I have been telling myself since the last December that when January of 2019 comes (or when I go to January), I shall not think about what most men and women (I am not sure of other animals) would be thinking. And what would they be thinking? If I am not wrong in my thinking, I think they would be thinking about keeping some New Year’s resolution. Now, I was telling that to myself in December, and I have been reminding myself of that since the last four days, because I know from experience that most, if not all, of the resolutions are going to come to naught. Yet, now, my fingers are itching to write something, and my brain is telling me that that something has to be the New Year’s resolution. Well, then, I, because I am my brain and body, I must oblige.
This year I am going to write a great deal, but most of my writing would be out of public view, unless I wish to share. I will start writing my first book this year. I am not sure in which year I will finish writing it, because completing a book is a long process. But starting it is important. It is going to be a non-fiction work, though at first my intention was to write fiction (which, I suppose, can wait for a later time). I have too many interesting and painful and funny experiences to recount.
I will learn a new language. I wanted to learn two languages this year, but I want to be more realistic this time, and do what is, to the best of my ability, considering the available time and resources, more achievable. Bangla is my mother tongue but it does not seem to be so. This year I actually thought of making it seem so as well. However, there is another language which is known to majority of Indians and which I can speak but cannot write or read, and that would be the language I would focus on this year, because considering my present situation and place, and by looking at the growing mass of people who seem to know and talk a great deal in this language, I am sure I would be in trouble if I don’t go with the flow. Yes, I am talking about Hindi.
I will read at least 35 books (fiction and non-fiction) though my aim is to read 50. If I don’t reach the star, I will land on the moon.
A small device that fits in your pocket, seem to be consuming too much of my time, in fact, I would say, it is governing my life, and I must stop this from happening. Therefore, if you haven’t got what I mean, I am going to be smart and use my smartphone less often (or only when I have to).
I will learn to cook some new dishes.
I like to travel, but, this year, I suppose, I will focus on saving my money, and I would rather find out more about the places that is not too far from my dwelling.
I will match at least 200 movies and documentaries.
That’s all I can think of at this moment, and there are some more resolutions which are somewhat private in nature, which are best kept to oneself.
Among all the resolutions I had made at the starting of this year, one was to travel to as many places as I could. Travel, as you know, expands one’s mental horizon. When you travel, whether you like it or not, you would come across new people and new happenings, which would add to your experience. If you are a writer who has been suffering from writer’s block, travel, do, and see how people throw their stories at you.
My country, India, is vast and I have always had the desire to see all the states of India. If one visits the different parts of India (from the most modern to the remotest), perhaps he/she would not need to see a foreign country, because within India one would come across so many things that would seem foreign. The weather in some parts of our country vary from the weather in the other, when the temperature soars above 35 degree in Mumbai or above 40 degree in Delhi, the temperature at Dras in J&K or at Gurudongmar in Sikkim can be in the minus, and in some other parts the temperature would be moderate. The people in one part speak a different language and have their unique identity and their special cuisines, while the people in the other part display a different lifestyle and set of values.
I do harbour a desire to see some foreign lands too, and that I want to do without any discrimination, which, in other words, means that I really wish to see the underdeveloped as well as the developed and the developing countries of the world. First and foremost, however, comes my own country; once I have covered all of India, perhaps, I can think about visiting some foreign countries.
At the starting of the year I had gone with some of my colleagues to the beach side destination in Maharashtra called Kihim.
In March I intended to go to the North of India, especially to cover the golden triangle. The Golden Triangle, not to be confused with the Golden Temple in Amritsar (Punjab), includes three places in North India, namely, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and the three locations seem to form the shape of a triangle, thus the name ‘triangle’ was given to it. The three locations are a very popular destinations among the foreigners as well as the domestic tourists. Due to some reasons, I had to change my plan and I ended up doing a solo trip to the south of India (covering Chennai, Pondicherry, Bangalore and Mysore).
Thereafter, I had gone to Guwahati and Barak Valley in Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland (though Kohima was also in the itinerary especially because it happened to be the Hornbill Festival time) where I had spent a considerable amount of time during my childhood.
