Apsarakonda beach near Honnavara was one of the most beautiful places we visited during our road trip to Sagara a fortnight ago. Thanks to friend N who told us about this place, because it did not seem to be very well known, given that there was not a single person around when we reached there, and was confirmed by a couple of locals we met later too. Set in one of the most picturesque locations, we could not have been happier having our own private beach setting 😉 We had our only company in the crabs that kept crawling all around, and our Zest ofcourse 😉 Amazed by it all, we went crazy clicking pics of our Zest from all possible angles.

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Satiated with having enough FB cover pics, it was time to indulge ourselves in playing with the sand and the waves. We could never have enough of it, so we set ourselves a deadline to leave the place and proceed further. It was in between all this that Su started wondering if we had erred by getting the car so far into the sand. Our worst fears came true when we returned to see the car down under! The sand was softer than we had imagined it to be and since there were no signs or other cars or people around, we had not realized what was a safe distance where we could leave the car. In retrospect, we could have done better, but the story is not about that 🙂

Remember there were no people around? Su and I had our own ‘Kaho na pyaar hai’ moment, stranded on our *private* island 😛 Su started to try reversing the car, but the car had to climb up behind and the power was just not enough. It could only be that the universe conspired to help us that we spotted a few locals walking towards us. They assured us that it was tough, but we could pull it off. They spoke about a few times before when this had happened, as if to instill hope in us. They all pushed, and Su tried again. Unfortunately there was a burnt smell with smoke emerging out and we had to stop.

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We called the Tata highway assistance who told us they could try sending somebody, but given that it was still early in the morning and that the nearest service centre was @Ankola (about 55 kms away), it would take atleast 2 hours for them to get us help. They also added that they might have to get a crane which would cost us upto 9-10K! Looking up, just having the network strength to make a call was itself a blessing! We had been out of reach for the past 2 days (blissful in a way if you ask me :)). Anyway, we had to wait and had no other option. The locals took leave and thus began our wait. Meanwhile, Tata called back and asked us to keep trying with local help. But where? Local help was gone! They had all disappeared into their hamlet, which was nowhere in sight. Thankfully, we saw another car approaching and were happy to see a family come by. We had again found help in the most unexpected ways. An uncle and a couple of his nephews did all they could to help us. Su and I started clearing the sand from below the tyres and also took out the car mats and placed it below them to get some grip. The nephews did not shy away from joining us here too.

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Alas, the car did not budge and the family wanted to move on. They had already done enough and so we did not have the heart to stop them for more. But luckily for us, the local team came around again wondering if he had progressed any further. And this time, they had made up their mind to pull us out of this mess, by hook or crook.

They got stones, branches of a tree which they told us were very very strong [they called it GaaLi mara (“wind” “tree”) locally] and would offer immense grip to move back.

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The bare-chested man in the pic above was so clever that he collected stranded footwear from all around and piled them up for use below the tyres.

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We were all set now, following the green signal given by the local team.

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And we succeeded! All of us jumped up in joy 🙂  We celebrated, exchanged smiles and just like that, a few members of the team had left before we even realized. We were hesitant about broaching the topic, but offered some money which they totally refused. What were they made of? They had spent time, energy, skills and racked their brain to come up with this solution with the limited resources available right there (seriously, isn’t this education?). They finally accepted it and when we asked them whether they would want to savour some pineapples and jackfruits that we had carried from our relatives’ own farms, said they only wanted apples if we had them 😛 (Grass is always greener on the other side eh?:)

We had so many lessons to learn from this bunch of people. Their instant offer of help without knowing the other person at all, their belief in their abilities (this had led us to trust them too, 100%) and their pride for their village-beach-place Apsarakonda (the yellow-blue tees they are wearing in the above pics had APS printed on them and they told us it represented their village which they loved to the core).

The entire unfolding of events had also made us reflect back on the inherent power of goodness. How else could one expect all the right help at the right time? Reinforced our belief that prayers sent out never go waste.

We decided that we would better drive to Ankola and get the car checked, before the impending long drive back to Bengaluru. Must commend the Zest for there was absolutely no problem at all, even after all that it had gone through. Also the service of Tata Motors for being so honest and friendly. Driving to the Ankola service centre also led to us visiting friend N’s house in a village close-by, and his family’s hospitality only made the day seem much more beautiful. I have known N hardly for a few months since he joined our team, but he had no qualms in telling us to go to his house for lunch when we asked him for hotel reccos in Ankola. His family welcomed us whole-heartedly and treated us like we had known them for ever. It seemed so true that every food grain is indeed etched with the name of it’s consumer. How else could we land in Ankola when did not even figure close to anything on our route!?! Not only did they serve us yummy lunch, but packed whatever they could from their farm for us to carry them back with us. It was surprising that N’s uncle who was visiting his family, invited us to spend a few days in their village in Goa (this was not just for formality at all). If I had to summarize the entire day on Facebook, I would only say –feeling blessed.  Life is beautiful indeed!

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