Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa is here...

Happy Birthday Jesus

Christmas - the day when Jesus came to this world. One of the most famous and important festival celebrate all across the world. Its that time of the year when diets are meant to be forgotten and you are supposed to feast on cakes, sweets and how can I forget my favorite Goan Wine???
Having said all this... Christmas is not all about indulging in parties. Rather it is about sharing with someone who is not as fortunate as you are. And there is one person who is expected to do all this good work. Our very own Santa. Do you know Santa?? Well... St. Nicholas, popularly known as Santa Claus, was a son born to wealthy parents. However, after his parents death, he donated all his wealth amongst the needy, the poor and the sick.
Known for his affection towards children, he visits them every Christmas Eve. Children hang their stockings with their wishlist expecting that Santa will fill it up with goodies in the middle of the night. As Santa can't be everywhere.. we all know that it is the parents who are Santas of millions of children across the globe.
Don't you wish you could do the same today??? Like - make a wishlist and wait for Santa to fulfill all your wishes. How would your wishlist be like?

Do think about it... Maybe Santa reads this and your wishes come true... Merry Christmas to you all...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Aati kya Khandala???

Back after a long time… Wasn’t hibernating… It’s just that life got a little busy. Also, couldn’t find anything new to write about… But after a long time… the Animal Kingdom set out for a trek again… Thanks to ME…

I can see some twitched noses and flaring nostrils… But truth cannot be concealed under a shroud... and rains cannot be held by a cloud… *raising an eyebrow* Wow!!! That’s a nice Denzilism… am I not sounding more like a narcissist today???

OK guys… Enough of Me, Myself and Denzil. You can ignore me for some time now while I take you on a trip to Rajmachi in Khandala… Aye.. Aati kya Khandala??? Khandala – A place made quite famous by an equally famous song sung by Amir Khan.

How did trek to Khandala happen??? A conference call, a bunch of confused animals, a mute spectator (Tarun), a amplifier - Atul (Vicks ki Goli) and the STD booth owner - who else but me???? 60 minutes into the conference call… and we were yet to finalize the group who was ready to come for the trek… Leave alone the place... That was yet undecided...

Finally at around midnight… after 60 minutes of uneventful talk... we decided the place – Rajmachi- somewhere near Khandala. I just had 3 hours of precious sleep to catch on. My Titan alarm woke me up at 5:30 in the morning. My mom was a little surprised and more confused. As usual, I chose not to keep her informed till the last minute. How could I inform her when I myself did not know about the trek until 4 hours back????

On my way to the TMT bus stop, I called my Bawa and Tarun and as expected, they turned up late. What was surprising is Bawa turned up without even a bag on his shoulders. Now, how was one expected to survive the heat and the tough trek journey without even a bottle of water???

Deepika, the lone gal in our group had decided to accompany us for the trek. I must admit that we warned her in advance and gave her a list of "To Do" and "What not to Do" when with us.
1. Thou shall not do any nakhras when with us.
2. Thou shall eat in whichever hotel or dhaba we chose to.
3. Thou shall not complain of dust or heat.
4. Thou shall keep walking and ask no questions.

We reached Thane station at 7:20 a.m, and thought that we missed the Intercity Express by 5 minutes. But little did we know that long distance trains seldom arrive on time. So, tickets were booked for Koyna Express. Needless to say... the journey from Thane to Khandala was fun and frolic all the way. It was made even more amusing by calls from "Vicks ki Goli" every 15 minutes.

Atul had missed the train and every 15 minutes he kept asking the same question, "Where have you guys reached? Should I leave now? I will catch u guys at Khandala..." Finally, after an hour he left for Khandala all alone to meet us at Rajmachi.

Khandala Railway Station

Walking all the way... soon we reached the famous Tiger Valley. This place offers a breathtaking view of the Mumbai Pune Expressway. What a marvellous piece of engineering!!! You can see a combination of tunnels and fly overs.

Pune Expressway

A 15 mins walk later.. we came acoss a small pathway which took us towards a valley.

Betal hanging on the tree

A scene from "Yeh Dosti Hum nahi Chodenge..."

Soon, we spotted a cool and cosy place. We decided to wait for Vicks ki Goli here. However, he was still a long way away. So, we decided to continue the adventure further. As luck would have it, the road through the valley and the jungle came to an abrupt end. The only way possible was to turn down and take the railway tracks.

Wannabe Models???

Walking on the railway tracks running through the jungle is not what you get to see everyday. Raliway tracks and wannabe models make a good combination and you have the digital camera flashing every minute. I bet Naveen missed this one. Just next to the tracks was a steep staircase running to the bottom of a small valley. Myself, Tarun and Deepika made our way downstairs and came across a fallen tree which once provided shade but today obstructed the path and made a lovely background for a snap.

Some snaps later, it was time to call Atul again. He was still a long way off. So, we resumed our journey towards what we thought was the fort - FORT RAJMACHI. Making our way through the dried grass and green jungles we saw a glimpse of the "Fort". The view was something similar to a child's painting. A hill with some steps running towards the top. Exactly the same. Anna, Tarun and Salli went up the Hill...

To the Top

Steps on the Hill

The view at the top surprised us all. There was no fort here nor any caves. Just a magnificient mammoth weathered rock stood there like a wall blocking our way. The view from the top was amazing. You could see the rails running below through the hill and as small river running somewhere in the jungle. We also spotted a water fall spouting water a far distance away.

View from the Top

This was the place to be. Serene and quiet. A place where you can spend hours on end. After spending some time here and enacting a scane from Sholay - Bawa played Jai, Anna - Gabbar and Deepika - Basanti, it was time to head back. Mr. Late Latif Atul had taken all the efforts for the trek and had finally reached the Tiger Valley.

When we reached there, he was busy making golas as the golawala was missing from the scene. What a sight it was!!! But on second thoughts Atul can try out his hand as Golawala. He makes some good Golas.

Myself, Anna and Atul with the Gola wala in the background

After having our lunch (it was more of snacks) - Misal Pav, Uttapas, Wada Sambhar, Appy, Frooti - was all the food the hotel stocked, we decided to rest our tired legs under the canopy of some beautiful trees in the adjacent garden inhabitated by some amusing monkeys.

The monkeys befriended the Animal Kingdom without much efforts and one even managed to grab Bhutta from Salli's hands as a token of friendship. According to Bawa - that monkey was Kabile ka Sardar - Leader of the Gang.

Cliff View

We watched the sunset, Shahrukh's bungalow - from the garden and some beautiful gals in the garden. We could have spent much more time here but since, we had a train to catch, we set out on our way home. Bawa bought some guavas, berries and some bhuttas for the journey.

Our - Keep Walking - mantra brought us to the Khandala Railway Station. The train we were reckoned to catch had departed on time. (Our theorem - Long distance trains never arrive on time - had been proved wrong). The next train was scheduled after 90 minutes. So, we returned back to the highway to catch some luxury bus. But God had some better plans for us. He sent us an Toyota Innova. Paying just Rs. 50 per head we arrived back in Mumbai.

Smiles all around

Moral of the trek - Life is like MTV- ENJOY

Monday, October 30, 2006


J U N G L E E S???