Last of all, in December, my family and I had gone to the following North Indian destinations: Delhi (the land of great politics and power), Gurugram (Gurgaon) in Haryana (where my younger brother stays), Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand (considered holy sites), Agra (where the Taj Mahal is at), Mathura and Gokul (again two holy sites) in Uttar Pradesh.
I will write about the aforementioned places in greater detail by and by.
If I had more money and if my leave from office could be extended a little more, I would have heartily visited many other places (or revisited some).
Day before yesterday, twenty-three people were crushed to death in Mumbai. Many others are in critical condition. It was not a terrorist attack, no bomb exploded, neither was it an earthquake, or a deluge, or any other natural calamities, that caused the deaths and injuries. It was the reckless behaviour of my fellow insane commuters that did it. Death due to stampede is common in my overwhelmingly populated country, but such occurrences are mostly witnessed when there is a mass movement of religious devotees journeying to one of the many sacred sites in India; such incidences are not so common in a railway station where people regularly move to and fro.
The moment I got the unfortunate news of the stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station and when I saw the pictures of men and women lying dead, I was extremely pained and I was furious. I poured my heart out by writing an expletive laden article. But I decided not to publish the article. I wanted to first calm down, and it took me two days to do so. Hence, I am now writing this article without the expletives. I am still sad and still angry at the way innocent people lost their lives for no fault of theirs.
Dear people of Mumbai, do not just move around blaming the government for what had happened day before yesterday. None but you, yes, you, my fellow commuters, are to blame for the loss of so many valuable lives. I have been in Mumbai long enough to know how you all behave. Your lack of consideration for others have cost people their lives. You are always in a hurry to reach your destination. The moment a train comes to a station you, who wait for the train in the railway station, spring in to the train even before the train halts, even before the passengers who are already in the train have a chance to come out of it (you want space but you don’t allow the others to come out and give you space, and you get in and create more problem and confusion). And, as you run forcing your way in the train, you don’t care whether you push people (women, elderly or little children) around, stamp on their feet, elbow them and injure them. Not a single day passes without someone getting injured, if not killed. Go to Kurla Station or Dadar Station and observe the commuters, you would see everyday someone or the other is fracturing his/her bones, getting a cut somewhere, or is falling down from the train. All this can be avoided only if you are considerate and disciplined.
Yes, the massive population in Mumbai (which is as much as the entire population of the whole of Australia, and which is rapidly rising day after day) is no doubt one of the factors that is creating the main problem. The local trains, being the lifeline of Mumbai, are always packed beyond their capacity. Raj Thackeray is right when he says that problems (like the stampede that happened day before yesterday) would continue to happen as long as the migrants keep coming to Mumbai. But what solution is he providing? Well, he would no doubt want no more migrants in Mumbai and he would also ask people to leave Mumbai. His concern is right, his approach in dealing with the concern is wrong. Migration is a reality and migration will always happen. Whether he likes it or not, he will have to live with it. The development of infrastructure in proportion to the size of the population is the answer to the problem, but development does not happen overnight, particularly in a country which is developing and which happens to be the second most populated country (where most people were corrupted for too long) in the world, and is a democracy.
No doubt, there was a need to have more Foot Over Bridges at Elphinstone Road Station which could have allowed people scatter to other places instead of everyone standing on the single bridge that connects Elphinstone Road Station to Parel. Day before yesterday, it was raining and people wanted to save themselves from the falling rain. It was not someone firing bullet or cannon balls. Rain would not have killed anyone. It had rained earlier also; exactly a month back one month’s rain had fallen in a day but no such stampede happened then. The people could see that the bridge was already full of people yet more and more people gathered in the bridge. No one wanted to let the other person go first, all they cared was for themselves. People are not stones to not feel any pain. The pain of one, which to the inconsiderate other meant nothing, resulted in 23 deaths so far.
Mumbai provides us opportunities to be someone, to earn our livings, to be better than we were. But in the pursuit of material well-being all our civic sense has gone for a toss. All we care about now is how to get more and more for yourselves even as we have thrown our ethical values out the window. We have become slaves to our daily chores, and from human beings we have now become machines, and like machine we have no feelings. Our commercial mindset has killed all the good that was within you, that all men is born with. Our interest comes first (What’s in it for me, eh?) and we have total disregard for the others. We don’t even realize when we are uncivil, which has become the way of life for many of us.
