– Excerpts from Ritam Shome
With our tired bodies while I wore my helmet and Rushi wore his, I quickly took a good picture of the scenic hill fort behind him overlooking the Amby Valley Auditorium.
Let’s go!! I was unable to move much as the non-stop dancing and partying had taken its toll on me. I was glad that the biker had nil drinks as he wanted to ensure a safe and smooth ride home. Few may argue a few drinks do no harm, but we Lonavala and we were in no mood in ruining it.
The ride back actually felt dreamy and I felt sleepy too. “Thooom”and a noise continued for some time. A group of yound riders whizzed past. The riders rode carelessly, without helmets or any safety gear. Rushi simply shook his silently without saying a word. Every time something like this occurred and I understood that one small mistake on hilly roads and you will be sitting in God’s lap.
We reached Lonavala and I bought myself a few chikki’s as these are the best present in Lonavala. Rushi pointed out that the store from where I was buying is the best from the rest . Packed and ready we started back with the idea to reach Wax museum which lay on the outskirts of Lonavala. We reached Sunil’s Wax museum and took snaps left right and center. Mahatma Gandhi, Tagore, Vivekananda, Modi, Michael Jackson, Bruce Willis, Arnie, Mr Bean to name a few. A few were lifelike and we had fun taking and snaps there. This was the moment which captured me as I felt like a kid visiting the various dignitaries who we see only on Television. Here we had the chance to meet their wax statues face to face. Few people tried to ruin the moment by not allowing us to take pictures and just kept barging in, which prompted some disgust on Rushi’s face but this is life. Everyone tries to seizes the moment and wants to ruin it for other’s.
When we started again, the air had a chill and nip present to it. The skies were clouded to which Rushi stated that we need to rush out before it rains . We started and stopped in 5 minutes when Rushi pointed out that there is another Wax museum as per the huge iron banner on the road. We were shocked, but checked into that Wax museum nonetheless. Few statues were the same ones, but this one had Angelina Jolie (who looked like a bouncer), Jackie Shroff, Mother Teresa and many others. We spent our due time and also had fun posing like statues. It was fun and the camaraderie was amazing.
Outside the weather had changed a lot. It was a lot cooler and no sooner had we made it to the bike, it started pouring. We both waited, Rushi got a chair seat near the museum waiting area, while I sat on the ground outside a small shop. A few tourists were along-side me and they took out their small boom box which played all the latest hindi tracks entertaining the crowd there as well as the shopkeeper and his son who was dancing inside the shop. It was fun seeing that it now was raining cats and dogs and here in a small place amongst strangers, we had such a bond going. Song requests were pouring and being obliged too. Magical 34 minutes past like a breeze and made everyone happy and it stopped raining. Rushi called me and we both started on the bike back to our beloved City – Pune.
This time the feeling was electric as the cold air hit us and ensured all the tiredness was blown away within a span of few seconds. I kept clicking a few pictures while he rode and it was really fun. We crossed over from one hill to the other and kept climbing down and once outside Lonavala, we observed that the roads were not at all wet. So we were lucky I guess as we had no further rains to encounter. The ride back was a peaceful one with no halts in between and once we infringed the city the familiar faces of bikers and vehicles came in who overtook us in every possible opportunity from the left or the right, halting, honking and screeching their way out.
At Aundh, we finally halted at Mc Donalds and had a few burgers to satisfy our hunger. I thanked Rushi for the awesome ride and making this official trip a special personal one, a favorite memory which I will carry forward in my life ahead:).