Cheap Thrills- A trek to Kalavantindurg, the most dangerous fort in Maharashtra

Earlier this year, I booked a trek to Tarsar Marsar, two gorgeous alpine lakes in Kashmir. Visiting Kashmir was a lifelong dream and I was finally excited that it was coming true. I had booked the trek with a certain amount of trepidation, aware of the fact that Kashmir is prone to unrest but rationalizing that this was a calculated risk. But my mother was adamant that Kashmir is no place for her only daughter to be gallivanting in, and after much drama Tarsar Marsar was abandoned… at least for the time being.

However, in yet another edition of ‘Mothers are always right’, the government decided to abrogate Article 370- right around the time, of the trek- tourists were pulled out of Kashmir with great urgency, the trek was cancelled and none of my intended companions ended up going for it either.

The trekking bug that has bitten me will only go away once I visit Tarsar and Marsar but in the meantime, it needed something to nibble on. So when my friend proposed a one day trek to Kalavantindurg in Maharashtra, I jumped at the chance.

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Bombay Bucket List

Bombay (or Mumbai, if you’d prefer) is the only home I’ve ever known. I’ve spent 26 years of my life right here, but like most Mumbaikars I never really explored the city. Each week, I’d sign up for heritage walks, promise myself I’d go check out a play or maybe visit a museum, but as the next Saturday night rolled around I found myself sucked into the familiar vortex of malls, restaurants and movies.

However, faced with the imminent prospect of moving out of Mumbai for the foreseeable future, I made a bucket list with Sujan and Nikita, two of my best friends from college of all the places/experiences we wanted to have in the city but had put off for way too long.

We made a preliminary list of the experiences we each wanted to have, compiled it into an itinerary that was doable in one day and then set out to explore Bombay, like never before.

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On 7 January 2019, my boyfriend of 11 years, got down on one knee at a beautiful ice skating rink in New York and asked me to marry him. For months after that, whenever I met people, I showed off my ring, told them the story of my proposal and answered questions about my impending wedding.

But the novelty (and my finite pool of friends) was soon exhausted and it was time to start actually planning the wedding. We decided on a civil ceremony or a ‘court marriage as it’s commonly referred to.  I’m a lawyer, familiar with the Special Marriage Act, 1954 under which ‘court marriages are solemnised. I thought to myself, how hard could this be? Turns out, the answer is quite hard., Especially if you don’t have an agent doing it for you. While running around in the infamous Mumbai heat, trying to get this done, I briefly considered flying to the US to have my marriage solemnized there. But better sense and a lack of funds (mostly the latter) made me go through with the process