We will be happy if we have better infrastructure in place, but until then we have to make do with what we have. Meanwhile, we must be disciplined (even after being well-educated, peoples’ rowdiness, when they try to board a local train in Mumbai, astonishes me) to avoid casualties.
I asked one my friend how he would like to spend Diwali this time. He said he will offer prayers, gift family and friends some stuff. Then he stopped abruptly, stretched his muscles and twisted his lips sideways, and then he began speaking again, “Actually, I will ask my wife and children to go some miles away from the house.”
That confused me a great deal, so I asked why he would do such a thing. He replied, “I’m going to set my gas cylinder on fire, this way everyone will come to know that I’m celebrating Diwali.”
He was kidding, of course. We have different version of stories to tell why we celebrate Diwali. But what is common is that we exchange good wishes, and we are in high spirit of celebration. Some of us wear new cloths; and we light candles and small clay lamps; decorate our homes with colored powder; present gifts, etc. Most importantly, Diwali being the festival of light, we lit our homes; this is to signify the victory of good over evil.
But Diwali for many people (children mainly) is just a festival of bursting crackers, playing with artificial guns, which creates noise and pollution. I remember, as a kid, I once burnt my hands while trying to light a firecracker (or ‘atom bomb’, as we use to call them, then). I had to see a doctor and for days I could not use my hands to perform a few functions. We do many stupid things in life, but as we evolve we learn to differentiate between right and wrong.
I don’t believe burning firecrackers drive evil away, (candles and Diyas are enough for that) you just burn your and your parents’ hard-earned money to ashes by doing so. As I write this post, I can hear the sounds of firecrackers, so loud as to damage my eardrums. A politician lives nearby. Politicians and their kith and kin know how to waste money. But even the less privileged ones will not go dissatisfied today, just that they will burn only a handful of firecrackers.
The problem is, with all these noises and the smokes that emerge, all the birds and the street dogs get scared and they slowly and hesitantly move to safer places. Health related issues also emerge due to the smokes that spread after bursting firecrackers. We don’t feel good with such noises, do we? The use of firecrackers may cause many injuries, some maybe severe; therefore, for the better of all, refrain from using them.
This man who has been writing all the silly posts on this blog for some time now has something to say to you all. Lend him your ears for another moment, if you will, as you have done so in the past. Or else you stand a chance to call him a broken-hearted man. I’m sure you wouldn’t like that. All he asks of you is to pay him a little attention. That’s it, nothing more. Of course, you people are kind-hearted; I must be busted for assuming anything otherwise.
The fella says he will be away for a month or two. He deems it is necessary to let you know where he is going, for he cares for you, for he wants to keep his readership on this blog active, and when he comes back and writes some more silly posts he wishes to see the amazing people, as he has seen so far, come and embellish the blog as much as they can.
So, where is the fella going anyway? He has been craving to see and hug his parents. He wants to spend some time – some memorable time that he can cherish forever – with them. It has been a long time that he is keeping away from them. It is the nature of his work that forces him to stay away from them; it is not something that he wishes for, but he knows life calls for many kinds of compromises.
He makes you a promise and he means it: it won’t be long before he comes back and once again write some more silly posts. His intention is, and always has been, to entertain you, if not to enlighten you. He plans to explore some famous parts of Northeast India, Nagaland and Assam most preferably, which he calls home. He intends to visit the Kaziranga National Park and click some photos of everything wild and beautiful. Not just that, he would, in fact, click photos of anything and everything that interests him. He hopes his Eastman Kodak Camera would justify the clarity of the photos. He completely trusts his camera in that matter!
So, dear readers, fellow-bloggers, and anonymous visitors do stay tuned. Your friend will be back sooner rather than later.
Interviewer: I’ve heard a lot about you; you know so many people say this and that. But, it would be nice if you tell me something about yourself.
Mr Nobody: Oh yes, I will. I’m the pain who troubles people at every hour. I’m the lover who has never been loved. I’m the humorist who makes people laugh, or at least make them smile. I’m the joy of life. I’m the air people breathe… ha ha ha!
Interviewer: [That wasn’t funny at all]. Alright, that would be enough.
Mr Nobody: Don’t interrupt me, please. I have more to say. I’m the giver who has never received anything in return. I’m the fragrant perfume which people crave to sniff. I’m the jewel abandoned by people. I’m an old man, a phantom… ha ha ha!
