Imagine a log home... sound of gentle water lapping up behind you, around you and under you. Once in a while a bullock cart, or a few cyclists go past. Those close to you are the kingfishers, lapwings, wood pigeons, partridges, hoopoes.. If you are lucky, you take the Salim Ali book of Indian Birds and get introduced to more members.
A boat all your own, to go paddling when you feel like. Put your feet up to 'chill' in the midst of the pond. Perhaps watch a snake gliding lazily on the banks.
A gaggle of geese to call, befriend and talk to when you feel like company. Fishing rods at your disposal that are like magnets to the fishes... each immediately put back in the water as they indignantly swim away, and we watch in delight.
A string of a river busy as ever, rushing off somewhere, to bathe in. Or to just walk around fields of paddy, vanilla plantations, mango trees...
For those who love lobster sized fresh water prawns, the most amazing catch caught from the pond and cooked for you.
Home cooked food served on your private verandah. To reach out and eat from your jhoolas.
Yummy breakfast of kanda poha - or puri bhaji, or upma with piping hot tea and coffee. Fresh vegetables straight from the farm. Rice, Dal, Chapati. Cooked sans spice for that's how we like it... light, healthy, aromatic. The best hot puran polis I have eaten anywhere as dessert. With cold milk and ghee. Or gulab jamun. Or sheera...
And the Bhadsavle family alert as always looking after their guests personally.
Only three hours from Mumbai. An hour from the new Mumbai-Pune expressway.
No AC, no TV. My daughter's whining refrain of 'Aw, ma... what am I going to do here' on the first day is never heard again. A city born and bred child experiences farming first hand. Is busy all through the lazy day. Plucking cucumber, chillies, green leafy vegetables. Works with the staff at a culvert next to the river, and leaves her initial 'I' for posterity...
And at night, we catapult straight into the Milky Way.
Together, we are awed at the range of Nature. At the sheer reach of the Universe. And far away in the distant Matheran Hills, lights of village homes merge with the stars of the sky... 360 degrees of stars... 360 degrees of water... As we merge into the Infinite.
Water, sky, stars, birds and beasts... Silence, peace, quiet...
Just three hours away.