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Exciting Saturday afternoon it was! 11 of us were headed towards Murbad, a quaint little unexplored hamlet somewhere around 75 km from Thane and 30 km from Kalyan in Maharashtra, for a Kite-Flying Event. Little did we know what to expect. We started off on a high note from Thane at 12:30pm and by the time we reached the property it was 2:15pm. The place is 5 km into the village from Murbad Bus stop and not quickly visible as it is laid out down a slope.
The visual was quite inviting! An attractively painted food canopy by a pretty big swimming pool was at about 50 meters down from the gate and behind this structure was a vast green, well manicured lawn particularly uplifting due to the shade of the trees and hammocks on the lawn. We stretched out our stiff souls and were ready to dive into some good lunch. Lunch was simple: rice, dal, 2 types of vegetarian preparation and papad and I must mention that the Dal preparation was a favourite amongst us!
Right after the meal, guys jumped into the swimming pool and had a good time. I did not expect it to be a good pool and hence carried no extra clothes. My bad! My 7 year old daughter and I sat on the edge of the pool and played splash-splash (she could have played in the kids' pool side but was reluctant).
By 4:30pm, the staff got out the much awaited tents and prepared for pitching on the lawn.
This was so nice because till now I have seen campsites being laid out on muddy grounds only. My daughter was super excited and along with the staff and others, she helped in pitching her tent. Rest of the gang was busy in getting the kites ready to 'launch'.
And yes...we actually had to launch the kites with the help of our XUV (the wind played a spoilt sport) which ran in full speed on a road inside the property to get the kites high and away. We finally got one kite to just wander so far that it looked like a dot in the sky and we left it like that the whole night! The other one couldn't get enough wind under its wings but was ok. Though, we couldn't get enough kites to take off, we had a blast just trying to get them up. Some challenge I must say!
It was almost dark by 6:30 pm when we chose our tents and marked our territories.
One of the boys from the staff got the bonfire ready on the left side of the property across the food canopy. 2 charpoys were set by the small bonfire and chairs and a table was brought out as well.
I had watched in movies that they roast marshmallows by the bonfire and eat them. So I had packed 2 packets for the evening. We used skewers to roast mellows and I must say, the first bite was amazing! I liked the taste, but couldn't eat more than 6 or 7 of them. My daughter enjoyed a few and the rest of them did as well. However, the marshmallows soon found a place on the charpoy when marinated chicken was brought out to be roasted in the open fire! The quantity was not much but we relished whatever was available.
The best part was dancing round the bonfire to the tunes of some wacky music. My daughter preferred dancing on the charpoy for sometime before she decided to dance with us around the fire. Boy! It was so much fun! We had our dinner at 11pm comprising of rice, chapattis and chicken gravy which was ok.
I took my daughter to sleep in our tent while the others stayed awake for long. The dew had already found place on the grass as well as on the tents, but inside, it was so cozy that as soon as I made the bed (using sleeping bags that were provided and an extra blanket which I had carried) we fell asleep. How I had wished to stay awake and gaze at the stars on this no-moon night! The sky was blazing with zillions of star out there!
I woke up at around 3 am because there was a sudden drop in temperature. Fortunately, I had carried socks which I slipped onto my daughter's feet and mine. Aah! Felt much better!
My daughter was excited to wake up in a tent around 8:30 in the morning (general wake-up time on a holiday for her is 11:30am). Rest of the gang was still asleep. The two of us freshened up and had some bed tea which the cook willingly offered us. Everybody was up by 9:30am and we had a breakfast of bread, scrambled eggs and tea.
Post breakfast, we changed and headed to the lake for fishing, which is barely a 2 minute drive or a 5-7 minute walk from the gate. The lake was calm but the temperature outside was 34 degree centigrade! We found a spot on the lakeside and started preparing the fishing rods. A few in our gang were aware of how to prepare the bait.
No fishes on this side! That was because a few ladies from the village were washing clothes nearby:(. So we walked to a nice and shady spot on another side. Alas! The fishes played a spoilt sport here as well. Maybe they weren't hungry! However, the entire experience was real fun, but my daughter was a bit dejected. I have promised her another fishing expedition and that too, soon :).
Later, we returned to the property and played cricket, volleyball and badminton and a few others jumped into the pool to soothe the scorching afternoon skin.
By 1:30pm , lunch was served. We were treated to some fish. So what if we couldn't catch them:). It was not great, but good enough to douse hungry tummies. After a short rest and group picture, we bid goodbyes' and headed towards home, richer with great memories!
What else to carry:
Note: The temperature crossed 36 degree centigrade by 1:30pm
I would recommend that you visit and enjoy this place in larger groups (at least 10-15).
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