Interviewer: [That wasn’t funny either. Why this damn soul doesn’t come to the point?]. Mr Nobody, I think…
Mr Nobody: I’m the satirist who doesn’t wish to be forgiven. I’m the writer whose writing people read yet they never acknowledge reading it. I’m the gentleman fooled by romance. I’m the poet who brings people delight. I’m the funny little mischief-maker whom people want to sue. I’m a tramp… and … alright, let me not say more. The list can go on, but most importantly, to tell you the truth, I’m Mr Nobody! Ha ha ha!
Interviewer: [Damn silly creature, laughs for no reason].I heard that recently an Organization came to your college to offer job, but sadly you could not get the job, is there any reason?
Mr Nobody: Any reason, you ask? There are many reasons. The corporate recruiters… ha ha ha! They were some buffoons! Ha ha ha… We are pampered and polished for three years in the college, and finally when our skin starts showing some appeal, some glow, you know, that may arouse feelings; the recruiters come and comment on our skin. If you have the skin they like, you are in. If you don’t possess the right skin, you are out. But mostly, it depends on the extent to which you are ready to show our skin, and I mean the good skin.
Interviewer: Oh, so you mean to say you don’t have the right skin?
Mr Nobody: [Damn it!] Did I say I don’t have the right skin?
Interviewer: No. But I thought…
Mr Nobody: You thought… ha! You know, it’s not easy to get a job. For if you really wish to get one, you have to shout and scream your lungs out (when you actually are supposed to discuss things like some good folks do), and stare at some incomprehensible questions on the question paper during the aptitude test and ponder until someone says: “Time’s up!” And within a friction of a second, you tick on the answers, uttering something like: “Inki pinky ponky…” or if you are in India you would say, “Jay mata di”.
Oh this weather! Oh the suffering! I’ve received a chilly greeting from the very beginning of this chilly season. Oh winter, why haven’t you been nice to me this time? Some may like this season, some may not. But no matter you like it or not, it will keep recurring year after year, as so has always been the nature (quality) of nature from time immemorial.
Chest cold, and I’m coughing like some hardcore smoker coughs. I’ve a high body temperature, headache, runny nose (I’ve to sniff every time). My throat pains. My tonsil is hurting. This noisy explosion of air from my lungs is unbearable, to me as well as to the bystanders. At a distance do my friends move, as if they might get hurt, as if a bullet chases them. Perhaps they’ve started considering me a boor by now. “Go away, then, you might be shredded into pieces by the bullet coming out of me.” I want to say but I don’t say. It will make things worse, I know.
And I think bum is the wrong place for a boil, for the area is very sensitive and the pain is excruciating. Had it been in other areas of the body such as the hands or the legs or maybe the shoulder I wouldn’t have complained a wee bit. However, I would have equally complained, had the boil made its place beneath my nose (this area too is extremely sensitive), or on my face, I fear it would damage the handsomeness of my precious face ( ha! – that’s a joke).
I’m not sure if any of these diseases and infections got anything to do with winter, but, since, all these have been making my life miserable in this season of the year, I have no choice but to curse this season, at least this time. Even a little pain in this season seems unbearable. But, I’m pretty sure, married couple or newly wedded couple would prefer winter than summer. I still have enough time for it, I guess.
Today is our Republic Day (that is the 26th January, here in India). The secondary school near my house has organized a function. I can hear the loud music coming out of the speakers. I can also feel the vibration that is produced by the dancers stamping on the wooden stage (wooden? Yes, that’s what my brother told me, and I gladly believe him, as he had been to the function a little earlier). But I cannot go out and be a part of the celebration; I’m homebound, as for now. I have become so weak that I can’t even walk to and fro. I can just sit in the chair, that too, turning more towards the left side. Why? Because of the damn boil! Oh, this small swollen thing has made my life pathetic. Anyway, I hope everything will be fine soon.
Happy Republic Day to all fellow citizens of India!
At first, the management of my college wanted the students to finish and submit the project, which every final year students had to compulsorily write, by the 24th of December 2012. But then they postponed it to 26th of December. And on the 8th of January, 2013, we faced the Viva.
