[Travelog written by Lubna Ahmed]

After a late dinner at Mainland China, Adi, Fay, Zishaan and I set out on a drive towards Kashid beach, about 150 km south of Bombay on the Konkan coast. With frozen meats, bbq apparatus, some red wine, steel glasses, an ipod, external speakers and an orange Maruti Swift - we looked all set for an exciting drive ahead. The 'baby-log' cuddled up in the back seat while the 'baba-log' took the wheel.

An indulgent dinner of chicken wontons, steamed rice wrapped in lotus leaf, thin Singapore rice-noodles and lamb in soya sauce is definitely a bad idea before a long drive. Even before we drove through the concrete clusters of New Bombay - the RBIs and the CIDCOs - I was asleep in the back seat. Some miles later, Zishaan and Fay swapped seats and even he was asleep. But Adi, Fay and coffee did a good job of getting us to Kashid.

I woke up to a beautiful sight of Arabian Sea glimmering in the silver of a full moon night and a long white shimmering stretch of sand. The air outside felt warm but the sand was cold. So cold, it sent us rushing back to the car to fetch our jackets. Just when we were about to unload stuff from the car, something struck us. We had the bbq grill, we had the coal, we had the kerosene (or so we thought).

"Did you get a match-box?" Zishaan asked Adi.

Blank stare.

We got back into the car and started looking for a match-box at 4am in the morning. A resort watchman came in handy. But we definitely over-estimated our fire-making skills. Years of cozy city life had definitely blunted our primitive instincts. The 10 month old kerosene helped douse the fire more than it ignited. After a couple of failed attempts to turn the black coals into hot glowing ambers, we gave up on bbq.

The beach was all ours. The sun wouldn't rise for another couple of hours. It was time for our (Zishaan and I) boxing match. I drew a ring in the sand. There were just two rules: No stepping out of ring. No holding opponent's hands. Zishaan fought bravely. Alas, poor thing went down.

We got back to the sand, ate sipped cacked and dozed off. A short nap later, as the sun rose from the hills behind us, I was cajolingly woken up by Zishaan to pohe and tea. Surely a task as I had managed to sleep off even the mooing cows. Adi declared, "This is the best pohe I have eaten in a while."

After breakfast, we got a couple of rooms in Mateshwari resort (Rs. 300 per room for the afternoon). Sleep, beach, shower - all the while humming to the tune of Samandar mein naha ke, aur bhi namkeen - and we were ready for our drive back to Bombay. We looked around for a local eatery for a late lunch. The chicken thali we ordered was nothing to write home about. But the 2 fried pomprets and 3 surmai fillets were lip-smacking awesome.

None of us had brought a camera. A trip to Kashid deserved a picture of the hammocks. We lay in the hammocks and ordered some nariyal-paani from the beachside shacks. We pulled out our mobile phones for a mandatory picture. And eventually fell for a tonga ride in the ocean with Raja-Rani, the horses. The speed and the wind surprised us - very cheesy, but a good once-in-a-while-affair. The girls were sorry for the poor malnutritioned horses. Adi said, "Even I feel sorry these horses," and after a pause added "but I am liking this ride."

Our indulgence with food continued as we stopped at Bhagat Tara Chand in Vashi for dinner enroute to Bombay. Makai, jowar, missi roti doused with generous helpings of ghee, dal topped with large dollops of Amul butter, smooth buttermilk served in beer bottles - they sure added lots to the waistline.

Kashid was 24 hours very well spent.



Tags: Drive, India

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