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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Candolim Downtown (Goa)

21 Jan'2018: Here is a picture tour of Candolim downtown. Quite an interesting array of shacks and shops - products and services ranging from tattoos,beer parlours,micro-breweries, wine shops,wrapons hats & bikinis, tea,cashew nuts,spices,grills & bar b q's,hookahs for the smokers. You name it they have it. Incredible weather - January is the best month to be in Goa.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Good Bye Goa

26 January 2018: Final Day in Goa.
Pictures clicked during early morning walk at Miramar Beach.
Beautiful Memories - Livleen Sreelekha Madhu Shobha
Sunrise at Miramar
Brisk walk at Miramar Beach
Pristine sands at Miramar
Selfies before departure - oops some guys missing
 Guvrus Bhav Dutt & Gupta join - Rajat-Shorty missing
The Happy Faces says it all - good to see Pimps ecstatic smile after the agony he underwent on Day 2

Carnivale Goa - Finale at Miramar

25 January 2018: Today was our final day in Goa. It had been a roller coaster ride so far and we were all eagerly awaiting the days festivities at Miramar Beach Hotel. The morning at GTDC Panaji was unrushed and langurous.Breakfast was as usual at the raised deck with expansive windows facing the languid Mandovi River.Breakfast was followed by checkout formalities and our coach left around 10.30 am and dropped us near Dona Paula - a pristine beach with a tragic love story surrounding it.Dona Paula beach was named after the Portuguese Viceroy’s daughter Dona Paula de Menezes.This young, innocent girl fell in love with a local Goan fisherman. Of course, this match was unacceptable to the Viceroy who forbade his daughter Dona Paula to ever see her young lover again.
Distraught with love and sorrow, Dona Paula could not bear a life without her young Goan lover and threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea. Left with nothing but his daughter’s memory, the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute to his stubbornness and forbidden romance & love. 
 The bay of Dona Paula in Goa lies at the sangam (or meeting point) of the Arabian Sea and the Goan rivers Mandovi and Zuari. Dona Paula located in the suburbs of the capital Panjim is also a very fashionable residence for the rich and famous . Originally a fishing village, Dona Paula attracts its fair share of visitors and tourists who come to marvel at its pristine beach, its natural beauty and the romantic legend associated with it.
After an hour in Dona Paula we left for the Miramar Residency another of GTDC Hotels in Panjim, located on Miramar Beach. It was a old nondescript property - a wee bit rickety & run down - a property that must have been quaint & charming once upon a time when it was newly built. The reception was a small ramshackle room and the lone receptionist appeared quite ruffled and inexperienced to handle large groups like ours. Finally after a great deal of conundrum and confusion rooms were allotted and keys handed over. After the initial shock we all reconciled to the fact that there is no alternative and hence we might as well set our minds at ease, relax and settle down. Even Shorty was completely distraught and devastated at the way Miramar panned out - this was not what he had envisaged and expected.
We trundled down for lunch to the only dinghy and derelict restaurant at Miramar Residency for some chilled beer,cashew nuts and lunch of dal rice & roti. We then retired to our respective cabins for some much needed and well deserved rest.
The evening finale was held on the Miramar lawns which were well illuminated to provide a dazzle & colour. The gents and ladies congregated on separate tables dressed in their finest attire and silks befitting the occasion.The usual disposition of alcohol had been arranged (including Gills single malt) and an array of snacks was served at frequent intervals. The involuntary chatter and gossip commenced and we were all soon engulfed in a sea of animated conversation. The evening entertainment with an MC at the helm was fun - some bravehearts took on the Karoake challenge. Shorty sang the popular evergreen number - Shame & Scandal and received a thunderous applause.Dinner followed. A vote of thanks by this evenings sponsor Rajat. There was talk about the next reunions in the summer in the US and winter in Australia. Rajat exhorted greater participation from India based colleagues in get-togethers abroad. Finally curtains were drawn on a wonderful week of fun & merriment, adventure & excursions, sun sea & sand, beach booze bridge & breeze,food & drink, of laziness & laid back relaxation,  of conversations & camaraderie, of gambling gaming & gyrations,of enchantment and electrified atmosphere. 
At the end of it all Shorty felt he had let everyone down with the stay arrangements in Miramar and apologized for the slip up. The rest of the group however assuaged his feelings and reassured Shorty that he had actually pulled off an amazing coup under most compelling circumstances,confined to his bedroom and recovering from a heart attack. The aberration at Miramar was unintentional and hence to be viewed as a minor blip on the radar. Goa actually turned out to be one of the most incredible Mech'71 reunions ever.
 Madhu Gupta's parting gesture was most touching and heart warming. She had brought along a hand crafted Thank You card in which she obtained signatures of all Mech'71ers & wives during the eventful & entertaining evening and later she posted the same on whatsapp. A big thank you to Shorty & Srilekha Mukherjee !
Dona Paula Harbour

The indefatigable Mech'71ers and their phenomenal spouses at Dona Paula
Three spouses captured at the Dona Paula Police Outpost
The men in deep contemplation hatching a plan to rescue the ladies
We love Kwality Walls chocosticks
Gill is propounding his philosophy while Pimp appears lost
Rajat with brother & brother in law - family conclave in progress
Renu & Shobha - aren't they sparkling ?
Indu & Vinay - If they are sparkling then we are scintillating
Livleen & Sunil look thrilled to become the winners of the numbers game
Together we bring color glamour and enlightenment to the glittering evening
The gents added their own shades of brilliant colors

Monday, February 12, 2018

Carnivale Goa Day 5 - Sunset Cruise

24 June 2018: A relaxing day at Panjim - a brisk early morning walk on the paved promenade adjoining the Mandovi River was refreshing. Followed by a leisurely lazy and laid back breakfast on
the penultimate day of our Goa Tour. Morning activities included lounging in the rooms, visit to the Mangeshi Temple,exploration of Panjim flea markets for trinkets souvenirs and footwear & visiting friends. We ordered and enjoyed a nice Chinese lunch ordered from room service - hot & sour soup, egg noodles & a manchurian based gravy.
 The gala evening extravaganza was an enchanting cruise on the Mandovi, spectacular views of golden sun gradually descending into the horizon before disappearing into the Arabian sea after throwing up myriad bright hues and creating scintillating mosaics, heady cocktails including Gills special single malt accompanied by Goan cashew in abundance, music,dance,games,entertainment by young energetic Konkani dancers,an MC with tattered jeans, Shorty belting out old nostalgic numbers and aggressive dancing by our entire group.The atmosphere was electric and completely charged and the Mech'71ers and their lovely wives virtually coalesced into a single mass of jiving swaying hip swinging revelers. Even the normally nonchalant and shy among us were also relentlessly drawn into the frenzy and danced away fearlessly with unfettered freedom and fervor. It was a night to remember in our lives and the fun and joy was unlimited.
The Shantha Durga was not the best of vessels for sailing - a little aged, a bit creaky & belching smoke.There were better vessels anchored in the jetty.The dining area below deck was a bit narrow and claustrophobic & the food below par. A request was made to Suraj the slim and sprightly young lady representing Blue Ocean to consider serving dinner on the open deck but she unflinchingly turned down our request quoting safety and food hygiene requirements. But what the heck this didn't dampen our mood and enthusiasm even one bit.
Three cheers to Rajat and Anita who were the sole sponsors for tonight's cruise ! Hip Hip Hurray !