>Sometimes It’s Not Worth Helping

>Early morning… Sunrays kissing your face… And you wake up happily… You get ready and are off to start a new day at work. On your way to work, you find an old man asking for help… He is so helpless that hate him or love him but you cannot ignore him… He begs you to help him… You try to ignore him and finally you relent and you help him by giving him a few tens for medicine… He showers on you loads of blessings and you heave a sigh of relief that you helped a needy person…

You leave the place and walk ahead… You remember that you had some work at the same place where you helped the old man… So you go back to that place… To your horror you find the old man enjoying alcohol and drugs… You get shattered and you feel like confronting the bastard why did he cheat you… But you realise its not worth fighting for a few tens… So you complete your work and just thinking about the blunder that you had made by helping the wrong old man… Your state of mind feels the way a victim feels after being raped… You scream at yourself… You abuse yourself… But it does not matter to you anymore because you are helpless…

At the end of the day, the bitterness in your mind, fades away and it wears off just as poison loses its effect after a long time… But the aftershocks still remain… You don’t think about it anymore… All you think is the lesson that you have learnt through this experience…


>Go Goa – Day 4 (Grand Finale)

>Sadly, its the last day of our trip and the day is nothing short of funny misadventures.

We check out of hotel at 12 noon and visit North Goa (Rs. 1000 to Rs.1100, no HR skills useful). As said earlier, you need to be sure what places you want to travel or else you might end up paying money without enjoying the trip. It may leave a bad taste to you if you dont know.

Thanks to Rajesh that we knew where we should go. So we visited Aguada Fort, Candolim and then headed for our lunch at Hotel Sharanam (pure veg) near Candolim. Amazing food at high rates. But its worth every bite. Just to avoid misunderstanding, roti means a tandoori roti and gobi means cauliflower out there. This is the best food we enjoyed till date in Goa.

I, Dada and Aatish fight again about how to return Mumbai. I mean we already had tickets waiting list 8, 9 10. Hehehe. So to be on a safer side we book semi-sleeper bus tickets Rs. 750 each. Boarding at Mapusa bus stand 7 pm. Bus frequency every hour. We visit Anjuna beach (Okay. Not that worth) and finally Vagator beach (The Dil Chahta Hai beach) which seemed to be a beautiful place.

Finally we move towards Thivim station to cancel our tickets. We had to reach before 5pm to get more refund. Suddenly something happened and I thought about checking the PNR status one final time… To my horror (In fact we three’s horror) the tickets got confirmed. And we thought about cancelling the bus tickets. We travelled back to Calingute from where we bought bus tickets and ran again towards the station.

I was fuming on Dada and Aatish… Luckily those cunning people took me to my favourite Cafe Coffee Day and bought me a Black Coffee… Hahaha… They successfully bribed me with the coffee and we reached the station on time.

By the way, we had to pay more to the taxi driver because of the after 6 pm charges but it hardly meant to us… Finally its 10pm and I am off to sleep on my ‘reserved’ seat travelling back towards Mumbai CST and carrying along the best memories for a lifetime.

Before signing off, a few important tips to be shared while visiting Goa:
1. Always have a confirmed journey tickets so that you dont waste taking tension in arranging seats and mode of transport.
2. Learn two-wheeler to enjoy visiting places at Goa. Its a big relief.
3. Taking a private vehicle is much more cheaper than paying big bucks to money-hungry tourist vehicles.
4. It is better to know which places you wish to visit. Beware of the vehicle driver. Technically they are correct with their places for sightseeing but they wont take you to a place of your choice if you havent cleared it with them.
5. Do not blow up more money at Casinos and in case you wish to do so, make sure you have some cash left to go back home. Hahaha.
6. Make sure you think before visiting discos.
7. And finally… Always, be polite to the people out there. Because, whether you know Goa or not, the bitter truth is that you are their mercy.

So thats it… Hope this blog works for you.

