Woke up bright and sparkly at the unearthly pre dawn hour on a Sunday morning which should have been cause enough to gift me a trophy for good behavior for the rest of the year. But I had to reach the Bandra Reclamation Grounds where the Lavasa Women’s Drive for Cancer was being flagged off, in time to see the cars being flagged off by Arjun Rampal. What? I’m a hot blooded Indian woman. When I get a chance to see Arjun Rampal in the flesh, I wake up at unearthly hours. The kind spouse dropped me off at the venue, rather than risking me landing up at a location far removed from where I was supposed to land up at and call desperately for him to reach and bail me out.
I wandered in past miles and miles of cars with women drivers and navigators and the carnival atmosphere almost had me doing a quick dance on the spot. Met a twitter aquaintance, wandered through to where the flag offs were happening, spotted a very grumpy and sleepy looking Rampal doing the honours, tried to get a glimpse of him through the wall of media people who were only doing their job and ensuring that all we saw of him was his cap.
Met the absolutely lovely Monika who blogs at http://www.monikamanchanda.wordpress.com and we set off clicking interesting cars and discussing important things like how convenient it would be driving in Navari sarees and whether the huge nose rings would interfere with navigation.
For those who are curious, we concluded that driving was convenient in said sarees, but loo breaks might be a tad inconvenient. We met up with the other bloggers on the team, and were despatched efficiently in separate cars to watch the progress of the rally from the road.
On route we passed cars with wonderful messages, like the one which exhorted us to save paper, written on paper and stuck on the car. Which seemed a tad ironical, but then we concluded the irony might have been intentional.
First stop, ExpressWay Food Court, where my stomach had a violent altercation with a medu vada sambar and had me heaving all its contents out by the time I reached Lavasa and could only focus on reaching a bathroom in order to puke with dignity. I was shuttled to a room, and left to recuperate but the wailing of Shibani Kashyap outside my window brought on more violent puking. This girl should be not allowed to sing in public unless the audience has been adminstered general anaesthesia. A quick visit to the Apollo Hospital and an injection saved the day and I was able to enjoy the rest of the visit with the gusto it deserved. Translate. I was able to eat again.
The atmosphere on the Lavasa promenade was like that of a carnival. Women of all different shapes and sizes, getting foot massages done, eating chaat, lying down, chilling, dancing, and generally enjoying themselves.
Lavasa, by itself, is the kind of place one has to pinch oneself to believe that one is still in India. We were put up at serviced apartments at The Waterfront Shaw which were very comfortable and well done up, and which looked out straight onto the lakeside promenade.
Lit up in the evening, with the buzz of the crowd present, the promenade was a delightful place to stroll down. And yes, that was if you could keep yourself from rushing into the many restaurants that peppered the promenade and assaulted your senses with the food aromas drifting out.
(Part 2 to follow)