For me a New Year's eve on a beach was a first. And that too an almost virgin beach, with the resort just a few minutes walk away. Shrivardhan is a small sleepy town on the western coast, 40 kms off Mangaon, a village on the Mumbai - Goa highway (Mangaon is 120 kms from Mumbai). Shrivardhan has the narrowest roads one can imagine, lots of sleepy houses, small farms and a town that is just waking up to its new found fame just as its neighbours Harihareshwar and Dive Agar are. I spotted cars by the dozen heading to and from Shrivardhan and all of them had the look and air of the hurried tourist. They were bustling, buzzing and mucking up the frequencies of the unhurried town with all their hyper urban energies.
Doing a new thing brings me huge satisfaction. I was glad that after so many years I actually spent a New Years Eve on a beach. The weather was just cold enough to make the bonfire all the more enjoyable New Year and once the New Year was ushered in, I was glad that Shobha thought of a walk to the beach. So we walked down, cell phones leading he narrow path to the beach - Shobha, Milind, Suhita, Satish, Chhaya, and I - and once there gawked at the open sky. Now this beach is pitch dark and has no lights, and this New Year had no moon and all the lights that we had were the far away lights from boats bobbing up and down and a couple of big lights on the hills. A look at the sky and we were all staring up at the bright stars forever, as they glittered like loosely thrown jewels. I do not remember seeing such a bright, abundant sky ever before. So much so that I could not resist taking an imaginary swipe at the sky to see if I could collect a few!
I also traveled back to Pune the next day, on New Year's Day, and then onward to Hyderabad. So for many more new things that make me go wide eyed with wonder like the glittering sky at Shrivardhan. A good start. A right note. A bright note.