I told Pranav that we will explore the forest the very next morning. As I did not know what time we would be leaving, I decide to set the alarm to 5:45 AM. Sheru was confused at the new place of sleep. We arranged a nice bed for him but he just wouldn’t sleep. So I had to keep our bedroom door open so he could see me continuously. Pranav and I talked a little and I was telling him stories about Mumbai and riots. I never realized when I slept when I woke up listening to Pranav’s shout in the night. Just a bad dream. I got up at 5:30 AM without the alarm.
Sheru had been awake before me waiting for some of us to get up. 6 hours in the car could not make him sleep. He still wanted to play. Once I was awake, he started whimpering and asking me to play with him. I just could not sleep after that. I cajoled him, threatened him and finally succeeded in keeping him quite. At 6:30 AM when I finished my bath, Vijay had also woken up to prepare some tea. I took Sheru out for his morning chores and by the time I came back, Vijay had taken a bath and was ready. We stood in the balcony outside the motel room and the forest surely looked inviting. Sheru sat in the balcony while I took some pictures. Sheena, Pranav and Ranjana still slept.
Sheru got up with me and kept wondering what I was doing early morning
I like to play with Sheru’s mind. At home I would stand in front of the window and look outside making exciting noises. Sheru would go crazy wondering what was so interesting outside. As I stood in the Motel balcony, I started playing with Sheru’s mind again, pointing outside and speaking excitedly. It does not matter which language I speak nor does it matter what I say. I just have to say “Sheru” in between all my gibberish talk, point outside and speak excitedly and Sheru is looking at me wagging his tail wildly as possible, just like a small child wants to see exciting thing. One day I am going to tie a small broom to his tail. Atleast that will clean the house.
So, as I played with Sheru’s mind, he went totally wild and then stood on his hind legs in the balcony to see what was so exciting. He made a cute sight though! I took a few shots of Sheru before Vijay also got ready.
What? What???? Where???? What???? What is it? I dont see anything! Whaaaaaaaaaat?
Vijay and I decide to take Sheru out for a walk and hopefully through the woods. The woods I see from the motel window did not give me an idea about the vastness. I see a couple with a dog going deep into the woods. We took a back road from the motel to see a small forest in front of us. The muddy road making the path inviting and exciting.
The Entry to the forest below. An inviting road. Who could resist?
Another road through the densest part of the forest
We walk a little into the wood until we see the balcony of our room. Sheru was happily bouncing around. We kept him tightly on a lease because the last thing we want is searching for Sheru in a big dense woods. He can get very enthusiastic when left alone. He first found a small stick and trotted proudly with it. Then he found a bigger one and ran everywhere with it as if playing with us for the sticks control. Then he found a bigger one and that is when he became dangerous for us. That stick was actually a branch. So when he ran with it brushing against us, that stick was getting too close for comfort. We finally had to ask him to lose the stick.
Sheru with the stick in his mouth
We stood outside our room window and decided to call Sheena. When we called the room, she was still sleeping. We expected to see her and were watching the window when a man from the neighboring room came out in his balcony. He saw us looking at his direction but actually we were looking at our room’s balcony. The man got so scarred that he went in and close the blinds too. I am glad he did not report like a ‘Satark nagrik’ to the police about two questionable characters with a dog moving in the woods and observing him.
I was raring to go inside the woods but Vijay was not sure how big the forest was. I urged him to come with me but finally he decided to go back. I decided to explore further. So, with Sheru’s leash in one hand and the camera in the other, I set out to look at the forest.
I have to admit, the experience through the forest was worth it. The greenery, the tall trees, the morning dew and the quietness of the woods is a experience in itself. Walking in the woods is somewhat scary too. The movie “Blair Witch Project” always played at the back of my mind. I think dogs have a sixth sense and can sense bhatakti atmas so I was hoping that Sheru would warn me against such wandering ghosts. I looked at Sheru and he was busy poking his nose into trees and shrubs and completely enjoying himself. I wondered if he could really warn me of anything at all.
The beautiful forest and the little wild flowers that grew there
I looked up, the sun being blocked by the trees around. Some white flowers grew at the foot of the trees making a beautiful mattress of green and white. I had never experienced something like this before. The morning dew completely wetting my shoes. A lone watch tower near the path, a pile of logs at the side of road. A dense part of the forest which felt like the sun hasn’t yet come out yet.
It’s an experience that I can never forget, difficult to describe it in words.This is certainly the best walk in the woods.