KOKAN

i have just wrote my first blog and i am all ready to write the second one:),i have always loved writing but somehow i have been lazy about it…i know i have to continue my story but i dont want to overdose myself with me…im changing track for a little while….so neways lets come back to the title…

i was just talking to my friends a couple of weeks back about going to a place where theres a beach…ya i mean hands down everybody did think about goa…but then goa was a little far for 2 and a half days….but ya like most of the time everybody got busy and completely forgot about it…but i really wanted to go….and suddenly from nowhere i got to know that my parents were planning a trip to kokan…i was all happy because unless and until its a beach and out of pune it doesnt really matter if its goa or diveagar….ok so the trip was planned we left for it on saturday morning….these kind of family picnics are a rare occassion in a todays life and all the more in a players life…i mean i havent been to a picnic in the last 12 yrs…thats a pretty long time…so i was unbelievably excited..i started preparing for the picnic from friday morning itself….my mom has never seen me that excited she said…i almost had stars in my eyes…as it was like a once in a lifetime thing…i think enthusiasum….in todays world has become a rare thing….we all have made ourselves so busy and closed our eyes towards stoping and wondering ,being curiuos, about asking questions…i mean the younger generation today has everything readily available in front of their eyes before they ask for it…a computer,a mobile phone,a big house,a big car….i mean i still remember getting my first phone…i wasnt really enthused about it…i mean my attitude was ya big deal my friends had it ages before… so ya for me feeling that kicked about something was a nice feeling….

we started our journey….we had hired a tata sumo…we were joined by arvind ajoba,my maushi and my cousin sister…we started our journey in a traditional way….by saying ganapati bappa morya…my dad put on some bhajans on the music player….he says before you start your dhan te nan…senseless music…let me make myself mentally strong by listening to some bhajans….so we obliged graciuosly…ya the older generation does have a lot of problems with todays bollywood music…i mean if you start comparing people like r.d.burman with pritam….how in the name of god is pritam going to win….though earlier i used to fight the case of todays bollywood songs…now slowly and surely i know for a fact that songs made today are not even in the league of being said in the same breath as the older generation….the depth,the voices of lata,kishore,the lyrics,the simplicity of the music….how can you compare that too a song like say emotional attyachar from dev d…..so ya after half and hour of bhajans…we were allowed our music…

the journey to diveagar takes around 5hours….they should take less actually but the roads are lttle bad…the scenary on the way is breathtaking….we had to go through mulshi than tamini ghat and so on…my dad always say that pune is a hill station…i agree we have a lot of scenic beauty in and around pune…we stopped over at mulshi…the water their was so refreshing…we clicked some good pictures there…and carried on…their were lot of farmers there on their bullock carts….i wanted to always sit on one…i dont know i have always been eager to do that…as sane guruji rightly says if you want to really know how beautiful india is you should travel around it in a bullock cart…ofcourse it still remains a dream…so after about 4hrs.45mins we entered diveagar…god the first sight of this place is so mesmerising…
diveagar….when you enter it the first thing you see is guest house…its basically a tourist attraction and so it is filled with guest houses…though we stayed in aguest house…i would have loved satying in one of the loacal mud houses there…u have a choice to do that a lot of families give their houses on rent and provide you with food…kokan in general is filled with coconut trees all around it…it is pretty dense..and also i was pretty surprised by how clean the whole area is…no garbage lying anywhere…i guess the more educated we are the more ignorant we are of basic things…i mean most of the population there is poor and uneducated but they sure well know the importance of cleanliness…ok so went ahead and we found are lodge…now in kokan they surely have some problems with the signboards telling you the distances…i mean if it says 2kms away you can add up around 10more to it…..so finally prathamesh resort welcomed us….at first i was a little sceptical about the place…but when i saw the rooms i was pleasantly surprised…they had really good rooms charged us around 5oors each without food….

once we checked in we were really hungry….so went out looking for food…the resort had a nice place to eat…we had asal kokan jevan,with fish ( only me),usad,amti,chapati and rice…it was simple and nice…i love their masala all their preparations have a coconut taste to it…which i love…we had luch and then slept for a while….we all got ready by around 4 and went towards the beach…it is walking distance ….it was a 10mins walk….walking around kokan ….is real fun….their is greenary all around you….hens,dogs,cows,etc….i loved the houses there…the way they are built….kokan has a lot of muslim population…so if there are temples….there are mosques as well…no irritating honking…only sounds there are of birds,cuk-da-ku,radios playing old hindi songs and the sea…its heaven…we reached the beach….i ran i just ran towards the water and dived into it…being a mumbaite i have always loved beaches…when i left mumbai thats what i did miss the most ofcourse after the local trains….:)its a very safe beach to dive into…luckily for us there was a bullock cart race that day which we got to witness….there were about 100 carts fighting for the title…we were seeing this for the first time in our lives so it was nice…though animal activists would have had problems some bulls were really old and struggling to run….after we saw the sunset we came back to the room….sunsets have said to have very different effects on different people…people tend to get poetic,romantic,depressed,etc….though for me i always have a feeling of gratitude towards the almighty for its grace….i mean he only knows how has he made all this happen…
once we got back we were hungry as usual…we had already ordered for the local speciality ukadi che modak…you have to order these things a little early….i loved it…its a sweet made of coconut and jaggery…it is sure mouth-watering….so we ate that and retired to our rooms…next day was going to be eventful and we were dead so we slept early….

