Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ga Ga over Goa

Friendly Note: This post competes closely with my earlier post. A bit long but very exciting.

Yesterday, India played England in Goa. All the leading newspapers carried the pictures of Indian and English players taking a stroll on the beaches of Goa and this brought back all the sweet memories we enjoyed in Goa.

Our third day in Goa. We woke up late as expected. It was Wednesday and Wednesday is famous for the Anjuna Flea Market in Goa. We all decided to dress up in Jerseys complete with shorts to represent the Soccer team. All dressed up in their respective jerseys. I wore the Brazilian Yellow, Kandu – the Argentine Sky blue and white stripes, Anna wore the Red and Black AC Milan, Rehan wore the famous Blue and Black Inter Milan Jersey. Armed with a Football and Volleyball we set off from our Guest House. Only the studs, stockings and the skill to play Football seemed to be missing.

As accustomed, we skipped breakfast and with a pack of delicious Frooti in our hands we headed towards the Calangute Bus Stand. The conductors in Goa seem to be a confused lot. When the bus arrived, he told us that the bus would go to Calangute but when we got in, he flatly refused that the bus goes there. With no option left, we got down at the next stop. For a second time, he again said that the bus does go through that route. But, the hitch was that we had to get down at a cross road and catch another connecting local bus.

So, we boarded the bus and soon got down at the crossroad. After waiting for about 10 mins, impatience got the better of us and we found our legs walking in the direction of the Anjuna Flea Market. On our way, we hitched a ride on a Qualis to another bus stop. Soon, we got into a very crowded bus. As we got into the bus our eyes fell on a beautiful firang with blue eyes. She was indeed beautiful.

I knew at the back of my mind that everyone from the Animal Kingdom had seen her. Our radars work at the same frequency. Very soon, the bus pulled in at the last stop and we disembarked. Upon enquiring, we found that Anjuna Flea Market was a long walk. So, we needed to supply some fuel to our body. Our quest for lunch brought us to a terrace restaurant named Shiva Café.

The ambience was quite good and a cricket Test match between England and India was also playing on the TV screen in the restaurant. We ordered simple stuff like Veg. Xacuti, Prawn Xacuti, Prawn Biryani, Veg. Biryani, Fish Fillets and some Fried King Prawns. And believe me the food was simply amazing. The food was so very delicious and yummy that we insisted on meeting the Chef. His name was Prakash. The manager of the hotel called out the Chef and told him about us. We shook hands with him and praised him for cooking such brilliant stuff. It must have been a proud moment in his life when someone praised him for his work in front of his boss. We highly recommend the food from this restaurant.

After lunch, it was time to head to the Anjuna Flea Market. On the way there, we had to pass through many barren fields. Playing football and drinking Frooti on the way, we reached the Flea Market. Anjuna Flea Market resembles a riot of colours. You will find everything here…right from a sea shell ring to electronic items. The Anjuna Flea Market is open only on Wednesdays and if you are good at bargaining, then you can walk away with good stuff at throw away prices.

Mere Desh Ki Dharti

The flea market is a heaven for hardcore shoppers to bid on wonderful blends of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Gujarati trinkets and handicrafts, European snacks, cassettes of a noisy brand of music called 'Goa Trance', artificial ornaments carvings, T-shirts, Hawaiian shorts, hats and slippers.

I and Atul bargaining at the Anjuna Flea Market

Anna and Rehan bought a pair of slippers while Ali bargained unsuccessfully for a bracelet made up of beautiful stones. Except for a handful of Indians, I could only see a sea of foreign tourists who were too engrossed in their shopping spree. After spending some time in the market, we finally reached the Anjuna beach which is more famous for its rave parties organised by the hippies.

There wasn’t much to do on this beach. It’s a rocky beach. So, going out in the sea was out of question unless you wanted cuts and bruises to adorn your body. The beach is not that great as compared to the Calangute and Candolim beach. It was almost 4:00 in the evening. There wasn’t much time left. So, we headed straight towards the Vagator beach. Vagator lies to the north of the Anjuna beach which is separated by a hill and some rocky stones.

