I was pretty bored of my binge-watching routine and colleges were shut. I knew exactly what I needed – A weekend getaway with my pals. So, on an evening, I along with my four college buddies – Aditya, Samar, Aviral, and Omkar; got on a call to decide where we could possibly go and have fun to avoid this feeling of boredom.
After a while of playing games, discussing TV shows, food cravings, and football we decided to take a day trip to one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra, Matheran. Matheran, near Mumbai, is one of the many hill stations in Maharashtra known for colonial architecture and mild climate.
Aviral, Samar, and I live in Vashi, Navi Mumbai whilst Omkar and Aditya Ram both reside in Dombivali, so we planned that me, Aviral and Omkar would start the journey from Vashi at 6 am on 22nd June; meet Aditya Ram and Omkar at Dombivali station and head towards Neral together. On the morning of 22nd June, I was up at 5 am and made sure that all my arrangements for the Matheran trip were in place, got ready, and called Samar at 6 am to ask if he had left with Aviral since both of them lived right next to each other.
After the call ended with Samar I waited for them to arrive. It was 6:20 am and they did not arrive nor did I hear from either of them. I decided to call Samar again, “Hey where have y’all been? I have been waiting for 20 minutes now, hurry up, we are going to be late!”, I spoke as soon as Samar picked up the call. “I know I know but I cannot reach Aviral, he is not picking up his phone. I tried to call his mother as well but no response.
I would suggest you walk to my place and I will go check on Aviral” replied Samar. So I picked my bag and walked a kilometer towards Samar’s house. Upon reaching there Samar told me that nobody was home and Aviral was still unreachable. We decided to wait for a while outside of his residential complex if in case we happen to run into his neighbor or friend that could tell us about his whereabouts.
It was 7 am and now I and Samar had lost hope of going on this Matheran trip, all thanks to Aviral. We couldn’t possibly leave without him, he would just be a crybaby about it later. As we were contemplating what to do, from a far distance we spotted a guy with his dog on a morning walk whistling his way towards us.
As he got nearer, we realized it was in fact Aviral. “Hey guys, what’s up? What are y’all doing here so early in the morning?” said Aviral. Our expressions confused him until he remembered that we were leaving for our Matheran trip today. He apologized for being forgetful, so we asked him to hurry up and get ready so that we could leave.
While Aviral was preparing to leave, I and Samar updated Aditya Ram and Omkar about the delay and we agreed on meeting at Kalyan station instead of Dombivali, from where we would head towards Neral together.
It was 9:15 am when Omkar, Aviral, and I reached Kalyan. We got down on the platform and found Aditya Ram and Omkar waiting for us. We decided not to waste a single minute and caught the train to Neral. All of us reached Neral at 10 am and headed out of the station.
We had Misal Pav and Vada Pav for breakfast and as we were about to proceed an autorickshaw driver approached us, “I’ll take 60 rupees per person and drop you to Matheran, come on hop in” he said. Now based on my, Samar, and Aditya Ram’s past experience with such rickshaw drivers we knew he was lying about dropping all of us at the entry point of Matheran.
Got plans to visit Matheran? Enquire here.
The three of us were well aware that this man would drop us at a place called Jumma Patti which was 1 hour away from Matheran by foot. So we quickly dismissed him and took a four-wheeler to Matheran that dropped us at the starting point. All of us headed to buy the mandatory Eco Ticket which cost 50 rupees per person.
…and we entered THE MATHERAN!
We made our way towards the market in Matheran, walking on the abandoned railway tracks where we witnessed a spectacular view of nature in all its glory. As we passed through the market, the Matheran weather got cloudy and it started raining. All of us took out our umbrellas or raincoats except Aviral because he came unprepared.
Luckily, we found a shop nearby and bought him a poncho raincoat with three holes in it, one for the head and the other two for his arms. Aviral absolutely refused to wear it saying he didn’t want to look like a clown. We persuaded him to buy it since we couldn’t trust the Matheran weather and that he was already a clown to us, with or without the raincoat. Reluctantly, he bought the raincoat and wore it only for us to laugh at him.
The day went by very quickly, we visited the One Tree Hill Point, Charlotte lake, and other famous spots in Matheran. On our way back we bought some packets of chikkis from the market to take back home, walked the same railway track route to the entry point, and soon made it down to Neral station.
We were starving by the time we reached the station and immediately indulged in our hunger. After we finished eating, we took a train from Neral to Dombivli. Arriving in Dombivli at around 9:15 pm, we said our goodbyes to Omkar and Aditya Ram and proceeded towards Thane.
We reached Thane around 9:45 pm and finally took our last train to Vashi. All of us reached home safely, ending our adventurous and exciting day.
Funny enough it’s been 3 years since that trip and each year Samar, Omkar, Aviral, and I pitch in 5 rupees each and give this 20 rupees, in a big gift-wrapped box, to Aditya Ram only to make up for the 20 rupees that he lost on that trip. It serves as a means for us to relive the memories from that trip we took together and remember all the fun and exciting events that were now part of our Matheran diaries memory album.
Simran is someone who finds solace in reading and writing. Every book, every story excites her in an indescribable way. She is warm towards good music and a pretty sunset and that’s also how she likes her writing environment as well. Although she believes in being optimistically realistic, she finds comfort to live in the world of fiction.