Pawna Lake Camping
“You live only once, but if you do it right, once is enough”. This quote is so well explained in the movies like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ right! Making a night out plan with friends, and that too, if they are just like you, just adds to the enjoyment. In all my previous journeys (Matheran, Darjeeling and many more ), it was just me with one or two friends; but this plan of Pawna Lake was with my favorite buddies; and the best part was, it was a girls’ trip!
Before I begin to narrate my experience, let me introduce you all with the characters :
Esha – My younger and a bindass sister
Juhi – She is my second mommy who takes care of me like her own child; my best friend and my roommate.
Rajshree and Saumya – Office friends but they are like sisters from other mothers! Rajshree is a mature yet naughty girl and Saumya is a fun-loving, dancing girl.
Arya – Yeah, that’s me and I am the middle person; it means that Isha and Juhi have never met Rajshree and Saumya and vice versa! So getting everyone together on this trip, was my mission.
How Did We Decide to visit Pawna Lake
One fine day in November, in office, me, Rajshree and Saumya were sitting in the cafeteria after lunch. All of us were bored with the daily routine (and if you have read my previous blogs, you know that no travel for a long time, makes me dull) and so, were discussing the nearby place to go. A few days ago, I had heard about the Pawna lake camping from a friend, so I suggested the same. After some research, we managed to get a contact number of the organizer; Rajshree called and asked everything in detail about the place, where to stay, what activities would be arranged. I called up my sister and Juhi and they both readily agreed to join. Hence the plan was finalized for the weekend.
Pawna lake is situated near Lonavala and people from nearby villages have started the initiative of setting up tents and offering dinner, campfire, music near the lake. It was the first time I was going to stay in a tent and do campfire near the lake, and so I was really excited. To make our trip economic, we decided to travel on a local train till Lonavala and from there, the organizer agreed to pick us up till the campsite (we had to pay for that of course).
Get Set Go!
Saturday morning, we packed our bags and took a local from Pimpri Station. The check-in to Pawna camp was after 4.00pm hence we took general tickets for a Pune-Lonavala local at 11.40 am. The train arrived and people rushed to get inside it. In this hodge-podge, I and Juhi sat in First class bogie and there rest were in General. Now I was not aware that local also has First class or General in it. Now Raju (aka Rajshree) and Saumya kept scaring me and Juhi that ticket checker would impose a heavy fine on you. So in the next station itself, I and Juhi got down and came to the General coach and fortunately, got the seat. It was a mere one hour journey, and with friends, you know, the time just runs!
By 12.45pm, we were at Lonavala station and it was a bit hot at that time. The organizer sent the car without AC at around 1.30pm; we were somewhat disappointed as he had charged Rs.1000 separately for the pickup. But, with best buddies, you can survive anywhere! Hence, we ignored it and sang songs and laughed a lot.
Then, we came along a beautiful road; rocks on both sides and a road in between, plus the weather was much better by that time. We asked the driver to stop there for a bit, took some selfies and photos and resumed our journey. It took around 1.15 hours to reach the actual site. The road is somewhat dangerous; for one moment we literally felt as if the driver was taking us the wrong way (this is what happens when one sees Crime Patrol so many times)!
Arrival at Pawna Lake
We reached Pawna lake at almost 4.00pm; the sun was yet to go to sleep and we felt hot and hungry. We were given two tents and they were sufficiently big, hence, kept our bags and freshened up. There was an arrangement for toilets, both for boys and girls. We had brought our lunch with us so we had it and by then, we were given tea and some pakodas as the sun was slowly settling down and the weather was becoming pleasant.
The vibes near Pawna lake were magical, we could see some other groups enjoying besides our tent. We went down near the lake. It was relaxing to sit on a stone and watch the sunset. But before that, we clicked lots of photos and it was fun. There were provisions to play cricket and badminton; so we started playing cricket near the lake. Esha was batting wearing high heels; as she ran to take runs, suddenly her right leg twisted! It wasn’t a major twist, hence we continued playing.
A Night with Bonfire
The real fun started after sunset. We changed our clothes and got ready for the DJ party. Yeah! the organizers handed over the speaker to us and we played all our favorite songs. By then, the crowd had become large and slowly everyone was on the dance floor. Though the weather was chilly, everyone was literally sweating; still, none of us wanted to stop. Finally, at around 8.30pm we were exhausted, so sat beside our tent and watched others enjoy it. Dinner was served by 8.45pm and we inaugarated it. We took out our jackets and the bonfire was lit.
If you remember, I described my sister’s sprained leg; the real pain had started then! She ignored her pain till evening danced like she was never going to dance again and above all, it was a chilly night. Her pain aggravated and by 10.30pm she was not able to go till the washroom on her own! I was scared because we did not have any spray or zandu balm, neither the faculty had any of this. But, instead of panicking (thanks to my friends) I held Esha from one side and Juhi from the other and took her to the washroom. The whole scene looked so funny, my sister was laughing all the way till the washroom, though in pain(thank God my sister is thin otherwise things could have gone worse!). It was almost 11.00pm when Esha’s pain became worst, she wasn’t able to sleep properly too. The organizers were observing everything that was happening with us, he was sweet enough to offer us a small bonfire right outside our tent because Esha was not able to go till the main bonfire. She put her legs near the bonfire to feel the warmth and gradually the pain was much better.
It was our first time sleeping in a tent, that too a chilly night, besides a lake; though it was really warm inside, we weren’t able to sleep properly. The reason was, there were people who had consumed alcohol and were playing just outside our tent for very long. It was a girls’ trip, we were scared because the guys were drunk and they were so close to our tent that they could fall into our tent. The faculty requested them to move away but they didn’t listen. I couldn’t tolerate it anymore because it was 1.00am already, my sister was in pain already and she was very much scared by those men. I gathered courage, opened the zip of my tent, slightly bent my face outwards and humbly requested them “Bhaiya aap log please zara is tent se dur hokar khelenge,hume disturb ho raha hai( could you please play away from our tent as we are getting disturbed)” and they quickly agreed and apologized for their behavior. My sister was not letting me talk to them initially because they were drunk but it would not have stopped if I didn’t step out.
A Chilly Morning
At that moment, we saw the guy who had drunk a lot, the previous night, was not able to move at all! His eyes were open, but the body was paralyzed. His friends did everything possible to make him move but he couldn’t. So they dragged him to the car and took him to the hospital. They had come to Pawna Lake for enjoyment but it turned out to be a tragedy for them. We finished our breakfast and started to leave the place with mixed feelings. The organizer dropped us till Lonavala station and we came back with a sweet and sour experience.
The night somehow passed as the drunk guys, however, stopped playing, but did not lower their voices all night. The next day morning we woke up at 7.00am. Waking up in my own room and waking up in a tent; there’s a big difference, right! As I opened my tent, cool breeze kissed my cheeks and wished me a beautiful morning. The sun asked me to come out of the tent and feel its warmth. I brushed my teeth just beside a lake, thanking God for such a wonderful life. Esha’s leg was much better. We freshened up and again went near the lake and clicked some photos again. We were served breakfast and tea.
Everywhere I go, I learn something new; some experiences are good and some are bad. But, that doesn’t stop me from traveling. Because it’s up to me, which part do I want to remember. If I would not have gone to this place, then I wouldn’t be able to share this story with you, right?