Kelve offers the visitor a wide expanse of the Arabian Sea. Located only 12 kms from Palghar, the beach has the largest stretch (around 7 kms) of coastline. The place is packed with visitors from Mumbai, Vapi, Valsad and other far-off places, especially on weekends and holidays. For the religious minded, the Sheetladevi Temple is located near the beach. An annual fair here is the other feature. For budget-visitors [read Inaltus guys], there are a number of private lodges and houses, who extend their hospitality to the visitors.
7 of us from Inaltus - Amar, Binesh, Grish, Lalit, Lyvon, Shishir & Sundar [listed in alphabetical order] left for this place on Friday - 09th January 2004 @ 21.30 hrs from the office. We had a good driver Prabhakaran who mixed up with the team as soon as we entered the Aarey Colony. He found a buddy in Sundar because both could speak a common native language - 'Tamil'. Sundar kept him engaged so that he didn't doze off while driving. We picked up Abhi from his residence in Kandivli and headed towards Manor on National Highway 8.
We missed out carrying some good audio cassettes and passed our time listening to old melodies on the FM. However, once we got out of range of FM, Prabhakaran got an opportunity to bring out his Tamil cassettes and he played those to his heart till the end of journey. From Manor, we took a left turn towards Palghar and reached Kelve at around 01.00 hrs on 10th January 2004.
Binesh, who had co-ordinated the entire picnic had also made arrangements for stay at Hotel "Swagat" owned by Shri Sadashiv Saave. We had not planned for a dinner on the 09th @ Kelve because it would be late by the time we would reach. We had dinner before starting off from Mumbai. However, Shri Saave had prepared dinner for all of us and they were waiting for us to arrive. And all of you who know the Inaltus team would require no mention of the fact that Inaltus team is always hungry...... we had a second dinner and that too, a full course @ 1.15 AM !
After the dinner, no one was feeling sleepy immediately. However, most of us decided to sleep quickly so that we could get up early next morning. However some naughty guy [read Amar] was in no mood to sleep quietly. We had a lot of hungama after the lights went off. Pillows and bedding started disappearing suddenly and after a while, we found that Amar was the culprit. It was difficult for us to stop laughing and sleep ! Finally we did manage to get some sound sleep and woke up at around 07.45 hrs in the morning. We had a series of cricket matches within the hall where we were put up for the night.
The teams were -
Team A - Amar, Girish, Lyvon and Sundar
Team B - Abhijit, Binesh, Lalit & Shishir
Team B was the ultimate winner ! [not because I was a member of the team ;) ]
After the game of cricket, we were served excellent tea and an option of having Poha, Upma or Sheera for breakfast. We opted for Poha with a majority vote. After the light breakfast, we headed towards the beach. We parked the Tata Sumo near the beach and were soon in our beach-wear. We had a round of football initially - but the game didn't last for more than 20 minutes [ most of us are not used to exercising regularly and are couch potatoes ]. We were exhausted soon.
Then we started cricket on the beach. I choose to be a spectator and was soon having a nap on the beach. Abhijit retired after a while and the other "Sachin Tendulkar"s continued enthusiastically because they saw a group of chics approaching. Those girls too started playing cricket [of course, a bit away from our pitch]. But they kept the Inaltus guys going for quite some time ;). Girish was particularly very impressive. Lalit being tempted to move towards their pitch very often. We had to bring him back to our own area to keep him in control.
The water level started rising soon and we decided to get a nice dip in the sea. We were soon trying to form human pyramid in the sea - Amar, Binesh, Sundar and me being the base, Lyvon, Lalit on second storey, and Abhijit supposed to be the top storey. However, Lalit was very clumsy and the pyramid could never withstand 3 storeys. We gave up after 4-5 attempts and soon had the big ball in !
We then started playing volley ball for a few minutes and then, some game called "Monkey Monkey" [ donno how this name was derived]. This game kept us busy for quite long. In fact, we continued with the same game till 12.45 PM. After that, we were bored and Amar decided to show us how he could float like a dead body. Others tried to do various things but just kept trying. Suddenly, we felt that our tummies were demanding attention and we were extremely hungry.
We returned back to the hotel at around 13.30 hrs. Now, there were 2 options to bathe. Option 1 was to use the normal bathrooms and Option 2 was to use a "houd" or a tank full of water with a desi shower from the top in the open ! Abhijit and Girish who felt a bit shy opted to have a bath in the private bathrooms while others decided to try the common tank - all having a bath at once !!!! It was an unique experience for all - more of fun.
After the bath, we realised that our bodies were aching - every joint had been moved that day. We were extremely hungry and had a very heavy lunch comprising of Rotis, Alu Mutter Cauliflower, Chauli, koshimbir, varan, bhat, papad, loncha for the veggies and chicken with gavathi masala for the non-veggie Lyvon. We chose to go out for a small walk after the lunch but ended sitting at the Sheetladevi bus stop because we were extremely tired. Abhijit had already chosen to have a nap instead of walking around. After an hour or so, we returned back to the hotel and had a small nap. We had 2 rounds of tea at around 16.15 and then packed up our luggage and checked out of the hotel.
We visited the Sheetladevi temple and started off for Mumbai at 17.00 hrs. It was a quick drive - 4 of us - Amar, Binesh, Lalit and me decided to get off at the Vasai Road railway station and others continued via road. We took a shuttle train from Vasai Road to Diva and then branched off to Dombivli, Badlapur and Shahad !Extremely tired, but addicted to the PC so I decided to jot down the memories !
Overall, an excellent overnight trip - will keep us going for quite some months now - refreshed minds work much better - guys who missed the picnic due to various reasons - Deepa, Maimuna, Mildred, Ranjani, Rohit, Sathya, Trupti & Wayne - will have to be content with the snaps and the stories that that will hear over the next week.
Feeling exhausted now - will go to sleep for a new and fruitful day tomorrow !Good night & sweet dreams.......