Immediately after the exams got over this time, it was my friend SM’s birthday, her nineteenth, her last teen year. We could not let this birthday, just be any other birthday, the party had to be glorious for dual reasons. First We all managed to complete two years of college, the time seems to have whooshed by and the birthday.
SM had been throwing subtle hints she wanted a surprise party and this made the task hard for us. What surprise this time? Her last birthday party was a surprise one as well. We were clueless and had very less time to plan a surprise because of exams. That is when CK came up with the igneous idea of going to Kikar lodge, seventy kilometers drive from here. It was a perfect idea, a getaway and birthday surprise planned together.
We decided to leave early morning, at around 8:00 AM, few of us had a class, including the birthday girl, everyone bunked it. SM was blind-folded to add more mystery to the surprise and make it look more dramatic. I didn’t have my jalopy this time but didn’t miss it at all. We had two of my other favorite vehicles, Uncle V’s car and SWAT’s two wheeler. I accompanied SWAT on the two wheeler for the first bit of journey. Majorly because I wanted to drive and she let me drive. She is the only who lets me drive, nobody else trusts me with the two-wheeler. Well, I just drove for the first fifteen minutes of the two and half hour journey, rest of it I was crooning third-grade songs and enjoying the ride on the pillion.
We made it to Ropar in one hour or a little more than that. Most of it was a good drive, the highway is really nice and we have driven there before. We took a stop near a canal and took some pictures. The adventure began after that when we had to get off the main highway and drive on the roads where the width keeps on reducing like you wished your waistline should. There were twists and turns, the driving got dicey. Suddenly the mobile signals went off, we were in the unexplored rural Panjab, with no sight of Kikar lodge.
Scared we had lost our way, we stopped by at a Dhaba to ask if we were on the right track, elation engulfed when came to know we were but were still a twenty kilometers away. That is when I started driving again, I forgot putting on my glasses and could not see the potholes, and drove into every single pothole making the bumpy ride even more so. SWAT who was the pillion was cursing me, not her fault, poor her.
Before we realized the size of the road reduced and it was no longer a road just a track where one can barely drive, there were signs leading to that place all over but the road never seemed end. Swat and I even lost our way, we missed a sign board.It was frustrating but finally after a four kilometer drive on those roads we entered the massive gates of the lodge.
The place was beautiful, rejuvenating, lush greens trees surrounded us, their pools were bright blue and I wanted to jump into them. It was really peaceful to not have mobile signals, away from the city. Kikar lodge also provides some adventure sports, check their site for details, we could not indulge into those because of lack of time and resources.
The lunch was pretty decent, after the lunch CK and I jumped into the pool, despite knowing we could not because we were not entitled to and we didn’t leave until one of the guys came to tell us we weren’t allowed. After that we just sat by the pool and talked for sometime, by 2:30 PM we left the lodge. The place is paradisiacal for a getaway, it would be great to spend a weekend there. SM loved every bit of this surprise. Here is a hint guys, give me a similar surprise on my birthday, just don’t blindfold me The drive back was easier, nothing much happened then. I realized give me a car, good company, a swimming pool, a few good books and I could live my entire life with just these things.
When we were leaving this is the scene that bade us farewell