Year 2000 - A batch of 12th standard guys was just passed out of college. This was the time when almost everyone had their eyes set for higher studies. Some dreamt of being doctors, some wanted to carry on their family business, some just wanted to experience what college life is all about and then there were some like me who wanted to take on the world, experience extreme torture, undergo agony, feel excruciating pain, get tormented.

But I was ready to take the challenge head on. Not because I was fearless but because I was unaware of the perils involved in my decision. And I was not the only brave man who made this decision. There were thousands like me. Yes!!! I am proud to say that I chose engineering over all options given to me.

And as they say… the battle is not won by brave men alone; you need armies to trounce your enemies. So, we formed an army in college called the Animal Kingdom. 20 animals - all from different species.

I still remember those days when we tacked together in our matchbox sized canteen more famous for its hideouts after bunking lectures than for its oily food. Those were the days when we had to join 2 long tables to make place for our group to dine together. Be it canteen or any hotel; we had to wait for our turn to dine because there was hardly any eatery… that could accommodate so many animals on one table.

However, the hotel managers took all these efforts because one thing was guaranteed. At the end of it all… our bills would surely bring a smile on his face. The amount and the speed with which the food disappeared from our plates was a testimony to the fact that we were voracious eaters like piranhas.

We don’t believe in sharing food. If sharing food is your philosophy then I can assure you that you will always go hungry if you dine with us. Food for us is something which has to be fought for. I recollect those days in college, when we literally use to fight for tiffins. With a chapatti in one hand, and other hand ready to grab whatever food came in the way, it was not one of the pleasant sights to watch. It was more of a scene straight from some famine struck remote villages in Africa.

The way we ate our food, it would not hard to believe if someone mistook we ate food only once a week. But then, this is how we loved eating our tiffins – like Junglees. We were just imitating our forefathers - the cavemen.

Now, it’s a different story altogether. With most of the animals scattered across the globe, our group is not the same anymore.

Anil - Wellington

Ameya and Kandu – NY

Tarun – San Diego

Manprit – Northampton

Rehan – Scotland

Bawa - Pune

Nirav - Ahmedabad

Cedric - Pune

We miss you guys. We know that you miss Mumbai and you miss us. But, believe me; you have got a golden opportunity to give your careers a flying start. Make the full use of it and be in touch. Do keep calling. Dollars aur pounds ki fikar chodd do... Yeh toh sab haath ki mail hain... ;-D

Friday, October 20, 2006

Love Guru

LOVE – A word which everyone loves speaking or reading about. A word which everyone has experienced. Thought, the definition may change from person to person, but the essence will remain the same.

You might wonder… what makes Denzil deviate from his usual Taang Khichayee and write about Love and that too in the most unusual place like Animal Kingdom. Well… lots of reasons actually…

- I couldn’t think of any other topic…
- A romantic song playing on my PC… (Tum Mile…)
- Season of love (Its kind of contagious... Loveria)

I can go on and on… But now, that I have given a decent justification… I don’t think I need to convince you further… ;-)

So, back to the topic… What is Love??? (Socho Socho)

Here are some definitions I thought are very beautiful and touching...

“Love is when you commit a mistake but your Mom just gives you a tight hug when you say Sorry.”
- Janice (6 years)

“Love is when even after celebrating 50 years of marriage, grandmother still blushes when grandfather tells her that she looks so beautiful…”
- George (Son)

“Love is when my dad brings flowers for my mom just to see a smile on her face…”
- Rose (18 years)

No book can describe the experince of real love... It can only be felt by the 2 beating hearts...

So go on my friends… Proclaim your love… Go and tell that special person in your life how much you love him/her…. It doesn't matter what their reply is. A sweet poem which says it all...

I want to tell her,
I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends,
I love her but I'm just too shy,
and I don't know why.

Read it here. Courtesy: Tarun

Love is all about making the other person feel good... Go out and spread love… every person needs it… Its time to show the other person what Love is all about… You don’t have to take much efforts… A small compliment and a smile is all the armor you need…

HAPPY DIWALI all my dear friends.... Wishing U a Sparkling and Crackling Festival of Lights... Forget your diet and binge on sweets...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Miss U Mate...

Brave, tough, courageous, fearless, caring and loving – a few words that best describe a guy who often risked his life to rescue the four legged animals, the sharks, crocodiles, reptiles, the birds and every mute animal you can think of.

Steve Irwin – the crocodile hunter as he was popularly known wasn’t a hunter in the real life. Known for his daredevil stunts to rescue his friends in distress, it’s a pity that he passed away while filming one of those underwater films.

I still vividly remember, the first time I saw Steve on Animal Planet on his TV program, the Crocodile Hunter. I was quite amazed the way he handled snakes and other reptiles. “Isn’t she beautiful???” was one of his favorite dialogues whenever he came in contact with his wild animal friends.

He made me see animals and reptiles in a totally different perspective. His love for animals was legendary, handed over to him by his parents and in turn he has handed it over to his 2 kids and American wife Terri.

Though there is a lot to write about this man, my words won't do justice to the work he did. He was a crusader who took up their cause against their unnatural predators – HUMANS. Its still sad that people are ignorant of the great work he did.

Miss U Mate… Thanks for all that you did for the Animal Kingdom!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chak De Phatte

NOTE: This post has been written in English, Hindi and Punjabi.

Janam din diyan wadhayian Paaje… Chak De Phatte… This is how we would have greeted our dear friend Sardar… complete with birthday bumps if he was in Mumbai today… But he managed to escape to UK for his higher studies… Bach gaya tu Sardar

Sardar is a man of few words… He doesn’t speak… He only laughs… Just like Siddhu… A small sher for our Birthday Boy (Boy is an understatement .. Poora Sand hai yeh)
Aaj Sardar yahan hota toh Iss baat pe hasta …
Aaj agar Sardar yahan hota toh Uss baat pe hasta…
Aaj agar Sardar yahan hota toh Bin baat ke bhi hasta

Like all Punjab da Mundas.. he is loyal fan of the Deol movies. Loves to watch all the movies starring Sunny Paaji. Another close connection he shares with the Deol famly is that he resembles Bobby.. Bobby Darling nahi yaar...Bobby Deol…

Some of the limited Sardar’s activities include Pushing and shoving people around him… Like a monster truck jiske brakes fail ho gaye hon .. Itna Wadda Hoye see.. Parr itnni si bhi akkal nahi uske naal… but still behaves like a small kid… Ameya warned him not to do the same when he is in UK coz the Cop may hand over a ticket… However… Ameya forgot to mention that tickets mean Fines… Now what if Sardar pushes a Cop and tells him… I want a ticket of Sunny Paaji’s movie… Sometimes I do feel sorry for the Englishmen... But then they need to payback for what they did to India 50 years back... Chak de Phatte Paaji

Jokes apart… Sardar… we wish you all the best… Tere naal Good Luck Hoya See… Keep in touch… (Choote Rehna) hehehe... Hass Sardar Hass

P.S. Sardar's new look after his return from UK...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What is Animal Kingdom???

