The thought of a trip without pictures would seem impossible to anyone and quite frankly it wouldn’t really register as a trip for most these days; without having the pictures to show for.  So we cannot help ourselves from making our cameras blink.  And when you think about it, it is good to have them pictures. With the fast pace of life, the past sometimes may seem distant and faded, and it helps to have these pictures to remind of us of a greater time.

I love the camera.  It’s one of the few ways of capturing something beautiful and keeping it with you for as long as you live.  And I do visit these memories through them from time to time.  I remember this one trip to Panchgani with my family in particular.  It wasn’t my first time there, but it was special.  ( I did fall prey to bad food and was practically living in the hotel loo for the next two days, but it still was a good trip.)

My family is a ‘walk a lot’ family.  Wherever we go, we have to explore on foot.  We do hop a vehicle or two to get around but walking seals the deal.  From my dad, to his father, and even my mom; we all love to walk.  On one such trip to Panchgani we decided to go for a stroll one afternoon.  Now, we’ve been there enough to have seen all the touristy places and hence decided to walk in some other direction.  We first went to the main market area and then took to the road we’d never been down.  We walked past the hustle of the market place and found ourselves on a quiet and beautiful road with trees on both sides.  After walking for quite sometime we came across a really beautiful bungalow/hotel property and stopped to admire it.  We decided to go and see the place and on entering were greeted by the owners dog.  My parents have always loved these old style bungalows and always check these places out.  So after checking the place out, talking to the owner for a bit and promising to come stay there someday, we continued on our random walk.   Only this time the owner’s dog decided to accompany us and not only that; he was also leading the way.

He wasn’t just out on his evening stroll.  He would actually stop and wait for us whenever we would stop to admire something or click a picture.  And once we’d start walking again, he would gladly lead the way.   And that led us to a different climb to the tableland in Panchgani.  It was a winding climb up the plateau and I’m guessing it was the road the locals took, as we bumped into quite a few on the way up.   Once we made it up everyone wanted to sit and rest as we’d walked for quite a while.  And it was beautiful up there.  But the place is huge and I wanted to see the whole thing.  So I decided to walk some more and went up this rise on the plateau (accompanied by my dog for the day) and couldn’t believe what I saw next.  There was a huge water body atop formed due to the rains.  I had to run back down and force everyone to come up.  They did act a little cranky but didn’t regret coming up.  No one could believe what they were seeing.  It wasn’t just a small puddle formed by the rains, it was huge; more like a big pond.  We sat there for a long time- my mom, dad, brother and dog in hand.  Just admiring the beauty of the place, breathing fresh clean air and admiring the view from atop.

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We watched the sun go down on us and then decided to walk back to the hotel as it was going to get dark soon.  The dog parted ways with us at that moment and probably went to his owner.  It was a great day for everyone.  Even the dog seemed happy running about on the plateau, playing in the grass; doing his thing.  It was one of those days where I was glad I had a camera. 

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