Like all great young warriors, we also decided to have a trip to Goa as like its our right to be there atleast once in our lifetime or one have to suffer in many ways. Its a liability on our soul to be there or we will not be in a count of ‘responsible youth’. And why not to be there atleast once? Various colors of life, everything is an occasion there, a life full of happiness and energy, beaches (apart from all the temporary assets I mentioned why one should be there, beaches were the main reason for me. Like Clark Little, “I love the ocean – I am addicted to the waves”).
So once the mail thread started between various like minded people (who likes to do many things in one life, but can’t do…because they can’t do anything)…the program seemed to be fixed. Before that email which arrived from Bangalore and hit our inbox in Mumbai & Pune, everyone was chopping the time and were discussing about how devour the life is by saying our favourite quotes “Kuch Karte hain yaar…kuch nya, kuch alag” etc… etc…
So the thread started with a very decent manner of “Hi, Hello, missing you friends so letz met and cover Goa etc” and certainly ended with billingsgate each other. But finally the program was fixed, 8 people, 2 from Mumbai, 1 from Pune, 3 from Bangalore and 2 from Hyderabad will meet up in Goa. Date which got fixed was of 15 days later. We were counting the days and counting of people was reducing day by day. As in Ramleela, the fight between Shri Ram and Ravana starts and day by day Ravanas worriers become lesser in numbers. And often it happens in this kind of multi-state gathering, one day before the actual departure day, only two guys were left… one, the great plan maker and the other one who survived a lot due to my great plans at times or rather, many times.
So two people were left and the height of desperation was that at 12:15 in the night also, we were looking at some possibility to go Goa with couple of other friends to whom we call ‘so called money saver’ (you know its pretty good to have big group when it comes to money irrespective of if some people likes you or not!!! We are enough practical now). So all the plans to get some people etc. were failed and we were about to close the Goa trip then suddenly a sound came from my inner soul like in typical tollywood movie that “No, you should go to Goa anyways or you will not attain “Enlightenment”. That was the time when I bent on my knees, talked to my bike-guru through mind waves for a minute, took his blessings and told my decision to my other pal that we have to go Goa by bike this time and he, who was desperate to listen “okay we are not going this time, but some other time” confirmed this twice what I said.
In our college days, whatever distance we had covered, whatever we had done with the bikes, but such a nice thought of covering so many kilometres was never crossed any of our mind. Somehow I convinced AT to cover Goa by bike by giving all the absurd excuses, anyways he prepared his mind with the light (as since his childhood he has a misconception for himself that he is really a miracle in terms of taking decisions and finding pros & cons of something) but I didn’t wanted to cancel the program so I didn’t gave any loose point from my side too.
So in the night at 12:30 AM, we searched internet, got the different distances from Pune to Goa on every blog, sites etc, and finally we concluded by ourselves that Goa is not too far yaar. Its just a matter of few hours…that’s it!!! And what it takes for two young people to cover it? Nothing, only Petrol… (I am searching for that moment again in my life because post that we had many bike trips but that kind of crazy thought never crossed…)
So atlast we decided to push of on next day at around 11:00 AM because at that moment we were thinking ourselves as the greatest and fastest bikers who can cover aprox 500 kilometres with in 5-6 hours. Our thought had been changed dramatically as we had in our mind that there is no silencer in the bike but nitrogen cylinders and also bike will get wings in the traffic jams so that we could fly (but our honest idea was to stick to the road for most of the time…). So I got a job to reach Pune by sharp 9:00 AM. It was so sharp so that it could have cut my throat once. 9:00 AM, com’on…means I need to start from Mumbai at 6:00 AM, means I need to get up at 5:00 AM, means I need to finish the packing stuff before I drag in bed and it was already 1:00 AM…means it was going to be a sleep of 3-4 hours that night and I need to be so proactive even while in sleep like if I am not sleeping at all. I was wondering if 3 alarms couldn’t made me wake up at 8:00 AM in the morning on working days when I used to go to bed at 2:00 AM, how the hell I will get up at 5:00 AM if I am going to bed at 1:00 in the night???…But one should appreciate the kind of enthu I have shown and finally got up at 6:30 AM… So it was a good start. Reason being we knew that I can’t get up at 5:00 AM and we obviously gonna late anyways, but no-one was thinking that I am gonna make it so early… I mean it was kind of the very-early-late stuff, and I got kudos for that (from myself only).
