Thursday, 30 May 2013

Monalisha And Her Toothpaste

Monalisha is usually calm and quite a punctual kind of girl. She’s so full of energy and is extremely active, especially with the household works. She's blessed with two of her very loving, as well as very caring elder sisters and whenever they ask her to do any household work, she never use to say no. For instance, if any of them would ask Monalisha if she could keep the cups and glasses from her living room to the kitchen, she usually would reply very sweetly "yes, I would definitely do that in a moment". Although it’s a different thing that those stuffs would continue to remain there for the next couple of hours and eventually one of her elder sisters would have to take care of them.

In the weekends, Monalisha just love to sleep till 12 noon and I think I'am quite generous on the timing.   She's got a good habit of brushing her teeth twice a day. Usually, immediately after dinner she use to feel some kind of  a magnetic attraction towards her bed, but no matter what? She never forgets to brush her teeth. One night, after everyone had their dinner, Monalisha went inside her bedroom and all of a sudden the power went off. She took it as an opportunity and immediately went to her bed to enjoy a short nap. Even after almost an hour, there was darkness inside the entire house and Monalisha thought to finish off her engagement with her toothpaste.

As power wasn't there, also Monalisha never bothered to light a candle and went inside the bathroom. She tried to grasp hold of her toothbrush and toothpaste. She was only half alive that moment and it took her a while to locate her stuffs, but eventually she got it. She felt that it wasn't her regular toothpaste, as it tasted little different. It didn’t bother her much, as they usually use to keep 2-3 different brands of toothpaste. Monalisha didn't like the taste at all and also the toothpaste couldn’t generate considerable amount of foam inside her mouth. She was little pissed off and put more paste into her toothbrush. Even extra amount of paste  wasn't able to produce much of a foam and on top of that it tasted bizarre. She even felt a little burning sensation inside her mouth. All of a sudden the power came back and the bathroom was illuminated with light. Monalisha could look herself and her toothbrush on the mirror. She was little amazed and kept staring at the mirror with her mouth wide open.

All of a sudden Monalisha started to scream "Oh! My God, OMG what I've done?" Her sisters immediately rushed to the bathroom and asked her "what happened?" Monalisha was totally confused and remained silent for a while. That moment she was holding her toothbrush  on one hand and ODOMOS cream on the other. Well, Odomos is a mosquito repellent cream and after sometime she literally shouted at everyone "who the hell has kept Odomos in the bathroom?"

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Classy Heaven

Quite often we notice examples of bench marking all around us. Standards exist in every sphere of life and they are pretty much used as reference points. Let’s say a college going guy, also let us consider that he use to play good cricket, but his batting style is quite defensive. His friends might say that he's their "Rahul Dravid". If any girl is extremely bold, fearless and could literally take on any damn person, people might say "she’s our Jhansi Ki Rani". Presently in Bollywood there’s some kind of a benchmark and nobody is anywhere near to him. Excuse me, it’s certainly not the so called King,  I am talking about Aamir Khan. 

During my school days, we used to have a few "Shakuntala Devi’s" among us. Reference points could be either local or global and people use then accordingly, depending upon the gravity of the situation. Few days back, I got to read a fabulous story "Bill gates of Small Town" by Saru. Well, there would be countless, similar kind of examples and people across the globe, literally use them quite often. People have set standards for tourist places as well. In fact, there are different reference points for different kind of places. For rain forests, Amazon is the classic benchmark and Switzerland is often used as a point of reference for some some of the exotic hill station across the world.

There are so many fascinating hill stations and each of them would certainly feel a glow of pride, whenever people use to compare them with the mother of all hill stations and usually refer them as say, "Switzerland of India, Switzerland of the East, etc" As I have never been to Switzerland, so I sometimes wonder "what’s so special about that place?" Well, we have our very own Ladakh, out here in India. But whenever I use to view Switzerland in one of those Travel channels, or whenever I have the opportunity to see it's photographs, I simply remain silent and wonder "how could there be a such a place on this planet?"