For those who do not know what a Viva is, let me say: Viva or Viva Voce is a spoken examination held at the end of a University Course. A good friend of mine had in one of his comments on one of my post asked me if I could write about the Viva once it is conducted, and I said I would be glad to do that. I am writing this here not just because that friend had asked me to, but because I know I need to write something. It’s not going to be everything but just the synopsis.
I wrote a project titled “Making Corporate Governance Meaningful”. The copy consists of seventy-nine pages (leaving aside pages numbered in Roman).
Corporate Governance, in simple words, means the systems, principles and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.
Globalization is the most current and demanding arenas where corporations have to define and legitimate the ‘right or wrong’ of their behavior. A lot of issues emerge in the process relating to cultural, legal and accountability. However, serious efforts have been directed at overhauling the system. Every day we read in the papers about corporate scandals, government failure, etc. A corporate scandal is a scandal involving allegations of unethical behavior by people acting within or on behalf of a corporation. Corporate scandals sometimes involve accounting fraud of some sort. If we happen to look at the list of corporate scandals around the world and particularly in India, the list can go and on, and it is startling!
Therefore, ethics can play a crucial role in making corporate governance meaningful. There should be a moral responsibility, which need not be necessarily taught, but it is something that comes from within oneself. Many everyday business activities require the maintenance of basic ethical standards, such as honesty, trustworthiness and cooperation. One must know the difference between vice and virtue. One must not think that the shareholders’ interest means the interest of all, nor can one compromise the rights of other stakeholders. Failure in Corporate Governance is a real threat to the future of every corporation; therefore, the auditing standard has to be improved. Auditing should comply with international standards.
Well, yes I had to refer some books while writing this, and I had to simply copy some of the things, because somebody has already written about the subject, and I had to simply reproduce that. How can I change something that really is! All my classmates did the same, but they, very shamefully, directly copied everything from other peoples’ project report.
If you simply type a certain topic on Google you get it. There are already a lot of project reports in PDF format over the internet which my friends easily access, and they very easily change the original author’s name, and copy-and-past, and produce the whole thing saying it is their own work! That, too, without changing or modifying the contents! Most of my classmates didn’t even understand or tried to understand the contents.
Writing the project, to speak the truth, wasn’t my cup of tea, though I learnt a lot. I have a good imagination power, and I like writing stories, mostly fiction, but partly based on reality. I am a realist, you see.
Shreyanshi Awasthi was the external examiner’s name. She spoke with me for more than 20 minutes, while with others she spoke not more than 10 minutes. We spoke about many things, apart from the project, ranging from the issues in our country; we spoke about nationality, language, literature, etcetera and etcetera. At one instance she asked me what my interests were. Among other things, I said writing is one. Then she asked me in which language I write. When I said English she appeared a little disappointed, and enquired why I don’t write in Bengali (which is my mother tongue) or in Hindi, which is spoken by most of us in India. And finally she asked me a few questions related to the project. How lucky I was! Though I read the whole project thoroughly but I knew what she would ask me (I assumed it). I was fully prepared for it in advance. And she did what I thought!
She was so much impressed by my answers that she asked me what grade I wanted. I answered, “Ma’am, whatever you think fit.”
“ Hmm m… alright!” she sighed.
“Could you mail me the softcopy of your project; I really like it, and would like to read more?” She asked with a smile on her face.
While parting from the classroom where we were having the conversation, she said, “Glad to meet you, Ramu Das.” She put her right hand forward to shake mine.
“Glad to meet you, too, ma’am,” I replied promptly. And firmly with my right hand gave her hand a manly shake.
It was 4.30 in the morning when the alarm of my phone started giving me a tough time. And I had to bear with Eminem’s socially inappropriate lyrics, for it had been my phone’s alarm tone. I was reluctant to wake up. It was a cold morning. Everything was still. I shut Eminem up by pressing the snooze option of the phone. I pulled the blanket over my head, squeezed and curled myself in the bed, and was off to dreamland.
At 5 o’clock the phone rang once again. I wanted to snooze it like I did a little while ago, and like I do every day until it stops ringing, but this time it was a different music, not the alarm tone by any chance. I halfheartedly opened my eyes, stretched my hands, and with the right hand I picked up the phone and glancing at it I saw Aravind’s name flash on it.