On the Anjuna Beach

We thought of walking all the way to the Vagator beach. But what we did not know was that there were many a hills and sharp rocks full of marine life to greet us on our way to Vagator. One of the most amazing qualities which we found out about each other during our stay in Goa is our special ability to Keep Walking.

Anjuna Rocks!!! (L-R: ME, Rehan, Ali, Nirav, Kandu and Anna)

Walking…walking…. asking for directions…puffing and panting…we soon found ourselves on the top of a hill. Then few more steps we were back on the ground again. A few more strides and we were on top of another cliff. The trip to Goa was getting better and better by the day. We were visiting all those parts of Goa where no one ever ventures. The view from the top of the cliff was picturesque. The endless beautiful ocean had its arms wide outstretched as far as the eye could see.At this place, we found a woman who suggested that I try out the hair beads. The price she quoted made me reluctant. Who would go for hair beading for 500 bucks? But then, a little bargaining and she was ready to do it for a meagre 50 bucks. That’s the power of our bargaining. She gave me a demo and my long black (ghane kaale mulayam baal)hair did not seem to like that.

So, we resumed our journey. Soon, we could see lots of film equipment. Obviously there was a shoot taking place on the Vagator beach. When we came close enough, we saw many pretty models in white flowing outfits taking a breather. It was an ad for some bike.

This beach was deserted apart from a few Europeans lazing around for a sun tan. But, what we saw a little distance away lit up our eyes. No..No…it was not a babe or anything… It was a Volleyball court complete with a net. Imagine, playing beach volleyball on white sands near the sea. It was owned by a resort. Soon, money changed hands and a mere 100 bucks later, there was a competitive volleyball match in progress.

With me, Ali, Kandu and Anna on one side and Rehan, Nirav and Atul on the other side the game was bound to be exciting. But, with Tom and Jerry (Rehan and Ali) in the opposite teams the game turned more interesting. With continuous swears floating around; it was a game not to be missed. When Ali missed a point, Rehan scored with his mouth and when Rehan missed a point, Ali was all over him.

Also, there was another game in progress. They all looked professional Firangs representing their nation. Our country's pride was too prestigious for us to play and lose against them. So, we continued our game. But, even then the only spectator on the beach was watching our amateur game thanks to the entertainment provided by Rehan and Ali.

The game drenched our body in sweat and we went to Mother Nature to have a quick wash in the sea. This part of the beach was known as Little Vagator. The main Vagator beach lies further north. Little Vagator looked more like a bay or a private swimming pool. With just a handful of foreigners thrown in, this beach is perfect for relaxing after a hard game of Beach Volleyball.

The sea water is very brownish and not idle for swimming. But, just perfect for lazing around. The Chapora Fort lies somewhere on the hill. But time inadequacy did not even allow us to have a sneak preview of the fort. All the action had made us hungry and we went to the resort again. The resort was owned by twin brothers. One of them was Charlie and he sounded more like Sachin Tendulkar. Ayla…

Everyone ordered Milkshakes except for Rehan and Kandu. They were in the mood for mischief. I ordered Papaya Milkshake while the rest of the group ordered Chocolate Milkshake. The sun was setting, the tanks had been refuelled and it was time to head back home.

Yet again, we stuck to our anthem… Keep Walking… Ali’s Torch light Mobile as the only source of light and somehow we made it to the road. But, all we could see was foreigners cruising on the roads on their rented two wheelers. After walking a long distance of around 2 kilometres, we purchased 2 bananas for each one of us and continued our walkathon.

On the way, we got to see one of the rarest sights ever seen in Goa - A Traffic Jam. The most amazing part about this traffic jam was the distance the drivers kept between their vehicles. If the same distance was kept in Mumbai, an auto rickshaw could easily squeeze in. Somehow, we passed that never ending queue of traffic jam and managed to catch a bus which dropped us a little ahead. After that our walkathon resumed and finally we managed to reach the Calangute Market.

