Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Satara and beyond

On June 26, my 16th birthday, we made our way to Satara. The trip was awesome, staying in a hotel with beautiful views, visiting a plateau that overlooked the sweeping beautiful landscape, and visited local farms with livestock much tougher-looking than the cute American cows and pigs. While everything was an experience much different than what I've encountered, the drive from Satara to Mhaswad was incredible. While most of my busmates preferred the view of the back of their eyelids, I could not pull my eyes away from the window. On the two hour ride, the sun was the brightest it had been this whole trip, necessitating the use of my sweet new shades to fix my gaze outward.
The view was beautiful. Plains stretched endlessly, interspersed with fields full of exotic crops. Most of the time however, the land was bumpy and sloping, rocks scattered everywhere across the dry, tattered land. Mammoth mountains reigned impressively around us, blending into the horizons as if we were ants in a giant empty pool. The bus rocked and bounced on the difficult terrain that was not built for tourbuses. In fact, every vehicle that passed us was a motorcycle, roaring by muffler-free. Far and few between rested mosques and clusters of houses, specks on the endless terrain. The most amazing part was driving by inhabitants, leading a herd (flock?) of goats across the dusty street, two young sisters crossing a long stretch of abandoned land, an elderly man bathing naked in the stream.
I was possessed by a strong urge to run barefoot across the hills and explore all of its crevices, abandon the comfortable life I live for the fierce and beautiful landscape. Never having been to the countryside before, everything was so new and exciting. Those we passed, walking in solitude with their few possessions, seemed at such peace, almost enlightened, the whole scene had a religious tone. I wanted that experience also, an intense solitude surrounded by unexplored and uncharted terrain.
Listening to music on the bus ride increased the overwhelming experience, giving new meaning to some of the more cryptic lyrics (if traveling, I recommend Fleet Foxes). The experience will live with me forever.
Few more days!

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