On 25th Morning, we went about hunting for Dolphins around Palolem. The boat guys will always point in a direction opposite to what you are seeing and say "dekho dolphin". We did see a couple of them jumping a mile away, but it's not like free willy, where you play with whales and dolphins. Its a nice trip on the boat, to get better views of the smaller islands around. Dont go expecting to see a dolphin.
Nischal decided to perch himself on the highest point on the beach to spot dolphins. All he did were to spot skimpily clad firangs swimming near the coast. Still his eyes wouldnt complain, would they?
Our Cottage, room number 17, on Bridges and Tunnels ( A hotel in Palolem Beach, on the hill) turned out to be a vantage point for seeing nature at its best. Right below as we opened the doors of our balcony, we could see women in various stages of nudity,trying to soak up the sun, and also the lovely bluish waters of the coulumb bay. If this was our view to the west, see the picture below to see our view to the east
That was the panoramic view of Palolem Beach, dotted with coconut trees and bamboo huts
The Azure waters of Coulumb Bay off the coast of Palolem. We sat at this shack for hours gazing into the waters, and waking up every hour or so, we refreshed ourselves with a dip in the sea.
Thats my friend Nischal, who is seen resting with a Long Island Lemon tea, and his pack of cigarettes. This drink was quite costly at 220 rs.
Thats me gleaming in the sunshine!
Thats how clear the water was when we went swimming in the part of the private little beach at Coulomb Bay.
At Canacona Station.
We got off the unreserved compartment. We(Myself and Nischal Ram, a friend from B school) took the train from Panvel, and jumped into the unreserved compartment in train 6335, which was coming from Gandhidham and heading to Nagercoil. Most of the unreserved compartment passengers were workers going home to the konkan regions of ratnagiri and sawantwadi. A few of them were also 'Mallu' students who were content getting their inchspace to stand. Since we were able to bully around our way inside, we got 2 places to sit, but in the same position for a few hours. After 3 am, the seats that we occupied had a little more space to test the elasticity of our muscles. Our train reached Madgaon at 6 40 am, and reached Canacona at about 8 am. I remember passing through a tunnel enroute which was easily the longest tunnel that I have been in. Must have been a full 3-4 minutes inside that tunnel between Madgaon and Canacona(South Goa)
Watching the waves rise up and down at Palolem. Now that was our morning activity till we finished our breakfast in 2 hours. The water was pleasantly clean from the garbage one gets along Anjuna, Baga and Calangute. It a greensih tinge, but nowhere near the beauty of Havelock Island(Andamans).
The chairs we sat in, as we just saw the waves coming and going.
The colours of Palolem all around us. Goa was a beautiful sight in the morning. Decorated with bright colours, the contrast of blue skies against green coconut tree leaves, brown bamboo and of course a lot of phoren skin in various shades of white,cream and dark brown.
Part 2 comes in a while. Till then soak in the current post
BOWLED HIM! NECK AND CROP!
Navneet and I decided to play cricket at Nirmal Lifestyle. He won in a 3 over match by beating me by 24 runs. This is one of those moments when the bowling machine castled him(or was it when he hit a boundary? ). I shall assume when it was bowled, as he beat me by 24 runs.
Kartik 24/2 in 3 overs
Navneet 48/1 in 3 overs
Navneet bored me by forcing me to watch "Australia" and slept within 20 minutes of the movie starting. I atleast was awake till the interval, but decided to call it quits after the interval.
My friend Prasanna, had come from Chicago on Sunday morning. He left Mumbai shaken and stirred by the crowds that throng the stations. This was taken in a retaurant in Mulund where we washed our stomachs with some sambhar and dosas. I had a long day by waking at 5 am, and picking him up at the airport and taking him through a tour of Mumbai.
I had taken him on a long walk in South Mumbai. Caught a few kids playing cricket near Cama Hospital. Incidentally the Mumbai marathon was also on at the same time.
My neighbour's house tag- I thought "Tapal Petti" was a tamil word, learned that its a hindi word also.
Space Issues : Mandap and Eating room in the same place at Vile Parle. That's a very Mumbai thing!
