Maya recounts a visit to Doodh Sagar, a beatific natural site in south Goa. Their pleasant trip became unpleasant. Find out the reasons in this interesting travelogue, a Different Truths exclusive.
It was our day two in Goa. South Goa actually. We had taken a car on rent for the entire week so that our beautiful family feel might not be disturbed by an unknown person. Moreover because my hubby is more comfortable at driving with me by him than he by a driver.
It’s being monsoon time in Goa, our trip advisor had recommended a few off beat places in Goa since we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the water sports.
Doodh Sagar was one of those. We took the map from the hotel and set off. What a wonderful weather, what bursts of rain, what greenery and what Goan music! I fell in love with the music.
Mansi, my eight year daughter, gave a wonderful explanation that perhaps we all loved those songs because we didn’t actually understand them and, therefore, were fancying our own respective meanings.
Well the ride was fabulous, a long, long drive comprising of around sixty kilometres!
We reached the place called Spice Gardens. There we met a chap named Kisna, who tactfully discouraged us by telling that the way on to Doodh Sagar was closed during monsoon and we couldn’t go any further. We could, however, enjoy an elephant ride in the gardens. He was distracting us from our decided plan.
Negotiations went on, first we had the suggested ride, which we enjoyed along with kids and then he told that we could somehow be transported to the desired place if we really wished to.
We foolishly agreed to be transported by an evening train that would drop us a few kilometres away from the destination. He assured to go along.
Having had lunch in the jungle restaurant, we patiently waited for the train not actually knowing it was an illegal enterprise we were venturing into.
The Delhi to Goa train swallowed us in. He ushered us in the reservation coach with no tickets and himself went out of sight!
Mansi was scared beyond limit, while we failed to assure her that Kisna uncle might be there in another coach and he would certainly be answerable in case we were interrogated.
It was half an hour ride and my daughter remained on pins n needless throughout. Even the most refreshing glimpses of beautiful waterfalls on the way and a number of long tunnels that might otherwise fascinate her…couldn’t set her at ease.
The ticket checker came, casting questioning looks at us. We candidly admitted we had none and narrated what was the scene.
Asked us to get down the moment the train stopped…we were like puzzled what was happening.
It was a big game perhaps.
Anyway, we did get down. Kisna the villain stood smiling too! “Arrey Mansi baby dar gayee? Darne ka kuch nahin. (Is Mansi baby scared? There is nothing to be afraid of). We are going to enjoy,” he explained grabbing her arm. I grabbed it back at once for he had already caused so much anxiety to us and couldn’t be trusted.
We kept walking actually on the railway track for two kilometres or so with a bunch of other fools like us.
The tunnels were threatening indeed with tumultuous waterfalls all around making a deafening sound! We were guided by nothing but our mobile torches. Kisna appeared and disappeared at intervals. We felt like somebody was playing a trick upon us n we had no other option but to follow him and laugh at his silly jokes.
Rain poured profuse in fits and starts. We were drenched indeed. We felt like shuddering and shivering at the same time.
Aah! What a view! What an awesome glimpse of nature! We were swept off our feet the moment we beheld the much talked of Doodh Sagar!
Kisna read our expressions intently like it was he the real Lord Kisna, who had procured the scene by his magic!
“Ab boliye Madam Ji! (Now, say Madam!).”
What to say! We were dumb with pleasant surprise at the mastery of God, who had created such magical things!
Sixty minutes flew off in the twinkling of an eye n we were like…no going back please!
But…wait a minute! How the hell were we to go back???
He had said not a word about it!
And where the hell was he?
Aah! He had not only been carrying our group but a few more, all duped the same way!
More and more people kept pouring in sight along with the bouts of fresh train that made us quiver like leaves in gust of air. A few ladies carried infants in their laps that kept crying out of cold…pathetic!
All clothes dripping…shoulder bags damp n heavy. Dusk time. The awfully beautiful scenery around acquiring darker shades…
At last seeing our helpless faces he, the hero for the day did disclose what lay at the back of his mind.
“Why you all afraid? Kisna won’t cheat you. Madam maza toh aaya na? (Madam, you enjoyed, right?).”
I couldn’t disagree though I hated him at the moment. Kids gave him a wry smile. They knew we badly depended on this man.
To our shock we were told that approximately half an hour or so more there might be…might be…mind it…an engine, which we needed to board at once if we wanted to get back to the place we had parked our vehicles!!!
By the way…did we actually remember the place where we had parked our vehicles?
A few crazy heads were still indulged in the favourite pass time…selfies…to be uploaded on
Facebook…lying literally on the track and what not!
We held our breaths for we could actually see an engine whistling from distance. Kisna made us run this way, that way, which way not? The trickster… the cheater!
It was just an engine and we were perhaps more than thirty!
Babies cried badly, rain didn’t show any mercy, we were really scared lest one of we four should be left behind!
I couldn’t imagine the other precious three but myself.
What if it was actually me?
Would I be the same nature lover after the day?
Would I be dancing in the rain amidst such awfully beautifully fantastically magically unreal surroundings?
My hubby pushed me onto the engine first of all. I pulled Kashish, my son. While hubby ji was helping Mansi to reach me, the terrible ride began! A man with family, who was still to board assured my hubby that he would have Mansi land safely by her mom and he should try for the other entry.
Mansi faded with panic and so did we.
The engine was full of sweating and terrified couples with kids. Kashish stood out resting himself on nothing but an iron railing.
Me…? Don’t even ask!
I had no railing in front of me to depend upon! Just a tool box, outside the engine with Mansi in my lap! Our blood went frozen. The damned engine was gathering speed and I couldn’t really hold on without a support!
Was a doomed day this kind?
Did devils come nowadays in your life with such names as Kisna?
“Where the hell is that bastard,” I asked Kashish.
Kashish looked at him as he stood just next to him!
“Kya hua madam? Kyon dar rahe ho? Kuch nahin hoga. Aap meri jagah pey aa jao railing pakad lo. Ek ghante ki toh baat hai! (What happened Madam? What do you fear? Nothing will happen. You please come to my place and hold the railing. It’s just a matter of an hour.’).
He could see how panicked we three were. He somehow managed to usher us inside the engine where the women with infants stood alarmed.
I looked for some biscuits to offer to the child but I found them all a saggy mess in my bag.
My hubby all this while stood the other side leaning on the railing with few more adventurous souls taking pictures of the scenes around!
Oh! And we couldn’t see him from where we were. Didn’t call him fearing it might lead to unbalanced feet.
After an hour that seemed no less than a year of agony and exertion we halted with a rude jerk…
I, as a rule, don’t ever curse anyone but I did curse him. I told him bluntly he was so reckless a man who couldn’t be forgiven.
“Madam adventure ke liye ghar se nikle the na? Puchiye Mansi baby se (Madam you had stepped out of the house for adventure. Ask Mansi baby). She enjoyed or not. Doodh Sagar toh mast tha naa? (Wasn’t Doodh Sagar fun?”).
I did not know whether to answer him or not. Doodh Sagar was beautiful but he had turned it into a nightmare for us.
Pix from author and Net.