Friday 20 January 2012

KOLAD Kracker

It was an old house with a thatched roof, the door was ajar. I walked in and saw a blue and gold light emit from the floor below. I looked for the door to the basement but I couldn’t find it. I leaned against the bookshelf and the wall began to move the light got brighter and brighter….I could hear Stereo Hearts play in the background it kept getting louder, that when I was jolted back to reality….it was 6am… my alarm was ringing. I hit snooze and tried to go back to the dream, but I couldn't.

I got up packed my bag and then went for a shower. I made sure I didn’t miss anything this time. I usually forget something on each trip. I was all packed and ready to leave. Dan, Anaika and Raj (female) were meeting me at Bandra station. I was super excited as Kolad was famous for its adventure sports.

I met the Charlie’s angels at Bandra and we went to Hersche and picked up some stuff to eat. We were all set and headed to Panvel. People believe that I am programmed to get lost; I believe that I let people experience new places whenever they come with me.

So one hour into the drive, we were miles away from where we should have been a place between Thane and Kalyan. I don’t believe in asking for directions as I am programmed to find my way, or so I think, I have started to doubt my instincts based on the last couple of trips. So we made the most of it and circled the area twice and finally called one of the guys for help.

In the meantime we had a little photo shoot in the car and then got to know that our guide (Deepak) spotted us, pulled up besides us, gesticulated wildly for a few minutes, trying to get our attention, but we were too busy smiling for the camera. He finally gave up and called us and we followed him.

Kolad is far, very far that’s about the best representation I can give you on where it’s situated, for more information go to So we drove through every possible road you could take to reach Kolad, we didn’t want to let the other roads feel left out.

Some roads required some more attention than the rest, so Kalpana spent some quality time with them, going back and forth a couple of times. After driving for almost 6hours straight through unchartered lands and breaking every rule you could possibly imagine, like reversing for over a kilometer on the express way, we finally reached ‘Pooja Farms’.

The road to ‘Pooja Farms’ is straight with two left turns, however I am guessing ‘Pooja’ didn’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry to visit her farm, so she kept the signage very low-key and discreet. It was slightly bigger than an A4 size sheet with ‘Pooja Farms’ printed in Bright red. I was not expecting the Las Vegas lights or neon indicators, just a bigger Board not hidden by leaves.

Don’t get fooled by the distance indicated on the boards, 20kms is more like 30kms. After a couple of minutes we finally saw a Big Sign ‘Pooja Farms’.

Our excitement seeing ‘Pooja’, I’m referring to the place, was as exuberant as if not more than a shipwrecked crew finding land. The place was nice 2 lovely studio huts on the banks of a lake. We changed, freshened up and clicked snaps like there was no tomorrow.

After a nice lunch most guys took a short nap and then we regrouped in one Hut for the evening. We had music, fine company, and a lot of sing along sessions. Post dinner the party was still on, everyone was in high spirits and for most the spirits were high in them.

The events of the evening were hazy for few and one even saw a red helicopter circle our camp. The morning put everything into perspective. All were sober, some a little dizzy, but all was good. After another photo shoot, we had breakfast and headed back to Bombay.

Since we had taken every possible route to reach this place I had a fair idea about the way back. So we left ‘Pooja’ with some fond memories and we were on our way. The drive back was smooth and winding roads were just amazing, however the twists and turns proved a little too much to manage for some.

Anaika, who is prone to sharing her meals with mother earth or in some, occasions even a vehicle, wanted to give something back to Kolad, decided to share her breakfast with mother earth, Gurdeep not wanting to be outdone did it not once but twice. After a very generous offering, we decided to leave, however one car got a flat, after a quick pit stop, and we were back on track. We stopped for ‘Chai’ and were making good time.

18kms Panvel, (take a right), so I did… I guess Kalpana and Kushal thought right meant ignore, go straight. Well they were heading to some God forsaken place and finally decided to turn back when they saw the next Toll booth. We headed to Vashi Inorbit as Dan was about to spring a leak. We made it in time and my car seats were saved.

After 45mins the two missing cars arrived and we said our goodbyes and headed home.

Another memorable trip came to a close, I didn’t get the time to go kayaking or do some adventurous stuff, but it was nice. All you really need is food, a beautiful backdrop and some great company and you can party and have a great time anywhere.

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