A two hour bus ride away from Dadar station, just before Lonavala, is a small lane off the main road, that leads all the way to Rajmachi. Rajmachi is a strange name as it stands for not one but two forts, and a village. This one is one of the more popular trekking spots in Maharashtra. Right on top is a three star hotel, two tanks, and a few houses that even have solar power. In one of these homes, is an ancient wooden bed, which was the cause of all the fuss.
There was a group of seven people, coming all the way from Bombay, and a few of them were quite a mess.The rains had soaked all the possessions of at least three of them. One fellow had torn footwear, and nothing to wear. Someone lent him a pair of spare slippers that were not meant for the rugged trekking at all. This fellow had a few cuts on his leg, but not hurt or tired any more than the next guy, he just felt he was.
There was another group of three people, and old man, and two kids. They were relatives of the people who stayed in the village on top, and had come all the way from Pune.
Right on top, was this warm house, with a stove that was busy with food. Bhakri, vegetables and dal were served to everyone, along with some papad and pickle. Everyone ate together, all the residents of the house, and the twelve odd guests who had saught shelter.
The thing was, after a healthy meal, and certain diversions for devious activities (the old man offered rum to everyone, everyone refused, and he promptly got drunk), everyone eventually came around to feeling sleepy. Now the smart trekkers had gotten along carrymats for the night, and plenty of insulation and spare clothing. There were some who were pretty damp, and shivering a bit, cursing the lack of footwear, and bleeding a bit from here and there. There were also some who were shit drunk and pissed. Ok, just one of each, no prizes for guessing. The thing between them, was a warm, comfortable, solid wooden bed.
Im just noting down something that was almost an incident, that happened the last time I went to Rajmachi. Going there again tomorrow, and new things might happen that will make me forget all about this. Who got to sleep on it? Well, the old man used to sleep on the bed every time he went there, and the place was owned by his brother's son. But the wailings of an amateur trekker from Mumbai getting a reality check on losing a few of his precious comforts in life won against the protests of a pissed drunk old d00d from Pune sleeping over in his nephew's place. I raged. Another trekker cleverly maneuvered himself next the the guy who thought he was hurt bad.
Ah well, I don't really care, and so shouldn't you. In fact, you probably have better things to do, so move along now. Day after tomorrow night, if everything goes well, I will be asleep on that bed.