The journey of my life so far
I have always been fond of nature and it’s varying moods ever since my childhood. The phrase “ये हवा से िमलने जाते हे … ये पेडो से बतीयाते हे … ” very aptly describes me! I always longed for fresh air and for being in the wild. I still do! It is an experience to smile at the beautiful flowers to see them smiling in return… converse with the lofty mountains to realize they really understand you… and keep staring at the shrubs just to discover it has leaves with over a hundred varying shades of green! Every moment spent in the company of nature is a moment to cherish!
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. And hence nature is man’s best teacher. I have learnt most of my lessons and understood deeper meaning of life by being in the company of nature.
Nature’s been my best buddy. It stands beside me through thick and thin. I remember Rajgad peeping out of the clouds and talking to me. I used to jog in the wee hours of morning at Durga Tekdi, and this used to happen every time I felt low and strongly felt the need for a shoulder to cry on.
I am a true nature lover! In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia!!!
Mountains have always allured me with all their charm! Autumn or Spring, summer or winter I have been backpacking to walk up the paths less traveled and summit the various peaks in the Sahyadri and the Himalayan range.
It all started with a trek to Lohagad in Class 10th. We a group of few nature lovers set afoot the first time ever. It was an overnight trek. We lodged ourselves in a cave and cooked our food. We slept with the star studded blanket of the sky above us with the roaring winds to give us company. It was an experience full of thrill and anxiety. We returned with weary legs but loads of refreshment and a promise to get back to the mountains whenever we could.
The hills have been my best friend and much more. I feel so connected that I share everything with them and they stand by me in times of need.
Trekking is the only sport where there is no competition whatsoever. You are your own competitor. When you have scaled any peak you have a sense of achievement and the confidence that you can win over situations in life despite all hurdles.
Today I am a proud conquerer of 135 forts and with a target of 200 by the year end; I wish I could conquer all 350 forts in Maharashtra by 2010. 🙂
I always wanted my near and dear ones to experience the wilderness of the woods and the beauty of the mountains! This would mean they need to be backpacking and wondering the way I do. It is not practical most of the times and this is precisely what initiated me to explore another hidden talent in me – writing!
Writing did not come naturally to me, but I decided to pen down my thoughts. It was all about the experiences I had during my backpacking trips. The first travelogue article that I put on paper was about a place Bhorgiri – a place near Bhimashankar known for its natural beauty. I let these thoughts flow like a river without any restrictions and it turned out to be quite a long article with every minute detail of the good time we spent there. To my surprise, when I revisited the article after completion I was shocked to see I could be so verbose! 🙂
This stimulated my writing and there was no looking back. I went on writing various travelogues. My articles have been published in Maharashtra Times, Travel Magazine Bhatkanti and a few others. All these are a part of the articles section of this site… Happy reading!
Recently an exhibition of my photographs was held in Bal Gandharva Kala Dalan at Pune. It was inaugurated by a well known artist namely Raosaheb Gurav (www.raosahebgurav.com) who was extremely impressed with my photographs on display.
Shrikrishna Kale, reporter of daily Lokmat interviewed me post the exhibition. My passion for photography has been aptly portrayed by him in one of the articles published in Lokmat on Friday April 11, 2008.
I have been cooking since std. VI. I don’t prefer to have maggie & moong dal khichadi – the typical trek diet. I being a foodie, good food has always been a stimulus during bag packing trips. So my creative mind has always been exploring the possibility of cooking the best of the dishes when I am off for treks.
It was Naneghat where I first cooked Pav Bhaji and Boondi Raita to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I have been cooking Biryani, Uttapam, Raw mango rice, Kairi Dal, Atte ka shira, Pohe, Upma, Manchurian, Misal Pav, Aloo Parathas, Alu chole chat, etc. on my various backing packing trips. Mouthwatering, isn’t it?
Many a fellow trekkers opine it is fun trekking with me because of the food I cook!
and I …
I, the founder of Sahyadri Treks ‘n Adventures …
It all started with a trek to Lohagad in Class 10th. We a group of few nature lovers set afoot the first time ever. Nature had allured us with its charm all the time. We thus enjoyed our very first experience at the very first trek!
The trek built up a strong erge in me to collect as much data on trekking but was really disappointed to find very little literature on the internet. I thought of collating the data and thus came into being www.sahyadritreks.com
The response to sahyadritreks.com since its inception was a revelation. I was requested to organize treks by many who visited the site. However, the major deterrent then was the lack of man power.
I eventually overcame this hurdle, thanks mainly to my cousins and my comrades who always trek with me! Their encouragement and support has always been vital to my trekking. The first trek I organized was to Rajgad on June 8th, 2002. It was a great success with 10 participants. It was then that we realised our true potential. After the great success at Rajgad we organized treks to Korigad, Bhorgiri, Torna, Bhimashankar, etc. The chain of trek events has since continued. Later we realised that these are the common places where the other trek groups usually take the people. So now we decided to organise treks to such places which are uncommon … those virgin places which people hardly visit. Accordingly, we organized a trek to Koyana-Chandoli sanctuaries which was a four-day jungle trek this Diwali from November 14th to Nov. 18th, 2002; which again was a great success with 15 participants!
Today Sahyadri Treks ‘n Adventures is a full fledged trekking institute wherein we organize adventure camps, picnics and tours along with the usual treks. We also do our bit to nature by following the policy of “Leave nothing but footsteps and take nothing but memories”
Ever since I came into being, I have religiously followed this mantra of life. Nature to me has not only been a companion but also a guru explaining me the deeper meaning of life. I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order!
This has taken me places and I have become a fervent vacationer! Life is definitely an endless vacation!!!