Team PureSpaces boarded the Shatabdi express to Mysore enroute to The Bison, with overflowing excitement and unsurprisingly, tons of food. While the rest of us were busy stuffing our faces with carbs, Krishna, with her keen eye for detail, was commenting on the Wes Anderson-ish wallpaper in our coach (she's impressive like that). Anyhow, we were in Mysore in no time with bursting tummies and empty food bags. We then drove down the rest of the way.
The Bison is a magnificent resort along the Kabini river at the confluence of Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks. It felt like we were stepping back in time, as the buzz and rush of the city gave way to a lush green landscape. Nestled amongst majestic trees all around, a refreshing silence welcomed us into The Bison. Those of us, who were first-timers here, (basically all of us, except Krishna) were stunned into momentary speechlessness by the picturesque view that stretched ahead of us. We then met Krishna's best friend - the feisty, spirited and fiercely animal-loving Zoha - who runs The Backwater Sanctuary, an equine rescue and rehabilitation organisation. She introduced us to these beautiful brutes, rescued from far and wide, and brought back to life with much love and care here. She zipped past us in a blur, getting them back to their stables, bringing in their feed and petting whichever of them that came in her way. As the dark clouds rolled in above, we all watched on in amazement. And soon, the thunderstorm was upon us. Just as their website description goes, it is serene and idyllic during the day at The Bison, and exciting at night.
Lightning struck, one bright flash following another, lighting up the sky for the briefest of moments, burying us in darkness after. Far from the usual bustle at work, the PS team watched nature's fury unfold around us. We believe that the magic of creating spaces from scratch is endlessly fascinating; we get to tinker with exquisite materials and textures, and delightful furniture and lighting. But this was a different kind of magic. It was soulful and stirring.
The morning after was tranquil again and we set out on our jungle safari, a first again, for most of us. We drove through the misty woods, on the lookout for a wild-cat sighting. We had no luck with the cats, but we did see a few imposing bisons, some wide-eyed deer and tons of birds that our guide enthusiastically pointed out to us. Someone in our group managed to spot a rare monitor lizard too, that our expert naturalist had missed. All things considered, we were a disappointed lot that went back to the resort. But the delectable food at the Bison can cheer up any disheartened soul.
With renewed enthusiasm we set off to follow Zoha, as she went about her busy morning, tending to wounds with bucket loads of love to her babies. After her morning chores were done, PS sat down to a fun hour of board games until the next hearty meal. The team decided to go on a boat safari, but Krishna decided to stay behind, wary of any water related activity after the precarious boat ride the previous day. The rest of the team was also apprehensive about a 3-hour boat ride, but it turned out to be far more engaging and fun than our morning safari experience. We saw herds of elephants, a croc basking in the sun and some beautiful birds. When all went quiet, it was meditative. There is something infinitely satisfying about observing nature's pace. Life is unhurried and time stands still.
We came back from the safari to a quiet evening at the resort, and tried our hand at Heads Up. There were two glaring conclusions that we deduced -
We were an incorrigibly silly bunch and
We were terrible at this game.
But we had an insanely good time being nitwitted and laughing so hard. Time flew when we were there and pretty soon it was time to head home. But before we left the next morning, Chikkoo, Bison's star boat driver, took us on a Coracle ride. What can we say - it was a spinning experience!! A big shout out to The Bison and The Backwater Sanctuary, and a heartfelt thank you from all of us at PureSpaces for making this an absolutely unforgettable trip.