Life is uncertain – fly high!


As Dylan and I drove up from Mumbai on Friday afternoon a grey cloud hung over the city and followed us up the expressway all the way to Kamshet. It reflected the mood of the city hanging low and despondent over us. The newspaper we were reading did nothing to cheer us and I put it down and called Dwane who was at the guesthouse and he said today is ‘Hemmakvall’.

What I asked ? what did you say? Hemmakvall he replied and I disconnected the phone thinking it was a bad connection and I was unable to hear him clearly.

It was the Swedish influence – what with a bunch of 18 Swedish pilots living at Native Place and one non flyable day already. They are back for the third time thanks to the wonderful air at Kamshet and the great food at Native Place, they had entered via Mumbai on the morning after the trouble began and were safely ensconced at Native Place


Hemmakvall I found out meant – stay at home and chill and apparently that is exactly what  Dwane and Hiren were doing when we reached Native Place – Cleaning their gliders on the lawn under a cloudy sky, watching the birds and marveling at the strength of the wind as it whipped through the trees making an orchestra all on its own.


When Thursday’s strong winds did not do the usual thing of mellowing down in the evening and being hospitable to us pilots they resorted to Plan B –  hemmakvall and what better place to indulge chilling out than at  Native Place. Becca and Joel had come up from the city with Braydon their little son. They too indulged in hemmakvall as you can see from the picture above.

But Saturday evening had a surprise in store for us in the form of Sanjay’s impromptu plan – we pulled out all the XS and Kiting wings and drove across to an amazing spit of land for a full on kiting session. The scene was fluid and colorful a very impressionistic sight… 15 or us or more, Indians, Americans, Swedish, and French all sharing one little piece of land and the skies a few feet above. Kiting in strong winds is an exhilarating feeling and collectively our spirits soared. Hiren soon found his newly cleaned glider strongly attracted to a tree but it was rescued by Ravi who is also famed for his tree climbing skills.

On Sunday the winds were strong but not that strong. We were expecting it to calm down by the evening and it did. But thick stratocumulus cloud cover restricted the ceiling and flights were low, out and quick – what with a large, long awaited shower that ended the evening activities.

To see more pictures of our  kiting by the lake click here

Peace Bliss @ Happy Landings

Astrid Rao