>Go Goa – Day 3 (A trip to South Goa)

>Day 3 at Goa and its time for a hectic travelling towards South Goa. Its better to hire a vehicle for long trips. The sour fact is that the vehicles charge you a bomb for it. Another important thing to be disclosed is that you need to know what places do you want to visit. Or else you might end up paying for your trip and enjoy nothing. Thanks to Godfather, MJ and Hardik that we could know what places to visit in South Goa.

Normal trip to South Goa charges are Rs. 1500. But thanks to some great HR skils from Dada that we could also visit the southernmost tip of Goa called Palolim beach (read further to know more) at an overall charge of Rs. 2000.

We hire a Wagon R and get ready for the most memorable day of our trip. First we visit the Saint Francis Xavier church (please search on the internet or travel books for more details) After that we visit the Mangeshi Temple and finally at the Big Foot Musuem at Loutulim. Good enough till now.

We reach Colva beach to have our lunch… I guess its hotel Sagar. Food is not that bad. We are ready for an hour’s journey towards Palolim beach. The driver is really patient in fulfilling our demands to reach out there.

Palolim beach is a haven for all the tourists. Being on the southernmost part of Goa, one hardly visits there. We hire a boat out there to visit Butterfly Island and Honeymoon Island which are supposed to be human-free, crowd-free and private of course (winks…) If you are lucky enough then you can see dolphins in your one hour boat ride towards the islands and couples cosying on the private islands (laughs). The boatsmen charge you anywhere between Rs.400 to Rs. 700 (You do not need an HR like Dada to bargain but we needed him… Hahaha) The boat ride is dangerous but fantastic and I end up paying Rs. 50 more (happily) as a tip to the boatsmen. They are really happy by my gesture. (Psst… Dada n Aatish don’t know about it. Hehehe.)

We spend an hour cleaning ourselves and attending nature’s call and whatever you say. We head towards a casino called Chances to try our fortunes. The driver warns us that we may end up getting bankrupt out there. Alas! He was true. But luckily we had already kept some reservations in our mind to spend a certain amount.

It took us a long time to reach Chances near Cidade Goa hotel via Panjim-Dona Paula road. We start gambling cautiously by starting with the slot machines and end up playing Roulette and losing big bucks. But frankly, no issues about it!

The worst part after leaving Chances… Finding a vehicle at night is like finding a pin from a haystack. The trouble is not over even if you find it. They charge you an atom bomb at night. In Mumbai, night charges are applicable after 12 am but in Goa, they are applicable after 6 pm. (Oh! i wished we had a vehicle) They charge you anything above Rs.700 to reach your destination and you have no other option rather than fulfilling their demands. Sometimes, too much bargaining is not worth.

We end up finally in our hotel and go to Domino’s at Baga beach for our final dinner in Goa. We have petty arguments about the system in Goa and then decide to go to Tito’s pub.

After paying Rs. 800 per single (the couple charges are Rs. 500), we realise that we made a big mistake as it was deserted (Usually Fridays and Saturdays rock). I get pissed off for wasting money at Tito’s and do nothing. Thanks to the HR and Aatish that it didnt go wasted.

Finally we walk our way towards Calingute (To be honest, we had spent enough) and doze off in our hotel rooms.

>Go Goa – Day 2 (Exploring Baga beach)

>Finally, now that’s what I call a real sweet sleep that I had last night. No worries, no tensions, no plannings for the next day and finally no phone calls to answer.

