Last month for an article regarding World Cancer Day, I had to go through loads of information on the deadly disease. Everything you eat, breathe and drink is giving you cancer, my research told me. *depression* But then the silver lining is that if the cancer is detected early, it is possible to kick its ass. So yeah, I am pretty enthu about promoting awareness and kicking cancer’s ass with early diagnosis.
Obviously, like most times I was too late to register for Lavasa Womens Drive. Imagine my delight when two days before the event, I was invited to be a part of a blogger’s delegation (yeah, I’m calling it that because it sounds fancy!)
So at 6 am on a Sunday morning, Mom drove me to reclamation grounds (with Bono sulking in the back seat because he wasn’t getting to go with me!) Yawning my way through the long queue of cars, I made it into the grounds and the adrenaline got pumping. The cars were all dolled up with ribbons, balloons, stickers and what not. Some cars were so creatively decorated, that you couldn’t help but cheer for them! Although the rally was all about overtaking breast cancer, women stood up for women’s rights, education for girls, nature conservation and the works. At the start line, I was introduced to the Nisha, Anuradha, Sakshi and Pushpa— all of them well known in the blogosphere. As the cars started getting flagged off, I spotted eye candy! Arjun Rampal in all his grunginess looked so damn hot. Of course, he screwed it all up by opening his mouth… bleh! Why do good looking men always sound so duh? (I wish I had a picture!)
By the time a 100 cars had been flagged off, our throats ran dry and our energy levels dipped. But there was no downtime as far as conversations were concerned and why would there be? I was meeting the lovely Monika and Kiran for the first time (after exchanging many many tweets) Making a quick refueling stop at the snack counter, we ventured towards our cars. Our cars weren’t pretty and decorated like those in the rally, but then we all weren’t as decorated and dressy as the participants either! There were a ton of conversations as I reconnected with Ramya (I met her after a year or so!)
Finally, we started towards Lavasa. Chattering away with Ramya about some very special people we know in common, made me realise how small the world is. And get this, later over lunch, Bish told us that he knew those people too!
Before we knew it, we reached the food mall on expressway. Warning: the sit-in restaurant at this mall is terrible — pathetic service (rude waiters who act like they are doing you a massive favour), passable but unhygienic food, and totally unacceptable coffee. Kiran actually got sick after eating there and had to get a massive injection.
The ride ahead wasn’t very eventful as we passed out and woke up in the middle of a traffic jam. Finally, we took a turn on to a long and winding road that offered a picturesque view of the valley. And when we came to the dam, we had to stop for a while and click some pics.
I was told that Lavasa has been training farmers around the area to use modern farming techniques and use of healthy fertilisers. Of course the journalist in me was pretty perked up about this. In the midst of all the controversies, one does wonder if this is just a PR gimmick or is the company actually being socially responsible, but that’s for another post!
The road to Lavasa is long and really stressful to drive on, what with its hair-pin bends and steep climbs, your tummy churns! I am told that the blogging contingent got the worst of the road on their way back from Lavasa!
As the big gates of Lavasa welcomed us, I almost reached for my passport. The place is very unlike India (I am not proud to say this but if they can, so can we! Again, this is a whole different post!) We drove down to the The Waterfront Shaw, where the rest of the gang was going to stay and we made our way towards screaming, hooting women. Dude! I didn’t even drive and I was pooped. Where were these women getting their energy from? Turns out, there was a boy-band singing for them and there were pedicures and manicures on offer.
Me being me, I decided to focus the gastronomic pursuit!
Lavasa has some sleek, sexy options when it comes to wining and dining. There’s a full-fledged American diner complete with bright resin booths and bar chairs, there’s a proper Irish pub, there is a Subway (my heart did a cartwheel when I saw it), there’s a coffee place, there’s a pizza place, there’s a Lebanese counter. Ok, I am tired! I won’t vouch for its authenticity, but the promenade at Lavasa is a food world tour of sorts.
We chose to raid the Oriental Octopus which is brightly lit with lots of natural light and seems like a comfortable zone. We started ordering right away (when a girl’s gotta eat, she’s gotta eat!) The service was just about okay until the waitress blew my fuse while taking the order. She snapped at me! (Details are hilarious and are posted on Ramya’s blog)
It all went downhill from there. Half of our main course arrived, was demolished when the other incomplete half arrived. I won’t go into details but the service at this restaurant just made me want to pull my hair out. But to their credit, the pan fried Basa was delicious and the dumplings were nice. While most of the contingent stayed back. I had to start my journey back to Mumbai within two hours of my arrival at Lavasa.
It’s a shame, because the rooms looked cosy and the beds demanded that I take a nap in them. What’s more, The Waterfront Shaw is pet-friendly. That’s right! Next time I head out to Lavasa, which I will, Bono won’t have to sulk because he can go with me.
Reasons why I’d go back:
-It seems like a nice, short escape where you don’t have tons of sightseeing to do and you can just laze around.
-It isn’t very far. It takes about 5 hours from Mumbai which is decent.
-It has something for everyone. Adventure sports, rafting, lazying around etc etc
Reasons why the trip back may not happen:
-The drive is tiring
I cannot think of any other reason why I wouldn’t go…
PS: I wish I had stayed the night and bonded with the other bloggers 🙂 perhaps, next time.