No matter how much you hate
No matter how much you ignore
If he/she still make you feel warm
Celebrate everyday as "Friendship Day".

This is a recap by Animal demand. For those who found it boring to go all the way back and read my earlier posts; this is why you are reading this. Also, what could have be a better way of bringing up my 50th post... Yippie.... I have reached the magical number "Pacchass Posts..." I never thought I could get this far... But thanks all my friends I have...

This post is also dedicated to our dear Kandu on the auspicious occasion of his Birthday... An exclusive song I have written for him...

Hum bhi agar Kandu Hote...
Hum bhi agar Kandu Hote...
Naam hamara hota Fundoo Paandu...
Aur Khaane ko milte Ladoo...
Aur Duniya Kehti...
Happy Birthday Kandu...

Who are WE??? And why do WE call ourselves the Animal Kingdom??? Well, "WE" comprises of all the names listed below.

This Animal Kingdom also known as Kingdom Animalia consists of 15 endangered species. Each specie is one of a kind. Though all of them show different characteristics, they show a tendency to stay together. All of them can be found in groups. The most amazing fact about this kingdom is that there are no territory fights reported between them. Scientific studies have proved that each of the specie is very unique.

Though there is less interaction of some species at the present but still they are in constant touch with each other. Some of the species still meet on weekends and have a great time. For more information on each of these species read the classification below. These species can be spotted anywhere in Mumbai or sometimes near any tourist spots in India. Read further to find more about them.

Note: All the information given is true to the best of our knowledge. We reserve all the rights for the information provided. Reproduction of this data by any means is strictly prohibited. Do so at your own risk.

GENUS: Abhijit

AKA: Good Boy, Shahrukh

Likes to call himself as: Ssssharukh

MOST USED LINE: “Abbe aye…”

TRAITS: Only calls up for any computer related issues (I and Anna are his trouble shooting engineers)
Impresses gals with his blue eyes

SPOTTED: In Yahoo Chat Rooms flirting away to glory

ACHIEVEMENTS: Hmmm... I am thinking...

Our Vision After 10 Years: Acting in a film as a duplicate of Ssshrukh Khan


AKA: Salli, Bulli, Chulbulli and rarely Sheikh Chilli

Likes to call himself as: John Abraham

MOST USED LINE: “Vikhroli Gaon nahi hai”

TRAITS: Slender and heighted like a Bamboo
Likes to enquire about others girl friends
Eager to switch his current job but scared of his mentor Mr. Gala
Likes to take Panga with Rehan (only when he is not around) Uske saamne Bolti Bandh
Master in changing topics and a good actor of "THINKER
Inventor of a new language which starts with S... Saddi, Sasma, Sesky
Fragile and delicate body (Please handle with care)
Official Bakra of the group
Likes to brag in company of girls (For more info contact Manager)
Sweet talker when he wants any info about a girl

SPOTTED : Vikhroli ki Galiyon mein and Mulund ki Waadiyon mein

ACHIEVEMENTS: Still survives after being tormented and subjected to third degree torture from the group.

Our Vision After 10 Years: Still trying to figure out how did Manager impress so many girls

GENUS: Ameya

AKA: Thakur, Manager

Likes to call himself as: Arjun Rampal (Do you remember the fashion show—Jaan Leva?)

MOST USED LINE: “Sorry Yaar…..” (In Amrikan accent) and Bhendi

TRAITS: Is the common link between the guys and gals (Mandwali Badshah)
Believes in saying Sorry and ending all grudges
Was the unofficial stud of the college (Hope the gals agree…)
King of Taang Dena- only for guys (Calls up at the last moment to say he is unavailable)

SPOTTED: NY ke sadkon pe eyeing Firangi babes (Sorry Kandu)

ACHIEVEMENTS: Managed to solve the ‘misunderstandings’ between the guys and gals

Our Vision After 10 Years: Author of the best selling book “Managing Gals made easy by Thakur”



AKA: Prod, Bawa, Nature Boy, Naik Naik and Kamzor Kali

Likes to call himself as: Devgan


TRAITS: The delicate darling of the group (Hence Kamzor Kali)
Single handedly cut a 7 lever Godrej lock with a hack saw blade in just under 15 minutes
Requires thorough ventilation for survival (Needs all the windows open at night)
Stares at any girl with mouth wide open till she is out of sight
Defines Babe as any object which even remotely looks like a girl (Even aunties qualify)

SPOTTED: Trying hard to decipher the coding language in Patni (Somebody please give him a welding job instead)

ACHIEVEMENTS: Inspite being from the Production field (who have never seen computers), managed to find an IT job for himself – Proved that Computers is very easy.

Our Vision After 10 Years: U-shaped Hacksaw Blade Baron and a big name in the market for inventing the U-Shaped Hacksaw blades for unlocking the computer



AKA: Jhurani, Jumanji

Likes to call himself as: ----

MOST USED LINE: “Bus kya yaar…”

TRAITS: Receding hairline and exceeding paunch (Beer belly) makes him a balanced gentleman Believes in ordering something different from the group (Learnt a lesson doing so)
Fond of Aloos (Potatoes in any form)
Smuggled a pressure cooker full of Pappads to New Zealand

SPOTTED: NA (This specie was last seen at the Mumbai International Airport last year when he was flying to New Zealand)

ACHIEVEMENTS: Undisputed champion of ‘Mind Games’

Our vision after 10 years: Married to the most beautiful girl in New Zealand



AKA: Kandu, Kandu and Kandu

Likes to call himself as: Arun (To keep himself reminding of his REAL name)

MOST USED LINE: “Mera naya joke suno…”

TRAITS: Inventor of the worst Bakwaas suicidal PJs
Host of many get togethers at his infamous "Hotel Kandu International"
Cannot resist the sight of water. Strips down to minimum when he sights the beach.
Insists on listening to interesting stories at night
Works out with bricks and stones if no gym is unavailable
His spiky hair which is erect in the morning start drooping by the time the sun sets making him prone to asking Baburao type questions
Always lies to his Appa when going out on a trip (Alibaug and Goa included). Instead gives the most Ghatiya reasons like I am going on a college trip
Cannot take any crap about his very good and dear friend Thakur

SPOTTED: Playing imaginary soccer matches on Sunday. This specie will soon be spotted in NY from Monday with his Pati Parmeshwar Thakur.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Undisputed champ of Bakwaas PJs

Our vision after 10 years: Still trying to convince people to hear his PJS



AKA: Gassey, Professor

Likes to call himself as: Dexter

MOST USED LINE: “Linux yeah hai….. Linux woh hai” (Our question: “Tu Kaun Hai???”)

TRAITS: Most hyperactive
At the center of all plans
Possesses the capability of bombarding the surroundings at will (Demo seen in Goa)
Extremely loyal to any brand that he uses
Likes to talk technical stuff (which goes over our head)
Likes to hate Bill Gates and all his inventions
Engaging people in childish activities
Immensely talented and has the potential to confuse the best of the scholars or IITians around (NASA please note)

SPOTTED: Teaching Linux to people older than him

ACHIEVEMENTS: Has won every technical debate till date (Undisputed champ)

Our vision after 10 years: Inventor of a new Operating System which wont be user-friendly at all


GENUS: Cedric

AKA: Shatru, shot Gun

Likes to call himself as: Gillespie


TRAITS: Doesn’t like to share his chewing gums unless you are his really close friend
Rarely seen without a cap
Honest guy who doesn't like to cheat (Yeh baat alag hai... once he gave his full semester on chits) but the next semester... he cleared 12 papers in one go without any help (Ab toh Khush mere bhai??)

