>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!

>Destination Adhoi

>Hi ya…

Its the first and the last day of my trip to native place, Adhoi. Well… What do I say about this place. It’s a mixture of a residential areas, lush green fields, man-made gardens and it is a cream area of archeologists (or archaeologists). The massive earthquake on January 26th, 2001 (sorry, I am bad at remembering dates) proved to be a mixed fortune for my fellow Vagadites. Though many people died but then the status of poorer class changed. And surprisingly, Adhoi has been given a heritage status like Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilizations.

The earthquake changed everything except the helpful nature of people. In the coming days of my blog, I intend to tell you the stories of few such people who have picked up the bits and pieces of their lives, who have dared to accept the challenge thrown to them by their destiny and about those who have not given up themselves to pessimism.

Coming back to my holiday trip, I have reached my destination to seek the blessing of Ambe Maa. The ambience is hauntingly eerie. Animals, mostly dogs, have made the old Adhoi as their abode. The structure at most of the broken and cracked homes is very weak and risky. It reminds me of the buildings of Mumbai that have been declared unsafe by the court and BMC.

Me and my cousins decide to throw a feast for our fellows in our bloodline after we return from a place called Saat Aambli Wala Dada. Not many people believe this, but we feel Mataji is happy by the way we organise such ‘aathams (meaning the 8th day of a month in a hindu calender)’. We then make our way towards Saat Aambli Wala Dada. There is a story that says one of our ancestors died at that place in a well to be safe from dacoits. His sister jumped in the well in order to save him. But she too died in the process. The legend says that the spirits, or whatever it is, of these two people guide us in our life and they help us whenever we face difficulties at any moment of life. Some people believe it and some don’t. I do. We finish our lunch and make a swift visit to new Adhoi village that is about 2 kms aways from the old one.

To make the trip more exciting, we go to visit other places like Bhachau, Ravechi Mata’s Fair, Samakhiyali Sai Dham and Ramdev Pir at Vondh. Finally its time for dinner at Hotel Aashirwad near the highway. We reached the station to board the train back to Mumbai with RAC tickets. It’s tiring but hoping to visit next month at Adhoi again…

>Holiday time

>Life is weird… It throws you surprises when you expect it the least. This is what is happening today with me. I ‘m off to a mini vacation to my native place. Currently I have boarded the train with my other fellow cousins and we have settled ourselves on our respective seats. There’s no shortage of food out here. Everyone’s busy planning about tomorrow’s activities.

The worst part is that I haven’t informed any of my friends about my so called surprise trip. But then… Thik hai na! I’ll be greeted with a couple of slangs and nothing more than that.

It’s 7 pm right now and we have just completed round one of playing cards. Oh! I seriously hate cards. But being the youngest of all, I have to obey as they command. But I have to confess that I am the most pampered brother among my cousins.

We have finished dining and now I’m off to the AC compartment where my other cousin is busy checking out babes! Hahaha… Funny guy!

Phew… I’m back in my compartment and currently its around 8.30 pm. The train has just reached Surat and the round two of playing cards has started. Luckily, this time I’m not forced to join. I choose to just be a spectator and enjoy the bitching session among the cousins…

Oh! Oh! Phas gaya! These people pull me to play cards. And as usual, I lose… There are two ‘hawaldars’ on duty who think we are gambling. And we poke fun of those two. “Ye mera do kela daav pe laga… Mera teen..” None of us are understanding what are we saying. Finally the ‘hawaldars’ go and we close our game session and have a heartful laugh over the ‘kelas’.

It’s time to buzz off… Good night… And I’m looking forward to enjoy my one-day vacation… Chao!