On top, decorations at the wedding; (Below) Me at Palolem beach on new year
Goa: 31st December/ 1st January, 2010 Reached Goa at around 10 on new year eve. Well, it's the last day of 2011 and the midnight clock seems to be tickling on the heat in Goa. On the way, the bus broke down several times and finally reaching Goa exudes a sense of relief. After undergoing a series of travails and untoward circumstances, the passengers alighted at Panjim station and we could breathe for reaching at least. First time in Goa and that too on 31st December. Well, what does it hold as one arrives at the bus station at Panjim? It was damn humid and I was sweating like hell. It's quite a departure from the cold prevailing in Pune. One can see bikers waiting to ferry passengers to various parts of Goa. Time to find a hotel to stay in Goa. I am accosted by one of the touts who told me that today I won't seal a room for less than 4,000 bucks. No way, I am going shed out such a huge amount. It's new year. So what? Time to light a cigarette and think of possibilities in Goa.It reminds me that a dear friend of mine, Dass babu gave me a phone number for staying arrangement. I called Khan saab who owns the place. He told me that the room will cost 2000 bucks but since I'm a friend of captain Doshara, another wonderful guy which I gonna meet there, he'll charge me 500 bucks less. Bingo! He told me that to get there it will take me some 2 hours which it did. I inquire as to how to reach Canacona, Palolem beach which is 70 km away from Panaji and to get there, one need to change two buses.First, one need to go to Margao bus station and I traveled for more than one hour. I dozed off in the bus since I traveled for 14 hours from Pune to Goa. Actually, it took me more than one hour to reach Margao. From there, you need to take a bus to Canacona. Mind you, boss. Traveling in the local bus is like getting caught in the war zone. It is a minibus which keep on taking passengers from every point and getting out of the bus is such a tough task. Finally, I reached Canacona in another 90 minutes, all tired. Now, the main task is to reach Palolem.The resort Ojas residency is situated near a masjid. I finally got a motorbike who ferries passengers from one point to another. He charged 30 bucks which is fair enough. I met captain Doshera who was cooking food in the kitchen. Bang on! He instantly recognized me and we had some nice Indian food which he prepared. Before that, we had tea. I realized that I forgot to bring a pair of short for the journey and went for a walk near the beach and got one for 200 bucks. I slept for a while. After I woke up, I had some beer and was chatting with captain and Khan saab. The latter who is a native of Mumbai was telling us how he had grown, watching movie stars and they would come for shooting near his locality. Later, we went for a walk at Palolem beach during the night. It was dark and the short cut way that we took were full of impediments. As you go down the alley inhabited by trees, heavy stones you have to exercise caution or else you may injure yourself heavily. Finally we reached the spot, guided by the tiny light on the cellphone. The atmosphere on the beach is lively with foreign tourists having a big party on the beach. One can see the shacks, restaurants populated by customers coupled with blazing music. New Year has truly arrived. The amazing fireworks is simply something to die for. Palolem is soo peaceful that you may just crash on the beach. On our way back, Captain visited one of his acquaintance, a doctor from Pune who owns a resort at Palolem beach. He invited us for a drink or two. We met an elderly Rajasthani couple. The guy is a businessman and the wife hails from Nagpur, our own Maharashtra. Must say, we had a stimulating conversation on the economic progress made by Sri Lanka, shares on the stock exchange, Indo-Pak conflict and corruption. Certainly. 31st December was worth. Nah! I dint stay awake till midnight coz I was so fucking tired. I dozed off in the room happy not be sloshed. Yeah! For the first time in my life I wasn't drunked. I was on a different trip altogether. I didn't go to Goa for sex, getting sloshed or partying heavily. I wanted peace and hence my choice of staying at Palolem Period. Woke up on 1st January 2012 in Goa and attended the phone messages and wished back pals and mates. I took a walk in the village surrounded the beach. I just love the simple life of locals in the southern part of Goa. I shot the small rural life on my modest camera and the huts are a sheer delight to one's eyes. Trust me on that. Went for a walk at around 9 a.m at Palolem beach and yet again, my modest camera was at work. It is a beautiful day and I wasn't gonna miss it for anything on earth. I realized that life is beautiful. Decide to experience the other part of the city and in the afternoon I set off to Panaji. I boarded the jam-packed local bus towards Margao but unfortunately the bus broke down in the middle of the road. The passengers got down in the country side surrounded by coconut trees on both sides of the road. We could easily have gone for a picnic. Unfortunately, the second bus took a very long time to come. I was going with the flow and not once, I got pissed off. Surprisingly, there was no anger in me on the first day of the year despite waiting for two hours. Finally, the bus and managed to get a seat, not before waiting for fellow travelers to get down. Got a message from Miss M. whose best friend was getting married, Hey try n come for d wedding receptn if u ca..starts from ..Penha de franca hall, brittona....Its the wedding of the best friend which I soo wanted to attend since I've never attended a catholic wedding. I was wondering whether I'll reach the venue in time and that too in a new city where I'm one day old. Finally, reached Madgaon rushed ticketing window to buy the bus ticket to Panjim where there was a huge queue. I was wondering here it goes for another hour travel to Panjim. Thankfully, reached Panjim station in some 40 minutes and boarded a bike who drove me to Miramar to check in a hotel. God was on my side. I checked in a single room at Belo Horozonte for 1000 bucks which is not bad since its 1st January. After ordering a cuppa chai, I took a shower and arranged for a car who will take me to the venue which is not very far. The car charged me 600 bucks which is quite expensive. But, I didn't care since I was living life in Goa. Zindagi Na Milega Dobara....Live life to the fullest. As I travelled in the car, I saw the ferry stop, casinos which are sheer delight to travelers.Hmm! Lucky Goans! The city is well connected with state of art road infrastructural facilities. In one glance, Goa is a well-planned city coupled with beautiful churches, Forts and wonderful beaches. One must be in Goa every two years at least. It's a holiday completely worth. It's such a wonderful break. I reached the wedding reception as a bib bulayi baraati..oops is it so???? I wasn't invited by the groom and came from the girl's side. I was welcomed by Miss M who was by the way looking very pretty in her dress and her stole,of course...lol. I was introduced to some uncle and aunties at the venue who are very nice people by the way. The bride beautifully dressed in the traditional christian attire by the side of the groom in his black suit. As the guests stood to greet them, they performed a dance for the guests. This is one of the most beautiful part of the wedding which I guess is part of the christian wedding.The hall was nicely decorated with the wedding cake, balloons and the design laid on the wedding card was re-created on the roof of the hall. It's a beautiful heart and atop was two lil birdies pecking. Wow! How a nice card design was transformed into such a beautiful object. The best was yet to come!!! There was band who performed at the wedding and the compere was amazing as the guests were treated to beautiful Goan music and dance. I feel ashamed of not knowing the basic dance movements. But, then there was a saviour in the name of Ryan who propelled me to dance and since there were no awkwardness and we gyrated to the dance numbers. Yeah, I danced to my favourite chartbuster of 2011, Chamak Challo..voila! Met some damn cool guys in the party,. And, the girls were very pretty as well. The food was amazing and for some reason or another, I went for veg..that too me..a complete Ghas Phoos (Non veggie obsessed). Yeah, I didn't take the slightest drop of alcohol. 2012, the year of change dunno!! As the party drew to an end, called the hotel driver who for some reason or another, didn't want to come and pick me up. One of the dudes gave me a lift to the hotel. It was an amazing new year at Goa.Life is beautiful.
PS: I took three days to put this post. Watch out for the second part in Goa