The first important thing to be done is to hire a two wheeler for the whole day of travelling. Rs. 200 for a kinetic and Rs.300 and Rs.400 for bikes. Choose whatever you are comfortable with. I made a mess of myself as I aint alllowed to drive a two wheeler. We choose to go to the tip of Baga by rickshaw (around 2.5 kms from Calingute and Rs. 50, fair enough)

Watersports is the heart of Goa. Not doing watersports is like visiting a temple but not worshipping God. Half of our day passes in enjoying watersports (Rs. 300 for jet skiing per 2 people and Rs. 700 per person for parasailing) Beds for resting and taking sunbath are available for Rs. 50 per hour. Those who are not interested in watersports can pass their time by resting on the bed, taking sunbath, creating temporary tatoos on the body through tatoo makers, enjoying delicious coconut water, fruits or drinks for alcohol lovers (I hate the last option) and of course, babe watching… Hehehe…

Its 2 pm and we leave Baga for our lunch. We plan to try a new restaurant to eat. We reach Subway restaurant and plan for lunch. Unfortunately veg and non-veg. So we have soft drink, iced-tea and a red bull each to keep ourselves hungerfree for time being. We find another pure veg hotel called Rasoi on the Calingute-Baga road which serves wonderful meal at economic rates.

Finally we come back to hotel and rest again. Its 6 pm and I buzz off with Dada to get some medicines for Aatish. (He had breakfast at a pure veg restaurant Shri Sagar and unfortunately took ill. But the reason for his illness is something else) We meet our other friends KT (Godfather) , MJ (Magician Jhaveri… Hehehe) and Hardik (Chadda as fondly known to buddies). They land up at our hotel and we end up having the best time ever by cracking jokes and imitating Russell Peters. Its night time and they move their ways and we go for dinner at Rasoi.

Aatish takes ill again and he rests at the hotel while I and Dada land up strolling around at Calingute beach till midnight and celebrate his birthday. The path of return gets spooky at night and we take a long cut in order to avoid any problems on the dark paths of Goa.

Finally! Its time to doze off…

>Go Goa – Day 1

>Well.. Well.. Well… Finally destination Goa has come to colours! Its a dream come true for me… Finally! After loads of pre-planning, pre-planning, pre-planning (phew… It took me 3 yrs to finally go to Goa), I could proudly brag to my family, friends and relatives that I am finally off to a vacation. Whoopie!

Now coming back to the point, its 7th november, 2008 and my first day in Goa. Now let me confess that most of the planning for my vacation was done by my chaddi buddy Rajesh. I m sure he must have really thought about bumping me off after calling him every 5 mins.

It starts like this…
After uncomfortably passing the journey in 3A class of Konkan Kanya Express (tickets being RAC), after bribing the TTE and finally after loads of other small obstacles, I along with my buddies Aatish and Dada got down at Thivim Station. (It is the closest railway station if you are planning to stay in North Goa.) We spent around 30 mins to buy our return journey tickets.

There are prepaid taxis available for different places and they charge a bomb for it.. Well.. The fare for Calingute is Rs. 350. We got down near Subway restaurant at Calingute and thats where the real game starts… After around an hour and half of finding a good hotel we checked in at Trini’s Resort owned by Tony Uncle (courtesy Rajesh).

The time passes and its 2.30 pm, our stomachs groan with hunger and we land up in a 100% pure veg restaurant The Plantain Leaf (courtesy Rajesh, again). The delicious meal gets completed and we are back to our hotel, getting freshen up and off to rest (or maybe sleep)…

Its evening time around 6 pm and the whole Goa is pitch dark. We roam around at Calingute beach, reviving funny memories of past and as the time passes, dinner is calling us. Plantain comes to our rescue again and we are off to the hotel to change our clothes and go towards Baga.

Baga is around a km away from Calingute so its definately a walkable distance. We plan to go to Tito’s disco pub at 9.30 pm but we are too early as the timings are 10.30 pm to 3.30 am midnight. So we try to roam around towards Kamaki, Valencio and finally to Mambo’s.

A word of caution: 2 reasons why not to go to Mambo’s…
1. Stags are not allowed.
2. The management is quite rude.
3. Mambo’s definately sucks because of its rude management behaviour. (The 3rd one is what we have experienced)

So we go towards Baga beach and sit near a beach shack. The rest of the hours pass blissfully and we return towards our hotel via rickshaw. (Rs.80 for a km… Whoa! That’s quite a fortune!) Its time to sign off to sleep… Ciao!