Part I

                                                                 PART I



    This story dates to the month of June of 2012 while I was travelling to Lonavla with a couple of my friends. Interesting events, interesting company, interesting food made the whole journey a lot more interesting.

    Me, Daksh and Aditya planned this trip some time back and we choose to set out for Lonavla on the 18th, a Monday. Usually people travel on weekends but we had a completely different theory; Everyone visits hill stations during weekends making everything from food and hotels and roaming around a bit more costlier than usual. Setting out with this philosophy the three of us with a few thousand rupees left out for this journey. None of us had a vehicle so we had to use the public transport to get there.

    Daksh was a guy particular with cleanliness and addicted to giving his boring lectures to people who did not follow his 'Principles of Cleanliness' as he would call it. Given his cleanliness habits; he was particularly skeptical about travelling on the state transport buses but then we convinced him by saying that we would travel by one of the 'Shivneri' fleet of buses; which are comparable to the Volvo for comfort and are costlier which implicitly made him believe that there would be certain discipline. I and Aditya were well aware that the Shivneri buses won't take us to Lonavla as they travel directly via the Expressway to Pune but we din't tell him about it. The plan was to take him to the bus depot and make him travel by the Semi-Luxury bus hoping that he won't throw tantrums for going back home.

    The day came and we decided to meet at Thane station from where we decided to go to the Vandana bus depot; the place where we could get the buses for Lonavla. Aditya got us the news that we had buses every half an hour; So we decided to meet at Thane station at 10. It was at 12 that he realized he shouldn't have gave me the news of so many buses available.


    Daksh reached the Thane station sharp at 10 and started calling Aditya; the only person who had the patience and ability to bear Daksh. He was late himself and reached the station by 10.30; atleast that was what he told me.


    'Bangle Ke Piche Hai Taala, Ghusun Kahaan Se Main Saala, Laila Ki Khidki Khuli Hai, Khidki Ke Neeche Hai Naala', my phone rang. 
I was still sleeping sound in bed. Saw the clock; it was 10.45; a little to early for me to get up.

    "Who the fuck is this?", I somehow picked my phone and yelled.

    "Where are you bastard, its 11", I don't remember who I was talking to.

    "No it still 15 minutes to 11, call me then", and I hung up the phone.

    I got a call again; this time I was more in my senses. It was Daksh.

    "Weren't you supposed to reach the Thane station an hour back. You sleep so much even when you don't drink; I wonder what happens when you drink. First of all you guys make a plan to some stupid place; set a time so late and still don't turn up. How irresponsible is that? Are you coming or not?", He spoke for another five minutes. I don't remember much of that conversation. I by habit kept the phone aside and went back to sleep while I assume he must have kept talking till he realized there was no response from the other end.

    I suddenly sprung out of my bed all of a sudden (no credits for those guys calling) and I realized I was supposed to be at Thane station for my Lonavla trip. Got ready as quickly as I could and reached the station at 12. As I got to the station, I called Aditya. Calling Daksh was out of question, out of syllabus. He told me where they were. I reached the platform no. 1 corner where both of them were waiting. For a three day trip, I had two bags; Aditya had two; Daksh had three.

    It was a small bench. Aditya was sitting chatting on his cell with someone he claims to be his girl with his two bags on ground besides him. Daksh's bags were on the bench, one on his shoulder and that guy was himself standing; he cares a lot more for his bags I would presume. I gave out a small laugh but controlled my smile on seeing Daksh's face. His face was grim, eyes small; a face that would make anyone freak out. Both picked their bags and we started walking in silence. It was more of the silence before a storm; the storm of Daksh's lecture which was unavoidable; a wait for which was nothing less than slow death.

    We approached the Autorickshaw stand to take one to the depot; it was a pretty long queue. We actually had to walk for a couple of minutes to reach the end of the queue. Wonder how the Thanekar's bear this everyday. We went and stood with our bags on us. Both me and Aditya had one bag on our backs and the other in our hand. Daksh's case was different. He had one huge one on his back; and two suitcases each in his hands.

    After a good long wait of 15 minutes our turn came. The rickshaw that we were supposed to sit in was an old Bajaj one and ironically the the lady in front of us got a brand new Tata autorickshaw to travel in. We took a good look at our rick and the one that we missed with awe.

    "Saab, are you going to sit!", the auto driver exclaimed. We approached to sit in.

    "Great! had you come a little more earlier, we could have got the new Tata rickshaw and not this stupid 10 year old crap.", Daksh started. The rickshaw driver gave us a dirty look. I pointed to Daksh and shrugged my shoulders. Apparently, Daksh was not really aware of consequences of messing up people who bring you food or are responsible for your journey being safe.

    We got down at the bus depot and I signalled Aditya to handle Daksh for we were not going to travel by a luxury but a semi-luxury bus. He asked us to wait at a spot and went into the office pretending to ask something. He came back with a grim face and said, "Guys, there is bad news. There are no luxury buses to Lonavla; just the semi-luxury ones." Both me and Aditya looked at Daksh.

    Daksh had a serious face. We assumed he would yell at us or just start blabbering something but instead he said "I knew it all the way. Whom do you think were you fooling! I did all the background check. Those Shivneri buses are for Pune only although we can get off the Lonavla extension and take an auto from there; and that is what we're gonna do. Since you two lied to me, you don't get a vote. These are our tickets, I booked them online so you can't fool me into getting into any other bus." Saying so he handed us the tickets while we were still staring at his face with an open mouth.

    The bus arrived in another 15 minutes. I was puzzled; asked Daksh, "But I came so late today; how did you know which bus to book ticket for? What if I came earlier; even worse what if any of us came an hour more late?"

    He replied "Simple calculation my friend; I can trust Aditya for not being as late as you and I've known you for long enough, I knew exactly how long you would take to turn up. You must have slept at around 3 after your online Fifa session, the reason why you got up late. In fact you came half an hour earlier than I thought, I'm impressed!"

"Half an hour! That ways, we would have missed this bus."

"This is not our bus."

"Darn."

........ TO BE CONTINUED

Links to Later Parts:
Part II : http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/08/journey-to-lonavla-part-ii.html
Part III: http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/09/adventures-of-lonavla-part-iii.html


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Links to Earlier Parts:
Part I : http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/08/journey-to-lonavla.html
Part II : http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/08/journey-to-lonavla-part-ii.html

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