Going to the waterfalls and getting wet is a favorite outing for many Indians (during monsoon)


I’m a Dutch citizen and the Netherlands is one of the flattest countries in the world. In French our country is often called ‘Les Pays-Bas’, which means ‘The low country’. Having no mountains at all, I like to spend my holidays in a country or city with more hilly areas. Living in Pune has been heaven for me in that sense, as the city itself is surrounded by high hills. And if you travel a bit further, you’re surrounded by mountains. A lot of inhabitants of this amazing city are hiking enthusiasts, they like to go out on weekends. And now is the time to do this, the monsoon period is the ideal timing to explore the mountains around the city. Two aspects contribute very strongly to make it ideal for trekking now: the lower temperature and the heavy rains. Firstly, the temperature: the April and May heat was sometimes unbearable, with daily highs reaching the 40’s multiple times a week. The mercury has dropped very severely now, with daily averages of 26-29’s. The second thing are the heavy rains. Until 6 weeks  ago, prior to the monsoon, the city and surrounding area’s looked like a moonlandscape; it had become very dry, with large trees and big plants as the only natural green providers. A full month of rain has transformed everything! Large brown fields have been transformed to green oasis, and if you take a closer look during the rains you could even see them grow. Unlike Europe, were rain is considered as a blocking issue for outdoor fun, Indian people like to go out when it rains. We had something to celebrate – all the good work from a team member who got transferred to another department – and decided to go out. Going out with 8 (Indian people) is a challenge itself, as the very famous ISTIndian Stretchable Time – could mean that you are waiting very long before the actions begins. This time we were only a bit unlucky, so we left with ‘only’ a 30-minute delay. I have already adopted some of the Indian habits, so a 30-minute delay is business as usual for me. We headed to Tamhini Ghat, a very green area close to the Mulshi Dam. It had rained a lot prior to our outing so all the mountains were wet, with lot of waterfalls in action. As a team, we had received some good recommendations about what to bring with us. Everything was clear for me. However, I kept on reading this line: ‘bring a dry set of extra clothes’. I got the rain gear and umbrella, but did not really understand the dry clothes part. Luckily – or not – It took me not too long to find out….After a two hour drive we reached the first spot, a very green valley near the Mulshi dam with very heavy waterfalls in every direction. We stepped out of the car and walked in the direction of a big waterfall, the area was packed with cars and grilled-corn sellers. When I saw the actual waterfall I suddenly got the whole idea behind this outing: it was all about enjoying the impressive green landscape and getting wet under the waterfall. The first waterfall was packed with Indian people and some of them even had climbed into the waterfall. Some of them used the waterfall as a natural shower, which made them soaking wet. We had been driving around the area for a few hours, walked around and finally ended in (and under) a waterfall. It felt very refreshing and very positive from a psychological perspective; it taught me again that you will not necessarily create great teams with Powerpoints, but you could create a very good team when you go out to the mountains (and get wet).

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