The lasting impression of Khandala this time was of mist floating in and around and through the house and everyone constantly going "Ooooh, there's a CLOUD coming in!" The house turned out to be one of those structures, about a hundred years old with two large bedrooms with beds so high, they almost needed a ladder to get onto, a spacious dining room with an old wooden dining table in the center and a long broad verandah running along the of the house facing the hills. There were enough beds and sofas and chairs strewn around to enable us to comfortably loll around and we were taken good care of by the housekeepers, Narayan and his wife, both of them from Nepal. Every now and then a stringy looking but very sweet and noisy half grown grey and white cat would come running in, begging for food and then disappear again.
Sudha lost in reflection
The verandah, everyone said, was the stuff Bhoothbanglas are made of although nobody felt very scared. Maybe all those rain songs belted out by Sudha and Kalpana purified the atmosphere. Ha ha. Meals were on the whole very saatvik, no chillis, very little masala and oil (good for the system) though we made up for all the health food with chilled beer one afternoon and shots of some out of the world Scotch provided by Sean and Pooja which helped me to win at least three games of UNO.
The morning after we arrived Uma L insisted that I accompany her, Sharat and Kalpana to "the ridge" from where it was possible to get a spectacular view of the mountains and valley. I just about made it though we had just reached when it started blowing and in no time we were being spattered by drops of rain. Luckily we made it back to the bungalow before getting completely drenched.
Sean trying to meditate
Uma L and Sudha
And of course there were a couple of deadly
rounds of"Taboo" which had everyone sitting on edge and of "Uno" which was good fun - as indeed games are when you're winning a lot of the time.
Pics: Kalpana, Sharat