End of Paragliding Season party at Shelar Site – Kamshet
Got back home this morning after a rocking end of season afternoon lunch and drenching at Shelar yesterday. The weather was so dramatic – Big black clouds sneaked in from the side – thunder lightening and a big shower – Great accompaniment to our end of season bash.
On that day, the Nirvana training team and students got to the site early in the morning. Pilots Sinchan, Piku, Sunil, Hiren and Dylan came up from Mumbai especially for the Annual Nirvana End of Season Party at Shelar.
All morning Sunil was hopeful of the weather being fine to fly. Sanjay and I had decided not to take our gliders to the site and risk them getting wet at the beginning of a long wet season.
At Native Place Sanjay was supervising some pre monsoon work and winding up after our month long sojourn at Kamshet. I was busy in the garden giving last minute instructions. The wind was south and both of us had serious doubts about anybody getting airborne that day.
Before we left for Shelar we got a call from Sinchan, asking us to bring his wing to the site. We got to the site with what we thought was Sinchan’s gear but turned out to be a glider bag with 2 harnesses in it. I broke into giggles at the thought of his expression if it did the weather turned flyable.
The students along with the Paragliding Team were patiently waiting at takeoff for their first flights after an early morning ground handling session. But the wind kept stubbornly coming in from the south, simply refusing to turn. Sunil kept on the fervent “the weather will clear and we will fly’ refrain and each time he said this I giggled at his desperation what with the big blackies coming in. As the sky progressively darkened and cracked with lightning he too began to giggle along with me.
Pretty soon Instructors and students were walking down the hill to join the party – all hopes of flight were lost. At the landing the village kids were running about excitedly and Shelar mama and his cronies were busy presiding over the cook out. The party serves a joint purpose – to celebrate the end of the flying season and say goodbye to the kids at Shelar as well as to appease Gonshubai the local deity to bless the local farmers with a good monsoon and a good crop. The ceremonies began, Gonshubai was appeased, the rain came down and lunch was served.
The menu – bhakri, mutton curry and spicy home range chicken all cooked on a wood fire – yum scrum. There must have been something vegetarian too but I missed it J
We ate, fooled about in the rain, said goodbye to the Karanjgaon gang and finally walked back to the parking (through the now slushy fields) completely sated and looking forward to a big nap at native place
All in all it was a smashing day even without a tiny little flight.
The party continued at native place until the wee hours.
The next morning the pilots all made their way back home promising to meet up at Native Place and in the city in the monsoon months. After all the next time we met on the hillsides would be 4 months later in October when the paragliding festival at Kamshet will resume.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings