Im getting nostalgic by the day. In college we thought, how much is life going to change outside? And here I am...everythings changed. We cannot have last minute plans so often, as everyone's schedules don't match. Earlier schedules consisted of meeting this friend and that, but now it has meetings and builds and releases and deadlines and stuff, we cannot easily say..'arey build kal karte hai..I have to meet a friend'...its not professional...!
Anyway, recently the four of us..(Za2p we're called) were just remembering old days..and planning another trip. The discussion of our Goa trip is still so vivid in everyone's mind, that it compelled me to pen it down...so that anytime in the future...we can easily relive all those moments...
It all started with a registration for a project competition at BITS Pilani (Goa campus). We had submitted the abstract, just because it happened to be ready. Though we were a day late in submitting the abstract, we were selected. We were so happy and excited and were yelling around that we're selected and stuff, but little did we realize that you need a demonstration of the project at the project competition. Our project being concept intensive, and we being behind schedule..did not have a working demo ready. But we took up the challenge and decided to prepare a prototype in a weeks time that we had. It wasn't that difficult a task but the approach to take, the attacks to handle etc etc..and lots of other hindrances...not to forget our favourite routers..:)...delayed the task. The competition was supposed to be on 9th Feb 2008, Saturday. That meant we would have to leave on Friday evening.
7th Feb 2008, Thursday :
All four of us are in our lab (The netwk lab ... lab VI...our second home...:) . We are not really sure if we want to participate in the competition. We try and consider our preparation level. Considering the proximity of the competition and the amount we need to complete etc etc. But we found it almost impossible to come to any conclusion. Finally we decided to turn to our (ohh so good at talking) guide. We spoke to him for almost 10 minutes and when we out of his cabin, we were back to square one-should we take a chance? Till 6pm we were unsure, then finally we called up our parents and asked, what we should do, and if we decide to go...how should we go..bus/train/car etc etc. Finally we concluded that bus is the best option. But we were not sure that we want to go..:). Finally around 7:30 or 8pm we decided, that instead of thinking and then later regretting lets just go. We'll enjoy Goa if nothing else..:) So at 8pm we went hunting for reservations and got it done. Even there there was a hitch, where 2 other people wanted to join us, and since we didn't have so much cash on us at that time, we had to wait for them to come and pay us their part of the fare. So we waited till 9pm when we finally got our reservations done. So we were going to Goa. We had to leave next day, but still had our packing to be done. Considering that I stay almost 18kms from college, and travelled by bus then we were almost unsure about how and when we're gonna pack. But thankfully Dad was close by then and we reached home by 10. On the way ash & I were discussing what all we need to carry, because next day we had to meet in college by 9am to prepare the presentation, documents, project demo :D As soon as we reached home, I started packing and thankfully parents did not start yelling about this last minute decision..:)
8th Feb 2008, Friday :
We assemble in the lab at 10am (We are always late J ). Amz & I loaded with our laptops and other belongings. We were already complaining about the load. We had a lot to do. We split up. One was to prepare flowcharts, gather pictures for the presentation. One was to prepare the demo setup. Test the little code that we had. As amz laptop was only just ready, we had to install snort on her lappy. That took a long time again, as her h/w did not support FC6 and so she was using FC7 and snort was a little difficult to install on FC7 and...anyway, that was done. By that time ash was ready with the pictures, and we copied all the required stuff on our USBs. It was almost 3pm. Pree had left early as she could not pack last night, due to her commitments with the art circle. Armed with our stuff, we haeded out to grab some quick lunch. We also had to get printouts of our proj doc, to be explained. All that done we assembsled at amz's place at around 5pm. Freshened up and left by 5:30 to catch the 6pm bus. Met pree at the stop and then carried so much luggage through that dumb bus and finally reached our travels. We were almost certain we were late until they told us that the bus is at 6:30 J. Anyway, once the bus was there, we climbed in happily and made ourselves comfortable. Pree and me together and amz & ash together. (We did have our usual fight for the window & stuff..) There was this weird fellow sitting right behind us, completely drunk due to which amz & ash had to change their place. However it was good they changed their place, now they were right in front of us and it was easier to talk to them. We had enough food on us. Pree got methi bhaji and roti (I love that methi ur mom makes ya) and masala bhat. Amz got us methi paratha and sauce. It was quite a lot. My parents brought me samose (from my fav samosewala) and happily surprised me, when they came to meet us at the stop. The bus started moving at around 6:20 itself, and we were worried about those who thought it was at 6:30 would miss it. But the bus driver was only too smart. For 10 minutes he kept circling round swargate and coming back to the same spot. Don't know how that helped him. Anyway, finally at around 6:45 pm we started...we were going to Goa...!!! We tried discussing our presentation etc on the way, and did nothing more but attract the attention of a fellow traveler who called himself a professor. Anyway, after that we gave up technical discussions and started playing antakshari. Though this was antakshari in whispers...because everyone else was happily sleeping. We played for sometime, and then ash & pree slept off. Amz & I were only too excited to sleep. We somehow managed to listen to music...one cord with amz & the other..making its way through the seat and length just enough to reach my ear. At 2:30 am we decided that that the masala bhaat (a little bit was left) would spoil till tomorrow...(our assumption...:D ) So we ate it up...and obviously we didn't wake up ash & pree (else they would have asked for their share...:P ). I don't really remember when we slept after that.
9th February, 2008 Saturday :
At around 6:30 or 7 am our eyes opened to a lot of commotion and people yelling 'madgaon madgaon'. We happily believed (as we were informed it would) that the bus will go to Vasco. But fortunately we asked and were told that we would have to get down at madgaon itself and make our way to vasco. We left the bus and walked towards a bus depot. Here, at 7 am we tried inquiring about buses going to vasco. We spoke in hindi, but no one really appreciated our effort and didn't respond. Thankfully ash known Konkani...and she was our saving soul. We finally boarded a bus that would leave us somewhere, from where we would need to take a bus to BITS. No one really knew where BITS was but they sure knew zuarinagar(the area the BITS campus was in). The bus was sooo small, and all cramped up. But the system was good in that the driver was patient and waited till people climbed in, unlike here in Pune. Also considering that the bus was damn narrow, the conductor made it a point to wait till the people who wanted to get out, made their way to the door...through the crowd. We were told to follow a lady(carrying some stuff on her head) and her child till a bus stop where we would get a bus to BITS. We followed the lady through some sort of a shortcut, where amz almost fell in that trek..:P We reached the bus stop and ash thanked the lady. While waiting there we clicked some snaps:D and there was a ferry stop close by. We just stood there and admired it. We waited quite some time, but didn't really know in which direction zuarinagar was. We tried stopping a few buses and asking for BITS, but they didn't seem to know. Then finally we asked for zuarinagar and realized we were standing on the opposite side. So we then waited at the opposite bus stop and fortunately a bus came fast enough. We boarded that bus and asked for BITS, again the conductor did not know. But thank God ash found a local and spoke to him in Konkani and he was happy to help us. He told us that we had come in the wrong direction and that we would need to board a bus (from where he will tell us to get down) to zuarinagar and from there we would get buses till BITS. We were not bugged that we were moving in circles. Rather we were happy that someone knew how to get to BITS. We boarded the bus to BITS (atleast that's what the board said). It dropped us at some point and the conductor told us to walk that small lane and then take a right, we would be able to see BITS. Ok we walked that lane, ignoring the dirt and stench. When the lane got over, we landed on a highway. We took a right and kept walking. We could see a campus finally, and started walking towards it. We finally reached the campus. We were in BITS. It was a huge campus.
We were asked to fill in our details at the entrance and since we had already registered with the hospitality we were shown our way to the girls hostel by a handsome dude(don't remember his name now though). We were happy looking at the huge, well kept clean campus and in return obviously expected a nice room too. We were only but shocked to see that our accommodation was in the living room, where they had laid out mattresses. No not one mattress for one person, but one mattress for two people. No pillows, nothing. And to top that we had to pay around 250 per head and some deposit too. We had to struggle getting that female there to spell our names correctly and then struggle to get our mattresses. We then settled in the room, found the only vacant spot, right in the middle of the room...just dumped our stuff and started with the presentation.
The competition starts at 12pm and its already 10am. When we start making the presentation we realize that the pictures we had collected and the flowcharts etc we had made were not there on any of the many USBs we had. Man, we were already late and now this. But we kept our cool, made the necessary flowcharts etc again and voila...somehow the presentation was ready. Then we started freshening up and amz & I got the project demo ready. At around 12 we started moving towards the exhibition hall, our hearts beating very fast. We reached the hall and saw that there are quite a few other projects too. Some juniors had also participated. One such participant Deepak was from the second year and an inquisitive fellow he was. We were judged by some three judges (one of whom had flown form the USofA with his girl...don't really know why she was wearing those huge sunglasses inside the room...:P ). Since we didn't have time to have lunch we got some bhel. Ok, we are still not sure if that was bhel, or rather was that edible? The competition being over and we had made a new acquaintance-Deepak. He was only too happy that we were staying in the hostel. He wanted to show us around.
He took us to a cafeteria where we got some bearable stuff. He was a bit too chivalrous..I mean why would you offer to pay for food for four girls, that too when you have met them for the first time in your life, and moreover when they are going to be here for a day at the most. Anyway, he showed us around the campus, the classrooms, the lovers lane and in short every small place in the campus. In between he even started some romantic song and all of us thank the professor who just happened to pass from there. Atleast that made him shut up. And he was our junior ya...!!There was a show in the evening that day and he insisted that we watch it. We managed to secure a seat there and enjoyed thoroughly the juggling performance, the magic show and ya ofcourse Deeapk's continuous comments amz was subjected to :P After the event, we thought he would say good night, but he was still hovering around us. We then decided to hav some food, it was almost 9:30 or 10 pm. We got some pav bhaji and were not really sure what the bhaji was. Thankfully, the bread was edible. We were very tempted to have a pastry from monginis right there, but we needed some privacy. So we bid Deepak goodbye, and he insisted he leave us till the hostel. Gosh...chivalry...when uneeded ya..! Anyway, he left us till the hostel and we said our thank yous and told him that we would be leaving next day and we took his contact number and promised to keep in touch. We ran up to our rooms, freshened up and decided that we'll go and have our pastries. While leaving we inquired about the closing time..and they said it was 11pm. We hurried off with my laptop, because we wanted to listen to a new song ash had brought..(never found a love like this – Natasha bedingfield). We hurried up to monginis, got our pastries and sat on mildly wet grass and enjoyed our pastry looking up at the sky. It was almost 2-3 minutes to 11 and we decided that we better start moving towards the hostel. On the way we were listening to the song. It was a jolly song and we were skipping and walking and we just reached the hostel gate in time...it was almost shut. We ran and pleaded please open up..and thankfully they did. People are punctual ya.. :P We went up, and didn't really like..the room, it was filled with soo many people and there was a weird smell. We decided we would watch a movie but then everyone slept off..amz first then ash...then I did..n then pree did. So I finally shut the machine and we slept off with plans for tomorrow.
10th February, 2008 Sunday :
Pree woke up at around 6 or 6:30 am and we took turns cleaning up. We had planned to leave the campus by 8 am. We also had to collect our certificated on the way. Since, the certificates were not ready we had some breakfast till then. The best part were the gulab jamuns there. We got our certificates and left the campus by around 10 am. There were some cabs waiting outside the campus, but were charging a hefty sum till vasco. So we chucked them and took the route we had found out..through that smelly patch. On the way we sang happily...'never found a love like this'...