Aravind is a very good friend of mine. Although he looks aged with his bulging belly and the stiff mustache, but internally he is quite immature and very innocent. He proves his immaturity very often by doing things which a man of his age never does. Some people find him a bit pestering, but I like him. He has always been very good to me.
I pressed the accept button to speak. He yelled out of sheer excitement, just like a kid: “Goa… Goa, Goa!” Then he paused for a moment gasping heavily, and then he spoke again, his sentences ending before he could complete them: “The girls… wearing bikinis… resort, dazzling beaches… wake up! Wake up!”
Realization hit me hard like a stone to a glass, we were supposed to go to Goa today, “Ah, quite so,” I said.
As a rule set my Mumbai University, all the Management Students must go on an industrial visit. I suppose, to make us aware about our future responsibilities, or to let us know how we are supposed to struggle for money. It was the teachers’ duty to take care of that, that is to say, to organize industrial visits for the students every year.
The last two years I could not make it to any of the industrial tour because I was not interested, moreover, I had no time for it. But this time I was determined not to miss this opportunity. This is my final year in the college, and if I missed it I would suffer from a void feeling which might as well torture my conscience as I grow older. I’ve never been to Goa. I wanted to see what Goa was like. So I paid Rs. 4000 (like everyone did) for the same and decided to go to Goa.
Aravind was waiting for me in his car. I hurried up, and briskly and noiselessly got into the car. “I’m here.” Soon we reached Panvel station from where all the students were supposed to get on board of a train – Jan Shatabdi had been the train’s name – at 6.00 a.m. I met other friends, and the three lecturers (all women) who accompanied us, or who were suppose to keep an eye on us, in case someone led us astray. Ha!
We kept waiting for the train. As it always happens, the train moved forward, rattling inch by inch quite leisurely at OUR timing – the Indian timing, and finally came to a halt. It was late by half-an-hour. The shrilling of its engine wasn’t at all inviting.
The friends’ parents came to the station to see the friends off. These followed thereon: embracing, shaking hands, wiping tears from the eyes… as if they were bidding goodbye for a long time or maybe forever. The tour was just for 4 days, and nothing more. Overflowing affection, ha!
I was looking for my seat as I got into the train, and when I was able to find it out, I saw an elderly man sitting on it. “Sir, I believe, you’re sitting on my chair,” I said. He was least bothered. I raised my voice, and then he said it was his seat. “How could that be possible?” I questioned.
“Very,” he replied laconically.
“Very?” I found myself repeating his word, but only interrogatively. A little argument followed. I summoned the TC and discovered that the elderly man was speaking the truth. I felt embarrassed before the elderly man, the TC, and other passengers. I foamed at the mouth. I had to stand for half an hour in the train; some of my friends did the same.
I went to the lecturers with my complaint. I kept stuttering for sometime before speaking plainly. Yes, when I get very angry, or very excited, I stutter. Let me say it once again, I st-tu-tut-tut-tut-stut-ter.
One of the lecturers arranged a seat for me, and slowly all the other students were able to sit down comfortably. But I wanted to know why there was the confusion regarding the seat. We did pay the money then why should there be any problem at all? When asked, the lecturers had no idea why it was so; there was no answer for me. Perhaps, the agent of People2Place (who provided us the travel service) made a mistake. Anyhow, I was able to sit and relax, my anger melted, and I had no more problems and no more questions.
The train jerked and rattled, picked up speed, and along we moved on. I tried to register everything in my mind through the view from the window. But, alas, it was a misty December morning, and it made my visibility unclear. No doubt it looked beautiful. Sometimes neon signs flicked through as the train made its way, and I was curious to know what was beneath the foggy atmosphere: Perhaps homes, mountains, a bazaar, animals, or such other things.
I decided to read a book, the best way to eat up time, but the friends wouldn’t let me. They (the boys) inherited the girls’ hormone. They kept on talking tirelessly and continuously. Some guys had a voice as melodious as Justin Bieber, and I could make little difference as to who was the guy and who the gal.