SPOTTED: Chewing gum with a cap on his head

ACHIEVEMENTS: Holds the distinction of carrying the most number of chits (142) in the engineering examination hall complete with index and page number for each chit

Our vision after 10 years: Honored by Wrigleys Chewing gum for eating its 1,0000000000th gum


GENUS: Deepika

AKA: Bhabhi (I hope you don't mind...) Waise bhi you should have a mind to mind

Likes to call himself as: Deeeeeeeepkia (Note: 8 'e's to be inserted between D and P),
Kameeeeeeeeni (Note: 8 E's again)

MOST USED LINE: "Main tum ladko ke saath tiki hoon yeh kitni badi baat hai..."

TRAITS: Warm hearted, friendly, enthusiastic, energetic, enigma (Just added thse words to make her feel better) Now for the truth...
Pesters you until her things get done... (Even my former manager was better...)
Thodi si Senti aur poori Menti hai... hohohoDoston ki Dost Aur Dushmano ki Dushman.... ;-)

SPOTTED: Online 24/7 checking the Scrap Book.... Khud ka nahi re....

ACHIEVEMENTS: The last girl standing in the Animal Kingdom even though all are great Kameenas

Our vision after 10 years: Married to her DREAM MAN... (Should I name him... Should I name him not.... Ek Ladke ka Dil... I mean bahut se ladkon ka Dil Toot Jayega...... heheh)


GENUS: Denzil

AKA: Denzi, Pao

Likes to call himself as: Devil, Roberto Pawlo

MOST USED LINE: “Chalega...”

TRAITS: “Chehre pe mat jaao..Apni aakal lagaao”. Looks innocent but far from being so.
Got those mischievous look in his eyes… (Gals say so…)
Always up to something… got an answer to every damn question…always a funny one…

SPOTTED: Working HARD in Accenture

ACHIEVEMENTS: Cleared Mechanics I and II in 5 attempts each (Now…. Isn’t that a great achievement?)

Our vision after 10 years: Making sine waves in the Telecommunication World



AKA: Bababusa, Glen baba

Likes to call himself as: Shiamak

MOST USED LINE: “I still love her”

TRAITS: Spending hours on the phone telling his love story
Adding others Orkut friends (read girls) to his friends list by telling them – I am Denzil’s friend. Gals be careful
Proclaims to each and everyone that he loves only one girl (Won't name her though...)

SPOTTED: Gyrating to Ganesh Hegde’s moves in Shiamak’s dance classes

ACHIEVEMENTS: Managed to impress his Office Crowd with his Hrithik moves in an Office Festival

Our vision after 10 years: Choreographing a Bollywood song for Hrithik or Govinda with all those jhatka matkas and aada teda moves


GENUS: Manpreet

AKA: Sardar… Only Sardar and sometimes Bobby (Deol not Darling) *wink*

Likes to call himself as: Wasim Akram

MOST USED LINE: Hahahahahah (Doesn’t talk… Only laughs)

TRAITS: Believes in childish activities like pushing and running (Lately escaped public dhulai when he collided into an aunty while doing so)
Goes on a rampage if someone talks aisa waisa about his hmmm… Girl Friend

SPOTTED: Driving his OMNI and evading cattle in the villages of Khar

ACHIEVEMENTS: NIL (If he succeeds in behaving like a grown up that will be an achievement in itself).

Our vision after 10 years: Married (love or arranged can’t say) to some girl and pushing his kids and running around the house


GENUS: Naveen

AKA: Navandi (derived from Suppandi), Connecting & Builder

Likes to call himself as: Builder

MOST USED LINE: “I’m the man of the moment”

TRAITS: Please give him some time to connect before u expect an answer from him...
Loves to see himself in every picture clicked
Loves admiring his body in front of the mirror for hours
Is the only fitness freak in the group…
Has very good biceps and is currently working on 6 pack abs…

SPOTTED: Doing his second set of crunches in his gym

ACHIEVEMENTS: Gals in a better position to answer this one.

Our vision after 10 years: Having a ‘V’ shaped body with 6 pack abs and 21” biceps (Most likely within a year)


GENUS: Nirav

AKA: Gala

Likes to call himself as: Gala

MOST USED LINE: “Paise ka mat soch…” (Even though he does)

TRAITS: Believes in Money is everything (Sold Old College Files right from the College Labs and then sold off the inside papers to the Raddiwala)
Gutsy guy who takes all the risks for a friend (Anna would agree)
Cannot express himself when in excited state
Can't resist gals in any form (Poora Ladkiyon ka Deewana)

SPOTTED: Practicing his management skills in Ahmedabad

ACHIEVEMENTS: Managed to impress a gal in 2 days flat (Can’t give away the details)

Our vision after 10 years: Ahmedabad ki logon ki seva karnewala Chief Minister


GENUS: Parag

AKA: Ambani, Parya, Bharat Shah

Likes to call himself as: Software Developer

MOST USED LINE: “Bahar Jaana Hai Yaar…”

TRAITS: Ali ki Maarna… (Doesn’t everyone just love doing this???)
Possessive about his hair (Closes all the windows of the train when traveling to avoid messing his hair by the wind)
Always seen in designer clothes even if he is going for some classes
Loves Mulund more than his motherland
Is a very Safe driver even on the tough Mumbai streets. Follows Traffic Rules to the T.

SPOTTED: Attending some software classes or a meeting

ACHIEVEMENTS: Overtook a BEST bus in his Maruti 800 cramped with 7 people on the way to Juhu

Our vision after 10 years: Owning the 51% stakes of Reliance and posing for the camera like the late Mr. Dhirubhai with his chin under his fingers


GENUS: Prashant

AKA: Officer, Public

Likes to call himself as: Uncle

MOST USED LINE: “Chal be.....”

TRAITS: Has this uncanny knack of uttering the most pakao PJ’s at the wrong time (When gals are around)
Tries to be the best photographer around (He seriously needs training in photography)
Loses his senses upon sighting a gal (Now with guys all around him in the army… God forbid kya hoga???)
Has driven the car on footpaths and dividers without killing any pedestrians (An immensely talented Night Driver) – Salman are you listening???

SPOTTED: Undergoing training at the Army Camp in Delhi

ACHIEVEMENTS: Proved physically fit by the Indian Army even with his knee cap, appendix, irregular heart beat and lower back problem

Our vision after 10 years: Sporting a thick mustache with 12 medals on his chest and starting his each and every sentence with… “In 2007, when I was in the Indian Army…”


GENUS: Pritam

AKA: Pakya

Likes to call himself as: Johnny Bravo, Playboy

Most used line: “Haan Kya?”

