Sneaking out at the drop of a hat, is one of those prized habits which I thought I have lost in the dry dreary sands of monotonous daily professional life. There used to be a time, when a whim or a fantasy could have my gang trolling down around two kilometers at the inauspicious innocuous time @ 02:00 hours towards the highway in pursuit of cold coffee with ice-cream and dollops of gossip. Those days, we thought it was a passing phase and more as a sign of young restlessness, was quite right about the first one, though much later I realized that it was more a result of intoxication by life; getting a kick out of it!I had long been planning a trip down to some nice location, and have it as a college reunion of sorts. Finally time had come and we headed for
Goa, thanks to ridiculous planning and an almost absent co-ordination! People landed from far and wide; Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Pune and
Delhi. Some got a leave, some ‘managed to fall sick’ and some others arranged a GD/PI at one of the IIMs as an excuse to take the FRI off. Thus we had Fri, Sat and Sun to savor
Goa.It was as if we were re-living out college years these three days again, starting with the inevitable mess-ups’ that was trademark of any of our endeavors back in college. One of the guys managed to miss his Flight, ended up shelling a small fortune to return to his hometown and in the process abstain from the meet; others managed to loose their sunshades/sunglasses and spectacles; and then there were a few discerning others like me who managed to get his Digicam soaked in salinated sea water, thus putting it out of circulation for a long while apart from creating enough room for expenditure so that all dinners at restaurants for the next three months will have to be stopped to compensate for the loss!
(Goa as it Looks from Satellite)
Myself and a friend took a Volvo from Hyderabad to
Goa, Paulo Travels, a Volvo service which was till now one of the worst maintained, most expensive and most impolite that I had come across till now. But being the monopolistic service provider to
Goa, we were left with little or no choice. So while I spend the night wide awake grinding my teeth in the cold ( the Air conditioning was running at full power for no reason and the luxury of blankets were not something Paulo entertained!) and bearing the loud snores and the drooping head of my friend A, I kept wondering about the unpredictability of life, here I was meeting up with all my hostel buddies after such a long time, quite a few of us couldn’t make it in the convocation and rest assured that very few of us would ever be able to take time out of their jam packed schedule driven lives to make way from another meet once they get full fledged into the Hustle-Bustle of life.
We reached Panaji at about 10:30 A.M after a long journey of about 15 hours and drove straight to awaiting friends at ‘Palacio-de-Goa’ hotel, a rather nicely kept up hotel with a decent pricing for its services.Soon we took to hiring bikes to go around the city, and check out the beaches. At this point it is worthwhile to mention the special preferences that some people had towards beaches frequented by foreigners, who were uncannily naked and took to sunbathing ignoring the gaping eyes of the natives and the Indian visitors.
I actually had the uneasy experience of having a fellow Indian tourist run out of Water while bathing, to go fetch his camera to take a snap of a blonde foreigner tourist who had just taken off her top and was proceeding to the waters for a bath. That person actually proceeded to about 10 meters of that lady with his camera in his hands and a lustful eyes and a gaping tongue hanging out, and took her snap. My instant reaction was of that of humor, but the realization soon dawned on me that, we 'Sex Starved Indians' are probably one of the most indecent and cheap behaving ones when it comes to respecting people's private space
(On board the ferry enroute to Calangute)
We short listed three beaches as a part of out Itinerary, Calangute, Baga and Anjuna. All these beaches were at a drivable distance from Panaji and were quite popular amongst the tourists. Of these Calangute is by far the most popular of all beaches, Anjuna as per the highly reliable information of one of my friends from IIM-Lukhnow is the more 'Virgin' one, rather less commercialized and a favorite amongst the peace loving, topless and sun bathing foreigners. Hence it found an irrevocable place in the ‘must see’ list of this college pass-out bachelors group. I must admit, I too was quite excited at the thought of getting a real peek into the nicely chiseled bodies of blondes and brunettes.
Goa Costline : From Satellite)What was left of the first day was spent grandiosely trolling in the Calangute beach and swallowing and digesting the beauty of the ocean and the sky and the horizon that holds them apart. Incidentally a lot of water and adventure sports activities are available in Calangute, these include but are not limited to water scooting, Para-sailing, paragliding, speed-boating and paddle-boating.
(Calangute Beach : from Satellite)
The most exciting of these was definitely Para Sailing.
The sheer pump of adrenalin as the jet of cold air thrusts on you and jolts you high up in the air, can be scarcely put to words. Initially it is scary and you hold on to the safety harness, wondering when it will slip through your torso and engage you in a free- fall, slowly the realization takes over, that its probably not going to happen, and even if it would, it would probably be better to enjoy the breathtaking beauty all around. Soon the muscles begin to relax and you are finally enjoying the spread around you. The splendidly Turquoise Blue water and the golden sands with little 'ant-sized' people hustling-bustling around the shores. Its truly a breathtaking experience. What makes it all the more exciting is the sudden jerks that you are bound to get as and when the speedboat decides to increase its velocity, with an effect pushing you higher up in the air. One such jolt, and your worst thoughts come dancing back, are you finally going to drown & die? Oh No! you are not even Married, and even worse you are still a Virgin!!
(Anjuna Beach: From Satellite)