The title gave you the creeps? Wait till you read further!
It was any other regular Saturday afternoon when my friend calls me up and says, “Get ready in 15 we are going to Nashik.” I, without a second thought jump up, take a quick shower, put on some clothes and stuff some in my backpack, take my wallet and charger and rush! I was so excited to be getting to go on a long drive along the beautiful ghats during the rains (this is one of the best parts of living in Mumbai).
We head out post lunch with an on-and-off drizzle. Beautiful weather and some crazy friends, a fail proof combo for the perfect weekend. We pass the city, cross some bridges, pay the tolls and finally reach the greenery of the Kasara Ghats. It was a spectacular sight with heavy dark clouds and sun rays peering through and a vast stretch of green hills around. Its best driving with your window screens down (though the rains may drench you slightly), stopping midway for a breath of fresh air preferably near a “chai ki tapri”. While the drive from Mumbai to Nashik takes roughly about three hours, we ended up there after five hours! We took a lot of stops midway, some for pee-breaks 😀 and most for breathing in some moist air.
It was almost late evening by the time we reached the city. On the way we passed a pretty creepy stretch flanked with huge shady trees on both sides and the place had a dark vibe and grimness about it. The weather was cold and wet and though we wanted to take a halt, for some reason we didn’t. I guess it was just our instincts working.
We started our return the next day at about 3pm from Nashik. This time we reached the ghats much earlier than the previous day. What started as a clear day suddenly went on to become extremely cloudy and foggy as we reached a manoeuvring slope, so much so that we couldn’t see the road ahead of us and no amount on headlights or fog lights helped. It suddenly turned bitter cold, very unusual for a morning that was extremely sunny. However, we managed to reach further to a lane that had a view point of the valley underneath. The fog suddenly cleared up and we could see the beautiful and warming rays of the sun yet again and pretty little thin streams of water. We got a fair amount of time to click some nice pics before there was a rush of vehicles and crowd.
While the whole situation was creepy, we did enjoy thinking its the monsoon being moody. Little did we know that stretch is notorious for paranormal activities. I came back home to read an article the very next day about the most haunted stretches in Mumbai, which included the Mumbai-Nashik Highway Kasara Ghats stretch. I don’t know if it was all just a coincidence (the trip and the article right after) or some sort of a sign. Whatever it was, it creeped the hell out of me and still gives me goosebumps! And yes, its the second time in Mumbai that I had a close call with the paranormal, the first time being the Madh-Marve road. May be I will write about that experience is my next story, what say?