Monday, December 27, 2004

All in the bag- Part 1

Was back yesterday evening from Alibag. Actually, we were supposed to stay at Govt rest house, courtesy dad. But, he just dispenses advice and sermons, not follow it ("Do things on time"). He didnt, so at the last moment, we had to ask my grandfather (mom's uncle). He has a place there and finally, it turned out a far better option.

We went on Friday, picked up the key from his office in Alibag and went straight to his bungalow in Nagaon. He and his family doesnt use it too often, so its come to a bit of neglect, esp the garden. Mango and conconut trees could do with a bit of watering. Still the location is quite good in terms of connectivity to various places around Alibag and so no reason to complain.

After a brief siesta, and a halt at grandfather's factory, we were off to meet dad's friend. Unfortunately, he was away coz of Yatra (major fair around the Datta Jayanti festival) and we just met the family. The village was quite off road and it was amusing to see all the women folk busy at some really strenuous jobs - collecting firewood, fetching water in three matkas at a time and of course the house hold chores, while the men busy gossiping at village centres and watching kids play. May be some men, were working on the farm and elsewhere. But I didnt see any!

Then we went to Revdanda, which is some 20 kms south of Alibag. The old village was entirely inside a fort called Aagarkot which sprawls upto the sea shore. Story goes that it was built by the Portugese and has some inter-connected tunnels, though of course, much of that is out of bounds or existence. The beach is quite pristine and un-touristy. It was past dusk then and we were almost the only people on the beach. That turned to be a big mistake.

Not knowing the road to the beach, we had got the car some way onto the beach. Now, it was time to go back and with all the members in the car, I revved it up. Stuck!! More race, just made it to nosedive into the sand. It was time to panic. There was no one around for help. The family got behind to push and then one more guy joined in. I could smell the tyres burning as if on a race track, but the car was an ostrich on Fear Factor. We dumped anything that we could find underneath the car - coconut husks, sticks, small rocks - to give something for it to hold on when kickstarted. Finally realising that there was no point in doing the obvious - to try to drive fowardds, I put it in reverse gear. Fortunately it was out of the grave the front tyres had dug ( while spraying sand on the folks pushing the car).

Now, came the crucial gambit. We needed for the sand to hold, so we started laying a path with the sea shrubs, sticks, the shredded husks, more rocks, anything that we could feel with our hands. It was now very dark, you see. I also found a rock about a foot long, which was flat on one face. I dug up the sand more and managed to lay it just so in front of the right tyre.

Wrooom.. Wroom!! Now, was the climax. Would our efforts pay off or would we be left there fending off for the night? I revved the car and let go. The wheels were spinning furiously, but managed to stick on the material fed to it. Especially, the right wheel rolled swiftly over the rock and the momentum ensured that the car followed through. I silently let out a sigh of relief. We were on solid ground.

It was a lesson learnt the hard away. Especially amazing is the fact, just some while ago, we had managed to drive to the beach without a hitch. What made the sand go quick in such a short span?

Suffice to say, that it was a lucky escape. And to give our thanks to the Almighty, we drove to Birla Temple at Salav.
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