I made a call to AT on the way to Pune about if he is ready and got a reply in very irritating voice that “you just reach here fast, I am reday to push off”. I just smiled and cut the phone because somewhere my sixth sense imagined what could be the scene of the flat when I will reach there. I reached Pune at 10:30 AM and I knew my smile on AT’s reply was worth and he was not only sleeping by that time, but also didn’t had his bag ready. So next half an hour was to apply some humiliating and emotional things on him but we guys are born covered by some kind of shield so that those humiliating and emotional wordings don’t touch us at all.
I had a quick nap of an hour then, while AT was getting ready and at our kind of SHARP 12:30 noon, we had first kick in Pulsar 180 CC. The day was good, not so much heat up, not cold, as October to March is one of the best time in Pune and Mumbai, its just need some patience to gel along with some humidity but at highways, that also need not of to pay any attention. After fighting for 45 minutes with Pune traffic, we hit Pune-Banglore highway and we started with our life changing experience (someone adviced us to think that way OR we would not be able to drive so long… :)).
Highway was pretty cool, road was nice and scenic, with greenery everywhere (we convinced ourselves that this is because we were to hit this road, whilst reason we knew by our heart that Monsoon has just passed and Mumbai & Pune outscrubs used to turn like heaven in that season). Anyways we were least bothered about negative energies/thoughts and were enjoy the driving at fullest. Before I continue, I would like to thanks again to some unknown friends who gave us an idea about the route. Below is the route we followed.
Pune to Kolhapur to Nippani to Amboli to Sawantwadi to Goa.
The trip was going great. Like normal human beings, we stopped after every 60-70 kilometres and had some refreshments (not heavy food, because I have a doctor who live inside me and who directed us that if we will take proper heavy food like we have our normal lunch, we will catch up with sleep and we will not reach Goa in a day). Everything was great till Nippani where we stopped by luck to have tea and sandwiches. That was the same time when we realised that we are professional guys and we have our cell phone and watches with us to check the time. It was around 6:30 PM of evening. We counted on our fingures and calculate that its almost 6 hours when we started this trip. We looked at each other and there were some unanswered questions in both of our eyes and that was not at all the good time to ask or answer those Q’s. Somehow I can tell that the telepathy session was about last night discussion which we had related to reach Goa in 5-6 hours because we ‘thought’ we are extraordinary. We had those telepathy Q’s & A’s session for some more seconds and then we broke the ice by asking the rest of the distance we have left and to reach Goa. The answer was which we were thinking. Goa was still around 200 kilometres far and trust me we had a solid reason behind getting back our energies and resume to our trip. The reason was ‘Chai wale bhaiya’, (seldom are the chances for whom to see any biker) asked to us that from where we are coming and we told him. He had some lovely appreciation words for us which he exchanged with his chottu, like the chottu was the only person who was supposed to give us trophy on our way back from Goa for this ‘social & community work’.
All right, so by the time we left from Nippani, it was dark and bike’s headlight was ON. Till Nippani, we were driving at the speed between 90 to 120 and once you get used to with that speed for 5 hours, its loosely impossible to get out of that mental situation. We were hoping to get a nice road of SH which connects NH-4 (Pune – Bangalore) and NH-17 (Goa Highway, starts from Sawantwadi). And no doubt our hope was based on the ‘chai wale bhaiya’ who immediately turned a ‘highway specialist’ post we ask him the way forward to Goa. He was so confident about the SH road like he himself made it or atleast supervised it. As soon as we took a right turn from the highway towards SH, we got our first hard jerk after katraj (Pune). We again convinced ourselves and remembered the face of our well-wisher ‘chai wale bhaiya’ and murmured ‘it happens yaar, road will be all right in sometime’. But it turned bad to worst in sometime and we were in a place like world’s end point. There were no lights, no vehicles, no roads, no shops, just two brave guys without water and one bike with few liter of petrol which we were not able to drink at all in the worst case too. It was like a night safari on a camel because due to our government blessings, we were not able to touch even a speed of 40. After covering some more distance, we got enough conscious about that situation!!! Who wanted to be left at that place without bike, without shoes, even without clothes…!!! But where there are two audacious boys, there is always a hope… just modified one quote!!! 🙂
Some electric bulbs were finally the reason of smile on our faces. It was a small police booth kind of thing. We asked for the way forward and they told us. We looked at the bulbs like that was some alien thing to us and started again. After few more kilometres, we stopped in some village and asked ‘How far is the highway’ from a ‘Pan wale bhaiya’. First he looked at us like we asked him to transfer his all paternal property on our name. Then he asked where we want to go. We told him Goa. Reply was as he wanted to say ‘there is no such place exists’ but before he could have said this, AT clear his intentions. AT asked the same question in a different way and that was very first funny moment on that SH. He asked “Bhaiya, tell us how far is that place where there would be lights everywhere, good and broad roads, some shops and moreover, some life”. I guess ‘Pan wale bhaiya’ got his point (it depends on person-to-person, I mean it depends who understand whom and ‘Pan wale bhaiya’ got AT’s frequency). He told us that just after 5-6 kilometres, that kind of place is there. At that moment, we got a feeling to bent and touch ‘pan wale bhaiya’s’ feets.
