Some places have unique power of attraction in them. Whatever the situation is you cannot stop yourself visiting those places. You cant figure out what is your relation with that place. Everybody have atleast one place like this in their life!
I met with the same kind of feeling when I was assigned a task. Yes, this time I was deployed to work on “Raigad”, the Capital of the Maratha Empire!!! It was an honor!
Raigad is very close to every Maharashtrian’s heart. It was the Capital of Maratha Empire which was established by The Great Shivaji Maharaj. It is grand and huge, a stand alone mountain with the area of certain square kms. visiting it is an experience of lifetime.
Journey started on an amazing note! We took the Tamhini ghat route, a ghat which is one of the scenic place which go through the Tamhini Forest Reserve.
First Stop: GarudMachi!!!
We were fortunate to have Mr. Paranjape, who is one of the founder of this amazing place. Guys, if you are looking for some change, it is highly recommended!!! We had some breakfast over there with this amazing view!
After crossing Tamhini, we entered in the Konkan region. We were now heading towards Mahad, on the NH 66, Mumbai – Goa highway! Smooth road with the lush greenery on both side of the road.
At Mahad, we joined another team which was coming from Mumbai. United and Excited, we now left this highway and took the road to Raigad!
We were on schedule! To save the time we took Rope Way to reach the top. I was riding the Rope Way after so long, it gave me goosebumps. Although it’s totally safe, but the monster inside the mind troubles you for the first few moments of the ride.
Whooo! I was on Raigad after nearly 19 years. I climbed this fort when I was a small kid. This was an incredible moment, I really felt humbled. My mind was gathering all the memories of that childhood trip and I was recognising the places on the forts which I had visited! Sharp Memory!!!
We had our rooms booked at the MTDC resort of the fort. The plan was to stay for 4 days. We started our work for the day Post Lunch.
My schedule was really tight. We started it on thursday, but on friday I had to go back to Mumbai to attend a conference and then again come back at the fort for Saturday and Sunday!
So I didn’t had much time on thursday. We started our work from southern side. The Hirkani Buruj Side. I was in hurry and had to cover much more area so I had to move faster, so I can cover as much area as possible. Last bus to Mahad was at 4PM from base village.
So, I completed my part of the work in the area and was heading back to the resort to take my luggage. I was running really fast on that uneven terrain. While descending a slope I lost my balance and the next moment I was on the ground. My left leg was slipped and I had a cramp in the left anckle!!! I was on ground and was in shock for a minute. Then I felt an unbearable pain in my left leg. I removed the shoe and the left ankle was swollen. My ankle was doubled than its original size.
My teammate’s rushed towards me. I tried to stand up but I failed twice but third time I made it. However I had to move, because I had no option. The resort was still on a fair distance. I decided to forgot that any such thing was happened and tried to move forward. Somehow I reached the resort. I sat down for a minute! Now I tried to stand up but again but was unable to do so! Finally with all my strength I stood up and moved ahead.
To get to the ropeway platform, I had to descend some steps! The pain was really killing me. Somehow I managed. In the end I missed the bus by few minutes! Now I had to reach Mahd for my further journey. There were no 6 seaters too. Luckily I got a lift where I got little space in the backside of a van. But that van dropped me on Mumbai Goa highway!
Due to that little space in the van, the sweeling was increased. It was the test of my mental strength more than my actual body strength. I asked a tea vendor nearby, how long is the Bus Station? He said its just 5 minutes away! I didnt got any vehicle or lift to reach Bus station. This was the worst part. I started walking towards the bus stand, and finally after half an hour of continous walking with the pain, I reached bus stand. Then I realised I walked for almost 1.5 Kms. This was an impossible task really! But then I reminded the brave stories of King Shivaji & His Brave Soldiers, who had fought some unimaginable wars to establish the Swarajya! This gave me enough strength for next 4 days.
I was trying hard to ignore the pain. I had a plan to go to Mumbai but instead of going there, I took the bus of Pune because of timings. Bus took nearly 5 hours to reach Pune. I didnt told my parents about my leg! Around 12AM, I reached home. But I dont know how but my Mom knew that something has happened to me. As I removed my shoe, both mom and dad were in shock.
My mother did some medication to my leg and she started her speech, you are not going anywhere, look at your leg, why are you so careless, why you had to run so fast???? It took me nearly an hour to convince her. Somewhere she always understood about how important that work is to me and how noble it is.
At very next day, I had to travel Mumbai. Taxi arrived at 6AM. No sufficient sleep. Even I was in doubt whether I will make it or not. The intensity of pain was same as the last day. Somehow everything went good.
After finishing the conference, it was the time to head back to the fort. I got a bus at 4PM which shattered all my hopes of reaching fort on the same night. So I reached Mahad around 9PM and then stayed at a lodge. Lying on the bed and watching TV and thinking about how did I survived such pain. Ofcourse, I was Tired and exhausted! I fall asleep! Much needed rest!
Ready to go! I was so excited to go back on the fort. On the saturday morning I came back to Mahad Stand and caught a jeep to reach Raigad. I was really eager to reach the fort and rejoin team. My patience was over and the pain was almost vanished. Bet way to push yourself is to ignore the pain.
Countryside is always beautiful especially in the early morning. The road was beautiful so as the destination. Cattles were around the road! Finally at 9AM, I reached at the top of the fort. Everybody of my team was surprised to see watch me again. Everybody thaught that I will not come back due to the injury. Everybody welcomed me with a warm smile! The team was relieved to have me back and I was really happy to rejoin them. This made me feel responsible and now all I wanted to do is work hard For next two days. Because I knew that this is a lifetime opportunity and I completed my work with perfection. When I was working, I never realise the pain! but how was that even possible???
It took two months for my leg to completely recover. I don’t know how I managed to do it! When I came back to home on thursday and when I was in Mumbai on friday, I was so restless. All I was thinking about is my work and team which was on fort. Was it my mental strength or my strong will? Or was it the charisma of Raigad? Shivaji Maharaj spent their last few years on Raigad and that place has become more sacred for every admirer of him. One can simply feel Maharaj’s presence in the air of Raigad.
The Great Shivaji Maharaj who established swarajya and many of his soldiers who made this possible with their unmatched and unbelievable bravery and utmost galour and with the highest sacrifice! If they did such things 3 centuries ago, then its my duty to do something for them. I think this was the spirit behind my whole journey. The strong will to do something for my King! It was my way to thank my ancestors who fought for us!
” Sometimes you don’t know how you do some unbelievable things! You just need to believe that it is possible. And if you have Passion and Faith, every pain every obstacle means nothing absolutely nothing. “