We reached Goa and checked-in to our resort. A very beautiful resort it was, with greenery all-around, a swanky swimming pool that was made more appealing by the alluring golden-haired, brown-eyed girls swimming and dancing in it. A friend of mine exclaimed: “This is it!” I gave him a puzzled look, and he explained, “Besides the beaches and the wine, I wanted to see this and nothing more.” He pointed his fingers towards the women in bikinis swimming in the pool, and towards another who was reclining on her rocking chair, smoking, exhaling circles of smoke, and reading a book at the same time. “Ah, it seems like a movie. This is exactly how they look in the movies. Oh my god, I feel like a star!” He said, expressing mirth. The other friends laughed back at him, not with him, mind you.
We freshened up and learnt that we were going to a very famous and the finest beach in Goa called Baga beach. The boys wore shorts, so did the girls. But the girls invited some criticisms from the lecturers for doing so. My friends disapproved of the lecturers’ gesture. A guy said, “What problem do the teachers have with the students? They never want to see us happy. This is only time we get to see some skin, and … “
A lecturer approached towards him making a strange face, and he thought it best to shut up and stay mum. I knew what he was trying to convey. But he meant it only for fun without having any bad intention. Nevertheless, the girls adhered to their dressing style; after all, they were going to a beach and not to a church or a temple.
We went to Baga beach, swam to our heart’s content. A friend, upon seeing a bikini-clad foreigner, wanted to click a photo with her. But she refused. The friend looked a little disappointed and brokenhearted, we couldn’t help but laugh and laugh, and laugh a little more.
A lady friend lost her camera somewhere in the beach or in the shops nearby, and started crying. Girls of our college always cry no matter what, “I won’t go back home if I don’t get the camera,” she said. All the other girls started crying as well, as if the camera was a lifesaving drug for them. The lecturers told us to help her find the camera, it happened to be a very expensive one. We went to find it, and luckily we found it. It was in a shop, the shopkeeper was a morally upright, very kindhearted and noble man (such persons are very scarce today, aren’t they?) and returned the camera back to its rightful owner. We thanked him and were off to our resort.
Then, we danced to the tunes of the Disc jockey in the swimming pool as dusk set in; it was especially organized for us. After that we had a hearty dinner.At the crack of midnight we retired to our beds.
During the night I could not sleep properly because of a friend’s snoring who slept beside me. The whole night he kept on torturing me by producing strange sounds: grarrrrr… graaaaaaarrrrrr… grrrrarr….graarrrrrrr… This followed in the same fashion till the remaining days in Goa. I told him to change his sleeping position hoping to see some changes in his breathing. He changed his position, but it was of no avail. I felt like defenestrating him, but thought the better of it.
In the next day, we went to another world-famous dazzling beach –Calangute beach– in north Goa for water sports. These are the sports we enjoyed: Banana boat ride, Bumper ride (the force of the water did a good bum massage), Para-sailing (we paid extra for extra pleasure), Jet Ski (I rode, by paying extra, of course). In the night we went boat cruising. ‘Coral Queen’ had been the cruiser’s name. Some cultural dances were displayed on it. We watched and loved it.
The next day we went to Coca Cola Company, that’s the main reason for which we were in Goa. An instructor demonstrated us the functioning of the machines and all other stuff related to the production of beverage. At first I thought the instructor was not an instructor but a security guard. His dressing style was overly simple. But when he started speaking in fluent English, and started explaining us everything about the manufacturing process, I found him a very knowledgeable, genial, and modest person. Oh, and he wore a big smile every time he spoke.
Then we proceeded towards old Goa and visited BIG FOOT Cross Museum which is a centre for preservation and promotion of Art, Culture and Environment. Then we visited the historical church of St. Francis Xavier, and an archaeological museum nearby.
The next day we visited Fort Aguada. After that we were on our way back to Aamchi Mumbai.
I must say, Goa, with its mighty Sea, good-natured people, and its proximity to other huge cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, is really attractive, enticing, and fascinating.
There is something soothing about Goa. For a writer, it’s the best place to live. The surroundings are quite, serene and peaceful. Goa, I’m sure, would alleviate your mental agony, and make you feel that life is worth living.
Thus, we concluded our journey; it was a thrilling experience, at least for me. Now, as I finish writing this, I am missing Goa a lot.
P.S.: I could have written a lot more, but as it is, it already looks very daunting. I don’t want to bore my readers, and definitely my blog is not a book.