Guestblog, Travel

Memoirs of Mamnoli [ Guestpost ]


I have travelled a lot since childhood, thanks to my father who loved to see new places. Every trip had its own special memories, but my trip to Mamnoli is special in a different way. Yes, it’s different because it was my first trip out of Mumbai without my parents!!!! It holds a very special place in my heart as it was during this trip that I learned to be independent.

Mamnoli is a small, quiet village situated about an hour’s drive from Mumbai. It was the village selected for our “Guides Camp” and it was the first time that most of us were travelling without our parents. Although we had been given a prior lecture about what we could expect there, being the bunch of over-excited school girls, we could not wait to experience it ourselves.

Lists were made, packing was done, materials were checked and rechecked. Finally, the day for the trip dawned. A group of chattering girl-guides filled two buses and left for our destination. The journey was completed with lots of merry banter, games of dumb charades and antakshari. We reached our destination to be welcomed by a group of friendly villagers who helped us settle in a huge makeshift dormitory (I say makeshift, because I think it was a storage area of sorts, with huge windows and hardly any walls!!!)

After a while, we were provided the materials and asked to prepare tea for ourselves (being guides, we are to be self-sufficient). Most of us had not even tried to do this before, but we were eager to learn. This was just the beginning….as we had to prepare our own meals too!! After a lot of trials & errors, a lot of burnt fingers and scalds, we still managed to prepare a decent meal for dinner. We were also taken on a small walking tour of the nearby Mango plantation, where we collected a few raw mangoes which were devoured later during dinner.

After dinner, the villagers had organised a campfire. We had some special guests coming over too!! They were the kids from the village. We sang songs and had a gala time. Thereafter we performed a few skits and dances for entertainment of our guests. They in turn kept encouraging us with their cheers and loud applause. The smiles on their faces widened further when we distributed books, stationery and chocolates that we had got for them. The looks of mirth on their faces made it all worthwhile!!!

At night, we slept in two straight rows. Some of us stayed up in turns to watch over the luggage and other stuff as we were told that thefts were common. It was eerie, but exciting at the same time. The next morning, we were treated to lip-smacking Poha (Maharashtrian snack) and tea by the villagers as a gesture of gratitude for last night. The morning was spent practicing knots and other survival skills. The trip was made even more worthwhile when I won the BEST GUIDE prize.

We thanked all the villagers for all their hospitality and help as we bid goodbye. Although we had been apprehensive about being on our own, we survived. We took back with us not only lovely memories of this quaint village, but also a newly gained confidence that we could live independently if the circumstances ever arose. For all that I learnt during this very first trip without my parents, it holds a very special place in my life!!!

Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.

About Prasanna

” I am an Anaesthesiologist by profession. Graduated from medical schools in Bangalore and Navi Mumbai. Presently working at a Corporate Hospital Chain in Mumbai. I am a fitness fanatic, recently discovered the pleasure of running Marathons and completed the Standard Chartered Mumbai half marathon in Jan 2017. Stumbled on to blogging, thanks to Karishma & Anagha, trying my best to fit in. Passionate about dance and training in Bollywood and contemporary dancing at present.”

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26 thoughts on “Memoirs of Mamnoli [ Guestpost ]

  1. Hey Prasanna I enjoyed this post for two reasons. First because my daughter too is an anaesthetist ( infact she is the Anna Shetty I refer to in my blog ) , she too went on a girl guide trip as did I. This is indeed a trip that no one can ever forget. For me too it was the first time I stayed away from my parents though I must admit our trip was actually in someone’s beach house at Juhu! In those days Juhu was considered the back of beyond and though the owners called it a shack, it was far from that. However, we did do girl guide stuff like practice knots, collect shells and tidy up the beach ( those days it wasn’t so filthy) but I do remember the whispering at night as we slept 10 to a room ( and yes on the floor!) . Thanks for bringing back these lovely warm memories.

  2. Hey, Prasanna!
    This post made me nostalgic! I too was a part of the Girl Guides when in school, and had been on quite a few guide camps, where we, too, had to cook, clean and live by parents or teachers to help us out. Of course, our teachers would guide us whenever we needed help, but otherwise we would be on our own. It was quite an enriching experience for us. And, your post brought back all those fond memories from such long ago!
    Thank you so much for this truly wonderful post!

    1. Hey Shilpa, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It’s good to know we have so many girl guides around!!!

  3. Hey Prasanna, That is quite of an experience. First trips without special are always special and in most cases full of weird fun. I have never heard of Mamnoli, even though I live in Mumbai. This place now needs to be explored. This was an extremely nice read. Thanks Shalz for hosting Prasanna

  4. WoW! you were so lucky that your parents actually allowed you on that memorable trip! I envy you for that…
    I missed out on all the picnics and excursions in my school days also during college days 🙁

  5. Aww! I was part of girl guides too. This post reminded me of our little night out but it was within our school grounds. We made food, pitched tents, sang around the campfire but ultimately slept inside classrooms which was an adventure in itself

  6. Such a great trip you had! Reminds me of the time my mom didn’t send me for a nature trip to Gautala since I had just started menstruating and she didn’t want me travelling alone. 🙁 I still regret it.

  7. First trip holds a special place in our memories. It’s so wonderful that you had a great time with fellow girl guides. Reminded me of my school and college trips. 🙂

  8. I missed being a part of girl guides. But I used to go out on excursions from school so pretty much took care of my wish to travel without parents. I so much agree with you on first experiences being close to heart. Your post made me nostalgic Prasanna.

    Great narration 🙂

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