21 September 2015

A journey to Goa

No, No and a big No, is generally my answer to any invitation which requires me to step outside city. It's not like, I don't like travelling, I do, but I have a packing and unpacking phobia which haunts me for days before/after travel actually happens. Also this means I have to send my dog to his hostel which most of the times ends in a frequent vet visits after I return from the journey.

But this time my sister was keen on taking a mental break, and she convinced me this time by repeating her usual tantrums like "just look at you", "you need a change", "you really deserve such trip", and person like me will feel "oh poor me! yes really I deserve this" :)

In my family travels rarely get planned in advance, because most of the times it gets cancelled for one or other reasons. So we are a bit spontaneous, plan journeys on just a day or two before and we just take off and then struggle with bookings and all. But this time we planned everything at least a week before.

First thing we did this time, is to get a confirmed hotel booking. Believe me its a very tedious job to select a hotel in an unfamiliar territory. My sister would insist me reading all the good and bad reviews and finally get influenced by the bad reviews and then give up on that hotel and look out for another.

Finally I found a good enough resort named, "Prainha resort by the sea".  It was located just next to the famous Dona Paula beach. Yes the same one where few action sequence of Singham movies had been shot. Who wants to fight at such a beautiful place, but never mind :) We selected this resort as it was next to the beach and also has its own private beach. We got a good deal on booking for 3Nights/4Days for a sea facing room.

Next thing we did is to book train tickets. It was a festival time, and however it's a off season period, nothing in India actually gets off on festivals. We got return tickets confirmed, but were put on waiting list from our departing station Ahmedabad. But we managed to get Tatkal tickets on 4th September and we were about to leave next Day.

Next day the first thing to do in the morning was to drop Bansi in the Dog hostel. I reached the hostel where a guy was already waiting for Bansi's arrival. Bansi didn't even bother about the changed hands and didn't look at me as I was hoping to wish him a goodbye. He started sniffing and was happy to be at new place for a while. Poor boy unaware of days to come :)

Now everything has been set on place and we were good to start the journey. Reached railway station and got into the train. We had only a printout of the Tatkal ticket as it has been booked by my brother from other city Baroda. But Ticket Checker wanted us to have the actual ticket and we had to call my brother to bring the ticket at Baroda railway station. He appeared with ticket and some famous city snacks for us. Love you Bro
Train was running behind the time so we reached Goa a few hours late. But it was okay as it was still 9 am and our checkin time was 12pm. It was Thivim station and we hired a cab to reach our resort which was still about 35 kms away. Cab service there is a pre-paid service, so you pay a fixed price before hand and there is no worry that cab driver will take you from longer routes.We reached Dona Paula (In the left Image), checked in and got into the room after finishing some formalities.

As promised we got a neat and well made room with a sea view, but to our surprise there was something more to the view - The coconut view, which was making it hard to get  complete sea view :). But to our surprise the manager arranged another room with a more closer sea view from the next day. So it felt perfect! One could easily hear the wave crash even being in the room and the whole room was feeling that vibrations loud. Room was so cooler with fresh air.

We headed to the restaurant area as it was almost lunch time but we changed the direction as soon as we saw the sea much closer. We went up to the boundary wall and preferred to sit there and hear wave crash.

For a few minutes we were totally lost in the lap of sea and the lovely atmosphere. I really wonder when I could not see birds other than crows. After a few minutes we were served a Kokum juice which we tested for the very first time, and we totally loved and set there for a few more minutes.

Restaurant staff arranged a table by the sea and we had our long due lunch containing Soup, Roti, MixVeg and Buttermilk. A vegetarian like us really does not have much choice as soon as we step outside Gujarat. Never mind, Goa is more famous for Feni and sea-food and not vegetables :). I see sea as a home place for some animals but, don't know why people call it as sea-food. I wished a lot in my heart to get a glimpse of a Water horse and ride a few waves there as shown in the movie but all in vain.

In the evening we went to the near by Dona Paula beach, and enjoyed the sun setting gradually.
At beach there was nothing more to do as only water sport available was Jet ski as other sports were banned during monsoon and with this news our plans for scuba diving and para gliding just evaporated in front of our eyes :( But we were okay, and balanced with Jet ski only :(

After dinner I ordered a coconut Feni as I wanted to experiment one of my dreams in which I saw myself drinking alcohol. So there won't be any good place other than Goa to try this. The restaurant guy helped selecting the drink as I was a novice. He came with 30 ml Feni with a big flask of Limca. I told him about the proportion, but he left that on me. I filled the glass up to the full, as aroma of Feni was not at all appealing but I wanted to toast for my late father as well. I drank the full drink by making bad faces and drank the leftover of the Limca to get over Feni's taste and smell. I had called my family in Gujarat before ordering Feni, brother was a bit in shock and told me to ask my mother when I asked what drink to try. My mother gave me a very chilled sarcastic response to try Rum as she has read somewhere that it can bring your cracked mind on track ;) My Parents have always given us total freedom and it was the reason we never had to hide anything from them.