day two started with chai and poha….todays menu was the janjeera fort and harihareshwar temple….janjeera is about 1n half hour away from there…first we went to dighi from where we we were supposed to take a boat to the fort…this fort is right in the middle of the water…surrounded by sea from alll the sides…shivaji maharaj could supposedly never conquer it…we reached dighi and we had to wait fot the next boat for some time…so we found a barf ka golla ka thela and had that…i have never had barf ka gola and im ashamed about that it was a revelation and i loved it…after a long wait…the time came to take the boat….now taking a boat is not as easy as it sounds…there are no seat numbers and like you there are around 200more people ready to travel…so you have to form a line and get in…if you dont find a place to sit you stand….now we are indians so we have the tedency to act a little over smart…everybody is a line but as they start filling up all the people from behind will start running forward out of line….so it suddenly becomes a stampede like situation…it was almost like entering a local train in bombay…u just stand people will push you in….so somehow we managed to enter in one piece with all our body parts intact…some were not that lucky…once we got in there were people still getting in…and in the commotion the stupid motor boat wala started the engine and the boat moved a bit…all the hell broke loose..seeing half of the family people inside the other half remaining outside almost burst into tears…and people started pulling,falling and so on…the boatwala was shouting that the boat will not leave without taking everyone in…but no we indians love drama….i almost went back to the scene in titanic where people are being rescued…all this for a bloody half an hour drive …finally ever ybody got in and we started towards the fort…

the ride was really nice…the water was calm and nice… the fort came closer and there e saw that were fifth in the line towards the fort…now you have to get into a smaller boat to enter janjeera…so we started getting into a smaller boat…here people followed the line..may be because they knew if they tried there stunts the small boat would drown them so everyone behaved….once we did that there was a hour long wait…we waited in the hot sun for that long atime….we were all dead….after the long wait it was our turn and we alighted the boat and finally janjeera…the whole thing took us around three hours..so by the time we reached the fort we were so dead that we saw the fort in like 40mins….the sun was very harsh…but we still managed to walk around and look…the fort inside is something mohenjodaro…its all ruins….the tope there are all made up of metal but they are never hot on the surface …thats the way they are built….also we saw the road whicha has been made under the water till the next village….the underwater road is said to be around 750kms long….ofcourse the entrance is now sealed….its beautiful…the way it has been built is a work of a genius….after we walked around we were ready to go back…the going back bit was preety boring…may be because everone must have been so dead….we reached dighi again…and it was time to go to the harihareshwar temple….

it was lunchtime and we all were hungry…now kokan doesnt have restaurants as such….after a long wait we did somehow find one….the food was horrible….it was all wattery and gulab jamun was so scary that we didnt have the courage to even touch it…so somehow filled our stomachs and left for the temple…..the harihareshwar temple is around a two hours drive from dighi….we reached…its a renowned temple…..again its on the shores of a beach….though the beach here is dangerous to dive into….so we just said hello to the gods there sat and relaxed in the peaceful temple premises and got back to the guest house….

after we reached …we were ready for dinner…we indians cannot live without three meals can we….the dinner was awesome especially the pormfret…when i came to wash my hands one uncle looking type guy grabbed my hand..i freaked…he was my ex boss from bpcl…i was wearing a bpcl shirt so it made it easier to know me….i said hi….we updated each other with our stories and carried on….it was nice meeting him…the next day we came back to pune….

kokan was a great experience…..i took back a lot of great memories…..people there have very simple lives…they might look poor but somehow i felt they were much richer in the true sense of living a good life…the kids there still play gulli danda…they still run their tyres around with a stick…they still study under the street lamps..the innocence is untouched…thats the beauty of kokan…when i compared it to goa….kokan is a lot less commercially developed…the beaches here dont have blue water like goa ….they dont have discs and young crowds or even places to eat….but kokan has its own spirit…it has nature..it has a village life…and importantly it has people who really know how to “live” a life.

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