TRAITS: Has immense talent in impressing gals over the phone (Also tried other communication methods like messenger but was unsuccessful)
Is the undisputed GURU of Mumbaiya (Punter) language {Tapri, naka, gacchhi, chito chat and the long list continues……..}
Invents best one-liners you can ever come across
Summons waiters by clapping his hands like the good old Nawabs
Knows no area outside Dombivli

SPOTTED: Wearing the Skeleton Tantra T-Shirts at tapris or nakas of Dombivli

ACHIEVEMENTS: He has done it all… seen it all…

Our vision after 10 years: Happily married to an only daughter of a rich businessman


GENUS: Rehan

AKA: Jaanwar, Ravaan

Likes to call himself as: Salman

MOST USED LINE: “Teri maa ki…”

TRAITS: A strong believer of ‘Action speaks louder than Words’ (Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante)
This belief gets stronger when it comes to Ali.
Always gets his work done…by gaali or by Ali
Is the official Poongi Bajaoer of the group (Holds the Group Record for the most Poongis of Ali)

SPOTTED: Near Bandstand or anywhere near Reclamation (Note: Can also be seen in places where there is utter chaos)


Our vision after 10 years: Hired by an international call center to collect dues from defaulters (Can use his uncensored language)


GENUS: Sanjeet

AKA: Bhaiya and Woh (From Pati Patni and Woh fame)

Likes to call himself as: --- (He doesn't get the chance to call himself anything. We just don't let him speak)


TRAITS: Suffers from blushes when one stares at him
Has recently taking a liking to trendy T-shirts and Jeans

SPOTTED: On Kandivali platform No. 1

ACHIEVEMENTS: Yet to snatch the Patni status from Kandu (Pata nahi.. Thakur iss praani se kab impress hoga??? – Thakurji kuch kar yaar iska)

Our vision after 10 years: Married (Happily or unhappily) to a gal of his Guruji’s (fathers’) choice with 1 dozen Junior Sanjeetwas (most likely by the end of next year... not children.. atleast the marriage)


GENUS: Shirish

AKA: Anna, Shetty

Likes to call himself as: Anna


TRAITS: Taang Khinchne mein Maahir
Possesses a good sense of humor (Uses it to a very good effect)
Changing jobs at will (Note for his managers: If you believe in loyalty, get a dog)
Sabki Raaton ki Neend Haraam Karna (Many are still unaware of his 4:00 a.m. show)
Doesn’t like to be formal or be respected (Does not believe in Izzat)
Believes only in arranged Marriage (Gals… Sorry to disappoint you…)

SPOTTED: Searching profiles on Orkut

ACHIEVEMENTS: Orkut world ka betaaj baadshah

Our vision after 10 years: Inventor of a dating site called Annapanna.


GENUS: Tarun

AKA: Ambe, Mand Comps, Adopted by Telecom, Ambelal, Mango

Likes to call himself as: (Girls--- your suggestions are welcome)

MOST USED LINE: Doesn’t talk… Only sends multicast SMSes

TRAITS: Fond of Eating and Sleeping (Our group’s Kumbakaran) Gals here is a tip for you… The way to Tarun’s heart is through his stomach... (Hurry up gals…. Offer open till Tarun lasts) Loves driving cars (Be it Maruti 800 or Scorpio) Yet to drive Rehan’s Innova ;-)
Loves any kind of friendship with gals… (I mean Phone, Chat, etc.) So, all you gals welcome
Always ACTING busy with one thing or the another
Was the unofficial Casanova of the college (I know all the gals will agree…)

SPOTTED: Mostly seen around with girls (Or should we say that girls are seen around him)

ACHIEVEMENTS: Gained 50 kilos in less than 3 months (and the act continues...)

Our vision after 10 years: Sporting a mature gentleman look with a pot belly and still trying to figure out which girl he should marry…

Friday, July 28, 2006

Rehan Bhai Engineer

4 years....

8 wars....

40 bullets.....

1 Man braved it all....


Rehan must be a Proud man today. Finally, his efforts have paid off. A huge burden has been lifted off his shoulders. I know how it feels when you see your name on the Result Board with the "P" on the extreme right. It implies only one thing for engineers like me. PASSSSSSSSSSS!!!

And when you know that it was the last time you are staring at this result board, the joy is enormous. Its almost like winning the world cup with millions of people watching your every move. Each and every moment of the Engineering days flashes before our eyes. The sleepless nights, the last minute study, the copying in exams, the 40 marks barrier, the VIVAs, the file submissions, the drawing sheets (Rehan won't forget this atleast), the assignments, the term tests, the bunked lectures, the pangas with professors, the train journey all the way to Dombivli, the Lassi at Kailash Parbat, the Paneer Biryani at Jaishree, the First Day Second Show at Madhuban and Pooja.

The Animal Kingdom has been through it all. Now, the Animal Kingdom can beam with pride... Finally ... we all are ENGINEERS....

Engineers Ki Toli (Rehan -the guy in Green)

And guys Rehan was so excited over the phone that he promised a party... Don't believe me... Sachhi!!! Main Kabhi Jhoot Nahi Bolta.. ;-p Toh Rehan Bhai... Kab Apni Wallet Halki Kar Rahe Ho???

Friday, July 14, 2006

Caged for Life

I have always been fascinated by animals. I always wanted to have a pet at home. Be it a dog, a cat or a small rabbit. I would have liked it to be a part of my family. But, my mom doesn't want any four legged creatures in the house.

But, this never bothered me. You won’t be surprised to know that my favourite channel on the TV is the Animal Planet and my favourite shows include "The Crocodile Hunter" and the "Most Extreme." My favourite hosts are Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin from the Animal Planet. And it is no surprise that we group of friends call ourselves the Animal Kingdom.

It’s been around 22 years that I have been staying in Mumbai. There is only one Zoo in the city and I had visited it only once during all these years. So, it was time for me to visit the VEERMATA JIJABAI BHOSLE UDYAN again for the second time. I don't even remember the last time I was there. So, it was time I paid a visit to this amazing place.

My companions were Atul and Glen. The fact is that I and Atul have decided to see all the tourist places in Mumbai. We have seen many people visiting all the places when they visit some new place but the native city is always neglected.

Visiting this Byculla Zoo was a wonderful experience. We first paid visit to the King of the Jungle... the beautiful Lion and then headed towards the other cages. Delight and Grief gripped us at the same time. God did not create these magnificent animals to be enclosed inside cages. They too have a life of their own. They just can't be caged our pleasure.

Its heart breaking to see Hippos swimming about in dirty waters, hyena and leopards stuffed in small cages. One of the most intimidating animals I saw was the Indian Rhino. What a creature it was!!! It resembles more of a Dinosaur than modern specie.

The worst part about the zoos is that some people don't respect these wonderful and magnificent creatures. Throwing stones and teasing these animals is not a act of heroism. I would recommend that the thrown objects at the animals should be asked to retrieve from the enclosures. That should teach them a lesson.