Next day was my sister's birthday, and the resort was the best place to celebrate it. We roamed here and there and spent the whole evening inside the resort beach area. We didn't want to come out of the sea until some crabs started biting our legs, so we had to. In the evening we had a simple meal and spent some more time by the sea as sound of her wave crash were giving us a feeling of contentment.

We had now just a day more to spend in the Goa, and we wanted it to utilize fully. In Goa one can
easily hire a scooter or a cab to self drive for a day and return the same next morning, and that's what we did. We got a scooter and we left to see other beaches.

We reached "Miramar" beach in Panaji,spent some time there until it started raining. It was raining heavy, but we didn't have another day so we didn't wait and drove straight to explore other beaches of North Goa.

We reached "Calangute" beach while enjoying driving by lush greenery under the heavy rain. But due
to heavy rain, an alert has been released for public not to go near sea waves and so safeguards there,
didn't allow anyone of us to even stand closer to the sea. We realised that other popular beaches might have the same alert and it would be in vain to travel there. So we left the plan to drive to the next beach in the same stretch and we drove in the opposite direction to visit another famous beach called "Candolim".

But we missed just one turn and drove to the straight just to find ourselves at the lonely beach called
"Sinquerim". A few famous resorts are located there like "Taj Vivanta". Due to rain we could not
take pictures but sea level seemed up than normal and the whole sea was just looking like a heaven calling you for a ride. I don't know but I feel very content and complete when I am at sea and all I want is to walk on the sea even if it means sinking inside. I can die there happily. The water here was clear but would bring lot of sand along with waves. We spent few hours there and went back to Miramar beach as sun was about to set and that beach is just a few kms away from our resort.

I collected many shells from there for my niece as she likes them just like me. When it was about to dark we went to resort. In the late evening we again went outside to try local veg restaurant, and we found one named "Forest - Veg Food". Had nothing but khichadi and Lassi there as we wanted light food. It was almost 10 when we returned to the resort .

There was one shop just outside the resort where I used to go to drink tea. There I used to get a very good tea and a lady who runs the shop would give us some local information meanwhile. So it was fun. I owed her 5 Rupees as she didn't have change that day and she told me to give it on the next day. But we didn't go the other day and we were about to leave the next day.

I went there after packing everything to return her 5 Rupees. She and her husband was quite surprised and smiled seeing me returned just to pay money back. But they didn't have change today also and nor do I. So after much effort to balance 10 Rupee note, her husband came with a pack of Orbit gum which costs 5 Rupee amount and said that I don't have a choice, but to give you this. I accepted but with this, he also offered a free Perk chocolate bar which I accepted after a much hesitancy.

It was almost time to say good bye to the resort and Dona Paula beach, but we made sure to have a enough dose of the sea view and got in to the cab after saying thanks to the hotel staff for their good service. On a ride to the railway station we got a glimpse of the old church which we could not manage to visit. Reached to Karmali railway station to catch the train. Fortunately one of the train coaches was vacant and we could select whatever seat we liked after Ticket checker assure us. We landed to Baroda the other morning and reached to Brother's place to have another restful weekend, also I made him view all the photos and listen to all the nonsense things we did in the Goa.

That's all for now ;)

15 September 2015

Why should we support ‪‎Hindi‬ become an official language?

  • More than a language, its a communication channel
  • At least one language would be there to represent India on the global table
  • Its not about my language, your language, their language, our language. its about NATION's language
  • Hindi is not gonna corner my language in minority
  • It's easy to learn from television and movies and peers as we do with English
  • Also don't think in the no of people who speak Hindi. Its more about which common language can UNITE us. I don't mind English as well as an official Language(motive is just Communicating, right?) but it costs a way too much to the people not knowing it, both Financially and Emotionally
  • It would help people know each other better having a common medium
  • It is the Mother Language in which one expresses him/herself to its best, then let there be a common language to help others express themselves a bit better(who don't understand your mother language)
  • Would not it be easier to tour each state knowing you would have somebody there knowing a language you understand?
  • Think of the people not knowing English and their fear to visit/do business in other states just because we are too busy fighting for not learning a common language
  • How come a well skilled Tamil/Gujarati doctor serve his/her patient where patient is not able to communicate his/her symptoms
  • Having an official language just gonna wider our audience/Friend list, its an opportunity to know each other better.
  • Last language is just a Tool, so don't be sentimental, and vote as you do in every election. At least language is not like our politicians, you can trust it.

21 August 2015

Mere Mitron...

