September 6, 2008, Saturday. My wife Swati’s birthday & what better way to celebrate it than taking her to the Land of Zeus & Poseidon:) In Greek mythology, Poseidon (Greek: Ποσειδῶν; Latin: Neptūnus) was the god of the sea. Poseidon was given a trident during the war of the Titans and the gods, in which he fought alongside his siblings. The war lasted ten years, after which the gods divided the earth among themselves by drawing lots. Zeus took the sky, Poseidon the sea and Hades the underworld. I have christened Lavasa as the Land of Zeus & Poseidon- a blessed waterbody in the skies. We left at 7am from our residence in Central Mumbai. We reached the Lavabahn(the road from Pirangut to Lavasa) in about three hours after a Wada-Pao break near the Kamshet toll-point on the Express-way. The road was enveloped by verdant green all through the 37 Kms to Lavasa. We met the Maharashtrian Cowboy (Dinkar Bhau on his pony Suraj)(see picture). We also met Ramdas the cattle-grazer & Subhash the Sahyadri Fodder-Delivery Executive (see pictures). We had Masala-Chai in Dagdu Mama’s village about 9 Kms from Lavasa. Dagdu Mama posed for pictures with his Ox Krishnaa (see picture).
We saw Buffalos bathing in roadside ponds & cows grazing in lush green meadows. I was fascinated by the shades of Green all along the Lavabahn.The word green is closely related to the old English verb growan, “to grow”. It is used to describe plants or the ocean. The most common associations, however, are found in its ties to nature. For example, Islam venerates the color, as it expects paradise to be full of lush greenery. Green is also associated with regeneration, fertility and rebirth for its connections to nature. See the accompanying pictures of my Journey to Lavasa. Nineteen out of 20 pictures have thirteen shades of green.
Shocking pink (also called neon pink) is bold and intense. It takes its name from the shade used on the box of the perfume called Shocking, designed by Leonor Fini for the Surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1937. This in turn was inspired by the Tête de Belier (Ram’s Head), a 17.27ct pink diamond from Cartier owned by heiress Daisy Fellowes, who was one of Schiaparelli’s best clients. Shocking pink kept its name in British English, whereas in North America “This intense magenta was called shocking pink in the 1930s, hot pink in the 1950s, and kinky pink in the 1960s…[it] has appeared in the vanguard of more than one youth revolution…to some it sings, to others it screams” . On its way into the German language, shocking pink lost the “shocking” and is called only “Pink”, while the English color “pink” is referred to as “Rosa”. Meanwhile in Portuguese one of its nomenclatures arrived intact becoming “cor-de-rosa choque” (“shocking pink”) used more frequently in Brazil. It’s also called “çingene pembesi” (Gypsy pink) in Turkish. Enjoy the pink Saree of Yashoda Padwal working the green paddy fields- Don’t miss out the pink wild flowers in the foreground. Pink shades continue in Master Waghmare’s smart pink T-shirt. Pink was the predominant color standing out in the journey other than Green.
Before we hit the first dam on Warasgaon lake, we barged into the early morning board meeting of the Dasve goats right in the middle of the road! Taking a minor detour we crossed the first of six dams on the 22 Km lake and crossed over to the top of the dam. The lake is now overflowing through the controlled sluice gates and feeding the Mutha river which flows down towards Pune. See the accompanying aerial pictures of the beginnings of the Mutha river from the top of this dam. The Mutha arises in the western ghats and flows eastward until in merges with the Mula River in the city of Pune. It has been dammed twice, firstly at the Panshet Dam, used as a resource of HydroElectricity. The water released here is dammed again at Khadakwasla and is an important source of drinking water for Pune. One more dam has been built later on the Mutha river at Temghar. After merging with the River Mula in Pune it flows as the Mula-Mutha to join the river Bhima.
Finally, we were there! The Warasgaon lake brimming with happiness was the ideal home for Poseidon. The lake in Zeus’ skies – at 3000 feet above sea level. The friendly staff at Ekaant welcomed us with Iced Tea – after a short walk through the freshly laid out nature trail, we savoured Chef Sandeep’s creations (including my favorite Pokchoy leaf + Cottage cheese salad!). I enjoyed the chilled Fosters pints. The birthday party at night organized by the F & B team was a nice private dinner in the patio outside our ground level room – again, with the clouds walking into our room.