Friday we approached the Shelar Paragliding site to see a large Cu Nim peeping over the back of the ridge. Kind of like an iceberg where you get to see the benign top and not the huge expanse lurking below. That put paid to our takeoff ideas and we hung about playing cricket, flying kites, ground handling or cloud watching.
Soon we headed back to Native Place and up to the terrace to witness the drama in the sky and wait for the big thundershower that the looming dark clouds were promising. Big clouds were sneaking in from the west, slipping behind the ridge from the north and joining the bank of clouds behind the ridge.
Soon the entire ridge was encased in a formidable yet fluffy cloud wall. There were hints of lightning in the distance too. We settled down with refreshments waiting for the big rain.
We could read it in the clouds and smell it on the breeze yet we looked up at the sky in vain… heavy clouds but no rain. The shower bypassed us to shed its load elsewhere teasing us with that familiar haunting smell of drenched earth.
Saturday and Sunday proved to be good in the paragliding department. As it always is post a big shower at this time of the year and paragliding pilots and students went back to the city sated.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Sanjay & Astrid Rao
It was to be a moonless night on Saturday the 21st of May, a perfect night to spend on the Native Place terrace, far away from the bright city lights, with a cool west wind blowing over the lake and an inky sky studded with stars hanging above.
After a hot afternoon at the site, a soothing sunset flight at Shelar all we could think of was quick shower and head up for the action on the roof. It proved to be a wonderful night with shooting star sightings and even the odd firefly ethereally floating by.
The next day was Nirvana Instructor Sandip Bhalshinge’s wedding and we headed out in all our finery to the marriage hall ready to be accosted by a riot of colors, share a simple meal and meet many familiar faces. Sandip hails from Karanjgaon the village near the Shelar site and it was interesting to meet all the glider packing kids of Shelar, and especially nice to see some of the glider packing girls like Pashi and Ushi who are now married and have moved away.
The best part of the village weddings in the area is the village trance like party where dancing in the streets goes on till late at night powered by the hearth stomping monster speakers with incredible audio power aboard a mobile silver carriage that comes with a DJ console, seats for the bride and the groom, a generator and a contagious tempo guaranteed to get your hips shaking and your feet tapping.
Full on crazy dancing was the order of the night and every one let their hair down, jumped into the fray and kicked up a dust. After the street dancing the party moved back to Native Place where singing continued till the wee hours.
Monday morning saw a sleepy but happy rejuvenated bunch of people heading back to the city and to work after a very special weekend. It sure was the perfect recipe for a memorable weekend of paragliding, culture and camaraderie.