The Byculla zoo also holds many birds including the Pelican, the Peacock, the Peahen, the White Crow, the Parakeets and the Lovebirds. Don’t cage these birds. They own the sky. Let them fly away to freedom. Leave them back in the wild. That’s the place where they belong.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tag ka Kho

Just when I was thinking of dedicating yet another post to my dear Animal Kingdom… there came a bully called Kusum Rohra. Yeah, I hate to admit this but I was forcefully requested into writing this post. I was harassed and tormented. Human Rights Council… Where are you??? Even being a part of Non-tagging gang did not help me. Ok… enough of my sad tales… I present to you my taggie post.

My Accent: Right from Bihari (Laloo), Maharashtrian (Baburao) to American(HHH), I can do it all. I can also manage a little bit of Arab (Sheikh) accent too. Quite a talented guy. Ain’t I? If you don’t believe me ask Bhaiyya or Tarun who are my favorite phone victims. Arre Oh Sasur ka naati.. Accent toh ek Gaddi ka naam hai na bituwa??

Booze: What’s that? Actually I quit boozing when I was in 8th standard (Believe it or not). Even in Goa, I lived on Frooti and Frooti alone. To be frank, I once got tunn nned after drinking 3 bottles of Amul Kool.

Chore I Hate: Hmm... After a lot of consideration I guess its polishing my shoes. I love the rugged looks.

Dog or Cat: Both equally. In fact I love playing with both. (Soccer comes close second) Being a part of the Animal Kingdom, I love all animals. And yeah... There are always exceptions (Does anyone like snakes and rats). I also love when it rains cats and dogs like the way its raining now.

Essential Electronics: My cell phone and my PC. This and this digital camera is also high on my essential electronics wish list. (For your information and action)

Perfume: Though I am not too much into perfumes, but yep… I love the smell of good Old Spice.

Gold or Silver: I am not Bappida nor a part of the Underworld Gang to find myself attracted to these metals.

Home: Mumbai (Meri Jaan) and maybe Goa (Meri Jaaneman) in the near future.

Insomnia: Only lazy bumps suffer from insomnia. This word does not exist for hard working people like me. *wink*

Job Title: Telecomm. Engineer. (Finally… My "hard work" of 4 years has paid off... :-D)

Living Arrangements: I come home only to sleep and sometimes maybe to eat my meals. Else I am always on the prowl in the jungle with the Animal Kingdom.

Most Admirable Traits: I don’t like blowing my own trumpet. *blushing*

Number of Sexual Partners: Why this question in the taggie? *raised eyebrow*

Number of times in hospital: Been there many times as a visitor. But only once as a patient.

Phobias: Denzil D'mello ain't scared of anything. He is a brave boy. (Sirf Heights se thoda ghabrata hoon??? Who isn't afraid of vertigo?)

Quote: If it doesn’t kill you…. It will only make you stronger. (Golden words)

Religion: I believe that there is only one God and yep I also talk to Jesus who answers all my prayers. I am divine lucky.

Siblings: One younger brother who looks older to me thanks to his height (6’2”).

Time I Wake Up: Used to wake up at 7 or 7.30. But with this new job which offers me 3 shifts, my sleep timings have gone haywire.

Unusual Talent or Skill: Everyone says that each one of us posseses some or the other talent. But I seem to be the sole exception on this earth. Hey wait... does my bathroom singing and good acting skills qualify?

Vegetable I Love: Its one form of pulses. But its ironice that I don't know its name.

Worst Habit: I am perfect. I am MR. RIGHT. So, no worst habits. (This is one of them).

X-Rays, Last time: Each and every bone in my body is as new as original. *Touch wood*

Yummy Food I Make: Main pakata achha hoon. *Human Bheja Fry*

Zodiac Sign: Cusp between Aries and Taurus. And I don't believe in all this signs vigns. How can a star located light years away affect me?

People tagged to do it: Jisme hai Dum...take it... All are welcome.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Who is Anna?

Anna - What do you symbolize when you hear this name? Most of you must have already started dreaming about the beautiful Russian Ana Kournikova. Or if you are from South, you must be dreaming Suniel Shetty mouthing those loud dialogues and breaking some bones.

Well, there are no prizes for guessing. Anna is our dear specie of the Animal Kingdom. Though his parents named him Shirish Shetty, we call him Anna because he hails from the famous Mangalore region which is home to many Shetty’s (Suniel, Shilpa, Shamita Shetty included).

(Anna posing for his Orkut Album)

What is surprising to me is why do Shettys have their names starting with ‘S’? Ekta Kapoor may be obsessed with the letter ‘K’, but Shetty’s are in love with letter ‘S’. If you know any Shetty, just try and recollect the name of their family members or their parents. I am sure most of them end up with initials S.S.

Back to Anna. Do you guys know what does name Anna signify? It means Big Brother in Kannada. I and Anna share a thing in common. Changing jobs at will. Though, it’s been a long time (2 months) since we have changed jobs, you cant be sure. From our group, Anna holds the distinction of changing 6 jobs in 2 years. I still remember the day, when I called up Anna to ask his shift timings and he replied, “Maybe, today was my last day.” That’s Anna for you. Spontaneous decisions is what he believes in.

Being a Shetty, Anna does not believe in working under a boss. A true Shetty at heart, he plans to open up a bar soon. We have even come up with a name “Anna’s – the BAR”. Being a teetotaller himself and most species from our group abstain from alcohol I can promise that his bar won’t run into losses.

Though, Anna celebrated his Birthday, 2 days ago on 22nd June, the Animal Kingdom wishes “Janma Dinok Hardika Subhechche” today.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Animals Capture Fort Lohagad

Note: Help!!! I can't upload the pics on Blogger. Kya problem hai yaar??? Anyways you can enjoy them here. Must add this: Naveen you missed a golden chance of clicking your solo snaps in all possible royal poses.

After a successful trek of Matheran, another week was reserved for yet another trek somewhere. A late night conference call on Friday and plan was all set. As usual, some guys dropped out giving out the same plain boring and gheese peete reasons.

Ali – "Baahar Jaana Hai…" (Trekking is also going out... my friend)

Kandu – Want to rest at home (Karle Karle Rest karle... Tarzan zhad se latak latak ke thak gaya hoga)

Naveen – Want to go out to meet a friend (Kya hum tere dost nahi hain???)

There was no way, we were gonna convince them. So, it was the same group of four (Only exception being Prashant substituting Naveen) who decided to trek all the way to Lonavala to capture Fort Lohagad. The venue and time of meeting remain unchanged. Also, our official carrier was supposed to be an Express train.

We reached Lonavala at around 10:30. After a quick breakfast, it was time to head to Malavali which is just a station away from Lonavala. The trek to Lohagad starts right from the Malavali station. The striking Malavali Bridge transports you across the breathtaking Mumbai Pune Expressway.

The journey to the way Lohagad cannot be put down in words. You have to see it to believe it. The overcast skies, lush greenery, cool breeze and a little bit fog at the top of the Fort made a picturesque view. We were so overjoyed and elated to witness this eye pleasing view. Away from all the noise and pollution of the city, this place is a must visit for all those who haven’t been here and monsoon is the time to be here.