Yes, we were about to touch NH-17 from where Goa is just 60 kilometres away. Atleast we thought this at that moment and till that moment when we cover 5-6 kilometres and saw another small village of 15-20 houses (With some lights, a 20 feet road, 2-3 shops, and some life… :)). AT looked at me, I looked at AT, we though of ‘Pan wale Bhaiya’, nobody said nothing and we proceeded further. After 10-20 kilometres, by God grace we had petrol pump with only 2 machines there, from which, one was out-of-order. Our bike had some food there and according to petrol pump guy, NH-17 was around 30-40 kilometres more. We had a sign of relief than but we didn’t turned happy OR didn’t made any smiley face because since we started on SH, we got these kind of ‘highway measurements’ 3-4 times. So we decided to kill our ‘happiness’ and ‘joy feeling’ by the time we could have reach NH-17.
We were finally in Sawantwadi from where NH-17 starts. We enjoyed that moment with some refreshments on a small shop. We calculated that the SH which we had crossed was 110 KM long. And there were many irritating and funful moments we had on the same stretch. The one most interesting was the hording we read many times on that SH and that was in Marathi. It was written many times “Vahane Savkash Chalva”. None of us was so much known to Marathi and we made our own meaning for that quote. We thought “Vahane Savkash Chalva” means “Gadiyan saath-saath chalein”. I remember a trip in North India region when we took the inner route from villages to shorten the time because it was night; Police stopped us and told us to be with some other vehicles for safety reasons. In friction of seconds we had expressionless faces after we read that quote “Vahane savkaash chalva”. Our question was some “Vahan” kind of thing should also be there on the road to drive with. While we just about to reach Sawantwadi, we crossed one ghat and Police jeep was there. They stopped us and there were some other bikers who were with them. I just thought that the board of “vahane savkash chalva” is hitting our head since past 80-90 kilometres and now when we are about to reach NH-17, we got several “vahans” to go along with. Even the ducats will not think for a loot near populated area. We were just about to tell them that we are very social and kind guys with all the required papers and license, but before that one gentle policeman started telling that “go very slow you all bikers, this ghat is very dangerous with steep cuts and bad road condition, many mishappening happens here”. Curiously I asked to a policeman that what this “vahane savkash chalva” means and answer was worth a boxing match between me and AT to hit each other. Policeman told us that “vahane savkash chalva” means “Vahan, gadiya etc. kripya DHEERE chalein”. I wanted to have a photo of the painter’s hands who painted this all over the road where you can’t drive more than 40 km/h. Did that mean one has to put the vehicle on his/her head and walk? No matter what now I call that, but if today also I remember that 110 KM stretch, I am feeling very good abut the bike, the experience, the company and moreover our thoughts we had all along that way.
So we were about to reach Goa in an hour or so from Sawantwadi and yes that one hour was nothing for us now because we already spent more than 9 hours of our life on bike and rest 1 or 2 hours of drive stands nowhere against that. We had our chit-chat with police while entering the Goa province about bike papers etc which is a due course on everyone who enter Goa (especially other state vehicles). That was the time when our superhero AT (who think faster then computers at times) told me that we don’t have original papers with us and already we were driving with one helmet, where in Goa, as per those policemen, rule was of to wear helmet even if you are pillion. So we used our Delhi wala skills and we became nephew of one police uncle by buttering (by using our famous hindi dialogue “Uncle, aap ke bacche jaise hain hum, apka beta bhi to kabhi aisa karega OR usne bhi to kabhi aisa kai hoga… Galti to insaan se hi hoti hai naa…etc…etc…”)!!!
Finally we entered in Goa and I don’t remember the place name where in the night at 11:00 PM we were searching for a hotel. The first feeling which came was a complete ‘disappointment’. There were very few lights on the road; nothing was opened apart from one dhaba which was not at all giving the feeling of being in Goa. We had very different picture of Goa in our mind when we started our trip but that seemed to be vanished untill we met some policemen and asked for some nice place for dinner. They told us that we are in the outskirts of Goa and famous places like Baga, Anjuna, Kamagud etc. are about 10 kilometres from here. We had no sick plans to go to those ‘famous’ places for another hotel as we were about to fall if we could have drive 1 more kilometre. As we think we are born intelligent, so again we proved it by deciding to have our dinner on that ‘Dhaba’ which was also closed during our inquiry time. But we both appreciate each other for our decision because that’s what we do even if our plan won’t work. Somehow we got entry in that closed Dhaba and the owner told us that due to police they use to keep the half shutter down but some ‘experienced people’ like you (me & AT) who knows that what a half shutter down means, get an entry. So we had delicious food there and got back to our hotel.
