05 October, 2009
My Weekend Get-away to Orchha!
About 20 kms from Jhansi, amidst rolling hills and scrubby dhak forests, lies the riverside township of Orchha. Located at the banks of Betwa river, Orchha was once the capital of Bundela kings and hence a major tourist destination of Madhya Pradhesh, lined with architecturally beautiful temples and monuments and a handful of super comfy resorts. Our destination for the two days get-away was Hotel Amar Mahal, just a stone’s throw away from the impressive cenotaphs on the Betwa River and providing panoramic views of the breath taking scenes around. The hotel is built and decorated in the traditional Bundelkhand architectural style and hence offers you a luxurious stay in almost the laps of royalty.
It’s been ages since I have been aching for a holiday and grilling my beloved with slow persistent torture, almost bordering to being a nag for it, till the poor victim finally gave in. We bargained to come to reasonable terms- I demanded a full-fledged, long holiday to somewhere far off where I could satisfy the exploration germs wriggling in every pore of my body; he offered a weekend break to some place near, where we just go, dump in ourselves and relax for a couple of days. Phew! Beggars can’t be choosers and with a deep sigh, this time I gave in. Another couple friends were roped in and since I thoroughly enjoy their company, my peppy genes finally began to bounce. Though just a couple of days before on my birthday, they came over to our house with their two little kids to give us a taste of how the holiday would be with those pair of mini terrorists around. Within a matter of a few minutes they ransacked my room and the little one (who was turning two just the next day) managed to scream his guts and our ears out...sigh! Sigh! Never mind I said summoning all my bravery at my urgent service...wahan ja kar he samjhenge ab!
So I cancelled my tuitions on Gandhi Jayanti and the day after. My kiddos asked me “Ma’m Friday is 2nd October so no classes, but why a holiday on 3rd October too?” A wise guy among them replied, “Ma’m is celebrating Gandhi Jayanti for two days...” I burst out laughing, unable to control the chirpy tickle that had set within! I also called on duty my culinary skills and managed to contrive some mayonnaise sandwiches and as for the rest of the knick knacks...why in god’s name have they opened bakeries and general stores? For a two days trip, we were carrying ammunition of snacks to feed us all for a week...this despite the fact that we had an all meals inclusive package.
Though scheduled to start at 7 a.m., we managed to leave Kanpur at around 8. 45 a.m. Slow start...but a start nevertheless! Watching Ganga maiyya being left behind, brought in the feeling of wow, I am finally out of town for a holi-holiday...hurray, hurray! After a literally rocking ride of not such smooth streets with strategically placed rocks and ditches all over, the five and a half hours somehow passed amidst laughters and jokes and also chips and namkeen bits sticking out of our hair and surfacing suddenly from some part of our body...we managed to enter the throes of Hotel Amar Mahal at around 2. 30p.m.
While the sight of the almost dead city had dulled our spirits, for it is barely extended to a radius of 10 kms and so less populated that you begin to wonder if the national population control drive was followed painstakingly only in Orchha...but the sight of a fort cum castle like resort managed to uplift things appropriately. Our bookings were confirmed and soon we were escorted to our rooms, passing a few expiry date firangs on the way. Expiry date bole to...those 50 plus generation, with one feet in the grave, who decide to travel the world before they eventually journey down to their sepulchres and some managing to do so even on their way! So there went the hopes and expectations of my dear beloved to come across some hot goore maim tanning herself on the pool side and just might in a moment of insanity ask him to rub the sun tan lotion on her back. His bubble burst, I was the only consolation at hand, and so we were decidedly in the room for the next couple of hours, discovering passionately what we’ve been digging since nine years of our matrimony! Umeed pe duniya kaayam hain...maybe we just might stumble upon a new ‘eureka’ moment! Since it’s the city of excavations, we must put in our suitable contribution.
The pool side view was awesome and all through the way I had been luring and beckoning the rain gods to join us and I had promised to give in and get drenched in his arms if he chose to wet me! And even the rain gods obliged...males just can’t resist the sight if women bathing in the tumbling waters with clothes sticking to their skins...and the rain god proved his masculinity.
The weather became awesome, with cool breeze blowing and the floor of heaven being captivatingly wrapped in dark fluffy clouds, as we got dressed to click pictures (face book uploads are always in the back of my mind...at least those who couldn’t accompany us might as well get a burning, jealousy-wrapped taste of how we had a blast...next time ke victims to join me for a holiday get confirmed in this way!) All the rooms face a spacious chowk having a Mughal garden laid out in it...the place was lush green, intricate carving and paint sculpting and nakashhi adorning the walls. It was time to eat, drink and be merry because it had begun to drizzle and we just gazed at the beauty and peace that enveloped us from all sides.
The next morning...I could barely restrain my excitement and after much patience that I extended till 9 am and couldn’t contain any more of it in my little body, I woke up everyone else. We had planned to go for a swim! Now, I can’t swim even if you put me on gun point or tell me that mother earth was put on stake...I would rather hit the trigger of the gun myself or apologize to mother earth for not being Dharm paaji and save her from kutte kamineys. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wade my way in the soft flowing water...which comes up only till the neck. Now, I also can’t dare to ever get into a swim suit...which is actually a favour for you lesser mortals for I don’t wish to bring about a mass slaughter caused by shock and heart attacks...not because I am drop dead gorgeous in a teeny weenie bit (oh...sigh! sigh!) but because there’s a limit to how much flesh even the male ogling eyes can take!
So all dressed as we were, the two of us heavy duty females along with the men in question, who stripped to their bare essentials...ahem, ahem...we jumped into the pool...Na, na...all the water didn’t come out thereafter...it just flirted around us gently touching the right curves and playfully wetting us to the core....PLEASE...no puns intended!
So after throwing my arms and legs around in mad abandon...in about an hour we decided to spare the firangs of watching the torture of bloody Indians dirtying the pool with our lack of swimsuit sense and our dirty minds...we got out! But what fun it had been!
We also visited the famous Betwa River that flowed past big boulder of rocks and some literally “shitty” stuff of human and animal discard. Not such a great way to spend time by distressing the nostrils and tormenting the eyes...we rushed back to the retreat soon enough. I also gifted my dear beloved a Kairali massage, hoping I’d be returned the favour...in any kind what so ever...but I got a peck on the cheek and an agonising recital of how good it was! Since it was a male masseur, I didn’t really insist on his allowing me to experience the performance first hand...unke khushi mein he mere khushi hain soch kar shaant ho gaye yeh Bharatiye naari!
So like this the two days whisked past. With about 70 photographs and a bundleful of happy memories and great one-liners through the journey...we finally returned to home sweet home. It was a balm that healed my wounds...but as I write this I feel my body twitch again...some muscles seem to be vibrating unceasingly and some nerves crumbling....OH MY GOD...the balm seems to have been evaporated...it’s that same ache...the ache to go on a holiday again!