In the market, all eyes were set on Kandu. He was guilty of not contributing any money for the Goa trip. Every day he made his escape by reasoning with us that since his parents were in US, the money hadn’t been credited to his account. Today, we stood outside the ICICI ATM and waited anxiously for him to come out with crisp notes. But, as we had anticipated, he came back Khaali Hath…. Kya samazhke aaya tha? Ki Hum Khus Honge… Sabasi Denge..Kyon?

Making him feel guilty all the way, we reached our rooms. But, it had no effect on him. He will always remain that way – SHAMELESS. After a quick wash, everyone was ready for dinner. We all settled for a Chinese cuisine. The dinner was total contrast of the lunch we had in the afternoon. The water was unhygienic and the food was bland too. Nevertheless, we still managed to finish off 3 plates of Veg. Hakka Noodles, 3 plates of Veg. Schezwan Rice between the 7 of us. Quite an achievement considering the taste of food. Another warning: Never eat Chinese in Goa. It’s a shame to eat Chinese in a land which offers amazing Sea Food.

Our Dil was still demanding MORE…. So off we went to the local store and all ended up picking 1.5 litres of Frooti and those who did not get their hands on Frooti picked up 1 litre Mazaa. This was gonna be our fodder to spend the night.

Frooti Maniacs

Now, it was time for some entertainment. As usual Ali was the CHOSEN ONE. With all his extraordinary Abla Nari poses, he managed to keep us in splits and then we had Kandu too with his stuuuuupid questions. There is one special thing about Kandu which I would like to point out. With his spiky haircut he visualizes himself to be Hrithik Roshan. But to be frank he resembles Will Smith. His spiky hair which is erect in the morning start drooping by the time the sun sets. And with this, his sanity goes for a toss and he behaves abnormally. It is we who have to bear him. Just 3 days in Goa and I was finding it extremely difficult to answer his bhadde sadyal maryal sawaal. HahahahahKyon Kandu??? Am I not right???

Kandu was the most excited animal from our group. Barely had he seen the sea and there he was standing stripped down to his undies like Mowgli. He was supposed to be in Bangalore for his educational visit to ISRO. But, he chose to be in Goa by lying to his Appa. God forbid… If his Appa reads this post… Kandu will be dead. I wish somehow, his Appa manages to find this post on the internet by just typing in two key words in Google “Kandu + Goa”…. That’s it… All his hidden secrets will be revealed. Beware of Google… Kandu.

But it’s thanks to Kandu’s guts that we managed to get all the photos scanned. That night, we played yet another round of Rummy where Kandu – the Rummy Guru kept losing. Yet again, we played late in the night with a huge bottle of Frooti in our hands. Anna and Nirav had a good day ahead of them. Their secrets will be all revealed in my next post. So, don’t go away. I will be right back…. Here in the Animal Kingdom.


Ali said...

Hey Denz once again superb.....I m eagerly waiting for the nxt post......Can any one just send the link of animal kingdom to Kandu's Appa.........hahahahaha....maza aayega.......
Truly missing GOA.
Cheers Animal Kingdom..

mysticarni said...

heheehh ... too gud .. me waitin 4 d next 1 too!

Insidemamind said...

Cricket sucks! Esp.. the one India v/s England one!


Well, on the day the game took place, my parents and I dared to go all the way from Panaji to Navelim to meet our relatives. On the way back home, there was a never ending traffic due to the cricket match.. sheesh!

dex said...

Sthis Spost Swas Samazing Swat Ssay SAli??
Swat Sdo Syou Sfeel?

Swasnt Sit Sesky?????

Jen said...

I salute your "special ability to keep walking".

Anonymous said...

Hey Insidemamaind.... Dont curse the game for the traffic jam... After all India won the match that day... If you call traffic jam in Goa a traffic Jam... Wait till you witness the Mumbai traffic....

And Jen.... yep.... we all love Walking....

Dex.... Saali sonna sgo smad...

DENZIL said...

That anonymous guy was me.......

dex said...

Denzoo does Ali stunt...


"That anonymous guy was me"

Insidemamind said...

Ok you win! I think Mumbai traffic is worse than what I got to see that day in Goa.. :p

DENZIL said...

You bet??? After all I am a pakka Mumbaiate.... The traffic here is always bumper to bumper...

Happy Honking!!!


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