Many of my friends visited Switzerland and whenever they upload their Swiss photographs in social networking sites, I use to feel little jealous :), yet so mesmerizing. Next month, one of my friend is getting married and he already planned his Honeymoon in Switzerland.

Wow! Switzerland Honeymoonit would certainly be a dream come true for both of them and they could cherish the wonderful Swiss moments for their entire life.There's no doubt that Switzerland is the most hottest honeymoon destination.

The way tourism industry evolved globally over the last decade, gone are the days when Switzerland Tourism was considered only for the rich and the famous. In this pretty competitive market, travel giants like MakeMyTrip, usually come up with attractive packages year after year. Switzerland is quite an adventure tourist destination and MakeMyTrip have some exciting, as well as affordable and adventurous kind of Switzerland packages. Now a days, even the middle class people could very well experience the genuine heaven, it just require little bit of planning and determination.

Switzerland is one of my dream destinations. Let Jia grow up a bit and we would definitely visit this Classy Heaven one day.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

One Influential Advice

On my first day in college, while my father discussed with our hostel warden regarding the admission formalities and all, it seemed the warden already prepared a bundle of advice for parents. He advised my father not to worry much and assured him the hostel to be quite a decent one. The warden even said that most of the seniors were extremely supportive and he himself used to keep an eye on each and every student, although it was a different matter that we didn't have enough opportunities to make ourselves accessible within the range of his eyesight, well we rarely used to see him in the hostel campus during our ragging days. My father listened to him with full concentration and felt pretty relaxed with his  wonderful words. He even asked the warden if he could report my activities to him on a regular basis?

The warden said that he could very well update him on that, but he sounded little reluctant and said that usually the freshers wouldn't discuss anything with him. He tried to convince my father on how the freshers would become smarter, that too, within just a few weeks after they join hostel. Our warden said that he would do his best and a little later,  he made my father realize about his responsibilities as a parent. 

The warden said "but as a parent, even you also have some responsibilities. I would like to tell you one thing very frankly, it’s out here, where everyone would learn to smoke and would master their boozing skills. The students usually fool their parents and would ask them for extra money. They usually give a very good excuse of buying books and trust me, Engineering books are damn costly. But most of the students wouldn't buy more than one or two books. They would either borrow them from their seniors or share among their batch mates. Of course,  some of the guys would definitely buy a few books, but you need to be very careful and whenever they visit home during vacation, you must check all the books for which they asked money from you. You should never send  any extra money  to your kids out here."

The warden continued with his commendable advice's for almost an hour. Later that day, when few of the hostel seniors allotted room for us, we tried to settle our luggage's. My father was about to leave and I, along with few of my friends came outside the hostel gate to see him off. My father acted quite differently that moment and he looked little shy, as if he was about to say something. After those last minute gestures, we  left him near the hostel gate and were about to go upstairs to our room, but all of a sudden my father asked me to wait. With little discomfort, but very politely he asked me to show how much money I had in my wallet? As soon as I opened my wallet, he immediately grasped it and started to calmly count the money. He counted it twice and then he kept almost half of the money with himself and returned the remaining amount to me. I was totally blank and simply wondered "What the F?" I felt so weird and tried to justify him, but he immediately interrupted and said “It’s OK, if you are short of money, just call me and I would immediately send it to you." 

After listening to those influential advice from our very own warden, I opted to remain silent that moment. But fortunately it only had a short term influence on my father and things became pretty normal from the very next month.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Yet Another Heaven, Part-3

Yet Another Heaven, Part-1
Yet Another Heaven, Part-2

After an exciting day, it was the time to adore the mesmerizing evening at the OM beach. Fortunately the sky was pretty much clear that evening and everyone enjoyed a magnificent sun set. We strolled all around the beach and the place was quite energetic, with so many cheerful people all around. As the sun was about to be vanished deep inside the endless ocean, it had some kind of a hypnotizing effect, with the pleasant and refreshing wave sounds, along with the cool sea breezes. It was so relaxing, as we kept staring at the ball of fire till it actually lost to view. We remained in the beach till it was completely dark.

