Green carpeted mountains, a few billowing clouds, a thin layer of mist on the water – experiences that make this place one straight out of a postcard.
A retreat for the senses. Quite literally. The perfect marriage of nature’s bounty, flora and fauna, calm and catharsis. As I arrive, I’m greeted by the wonderfully gracious host – Ritesh. Not to mention the abundance of sights around. Big Red Tent Camp Glamp at Vashind is a sensory experience beyond words. Besides, the Bhatsai is your neighbour, one you’d be so glad to have.
As the cool water touched my feet with shyness and the open billed stork revelled in its flight, I realised how unstaged life is, in such places. Each one moves at their free will, uninhabited by worries. Like they say, there are places you stay at and then there are ones that stay with you. Camp Glamp personifies the latter. Indeed, when you have a host who not only knows his photography too darn well but can give you oodles of knowledge about the flora and fauna, you know you’re in for much more than just a sight to behold. Over a barbeque session with sumptuous potatoes and paneer, we speak about everything under the setting sun – from startups to snakes, expeditions to experiences.
And while we speak, Deepu, the young chef at Camp Glamp gives me another serving of barbequed vegetables the moment he sees my plate emptying up. Shubham, on the other hand, a more adventurous soul, gets me the kayak with utmost zest and informs me of the species around. ‘Those are water snakes; the ones popping their heads out.’ ‘Ahk!’ I retort. ‘Am I supposed to be scared by them?’ ‘Na, they’re non-venomous.’ It felt good seeing the young lads become naturalists and impart their learning to species-illiterate folks like me. And while we Kayak, far across, I can see Fort Mahuli standing tall. The tingling sensation from rowing on tranquil waters is coupled with the mist. Goodness!
As the dewy night sets in, we sit by a bonfire. The warmth of the burning logs set perfectly against the crescent moon under a beautifully starlit sky. Lying by the Bhatsai looking at the Orion and Sirius, I patted myself to let the surrealism of it sink in. In the middle of the night, I retreat in my plush tent, carefully stocked with a nice sleeping bag and a comfortable mattress.
I urge young souls to go out more often all by themselves. A time all by yourself is not only rare, but one that makes you ponder about life and gives you a clear perspective about what you want out of it. More so, nature teaches you more than any school can. Go out. Get bruised.