Borivali National Park

As someone wise could’ve said: “To be free, one should not be very busy. Life passes by fast, one should not miss it slowly.” A metropolitan city like Mumbai, has lots of thrills, frills & shrills, but to our absolute surprise & excitement, excluding the extensions of Thane and Navi Mumbai, it also has a 100 km2 protected forest, nestled within the city, in the northern suburb, called Borivali. The inappropriately renamed National Park is a beauty, which remains mostly unexplored, in stark contrast to all the jazzy offerings by this vibrant city, which never sleeps. The park, roughly occupies 17% of Mumbai’s 600  km2 acreage and is an absolute treat to visit for a hike. Admittedly, the periphery of the park is stormed by frequent visitors in this overly populated city for casual, un-nature like activities, but with the help of a forest ranger, called a naturalist, one can actually go deeper inside the park for a 6 hour, 12 km hike, to view the highest point of the city at 483 m & an aerial view of 3 of the 5 man-made lakes, which serves as the water reservoir for the city, and to be pleasantly awed by the flora & fauna of this gem, right within city limits.
It is one thing to hesitatingly breathe the air of the city, nestled within a maze of train tracks & roads, which is unreasonably filled with masses overflowing the bogey’s and occupying the seamless pool of vehicles, trying to reach somewhere, in a purposeful & hurried manner, avoiding and disliking any diversions to their daily plans. Most people find themselves commuting a significant portion of their daily life on these roads & tracks and consuming the compromised air, one way or another.

In stark comparison, the National Park provides a hue, scenery & oxygen, once inside the fabulous density of the park, which is natural, freshening, a bit moist and tickles the nostrils.
The park is a necessary reminder of the possibility of visiting Nature, to understand our own nature, at such close proximity and expectedly, is infrequently visited.
We cherish our misunderstanding of freedom as an act of being free from our necessary duties. Freedom from an act, which is necessary for survival, is an essential responsibility, while a sense of immediate freedom, is the process of having a really long term vision of our life, which includes our death, and prioritizing the blocks of activities and experiences we intend to have, with a sense of joy, knowing well that death can happen to us at anytime.

Kiyosaki strikingly points out in his 26 million sold, famous book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad: “Busy people are often the most lazy… If they aren’t busy at work or with the kids, they’re often busy watching TV, fishing, playing golf or shopping. Yet, deep down they know they are avoiding something important. That’s the most common form of laziness. Laziness by staying busy.
We like the original name Borivali National Park and would suggest to hike there and merge among the wonder, oxygen, fungi, large spiders crawling in their home waiting for a prey, anonymous & majestic bird-calls resounding a prayer, lizards, 360° breath taking views of the city, possibility of sighting one of the 35 leopards still prowling, long-tailed monkeys, archaic caves showing signs of intelligent water harvesting and a vibrant & dense natural ecosystem in action, inviting and belittling the hectic and maddening man-made ecosystem just outside the main gates.

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