At the foot of the hills, there exits a staircase which takes one to the Bhaja caves. Though we wanted to stopover here too, but time was a big constraint. The road to the right takes you to the two forts. The largest of them is the Lohagad, the Iron Fort, which was twice captured by Shivaji. The neighbouring and smaller Fort Visapur is of much later origin and was built by the first Peshwa.

The only other fort which I have ever seen is the Fort Aguada in Goa. But, with due respect to the Portuguese, Fort Lohagad stands gigantic as a Mammoth compared to the miniscule Aguada.

The way to the top is quite effortless than it seemed. A climb of around 200 long stairs and you stand at the base of the fort. It took us just about 150 minutes to make it here. Right from the Fort Entrance gates to Maha Darwaza steps we were awed by the structure of the fort. If climbing is not enough, just imagine those workers or soldiers who must have built these strong forts with such huge stones and impeccable engineering on the top of these hills. And there were even more brave kings along with his Mawlas who captured these forts. Unbelievable!!!

Imagine these forts standing erect even celebrating its 1000th Birthday. Which other such structure can a civil engineer boast of? So, who were more advanced? Our ancestors or we?

We visited each and every part of the fort. This fort is so huge that it took us close to 4 hours just to complete one trip around it. Right from the water reservoirs to the old canon you can see it all here. And yeah, we also found the place where the main guard must have stood inside the fort. This is because from this particular place, one could get the complete top view of the fort with its walls. Just behind this Main Guard’s platform, there was this small room in the corner which I think was the place where kings must have once planned their strategies. It was a royal feeling.

Just when you feel that you have conquered the fort, you see another part of the fort which stretches far into the horizon. This part is called “Vinchukata” because it resembles “Fangs of the Scorpion”. This place was the highlight of the trek. The way to Vinchukata passes through a narrow ledge. On one side are the rocks and other side is the valley. One wrong foot and you would be gone forever. Then there is a steep slope which further adds to your difficulties. Thankfully, all 4 of us managed to make it without any damage.

It was almost 5 in the evening when we decided to leave. There was no one in sight and we were no Mawlas to protect this fort. There is a sense of achievement you feel when you sit on the fort wall and look at the far villages below. I salute those brave kings like Shivaji who managed to conquer this fort not once but twice without any modern ammunition.

Determination, grit and above all interest is all you need to scale this fort. Maybe we will conquer Fort Sindhudurg next. Animals, what say???

Night stay at a Neral Farmhouse was sponsored by Prashant's would be father-in-law. He had forbidden me from revealing this. Idharich Mistake Kar Diya. He was in the best of his behaviour that day. After all it was the question of impressing one's father-in-law. So, all you father-in-laws there, want to know the truth about your would be son-in-laws, you know where to write in at.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trek Matheran

NOTE: I tried uploading the snaps of the trek. But due to some technical issues with Blogger, I could not. If you want to view the album, you can click here.

Commencement of the monsoon, Mumbai heat and a small gang of friends - the perfect recipe for a trek in the hills. And what can be better than starting off with the first trek of the season with Matheran.

It might sound strange but whenever we plan out something it doesn’t always work. I have enough examples to support this claim. But don’t have enough space to mention it all.

Last week… Friday night… I took a conference call courtesy my office. Everyone was included except Rehan and Kandu. They were in the midst of their final semester engineering exams. To help them concentrate, this trip was to be kept a top secret. But Anna spilled the beans too soon.

As usual, the conference call didn’t serve much purpose. Everyone was speaking and no one was listening. In the midst of this hullabaloo, Atul suggested that we go to Matheran. For the first time, we all agreed to Atul’s decision. We have all learnt our lesson well. Every time Atul says something, it never happens. But he is like Mahesh Bhatt. He has an opinion on anything and everything.

Finally the only question on the conference was, “We are going to Matheran. Who is joining us? If anyone is coming, meet us at the Thane station at 7:00 a.m.” With this the conference ended and 4 guys were supposed to assemble early in the morning. I was in the worst possible position. My shift was supposed to end at 11:00 in the night and I would be reaching home only by 1:30. That meant that I would be getting only 4 hours of dear sleep. And a hard trek was scheduled later in the day. Quite a tough day ahead.

My alarm went off at 5:30 and within 30 minutes; I was all ready and standing at the bus stop. Tarun joined me soon. I also called up Naveen so confirm whether he is out of bed and there he was answering my call in a miffed voice. He had just woken up. But since his house is much closer to Thane, there was no reason to worry.

Just as we were waiting for the bus, it started to shower. Wow!!! We thought. This is the best weather for trekking. We were delighted. The journey to the Thane station took us around 45 minutes. And comedy of errors – Naveen came in the same train which we were supposed to catch (has performed this stunt earlier too), I and Tarun were on the over bridge when the train left and Atul the great was still standing in the queue booking tickets for us all.

I was the least amazed as all this happened. All such events occur very frequently in our group. Upon enquiring we found that the nest train to Neral was scheduled at 8:17 a.m. A huge gap of 45 minutes. I could have slept 45 minutes more. But, according to Mr. Atul, a train is supposed to leave in the direction of Neral every 20 minutes.

But, now we have learnt our lessons well. Ignore his suggestions and confirm with others. A journey of around 80 minutes and we were standing on the Neral station. Matheran stands at an altitude of around 800 meters above sea level. It was time to climb. Our journey started off on the tar road. And soon, we got adventurous and deviated from the main road to take on the tracks and the rocks. On the way, a aunty also offered a ride in her Scorpio. Caught in two minds, we politely refused.

The weather was it its best. Cloudy skies and cool breeze blowing made the nature a treat to watch. Huffing and panting, we somehow made it to the top. It took us around 3 hours to make it to the top. The best part about the climb to the top was the fun involved in climbing the rocks like the way they show in action movies. Though not that dangerous, it still is risky. A lose footing and you can find yourself on the ground with some fractured bones.

Apart from Naveen, everyone had it easy. Naveen was literally struggling in spite of his well muscled body. It seemed to us that Naveen had undertaken this trek for the sole purpose of having his portfolio done. At each and every bend, climb and curve, Naveen wanted to have his solo photo clicked. Even in a group photo, Naveen was only interested in how he looked in the snap. It seems he is slowing becoming a narcissist.

Totally exhausted after climbing the summit, we quickly refuelled our body by having a Malwani lunch at a local restaurant. This restaurant was also located 2 kilometres inside Matheran. There are lots of facts about Matheran which one does not know.

  • Matheran is the smallest hill station in the world.
  • Matheran is the cleanest hill station of India.
  • Vehicles are barred from entering inside the town.

The only medium of transport is the horse, hand pulled carts or your legs. And the name Matheran means "Forest on Top" or "Mother Forest" in Marathi.

Even though worn out, a trek to Matheran would be incomplete without visiting some of the famous points in Matheran. So, we went for the Charlotte Lake and the Lord Point. Charlotte Lake is the main source of drinking water for Matheran. And you can view the beautiful Sinhagad Fort from the Lord Point. Tarun and Atul also tried out Rappling near the Charlotte lake.

