The title might encourage some to suggest that there’s a spelling error here. But, trust me, the word is neither thyme (though we add as much spice to life), nor theme (though I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who created the acronym had that in mind). It is the name of the organization I work with. We spoil ourselves every year, as, we’re invited with family (spouse, children, significant others) to join a trip that the organization sponsors. After a lot of discussion about what the destination should be, we finally zeroed in on a luxury resort, which was a favourite of some of my team mates, to a far away place called Jaisamand in Rajasthan. And so, off we set, in three cars, accompanied by two motorcycles (yes, two brave-hearts wanted to ride the bike) to Jaisamand; on a rain battered highway, that made village roads look like 4 lane highways.
Like all our trips, our departure was late by 30 minutes, this after notifying people that we must start on time. Though I must say, one of the contributors to the lateness was yours truly, with a burst tyre at 6 am. And so I called my good samaritan Anup, at that ungodly hour, requesting him to come, help me change the tyre, which he good naturedly did, without a single complaint. And his goodness resulted in his starting late from home with his two children, but that is a story for another day.
So, here we were, riding the three vehicles to Gandhinagar, from where we were travelling onwards after collecting two more people and the brave-hearts. We arrived at Jaisamand battered by the roads – Gujarat roads were a little acceptable toward Rajasthan (that’s another story), but the final 30 kilometers made us drive through hamlets, villages, forest (well, not the scary type, but it almost looked like a leopard will jump out any moment). The roads, punctured with pot-holes, filled with water thanks to incessant rains in the previous weeks. Thankfully, the other 4 people riding with me were not the type to complaint. Rather we made a sport out of the decided route and argued good naturedly (sometimes maliciously) about dropping Sagar off on the road, as he bickered with one and all about where to turn right.
As we navigated through the wonderful potholes, one of our bikers, in an unknown ditch, managed to have to drop his bike off, and we, just behind the two, kept wondering if everything was alright (which, thankfully it was, except that the ditch was a little deeper than originally thought). So, we arrived, around 1:30 in the afternoon at the Jaisamand lake. This, once largest man made lake in Asia, was a beautiful sight to take in. The 15 minute (I think, it could’ve been more, it could’ve been less – I have travelled it in more time for sure on the next day – also another story). But the view was breathtaking!
We were all sitting in a motor boat (though we learnt later that at an exorbitant cost, the resort will take us out on the lake in a row boat, a la Rajesh Khanna in Kati Patang – I saw some people on the lake later and I was almost tempted to croon, but there were people around and being hit with chappals is definitely not high on my entertainment list). So, we arrived, were alloted rooms, two to a room and Rajal and I got a room with a wondeful set of French windows with a beautiful view of the lake, and the terraces of the resort below us. We were congratulating ourselves only to learn within 30 minutes, that every room on our side had the same kind of windows – so much for feeling lucky, etc.
After a quick lunch, we came back to the room and made ourselves at home, that is to say changes into pajamas and spread out on our bed, only to have the door knocked at in five minutes. No-one at all, wanted to sit and rest. And so out came our game of Uno. If you don’t know this game, this is the most fun card game that I know of. If it is a large group, which is practically unknown (we had two newly hired people, a couple of partners who were there for the first time), this is a great game if you have a funloving group. And we did. And so the entire afternoon was spent playing Uno, laughing, screaming, shouting and doing stuff that goes with playing a game where it is possible to cheat in a fun kind of way.
In the evening off we went for a walk to the pool, yep the other half of our group got pool facing rooms. And there was walking and talking and laughing and another load of fun. While this might seem like a small thing to a lot of people, another thing that became fun for us was the question, do we get to drink? (For the uninitiated, Gujarat is a dry state – so unless you have a permit or you are brave enough to drink because you want to, you are a teetotaler and a lot of people drive to Rajasthan so that they can drink openly) However, too many people were too new, too scared, too respectful (yeah that’s a thing) or just plain hesitant to ask. However, the boss decided to ask people if they wanted a drink. For an unfathomable reason, he assumed that women in the group would be complete strangers to alcohol and would not know what a breezer is. And his poor attempt at explaining to people what it was later became a source of a lot of amusement.
Anyway, so we spent day one travelling, laughing, playing, eating, drinking and having a truck load of fun! It was almost full moon night, and we were all lost in the beauty of the moon! However, the next morning we intended to wake early and watch the sun-rise on the lake. The troupe separated out at 1 in the morning with the promise to rise at 5:45 the next day. Sadly, however, the sun was a cheat and it turned out to be a cloudy day, with just a smattering of light across the lake.
The second day turned out to be more fun, as we decided to hike across the island that the resort was located on (just a kilometer or two, I don’t even know how much). And so off we went, walking through brambles, thorns, jumping on the stones, saving ourselves from the thorns, trying to protect our clothes (someone lost a t-shirt to the thorns). But it was a fun walk, as one of us decided to act guide, and started showing sights to the walkers. And so, the spot below became our “special mooring spot” where the boats moor, and a buffalo lounging in the lake, became a “wild buffalo”, a camel trying to graze became a “wild camel”.
Well, the adventure goes on and I am going to skip the mundane parts but that day was fun too!