I will not describe the next four days in details because we had our fixed schedule and we were very particular about that. Schedule was to get up at 12:00 noon or 1:00 PM. Reach Kalamgud beach by 3:00 PM (actually its Calangute beach, but as we least care about what people will say about our English, me & AT renamed it KALAMGUD with our personal trademark…), be there by 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM, be in hotel by 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM and go to bed… This schedule continued with small changes like we had been to Baga beach, Anjuna beach, South Goa beaches, the famous cathedral in some day time etc. Yes, one other night also was crazy when we seen Tetos disc at Wagha beach. It was 11:00 PM in the night and Bagha is the place which gets alive till early morning. So we decided to be in that desc not-knowing that some word named ‘girlfriend’ do exist and can be very useful sometime. We didn’t got the entry until we applied our so called ’emotional atyachar’ on the guy who was making the entry passes. We applied all the tricks, gave him his mom’s refrence, told him that if anytime he has to come Mumbai, do call any of us etc..etc.. And we got entry atlast at 1:00 AM in the night. We had been there till 5:30 in the morning when one bouncer came to us and told us that the tradition is if someone will not go after certain time, tradition is to throw him/her out from that place (Noticeable thing is there were 3 Phoren-walas also with us out of which 2 were girls, so that bouncer, who thought he was the masterpiece God has made said the same word to them too I guess). So we said good bye to all (don’t know who all, but yes, we said gud bye) and returned to our hotel. Anyone can recall ‘Vikram-Betall’ series if s/he should have seen us. AT was driving (and also telling me again and again that if something happens, not to blame him) and I was laid on him. It was a ride like ‘Maut ka kuan’ as someone was paying us for that. We reached hotel, and on next day at 3:00 PM, our day started.
On our last day in Goa, we just wanted to relax so we explored Panaji, seen ‘Don’ movie at Galaxy theatre (it’s beautiful and unlike Delhi, have a great parking space, garden etc…).
The ‘way back’ day had been come and we got emotional… Not because we were going back to Pune, but to take the ownership of driver seat. One practical thing is when you are driving, you are mentally busy and least remembers the pain. But the pillion has to survive because he has nothing to do apart from remembering his pain. Only AT or me knows how again we droved back to Pune with giving all the past ‘dosti-dushmani ka vasta’ references to drive the bike. Unlike our departure, we covered distance from Goa to Pune in more than 12 hours, unnecessary stoppages, giving excuses of pee, hunger, thrust etc… And almost all of those excuses were coming from whoever was the pillion. Anyways, we reached Pune at around 11:30 PM in the night and in between, I purchased my ticket to Mumbai for the last bus, which was scheduled at 1:30 AM night (next day was Monday, office…). After reaching Pune, meter was showing more than 1200 KM and bike was literally yelling. I took a bath and tried to remember all the things happened within five days and there was no moment which didn’t made me smile. Me and AT made our next trip plan to Goa from Mumbai-to-Goa via cruise and the same plan is still pending. Looking forward for the moment to be in Goa again near or on Carnival season. A place where I like more alive… with the waves…with the never ending sea…with the golden sand… Like Clark Little, “I love the ocean – I am addicted to the waves”… 🙂
A brief intro of route…
Pune to Kolhapur to nipanni (NH-4, very nice drive, its just katraj which will test your patience and car’s/bike’s shockers)
Nippani – right turn (Or you may drive some more on NH-4 and ask for Sankeswar from there you need to take right turn)
Ajra to Amboli
Sawantwadi to Goa (NH-17, nice road)
Something about Goa…
Beaches in Goa rank among the top beaches in the world. Its coastline stretches (known and famous as Konkan stretch) for around 120-130 kilometres. There are more than 35 stunning beaches in Goa (Most commercialized beaches are Baga & Kalamgud). You can see the different life-style that consists of a blend of Indian and Western influences as can be seen in its varied culture and architecture of its towns and villages which shows that Goa still maintained its Portuguese heritage. Goa is also known as ‘City of Bhagwan Parshuram’ because due to his legendary bow and arrow, this paradise came in existance.
Will paste more snaps sometimes later as I need to dig out in which corner of my hard-drive I kept those.
Happy journey… 🙂