We took a bus till vasco and then back to madgaon where we had to book our tickets to pune the same evening. In the bus to madgaon, pree was sitting next to some old fellow on one side, and a girl of our age on another. She was subjected to a lecture session. That gist of what that uncle told her was "I saw all 4 of you girls getting in. You people have come here all alone? (Hello we are 4 of us..who is alone here..? I bet he meant there are no guys..!! everyone still thinks the same..no matter where the world is going..!!) You people should not come so far....all alone." Ok that was surely enlightening. We alighted at madgaon and went to the first tours and travels we spotted. Booked our tickets home. And then inquired about the various places we could see. Obviously we had only half a day in hand, so we wanted to visit the prominent places first. He suggested we either visit north goa, or south goa considering the time frame. We chose south goa, coz it had more churches and a beach too. It's the older part of Goa. We took a cab and told him the places we wanted to see..and according to the feasibility started off. First we went to Se cathedral. It is a very nice huge church. The place was very serene. After entering the church, we didn't feel like leaving. It felt so peaceful inside.
Then we went to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, famous for the shrinking remains of St. Francis Xavier. This place was not as peaceful as Se cathedral, but nevertheless worth watching. After having explored the church, we proceeded towards a museum closeby. It had antiques and paintings and was a nice experience. Basically, it being cold in Pune when we left, we were made to carry woolen clothes but it was hot in Goa and we were already feeling the heat, all of us just stood in front of the fan in the museum :D. After that we got to some shopping. Pree and ash liked some hats there and got one each.
Amz her colorful earrings. And we spotted a restaurant closeby and decided we had lunch. We informed driver uncle, and proceeded to have lunch. There amz & me went crazy and decided we could taste some gin. Pree was totally against it, and started teasing us saying that she would have to handle all three of us. We ordered 15ml and it tasted yucckkkyy...like some chemical in the chemistry lab (tats wat ash used to rightly describe the smell and taste). Anyway, that didn't really have any effect on us, except that ash suddenly decided that she wanted to change her hat. Pree found that the hat she had purchased was a little broken, so both of them went to get them changed. Ash returned with her new hat, and pree another one of the same design. Some time later, ash started wondering if her previous hat was better...:) theres our always confused ash for you..:) After our lunch and failed attempt at drinking ;) we proceeded towards Dona Paula. The view from up there was beautiful, cannot imagine why someone decided to end their life there.
There was provision for water sports there and amz wanted to ride a motorcycle there..:P (a speed boat..or water scooter..she meant..).
On the way to dona paula, amz & I managed to get ourselves a cap and obviously took plenty of snaps to see if we looked good in them..;) We then proceeded to Miramar beach. It was soo clean, so beautiful...so worth a walk on the clean sand without shoes. We took of our shoes and started running towards the water as if it was a race, only to be faced by hurdles of guys calling out names. I don't really know what they said, but we ran faster and kicked a lot of sand towards them :D.
We also had a 'whose feet are buried deeper in sand' competition. Ash came pretty close..but I won..:D.
We had been given a time limit by driver uncle, since we had to reach the bus stand on time, but as usual we wanted to stay some more. We finally walked back and saw a gaadi of gola. Everyone wanted one, me too coz it was hot. But after I'd taken mine, I only just discovered that Im not made to eat stuff like gola..and was then nicknamed a 'sophisticated gola eater'. I really don't know how people manage to slurp their way till the end of the gola without dropping it..:)
We then walked back towards our car, with dirty pants and shoes full of sand....sand of memories. We then bought kaju and some food to have on the way back. This time again we sat in the same order...pree & I together...and amz & ash together. Since, we had made a mess while paying and stuff, we did our calculations and concluded who has to pay whom how much. There was a lot of confusion there too..and it only increased later. Anyway, we handled that chapter pretty nicely I think ... hai na pree...? J On the way back, pree & I went to sleep pretty early this time. Ash & amz had their share of fun, trying to sleep, but couldn't manage...as they could not incline their chairs...(thanks to us) and then they tried to see a movie, but even that attempt failed..:D. Our eyes then opened a little before Katraj, where ash & I got down...said our goodbyes...and obviously met up the very next day in college....to gather all our snaps...and discuss our memories...:)
This was one hell of a trip ya...each and every small moment is like the sand we filled in our shoes on the beach. Even though the sand has gone...the memories have made an imprint on our minds..forever...and ever...:)
Guys please please please.....lets plan another fun filled trip...:)