This poem is dedicated to all my friends, with whom I have shared a part of my life, whether in school, college, personally or professionally, and also who have encouraged me in doing better directly or indirectly

woh bhi kya zamaana tha...  jab hum sabka yaaraana tha
waqt guzarta tha nukkad pe...  aur koi kahaan thikaana tha

daulat nahi thi tab...  kuch sikkein hi humara khazaana tha
shahorat to thi nahin...  bas har galti par laga raheta zurmaana tha

kahaan aata tha kuch humein...  jab masterji ko batalaana tha
woh dost hi aate the kaam...  jab maa-baap se kuch bhi chupaana tha

dikkatein nahi aati thi...  jab humein koi bhi Plan banaana tha
manzil ki fikar nahi hoti thi...  humein to sirf saath hi chalanaa tha

shikayatein hoti thi bahot...  jab kartaa koi bahaana tha
zabarjasti hi ghustein the team mein...  maafi ka khahaan tab zamaana tha

muskilen jheli nahi akele kisine...  kyonki sabko saath jo nibhaana tha
dost ka dushman dushman... jisse humein bas yuhin ladnaa tha

chhoda nahi kisne saath...  par zindagion ko aage jo badhaana tha
kuch dost yuhin chhoot gaye...  kuch ko zamaane ko jo dikhaana tha

zikar ab bhi uthta hai sabka...  jab sochte, kaisa humara wo bachpanaa tha
woh bhi kya zamaana tha...  jab hum sabka yaaraana tha

19 August 2015

That feeling of doing something for the first time remains fresh forever...

Just configured the new email set up and sent the first email to self as a test. Though I have received thousands of emails till date, receiving "This" in particular from my own domain feels great. This reminds me the things I have tried for the very first time and those feelings are still fresh in the mind.

Having travelled to many places with different means, now I can manage to wander anywhere in the world. But there was a time when I was travelling alone for the first time and felt lost in the bus station, trying to figure out whether bus has arrived from or departing for my intended destination. Same kind of experience I had with my first train ride. I had struggled to figure out right train and didn't get on the train as I was not sure if its the right train. I would also not ask people around, as I was told by friends not to appear as the new rider :), and so I was posing as confident as I can, but inside I was so much puzzled. Anyway I later went to train master and managed to get into the next train :)

Going to study in a different city and to live in a hostel, was a dream. I used to think that I love dad more over mom (thinking she loves my brothers more) , and so while leaving home I wondered when mom was crying while seeing me go. I told everybody home that I will return home after a month or two only and would not visit so frequently. I said, I am gonna chill so don't worry. I still remember it was a Thursday when I left for the hostel. To everybody's surprise I was home on Saturday evening as I missed home so much and most of the times my mother (that means seeing whole family laughing at me). But I realised for the first time, how much my mom did for me and told my dad that I love mom more. In that whole academic year I had visited home almost every weekend doing 3 hours journey :)

Giving speech to a large audience was something I was not comfortable with. One day my classmate came and told me that he has forwarded my name from the girls for our annual day speech. I got nervous as annual day speech means speaking in front of Head of the department and all the professors and invited chief guests. But then I told myself its a good chance to get my frustration out and testing my public speaking skills for the first time. Though the speech was supposed to be in English language, I gave it in native Gujarati language. And result was a pure fun. Through out my speech everybody (except our HOD) was laughing and enjoying as if they also wanted to convey the same thing to the department folks. So basically I didn't lie a single thing and shared true feelings with a bit of humour,  and so later most people and other student speakers came to me and said I am so brave to share true experiences openly. For me it's a most funny speech I have ever given.

There are so many things which were adventurous, made be a bit nervous at first or was total fun, such as first interview, my first salary, punching a guy in the public place, teaching little kids at municipal school, texting a co-worker I haven't met in person before, saying a big NO for right reasons, serving a very bitter tea to a police officer(Dad's friend) so that he never asks for the same again, standing inside the airforce training academy, breaking into royal's house and then having a tea later ;), breaking into my own house and taking a breath later :), becoming too religious at one point, understanding atheism, first swimming lesson and so on (wow! this list just made me think that my life was never boring).

So now back to where I started, initial feelings for changing a career field neither seemed logical nor required. I waited for the good, I resisted the change which had already made its place inside me. Said No to almost everything, but then something interesting clicked my mind and I just started riding my thought train. To be an entrepreneur in food industry means reaching out to the places and people, be it suppliers, potential customers, labours, cooks, farms, stores etc. Being a capricorn its very hard to interact with strangers at first and start a conversation, but I am learning it and enjoying as well. When Dad was alive, I had told him once that I want to do something in food industry, and his reply was a bit sarcastic. I wish he was with me this moment to see his little girl doing it in real.