Saturday, August 19, 2006

Walking in the forests near Mehendikund, Mhow (MP) India

On a Sunday afternoon in July, I and Vijay left for the waterfall of Mehendikund (Mehendi = henna; kund=pool) which is around a dozen kilometres from my house. Vijay works in Indore, 25 kms away. He is the physiotherapist of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket team. When he told me that he had never been to Mehendikund my initial inertia evaporated and I told him that we were going. It was an overcast day with light drizzle. Definitely not a perfect day for taking photographs. We went on his motorbike. I prefer walking or cycling but we were short of time as we were leaving post-lunch.

[Vijay (and I) descend the slope towards the stream]

The drive towards Mehendikund was breathtaking. The countryside was all green. We crossed the villages of Ashapura and Badgonda. A left turn from Badgonda took us to an earthen dam named Nakheri. When I had first visited this area in 1979 the dam was being built. I and my college mates of Government Degree College Mhow, or GDC Mhow, as it was then known, were on a long walk on that Sunday twenty seven years ago.
We had left just after breakfast and reached back home well after dark.

My photographs:
[My shoes had got wet a few minutes ago, so I was past caring]

After reaching the dam we drove into the forest and had to backtrack as the first stream we encountered (there are three) was too slushy and we were scared that the motorbike would get stuck in the mud. We went to to keep the bike in a cattle shed. But the farmer who owned it showed us another way. I had gone by this way many years ago and had forgotten about it. The drive through the forest till the village of Badhiya took barely a minute. At Badhiya we saw two tribals ploughing a field. After spending a few moments talking to them we headed toward the gorge at the top of Mehendikund waterfall. It was green all around. It felt good to be alive.

We parked the bike on top of the gorge and walked downhill through thick forest. We encountered a group of picnickers who were in high spirits thanks to the bottles of whisky that they were carrying. They invited us to join their party but we said a polite no and continued walking along the stream towards the waterfall. On reaching the fall we spent a few moments admiring the rush of water. This is one forest which has not lost its green cover with the passage of time. I would say it had become greener. Very soon the picnickers also joined us at the falls. Some of them got into the water and swam towards the fall. Vijay also decided to join them. I stood at the bank of the pool and watched him and the others who were already there. As it was overcast I am not sure of the quality of photographs. I continue to use my old and trusted Yashica MF2.

[Thats me, while crossing a stream]

Suddenly it started raining. We retraced our way back. The motorbike ride home was as thrilling as the earlier ride. Only it had got dark. Was almost eight pm by the time Vijay dropped me home. Tired but rejuvenated - that is how I would have described my condition as I took off my shoes. Must do this again.


Blogger Alex Shimray said...

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