On 26th March, we planned to start after having breakfast. And none of us had set an alarm.Who does it on vacations? 😛 I and Preeti got up early without any alarm , for our common love of photography 📷. The complex of resort was vast, well maintained and it was all to ourselves as there were no other guests.
We enjoyed the cool early morning breeze, chirping of birds, rising sun from the distant Aravali range, the well maintained gardens and did some somersaults 🤸 too. It was total fun morning, a kind of college picnic fun.
By the time, we came back to room, Swati and Madhuri were also up and were enjoying their hot drinks. We were in dry state Gujarat, , so please do not confuse between these drinks – ☕ and 🥂. We also joined them .After getting ready we packed our things and left for breakfast. We settled the bill and left for Vijay Nagar by 9.30 AM. We did not find much traffic on the way and reached the “Vijay Vilaas Heritage Property”, by 11.30 am. Google map was our guide and brought us safely. Ever smiling and warm Asha ji , who is running the heritage homestay was there to welcome us personally. The refreshing nimbu paani was all what we needed to freshen up. It was my second visit to this place. We had a small chit-chat with Ashaji over masala chai and biscuits about the places to visit and how should we go about it. Since it’s almost afternoon, she suggested that we should have lunch and then take some rest. It’s good if we leave by 4 pm for Polo Forest complex. We will still have 3 hours, which is more than sufficient.
Since Asha ji is married into the family of the descendent of the erstwhile Vijay Nagar Kingdom, we requested her for a detailed discussion and insight into the tribal district about the growth and life of tribals. Her husband was generous enough to share details of their journey from royal to common man and eventually the journey of the kingdom under independent India.
The lunch was simple home cooked food, served with love and warmth. The staff in the resort were from local Ghrasiya tribe. The dining room had all the tell tale signs of erstwhile days of kingdom.The photographs of royalty, lion skin on wall and a stuffed lion, old heritage furniture , all were pointing to the grand lifestyles maintained by kings and the downfall after the privy purse was over. It was a journey from royalty to common man. After our lunch, we came to our rooms for power nap of an hour before leaving for polo forest.
We went to Polo forest as decided. It’s a vast complex with forests, a river and ruins of Jain temple in the complex. It appeared to be a very popular location for film or serial shooting. Two units shooting with the ruins of temples in the background.
We had jolly good time there. Nature and history is my kind of vacation. It rejuvenates me. Have a look at the fun we all had in jungle. It was real a “jungle main mangal” moment for all of us.
We came back before dark, and after having a hot water refreshing bath, we settled down for evening tea and bhajias in the central courtyard of the property.
Now we had plenty of time, before dinner, which we utilized in dance and music session for that full on fun. 9.30 was dinner time. Here also, we were the only guests as this is almost end of the tourist season. So, the day had ended with a tasty sumptuous dinner in the company of “jungle ka raja” , chahe mara hua. 🙂
It was time to have that “gossip session before sleep”. The sofa set in Madhuri and Swati’s room was more comfortable than ours, so I and Preeti perched ourselves on the sofa in their room. Everyone has stories to share. We shared our struggles, achievements, happiness and sorrows. It was time to learn from experiences of others. It was the time to absorb the wise actions and learn about the grit and strength of each other.
When we started this trip, I knew only Preeti, that for too less than an year. I hardly know Swati and Madhuri. But after spending 3 days and specially this night, it feels as if we all are chuddy- buddies.We were awake till 1 AM.
We came back to our room only after 1 o’ clock in the early morning hours. We were to leave after breakfast. We requested Asha ji to share some facts about the place. She and her husband, who was there shared valuable informations about the royal and local tribal history . I will share it in my next post.
My learning from the trip:
- It’s very important to go out with women friends to be yourself.
- This kind of trips lets you be yourself. You do not have to live upto certain expectations being mother , wife or sister.
- In such trips, everyone supports one another fully .
- No one is judgemental about your conditions, action and situations.
- Such trips are essential to keep you mentally away from the daily grind of running a household.
- As per one study of Oxford University, it’s important to spend time with your women friends to keep you physically , emotionally and mentally happy.
Preeti is a freelance writer and social activist. She has won numerous awards for her writings, latest being “Women of the Future Award 2018 .
Swati is a successful industrialist, running an industry manufacturing AC motors.
Madhuri is running her fort and coordinating between an outstationed husband , a daughter who is in hostel and another one is in 12th and very busy.
Neerja is a physicist by education and blogger and photographer by vocation.