With the sun setting on the far horizon, it was getting dark in the forest. We also planned to walk all the way down without the use of any vehicle. But hardly, had we passed 2 curves, when we were offered a lift in the open MUV – Mahindra MaXX Pik-Up. It was very difficult to resist the temptation. So, we all hopped in. It was a joy ride. Open on all the sides, the view downhill was breathtaking. It took us hardly 10 minutes to get back where we started.

On the way back home, we were greeted by the first showers of the season with its comrades thunder and lightning. A local dog also got in the train much to the surprise of all the passengers. We managed to capture the event with the digital camera as well as the video recorder. But, the dog seemed least interested. He coolly sat under the seat and got down at the next station. Maybe he was a regular.

The train journey and the bus journey back home had taken a toll on my body. I can still remember those few steps from the bus stop to my home. I was walking with snails pace that even the old were staring at me. My white shirt turned brown and black shoes turned red must have been a sight to watch.

But, that’s the fun of trekking. So, all you guys and gals out there… bring out your haversacks, a good pair of shoes and some determination. Go for a trek. All the pain in our body is worth it.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Goa - The Final Showdown

All good things come to an end. Every Sunday is accompanied by a Monday. And every fun filled trip has to end one day. And the ending is very sad if it happens to be a place like Goa. We ate Sea Food, drank Frooti and lived Goa during our brief stay here. Now all that was gonna change.

Our train to Mumbai was scheduled to leave Margao at 13:45. By the time each lazy bum was on his feet, hands of the clock showed 11:00. With exactly 165 minutes to go, we had an exciting race against time in our hands. If 50 kms in 165 minutes from Calangute to Margao wasn’t thrilling enough, we also had the local bus travelling of travelling at 20 km/hr. add to the delay.

Somehow, we managed to reach Panaji in 45 minutes. This time, without taking any more risks we took the Super Fast- Non Stop bus to Margao bus stand. Non-stop buses make life so easy for people like us. I hope the BEST also comes up with such buses in the near future.

Peeping into the Camera

A traffic jam in Goa brought our bus to a grinding halt. Though traffic jams are frequent sights on the roads of Mumbai, it is something very rare on the streets of Goa. This was only the second traffic jam we witnessed in our trip. Ultimately, we made to the Margao market at 12:30. Now, it was time for some last minute shopping. Kokam Sherbet, Bottles of Port Wine made way into our already over stuffed bags. A complete teetotaller guy like Ali also had to stash a bottle of Signature and Imperial in his baggage because his boss had asked him to do so. Tauba Tauba!!! Dharam Brasht Kar Diya Ali Ka…

With the last purchase of a box of Perk chocolates for the journey, we started off towards the Margao railway station. According to the locals the railway station was just some minutes walk away. But the scorching sun, over loaded bags and the crowded markets made our walk horrendous. At last, we saw the glimpse of the railways tracks. I, Ali, Anna and Atul were walking at a brisk pace while Kandu, Rehan and Gala were happy taking baby steps.

It took us a little while to realize that the train standing on the platform was the Jan Shatabdi – the train which was supposed to take us back to Mumbai. Our brisk pace soon turned into a jog. Soon, there was a loud whistle and our jog turned into a run. We turned back to see where had the slow coaches reached. But to our surprise, they were nowhere to be seen.

There was no time for us to wait and search for them now. Come what may, we had to reach the platform and get into the train. Running as fast as we could with those bags on our shoulders and in our hands we somehow made it to the platform. We asked the motor man the time for left for departure. “Almost ready to leave”, he replied. Our hearts skipped a beat. “Where were these guys?”, we thought. We found our coach and threw our bags in the upper racks.

Except for cursing, there was nothing we could do. “All the passengers are requested to board the train as it will depart shortly”, the announcement was being broadcast. At that very moment, my mobile phone stated ringing. “Anna’s dad calling” was being displayed on my mobile screen. Now, we are done for. What was he gonna answer? I handed over my phone to him. “So, you are confirmed to reach Mumbai tonight?”, his dad asked. “Err.. Yes.. I am supposed to catch the train this afternoon”, Anna replied with the train standing inches in front of him.

“Now what??”, we all thought. “How would we reach Mumbai, if we missed this train?” No doubt we all loved Goa. But then we had to answer our parents back home. “Should we take down all our baggage from the train or should we just go ahead. We had the tickets with us. They would contact us anyways and we could ask them to board the train from some other station."

Many ideas were discussed and finally, we thought of taking down our baggage and letting the train go. Dekha… Isse Kehte Hai Dosti !!! But, then all of a sudden Ali spotted the three tortoises strolling on the road opposite to the railway track. They were walking at their own leisurely pace. We called out with a deafening roar. They looked at us and understood our frantic hand movements and curses.

The baby steps turned into an Olympic run. Rehan was giving it his best shot. Huffing and puffing under the heavily loaded baggage, he was a sight to watch. We wanted to laugh at his plight but at that moment, we just wanted him to catch the train. Suddenly, he lost all his steam and gave up. At that very moment, Ali… yes Ali… broke into a run to his aid. He ran all the way on the platform and clambered the over bridge and snatched the bags from his hands. A perfect example of how relay should be played.

Eventually, in true Filmy Style we managed to catch the train at the last moment. After giving them and earful, we managed to find out that all the credit for providing the last minute thrills and adrenaline rush was thanks to Kandu. He wanted to guzzle down a bottle of Breezer on his way. So, they had stopped at a local shop to purchase some bottles of Breezer. And that was not all. He also had the guts to ask the shopkeeper to search for his favorite flavor with the train scheduled to leave any moment. And you know what??? If we had missed this train, he would have been the worst hit. Because his parents were due to fly down from US the day after and he was supposed to be home. Now time to reveal Kandu’s worst kept secret – To this date his parents (esp. his Appa … doesn’t know that Kandu was with us in Goa. According to his Appa, Kandu is supposed to be in Bangalore on his college trip.)

After the thrilling venture it was time to settle down in our seats. It didn’t take us much time to recharge our batteries.
After a Thrilling Finish

Very soon, we were ready to play the game which we taken so much liking to in GoaRummy. Rehan started off sleepily and lost a few games. Soon he thought, “Enough is enough” and came back strongly. The final contenders of the winner’s tag were Kandu, Rehan and me. Kandu – the master who taught us this game soon lost to us champions. With the master out of the game, I and Rehan decided to share the winners’s tag.

The train came to a halt at Ratnagiri. To click some more pics, we got down and managed to capture the beautiful Jan Shatabdi.

Jan Shatabdi Stars

Passing through many tunnels, bridges and winding tracks, we finally reached Thane station at around 10:00 in the night. After bidding farewell to everyone, all got down except Rehan. He was supposed to get down at the next station. I can still vividly remember the look on Rehan's face. For the first time in our lives, we saw the emotional side of Rehan. He was wearing that Sabko-Jaana-Kya-Zaroori-Hai look on his face.

At the back of the mind, everyone knew that maybe this is our last trip together. God knows whats gonna happen after one year. Everyone is gonna get busy with their own lives. Some may fly abroad for higher education, some may get occupied with work and some may get admissions in MBA colleges. But, one thing is for sure. Come what may... we will still be together. And this is the promise of the Animal Kingdom.