This time of the year reminds me of my trip to “HIDE-OUT” for a nature photography expedition. Eco-friendly environs, eco-cottages, eco-utensils and eco-fun. It is, indeed, a complete package for an eco-friendly weekend!
If you are a Mumbaikar, hard-pressed for time, and have been cancelling more trips than actually making them, this is just an ideal weekend getaway destination for you. So anytime you feel your life’s getting monotonous with the daily rush for local trains on cluttered railway stations, the never-ending traffic snarls, pressure to meet office deadlines, and you’re STILL managing to live up to the fast paced life of Mumbai, all you need to do is, pack your bags and head for Hide-Out.
So all it takes to slow down a bit, is a 120 kilometer road trip to Jhadpoli village to a completely different earthy experience. It will take you approximately three hours to reach Hide-Out, to be able to explore the wonders and simplicity of rural living. Keep holding the anticipation of what the place would offer you till the moment you find a tree with a nailed wood log that reads “Hide-Out.” So you know where to stop!
A few steps up to the right will lead you to a verandah with mud flooring and the surroundings decorated with traditional artifacts, swings, hammocks and the aroma of food cooked in mud chulhas. If you are fond of food with a Punjabi tadka, you wouldn’t want to leave the place. Since the idea is to celebrate nature’s bounty, the food too will be served in eco-utensils.
Hide-Out is not just limited to admiring nature in its various forms. Some of the crazy yet interesting things you can try your hands at during your visit are (you might not get to indulge yourself in such activities in the cities) ploughing the fields with a bullock-cart, baking a brick or some piece of pottery, weaving bamboo baskets, building a camp fire, learning to mud plaster, apart from clicking pictures of nature, insects, floating in a dam, going for holistic healing, meditating or just spending some quality time with your friends/family. No itineraries at all!
You would be staying there overnight, so you can either opt for a mud-cottage, or a brick house, or even choose to camp under the open sky. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? You’ll have to share the space, though, with a few other guests. So, it’ll be good if you make friends with mosquitoes, dragonflies, grasshoppers etc that will try to have a rendezvous with you. Scared? Don’t be, as all the beds would be covered with nets to protect you from the creepy creatures thriving in the greenscape. You will, however, have to bear with the sounds of singing bees, crickets and wasps. Let me tell you, do not ignore the idea of using the blankets as the place will be exceptionally cold in the night sans any air-conditioners, courtesy, the pollution-less, semi-forest surroundings.
Hide-Out is all about being with yourself, wandering around without any motive, going back to your roots, discovering your peace quotient, living simply, living happily…you get the picture! I’m sure the trip will not only be a de-stressing and a scintillating experience, but an ideal blend of unplugged fun, scrumptious food and unique serenity.