Later in the evening, we arranged for a campfire at the beach. As it rained for a while, we couldn't collect enough dry wood  for a gigantic campfire, but we still had a fabulous time and the fire lasted for few hours. Our gathering beside the fire had a magnetizing effect on Andreas and Elin. They both were from Sweden and we met them for the first time that evening. Everyone had a wonderful time with both of them and since I was somehow connected to Sweden, as I was (still I am) a big fan of some of the Swedish metal bands :),  I had a great time with Andreas.

The next morning we went to Gokarna town and most of us wanted to visit some of the temples out there, as those temples were quite famous as well as very old. The place was pretty much crowded with people of different sizes and color. We noticed that the authorities out there didn’t entertain the foreigners beyond a certain point. I felt a little bad when I witnessed two ignorant looking ladies, wanted to enter deep inside the temple, but they were gently denied. I crossed the "Laxman Rekha" and were already in the core area, along with my friends.I don’t know why? But whenever I approach a little nearer to GOD, I always feel very uncomfortable. But my friends and particularly my wife Anjali, wanted to show their gesture of respect towards God in close proximity.

I was little worried, since the entry was restricted for the foreigners, beyond any doubt it must had been restricted for me as well. After some time we observed that for entering further, everyone had to went through some kind of a ritual. For the guys, they had to remove their shirts and I noticed that the Pujari’s were asking each and every individual’s name. My level of discomfort intensified and even though I could have easily said any damn name to them, like Rajiv, Akshay etc, but it was a little clumsy kind of situation for me. Also, I wasn't very happy to be so dishonest with the temple authorities. I asked my wife and my friends that it would be better if I could wait outside and would join them after they're done with their darshan

Later we went back to our shacks at the Om Beach. It was our last day, as we had to board our bus back to Bangalore at 8 PM in the evening. Even though we spent a couple of days there, but most of us wanted to stay there for few more days. Few of the guys were even ready to take leave for the next couple of days, but it didn’t work out. It was really heart breaking to leave a place like that and that too in such a short time.

It's been a long time and I think Gokarna beaches are eagerly waiting for us.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Yet Another Heaven, Part-2

It was completely dark and the sea sounds just echoed all over the place. We felt some sort of panic and couldn’t figure any way out of the Paradise Beach. We asked for help from guys in the same beach restaurant, where we had our coffee. But the guys didn’t bother much to help us and we tried our luck at few more nearby shops. Everyone seemed to be so busy and we started to get really worried. Without many options left, ultimately we went back to the same coffee shop and literally bugged the guy comprehensively. Even though, it was peak business hours for him, but that time, he was ready to help us, but he made it pretty clear that he wouldn't escort us to Om Beach and would only take us to some place, out of the tunnel. Well, that was indeed a great help and we couldn’t have asked for anything more from the poor guy. He took his flash light and escorted us to a safer place and everyone honestly thanked him for his help. 

OM beach was not very far from that place and we only had to walk about a km downhill . It was utterly windy and one of my friend had to struggle a while in order to light a cigarette. It was very dark and the way to Om beach was through a zigzag narrow road. It wouldn't have been a wise decision to walk through that dark and narrow road, through the middle of the hills, that too without any source of light. We noticed a minibus parked nearby and asked the driver for help. Among us, there was only one guy (Veeresh), who could have communicated in local language, but it seemed even he was also little confused and asked everyone to enter the bus. We took our position and Veeresh had an argument a chat with the driver for a while. After sometime, the driver started his vehicle and within a few minutes we were near the steps – the entrance to the Om Beach.  We thanked the driver for his priceless help and paid him a few bucks. 

We were literally tired and as soon as we reached our shacks, we gulped immense quantity of colorful fluids that evening. Even though the shacks looked ordinary, but we were really surprised with the amazing quality of food out there. Their menu had varieties of continental food, as well as some of the well known Indian delicacies.  The couple of days we stayed there, we almost ate like a cow, swallowed all through the evening and experimented a wide range of starters. We used to join 2-3 tables and our entire group used to seat together. The poor guy out there, had really a hard time for those two days, as he had to take our orders, a hell lot of times. 