Mumbai starters- Panipuri and the assortment of Chaat. I was totally hooked on to this section, and in the melee was less interested in meeting the couple.
The classmates who got married- Shailesh and Pooja. Their marriage was in Vile Parle, attracted about 11 folks from the batch. When I think of them, I think of as the 'Ideal-made for each other' couples( pretty similar to Minisha Lamba and Abhay Deol in "Honeymoon Travels" )
The other marriage of out batchmate, Himanshu Pahuja. This was held at a rather posh South Bombay location near Kalaghoda. Had a more relaxed set of people, less crowded and had some light instrumnental music playing.
Waiting for my friend Sham Shet's marriage in Goa. That would be a nice trip to go and enjoy in a different place.
Something I loved doing. Looks like there are other people who love it as well. I guess the wholle Morjim to Arambol stretch is a beautiful flat stretch to trek amidst the waves. Jan 26th weekend activity? May be, provided Tatkal reservation works and doesnt conk off as it normally does.
On the Air-India flight from Mumbai to Chennai- Saw in flight enterainment systems dishing out videos of safety instructions. It was good in a way, as no one is in the mood to see aunties giving instructions at 10 pm in the night. The so called-in-flight-entertainment was some archived videos of some lion roaming for food in a forest without any audio. The best inflight entertainment on domestic flights has to go to Jet Airways on the Mum-Chennai route, followed by Kingfisher which provides Live Television on board.
One of the reasons for a Chennai trip on the 26th-28th weekend was my school alumni meet. This was the first time such a thing was happening in the history of Bala Vidya Mandir(Adyar). I decided to go to school, as a lot of my formative skills were developed largely because of the oppurtunities I had in school, may it be talking on stage, quizzing, playing cricket and a few other small things.
From Left to Right, are my school Aayas, who used to let me inside their house(inside the school compound) to watch the cricket updates, take care of me when I was waiting alone, for my parents to pick me up, help me with lunch sometimes when I spilt it as a kid on the ground, and a score of other things, that i would remember them for.
Thats me and my maths sir. This is the way he introduced me with pride to some of his other students " KK used to start sleeping at 9 am and get up when the bell rang at 4 pm very promptly". He used to tell me that the only way, I could improve in life was to have a pot with a small hole, so that the the water keeps trickling down on my head to keep me awake. Well, there are times I feel droswy at work still, and nothing much has changed since then.
This was my chemistry lab assistant, who shared the same passion for cricket as I did. Nacl and h2S04, took a backseat in the lab, when I used to secretly discuss 'latesht' scores with him. He used to have access to the Aayaa's house, which had a Black and White TV, and was the sole source for the scores for students in school. I had an amazing kick, If I was the first to know that a Chris Cairns was out or if Sachin had walked to the crease. Those were the days where cricinfo was not there, mobiles were not there, Public telephones in school was only for emergency, and radio's were not allowed in school. Simple unadulterated source of adrenalin :-), knowing the score before a 100 odd kids :-)
If your Visiting Daman- the only point which you would have to walk, if you are a tourist would be this stretch between the 2 parts of Daman. The most hep part of Daman is the place where Devka beach is. The other part is a lazy Jampore beach.
We reached Vapi at 1 : 50 am, thrown out by a mob of irate travellers who wanted to get their inchspace of the unreserved compartment to Gorakhpur. I was happy to be out in one piece.
We took a taxi, an Ambasador vehicle at 2 am, after a warm cup of tea. The taxi had 10 people inside and we had 3 in front and 7 behind absolutely cramped. The taxi goes past the Daman-Gujarat Border and drops you at Daman Market. If you need to go to Devka beach, then it takes another 90 rs, and 6 kms to reach there. We took a hotel called Dariya Darshan, and decided to indulge in some luxury by taking the costliest room, as it promised ' sea view'. After we paid the money, a casual conversation at 2 30 am revealed that the sea view would be hampered by 90%, as a new building had come between the sea and the Dariya darshan hotel. We were too tired to argue, and we hit the sack.
