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Day 6 of The Candid Odyssey

As we stay mostly in dormitories and shared rooms, we get to chat with many people. Yesterday, there was a guy from Ajmer, Rajasthan who came to Pune to write an exam. We were in the same dorm, so we met. As I told my story and the solo trip journey so far, he felt very excited. He showed deep admiration for our journey and wished us the best. It's not just him, we get such comments from many people throughout our journey. Their admiration makes us feel that we are onto something big. Who in this world doesn't want to get out of the chaos to explore themselves and the world? Nobody. But we often fail to prioritize such experiences over our unending race to success.

Don't know if it was because of the excessive exploration we did or the excessive admiration we received, but today we are down with a fever. Oh, yes, that's part of the journey too! So, today, we need to travel and rest, in parallel. Considering that, we are going to take a bus journey to Mumbai. The 5-hour journey takes us through the smaller towns of Maharashtra and ends at the new-age urban city called Navi Mumbai. Note that Navi Mumbai and Mumbai are two different cities. When we are physically weak, nothing really matters. We won't even remember what we saw. The places, the nature, the people, everything fades away. That's why it's better to get into new experiences when we are physically better. Anyway, we need to go to our stay. It's in Dombivli, Thane, a place somewhat equidistant from Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Since we are low on energy today, we can't take multiple buses or figure out the routes. In such cases, our hope is an Auto Rickshaw (the so-called Tuk Tuk). As we reach Navi Mumbai by around 5 PM, what can we expect? Traffic! The city is rushing. Auto drivers are skilled enough to navigate the traffic and help us reach faster, but only if there is enough fuel in the vehicle! As you guessed, the fuel got over and we had to fill it up. There was a long queue of more than 50 autos lined up, and we had to wait around 1 hour in the fuel filling station! Yes, 1 hour!! Since the driver didn't agree to cancel the ride, there weren't any options other than to wait. I haven't waited in a fuel-filling station like that in my entire life. Maybe you too.

By evening, we reach Viraj Lodge, Dombivli. That's our stay. To add to our series of disasters today, there was no one at the reception. I called, ringed, messaged, and whatnot. After a while, someone showed up. His entry was dramatic. Like the hero's entry in some old mythological television shows. With smoke all around the room, scent of the flowers, bells ringing, loud music playing, orange lights, etc. You might be wondering WHY. He was doing the daily evening puja! Chanting prayers and doing Aarti with 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' music in the background. He saw me waiting there in the small lobby, but ignored as he was fully engaged in the rituals :) We can keep watching all the rituals and wait for the room keys. Oh, dear lodge manager, you could have sent someone earlier so that we could've escaped that smoke. Sorry, we are sick today!

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