Next morning we planned to visit Half Moon Beach and to go to Half Moon beach from there, people had 2 options. They could have either trekked through the hills for 45 minutes or could have used the boat, which would have taken merely 5 minutes. The boat timings were limited though and were not available all the time. Most of us were so much thrilled about the first option, but my wife was not ready for the trek and so do Hemanta’s wife (Nabaparna). 

I and Hemanta were little depressed, but there was no other option and we went to Half Moon beach in a boat.  

Half moon beach was stunningly mystical and it was one of those secret kind of beaches. Initially there were few tourists, but later it seemed that the entire beach was exclusively for us, at least for the next couple of hours. Half Moon beach was so fascinating that few of the guys stayed there for the whole day and only returned back in the evening. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Yet Another Heaven, Part-1

It would be an extremely difficult task to find intellectuals in India, who have never heard of Goa. Well there’s no doubt that Goa is the hottest tourist destination, in this part of the world. Goa got a very well Flights connectivity from all major cities. But I am pretty much sure that there would be many ignorant like me, who wouldn't have any idea about Gokarna. Well, I came across this name after a couple of years, when I came to Bangalore about a decade back. Few of my friends highly recommended the place to me much earlier, but it was only in November 2010 that I had the opportunity to experience the exotic heaven.

Gokarna is a town in the northern part "Uttara Kannada" district of Karnataka state.  Even though it’s a Hindu pilgrimage center but the atheists could equally enjoy out there in parallel, as the place is surrounded by some of the exotic beaches. Gokarna doesn't have direct Airlines connectivity and the nearest airport from Gokarna is Panaji, at a distance of 150 km. It was a marvelous trip and some of the events still flashes  out crystal clear in my mind. We traveled together in an awesome group of about 12-15, mostly our college mates. We visited during some holiday season and the guys planned it perfectly and quite well in advance. Initially some guys were more interested for Goa, as Air India came up with some exciting offers that time.

Some of the guys, who visited Gokarna earlier, suggested us not to travel by car and said that it would be much better to travel by bus. Gokarna is at a distance of approximately 500 km from Bangalore and by bus it almost took us 10-11 hours. On the way, in the middle of the night, might be somewhere in the Western Ghats, we felt the awesome jerks and our bodies continued to shake for a prolonged time. 

We reached Gokarna town early morning and from there we traveled in auto rickshaws to Om Beach. The surrounding was quite hilly and as soon as we reached Om Beach, my goodness, it was damn exotic. We already planned to stay in the shacks, very near to the beach. Even though the place was quite crowded, but unlike Goa, it was silent and one could only hear the mesmerizing sea sounds. As it was holiday season, it took us a while to get few shacks out there. We were very much excited to see our place of shelter, but it seemed my wife got little upset and she wondered "how could we stay in such environment, can’t we stay in a good hotel?"

That was the kind of place where I always wanted to visit. The entire surrounding was so fascinating and apart from Om beach, there are few more beaches to explore. I could recollect few names "Kuddle Beach, Half moon Beach, Paradise beach". We noticed that almost 80% of the tourists out there were foreigners and few Indian tourists mostly looked like students. Well, the place is definitely not for family outing.  After lunch at about 3 PM, every one of us went to explore a bit. We trekked through the hills and on one occasion, we even passed through a small tunnel. 

Well, if you visit Gokarna then don’t ever forget to carry torch lights with you. It took us almost 40-45 minutes to reach Paradise beach and as soon as we reached there it started to get slightly darker. We heard trance music being played all over the place and most of the guys were quite busy, as they prepared for their drag. We already got the smell and it was quite intoxicating, but one of my friends made me realize that we’re actually older enough, as he said "it’s OK, we guys are quite old enough and we had enough fun, let the kids enjoy." We simply had coffee out there and few of us satisfied ourselves only with the cigarettes.

We were about to return back to our shakes at Om beach, but there was a problem. It was completely dark and literally nothing was visible. We inquired whether there was any alternate way to go to Om Beach, but to our nightmare, there was only one way out. We started to get a little worried and wondered "how we would go back through the middle of the hills and on top of that, we even have to pass through a tunnel"

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