The next morning, we got up and discovered that the promised Devka beach had its sea 2 kilometres from the hotel, as the sea face was full of rocks, akin to the Bandstand at Bandra.
At that side of the place, they do have a man made lake and an amusement park, but if you are a traveller in search for more realistic things, you would do well to avoid the devka beach side of Daman.
I probably guessed, on our way to the other side of Daman, this would be a picture worth shooting at sunset.
Jampore beach is the best part of Daman. It actually has a beach, which has this earthly element called Sand, that was missing in Devka. Jampore has small stalls around the beach, and waters that dont have too many strong waves. The downside to it is, the lack of accomadation options around the beach. The only proper restaurant is China Town which is barely comestible. There is intense competition in this restaurant for its 2 toilets that people flock to relieve themselves.
At 3 we decided, that the siesta in Daman needed to come to an end, and we boarded an express train from Vapi, buying reserved tickets to catch up on lost sleep, as the train steered its way into Manic Mumbai( Dadar!)
At 8 pm, on December 24th,I was typing away at my office, when suddenly I thought of Daman, a couple of hours later Logi and I were at Dadar, trying to figure out where to go. Vapi in Gujarat, was the nearest rail-head to Daman. The followed a mad rush to Bandra terminus, enroute we discovered that Bandra West was like Beverly Hills, while Bandra East was akin to Bangladesh. We got into the unreserved compartment of the Awadh express which started at 22 40 hrs. We took the upper berth space on the wooden space to seat ourselves. Logi, by his look wasnt quite used to such travelling.
No place to keep my shoes in an overcrowded unreserved compartment, so to have my shoes safe, I had to keep my shoes on the top of the fan, in my line of sight.
So much like Swades! Yeh Jo des hain tera!
In an auto, the next morning. Autos monopolise the mini union territory of Daman. They expect to fit in 6 people inside the auto, and if you are stuck next to a fat Punjabi aunty or a farty Gujju behn, you have no choice to squeeze your frame into the jigsaw puzzle of whatever space is left.
Every time, as december 31st nears, most of us, thanks to the media frenzy around us, tend to make castles in air whch we refer to as "New Year Resolutions". Its basically like opening a new bank account after defaulting for payments in the prevous bank. We seem to forget the whole year's sins and absolve ourselves of any bad memories by going for a few minutes into these make believe world called resolutions. I was also one such person, who mildly tried the resolution thingy, only to forget it after having a sumptous lunch on Jan 1st,1997. My resolution was not too watch too much cricket on television, especially Ranji and county cricket matches, as too less time was being invested in studying during school days, but thanks to the burgeoning sports channels of Prime sports(Now Star Sports) and ESPN.
Its 11 years since that resolution, which failed like a rocket launch at its research stage. Now times are different. I have realised, I cant change myself drastically, but small installments regularly can create a habit. So wthout much shame, I start a new bank account called "New Year resolutions 2009"
1) Do lesser things, but do it well. Reduce mediocrity levels from in all activities.(seriously, 80% of the activites that I do, are with 20% interest and remaining 20% of the activties are done with 80% interest level)
2) Keep the house as clean as your mind. Both are indicators of the chaos that's plaguing the mind
3) Get organised by keeping bills and tracking payments carefully. Use the damn Microsoft Excel!
4) Watch 3 movies a week. No better way to understand the way the world and people work.
5) Buy Movies/Books only after extinguishing the current lot that lies piled up in 2 suitcases.
6) Examine the hard discs every month and keep only what might be neccesary. No use keeping something safe when you dont know you have that set of movies/folders at all.
7) Wash 2 sets of clothes a day
8) Mop the floors once a week. Sweep twice a week
9) Start to learn basic cooking, atleast Rasam, Sambhar, Chappati, Dal level
10) Do a weekly research of one new place and jot my targets to visit, if ever I reach there.
11) Read the above 10 for a month and see if the habits are coming along well.
PS: If you thought this was designed for this new year, then the answer is NO. This is what my mind says I should be doing, when think about my life, when I commute to work in the local trains. So there's more than a serious reason to follow this, than just making 'resolutions'.
Thanks for reading the post, and wish you a Happy New Year!