Is he crazy ?
When my husband said, Let’s go for trek with Adil, I thought he was kidding. A trek with 3 year old boy. He must be out of his mind. But hmm ,wait ! The thought of mountain, monsoons , him ❤ and little Adi trailing with us was too tempting to pass. So I agreed, but with a deal that I wont carry Adi if he refuses to walk.
Destination : Purandar fort . I asked him a hundred times if it’s easy and can Adi walk the whole walk?
We planned to start early at 7, but what the hell ! Purandar is just 1.5 hours from here, So why start so early on a weekend,especially on a weekend! So in reality I got up from bed at 7 to start.I packed some little food, boiled 4 eggs , picked up banana and boiled pasta for my son. Trust me when you are hungry after a good marathon , even boiled egg will be delicious.
We live near Pune East , So we took the road from Hadapsar , Saswad towards Narayanpur and then a left before Balaji Mandir . There is a board at left and a petrol pump on right, It is hard to miss. The weather God was in good mood, gave us lots of clouds, drizzling rain and no sign of that world famous sun. After taking the left,the road to the fort goes through purandar village and after a short bumpy road the way up to the mountain by car is very good.
Son was little sleepy but he woke up in time to see the mountain. We prepared him for the trip saying we are going to mountain and he can see big dinosaurs and monkey. A lie to excite a boy who lives and breathe on cars and after Jurassic World , is big fan of Dino ! Today , he was cute puppy in car , “oui oui oui me cute puppy mummy”,could not agree more :-*
Purandar fort is situated inside Army cadet camp , so we had to show ID and then proceed to inside. The road inside the camp was too bad , totally muddy. But who is complaining! I like everything about rains , even the mud , dirt and the slippery ground. After a distance on the super muddy road [I really wish I could get my hands ,oops ! leg on that mud ], we came across the sign “Fort” and a army guy directing us to park car.
He said no mobile camera and no camera . I took it damn very seriously . No camera means no pics , but it really really didn’t strike me at that time then to break the rule once a while.
Time to start.
We started the trek, The beginning is simple steps towards the hill. I looked at my little mountain boy and he was ready. I gave him my finger and we started . Me and Adi holding hands and husband leading way .
After few steps Adi surprised me.”Mummy Khud se !” Hey ! He wanted to walk by himself without holding hands and I let him go . I told him to follow his papa and he did that exactly. What a sweet sight to see him walk , balancing himself . He picked up stones , one in each hand , the dirtiest , muddiest one he could find. His little feet , one here, next there , on a green slightly rocky path, excited about meeting his Dino !
And then it started ! I didnt see it coming at first 😉
In his ultra cute voice .. Mummy hum mountain main ja rahe hai .. Papa suno wohkya hai ..Papa monkey sad ho raha hai ..woh dekho mountain blah blah and blah. There is no stopping. I should teach him to conserve energy by not talking but who would not mind a little entertainment 🙂
This is gonna be a long day of commentary !
The trail is well , easy peasy for kids. The path has small stones , rocky here and there but all is manageable by kid. In fact there were other family ,some kids younger than Adi. We let them over take us and slowed down to have all the way to ourself. We walked very slowly , to pace with Adi.
Adi was happy, I was constantly telling him to walk slow and small steps. He was actually doing good.After a distance, I pointed out him our car visible from a distance and that we were in mountains , up above , and down is the village. I hope he realized that we are going to the mountains !
The trail after some time leads to a little open space , fort wall begins and you can see those typical fort boundary .There was first water man-made water hole. There were more , the water collected is supplied down to army camp by pipes.
By now we were hungry and missing eggs..We choose a spot which was a little away from trail on steps and feasted on the lunch. Didn’t I tell you hunger makes even egg a delicacy from exotic land ?
Adi gets his energy from air and water , no food! He only had 2- 3 bites of pasta and one egg. He was more interested in peeling eggs than eating. With his little fingers he was so focused that I didn’t mind waiting for 10 minutes for my peeled egg.Now the thing with toddlers is that if they like something they can do it for hours without being bored. He peeled one , picked up second and was already eyeing 3rd one. . I had to hide that one ..didn’t wanted to spend all our afternoon peeling eggs with him.
Last one stone!
Water and stone and the the first reaction is “Lets throw stones into the water”. Adi has never seen it -the ripples , never observed . I showed him one and the next sec regretted. Showing a 3 year old fun with water and stone! What was I thinking ?
So Adi, tried his first throw , little less in power so just made it to water . He picked up next and I asked him to try harder with more power and he did . And ! then he was hooked. Stone , splash and ripples. I let him be while Abu went around to see whats ahead. What did I tell you about toddler ? He can spend a day doing just that stone , splash and ripple. I told him this is gonna be his last. He threw it, picked up next and said “last one” , and then there were 5 more last one’s. Finally Abu came for rescue and dragged him out.
He was walking and careful. His chatter was on. Once in a while I will show him how high we have come , The path is well made and surrounded by green. I will show him really small flower not plucking it but cupping the flower in my hands and he will follow my actions , holding the tiny winy yellow flower in his tiny winy cups ! Then there were leaves size of my palm and he pointed out that. We looked at dew drops . One time he noticed a earthworm and stopped. Abu played with him while Adi was curiously looking at it.
He was happy just to be with us, would be excited if I show him anything in excitement , See there is purple flower. As you go higher , the path gets narrower. Only one or two could pass through. Adi was balancing well. He was repeating after me and then taking steps “small – small ” ,cross the rock and “small”. There was only one spot which was a climb of about 6 feet with some support , the rest of the trek was well managable.
Like all other forts, summit wasn’t directly above us,Puff ! The path always leads us to top of mountain , then walk across to next peak. Adi was tired now and was showing sign of “Mujhe ghar jana hai”.
But didn’t I say he is mountain man .We sat for a while and observed all white flowers and the spider. And we could see where we had to go , across , few steps and then temple at top.
The Shiv temple at top was small and cold. It didnt look like very old temple , but hell , this was Adi’s first visit to temple! He looked curiously at Nandi Gai and was little afraid of bell . I showed him how to pray and he followed me. His hands folded ,eyes sparkling and giggling all time. This was new and it was like a game for him. It was exciting. I put a little tikka on his forehead and he did the same for me. We sat on the cold floor for some time and then forced , dragged and lured him outside.
We started the journey downhill.
We left the temple and started our trek back , that is when the clouds started surrounding us. The temple was no more visible and it started raining , not drizzle but pouring . Like the rain God woke up and in hurry emptied his bucket!There was no shelter and who the hell need one!
Ah , Rain and Abu . At this point it seriously crossed my mind , WTH am I doing in rain with a 3 year old “kabab main haddi!” , but that 3 year old needed protection from rain. So we wrapped him in raincoat.
By this time , Adi was tired . No amount of lure or monkey tales will keep him on his feet and he just wanted to be on shoulder. While it poured , Abu carried him down on his shoulders.Mid way Adi feel asleep. Downhill , watching Abu was a treat . With no one around I was on top of my voice and screaming all the rain songs I can remember while marveling at husband’s stamina to walk carrying our son , Wow , I am married to a super hero ❤ . Getting wet in monsoon on mountains surrounded by clouds is the most romantic feeling in the world!
We reached our car and now it was time to go back to city 😦 But , what the hell ! Purander, am gonna be a regular now !