I woke up and walked out in the verandah. It was a cold morning and blue haze had spread over the jungle. The haze was so dense that the visibility was down to mere 300 to 400 meters. Everything was looking mesmerizing. I went back in the room just to come out again with my camera. I started capturing the beauty of the hazy morning. Today I didn’t have anything exciting planned out as I had to leave for the next part of my journey.
“Dada, do you want to go for a walk around? I’ll show you some amazing stuff”, Deep said while I was busy with the camera.
“Sure, Let’s go!”, I replied in an instant.
I wore my shoes and stepped out of the fencing walls of the homestay with Deep. We walked through a narrow passage right behind the homestay and entered the jungle. The huge trees with their top ends dissolving into the morning mist, were casting a spell on me. Right ahead on a branch I saw an orange colored bird with a long tail. It was sitting there quietly, turning its head once in a while. “That’s Rufous Tree Pie, in Marathi it’s known as टाका चोर”, Deep tole me. He had read the question mark on my forehead. There was another bird flying around. I was trying to take a photo but due to the low light condition of the morning it was difficult to capture moving things without blur. We walked near a manmade pond. This pond attracts many birds for water. Our walk continued and we soon reached a small water stream. The sound of a running water stream puts me in a complete relaxing state of mind. It has that effect on me everytime. The scene around the water stream was very beautiful. I looked in the direction the water was flowing from. It came through a passage which was completely covered with tall trees on both the sides. The empty space within those trees right above the flowing water was captured by the haze and it appeared to be denser and brighter only in the confinement. My day was made. I spent the morning enjoying the view.
We came back from the walk. Took a shower, had breakfast and then the entire gang including the homestay staff went for a walk to a nearby farm. The morning haze hadn’t lifted yet. In the farm there was a small hut. Sarthak and Deep had named that hut ‘Thanos Kutir’ because it reminded them of the same hut Thanos stays in after he snaps the fingers in the movie ‘Avenger Endgame’.
After lunch I was ready to leave. I was just looking outside the homestay gate when I saw a small deer walking by. I took a photo and said goodbye, which the deer didn’t have the courtesy to return. Before leaving I met each and every staff of the homestay and bid goodbye to them. I thanked them for making my stay memorable. I told them that I’ll return soon.
Late in the afternoon Deep, Me and Sarthak started our commute back to Nagpur. I booked a hotel for the night. Deep dropped Sarthak at his place first. I got to meet Sarthak’s dad, who was also the owner of the homestay. Had a nice conversation with him. From there Deep and I went to have dinner. I had read and heard about ‘Nagpuri Vada Bhat’, a local delicacy. I prominently remember vada bhaat because of P. L. Deshpande, one of the greatest marathi writer. I told Deep I want to try the Nagpuri Vada Bhat. Deep knew two places where we could get a good vada bhaat. The first one was full so we went to the second one. My day ended with the local delicacy. From there Deep and I parted ways. I thanked Deep for everything and promised him that I’ll visit again. Deep promised me that in the next visit he’ll definitely show me tigers.
To be continued…