I have always been fascinated about roads. Traveling via road adds more to the experience by giving us a chance to experience and admire the nature. Imagine yourself in a situation where you start a trip at 6 in the morning, experience the sun rising, and next few hours, you find yourself in middle of amazing green patches, eye-pleasing surroundings and ghats.
The joy goes a level higher when you have amazing people around and a car full of fuel. Something similar was the case with me when I happened to visit Mumbai for first ever time and people around planned a road trip out of nothing. One of the main reasons for me to say yes for that was Shirdi, the world famous Sai Baba temple, which I had only heard about. Also, I had never been on a road trip before, so I thought it would be a great experience to cover almost 500 kms on road in a single day.
The plan was all set. We tried sleeping early to get up early next morning. The plan was to leave by 5:30 – 6 am, reach by 10, leave back by 12 and reach Mumbai by 4pm.
However, as it happens with me and people around me all the time, the latest we could leave home was 7am, sun was out and being a Monday, the glimpse of a busy city was visible. With me, I had 3 crazy souls, Aman & Sumeet (Co-Authors of How I doomed my Ventures) and one of their friends and Co-Founder of MonkBro, Raj.
I had already spent a couple of days with these crazy people, so I was kinda comfortable. Early morning scenes had started to make me jump out of the seat everytime I saw a decent place to capture some photographs. It wasn’t even half an hour since we started, that I decided to start my photography session for the day. The car stopped and all 4 of us were out posing for the photographs respectively.
It took us over 40 minutes to get done with the first session of the day and move ahead on the journey. The environment inside the car was awesome as all of us were from the entrepreneurial background and there were hell lot of things to discuss.
Once we were out of the city, the car took no time to cross 120kph speed and we were heading to destination rather quickly. The amazing nature scenes had started to show up and with fresh air hitting against the face, I was just waiting for the car to stop again, because all I wanted to do on that day was to capture some amazing photographs with the DSLR in my hand.
Within no time, the car stopped once again, this time on a service road. Traffic here was very less (Mostly because noone travels on a Monday morning to outstation destinations). The moment we stopped, the pals went crazy. Everyone seemed so committed to give one perfect shots, but when the craziness of friends comes along, every shot seems a perfect one (The picture above is an example).
By the time we started from there, we were quite sure that we would not be able to make it back to Mumbai on time. It was pretty evident because we had already wasted over an hour in photography and in the main schedule, we had not considered this time. I had some family commitments after the trip and I did not hesitate even a bit before cancelling the plan. All I wanted was to spend a day on roads filled with craziness and for sure, I had the perfect company.
The day had a lot for us. From the weather to photography, from villages to perfect roads. Sometimes, I feel, that quicker ways of transportation like airplanes have surely given us a less time taking way of travel, but that experience of a long journey on road or by train can never be replaced. At an average, I take 5 flights every month, to various destinations. The duration ranges from 40 minutes to a few hours, but that experience can never be matched with the experience of a road journey.
We expected to reach Shirdi around 10, however, by the time we reached, it was around 1:30. God seemed to be on our side that day, as there was no rush at the temple. Being the main Sai Baba temple across the globe, seeing very few people was something none of us expected. As it was my first time there, Aman started to tell that my luck favored us on that day, as the whole procedure was completed in less than 10 minutes, where sometimes, people wait for days just to get a glimpse of Sai Baba.
We started back around 2. The road for a few kilometers from Shirdi towards Mumbai is not that great and it takes a lot of time. However, luckily that stretch is just around 7-10 kms. That day I got to try some different kind of Maharashtrian dishes on the way back.
The photography continued till the time we reached back home. The shutter count of the camera had added over 500 more shots that day. We were exhausted, but happy about the day.
I had never been on road for an entire day for a new route. This was the beginning and it made me so in love with the roads that I decided to be regular with such trips. Away from the work and stress, on the road with a car and the camera. Aah, the feeling can never be matched.
This is it for my first road experience, I will positively be back soon with more experiences to share. Till then, Take Care. 🙂