Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What do you want to make of your life?

Make it loud
Make it break decibel records
Make it a sonic boom
Make it a big deal
Make it real
Make it a song
Make it a movement
Make it so huge that it swallows the whole scene
Make it blow the doors off
Make it make your idols scratch their heads
Make it a reason to get up in the morning
Make it rattle of the walls and make it an echo you'll remember forever

-something off a poster in front of me

Some more travel stuff for the paper

Life on the backburner

Of late, an excursion in the Capital is akin to swimming in pea soup. With the weekend being the only respite, the numerous idyllic towns in the Shivaliks beckon invitingly.
With popular resort towns like Nainital and Mussourie overrun with chill seekers, it's the smaller areas around that offer increased levels of quietude. Roughly 22km from Nainital as the crow flies, at a non-vertigo inducing altitude of 1370m, Bhimtal is just like Naina-bhen, a town around a lake. Only with a lot less construction and commotion.
Incidentally, the lake here is bigger and cleaner with an island, about 91m from shore, near one end where local enterprising restaurateurs have utilised their skills.As in Nainital, boating on the lake is a favoured touristy pastime. A walk around town is instant relief from Dilli with dappled pathways, ravines scented with dog rose and wild raspberry, farm houses nestled among terraced fields and citrus trees weighed down with fruit.

Accommodation options around here are usually cheap, but with an increase in weekend traffic from the plains, expect to pay a hiked rate. Although not as crowded as sister lake-towns, Bhimtal has comfortable hotels like the Country Inn and Van Vilas that offer panoramic views of the hills around.
The Country Inn may put your wallet under a little pressure but the cottages, which include duplex family options, are set amid 12 acres of picturesque landscaped lawns and even boasts a covered swimming pool.
Van Vilas is perfect lodging for those on a budget. The cottages here are rustic bamboo thatch affairs that are carpeted and twin bedded. For those who like their nature undiluted, there are the tents. Both arrangements have attached loos., so you don't have to pee in the lake.There are also luxury rooms that come with private balconies and all your regular amenities while for larger groups, there is a duplex option with an attic of sorts.
Bhimtal is perfect for that much needed oxygen rush after battling DTC buses and irate bosses all week-long. Come here, get a room, park your bum in a chair and daydream.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Random again

Homosexuality and the urban Indian man

I know this is not something new, just something I noticed this past weekend.
Jas's birthday on Saturday so went deep into East Delhi across the river. What got me was that she called about 15 people...11 guys and the rest, women. Considering the 'chicks' were Jas, her sister Numnum, Ladoo and the Padosan, this was really a Zee Sports cockfest.
At about 3am, Jas, Numnum and Ladoo (Padosan had passed out), pushed off to the Ruddi-son for coffee, leaving all the guys sitting inside the bedroom (Because of the A/C).

One baldheaded chap had passed out on the bed, and W takes his phone and passes it around. Apparantly the guy had shot some home made gay porn of his own and had been MMSing it to folks at work, some of whome were there as well.
I didn't know this.
So when W passes me the phone saying, "Check out this funny video," I really didn't expect to see the top of our man's shining head going down on a hairy dick with accompanying slurpy sounds.
That sort of thing that can really fuck your head, especially if you're drunk and stoned.

I'm not homophobic and I'm definitely not a prude... but that shit is just disgusting. Gay people who throw their sexuality in your face are just looking for attention and don't really care how they get it as long as people say SOMETHING.
Anyway, the phone gets passed around the room and some retard who turned out to be Jas's boss, launches into a debate about how 'unnatural' homosexuality is, bringing up topics like transvestites with a "Who's that guy yaar...Sylive? Woh bhi tho gay kuch hai".
He's a senior producer/ reporter or something in a sports news channel.
One uninformed, clueless conversation later, AIDS and anal sex are also brought up, with everyone voicing "ntelligent"opinions.
"A person's sexuality is his/her own, just like a person's life. If they don't have issues with the way they live, why do you?"
"AIDS is transferred when a guy fucks the other guy in the ass and blood comes out"
"If a woman fucks a gay guy, she won't get AIDS"
"If you suck a guy who has AIDS, you'll get it even if he doesn't come in your mouth"

Man.... just shut up and pass the damn joint..


"I luuuurrve Delhi!!!"

No, I don't. I think the city's too big, too crowded, too polluted, has too many beggars, too dirty, too full of nouvea-riche Punjus and Bihari immigrants, its too close to the Jats in Gurgaon, its too close to the goondas of UP, its too hot in the summer, its not cold enough in the winter...I can go on and on...

This past weekend I realised that people who say they luuuuurrvvee Delhi, don't know the city beyond South Delhi, Connaught Place as well as maybe the malls in Gurgaon and Elevate.

Ask anyone what they like about Delhi....
1. Shopping in Janpath
2. Ice cream in India Gate
3. Wide roads (where man??? only in South Delhi and Chanakyapuri) and then ....????

And anyone who says they love the charm of the Walled City has never been there. Jostling for space with 2 million rickshaws, countless people, the stenchm the sweat, the claustrphobia, the cloying odours of varied masalas and ittar, not to mention shit from overflowing drains and donkey-carts trying to run you over.
Said Society Auntie 1 to Society Auntie 2: Oooh dahling! I just luurve Chandni Chowk. It's so fabulous. I send my girl everytime I want to buy some more silver. Can't go myself of course, can't fit in a rickshaw." (insert fake laughter)...

Fuck you Arjun Singh

This whole reservation shenanigan was a circus that I was watching from the sidelines till it became personal.

A friend of mine, Debraj Ghosh, works with Channel 7. If you were ever looking for the 'nice guy' stereotype, he'd probably be it. One of the most unassuming guys I know.
Debraj's life is currently a maelstrom of chaos.
His father had a brain haemmorage a few days ago and went into coma. The family, which is basically just Debraj and his mother, have scraped together meagre savings and have his dad on a ventilator in Escorts at approximately Rs 30,000 a day.
Something they can ill afford.
The family survives of Debraj's salary... hardly enough to keep him on ventilator indefinitely.
Although it would have been cheaper to have him admitted in a government hospital like AIIMS, everyone else is on strike.
Can you imagine the horrible dilemma this guy is in?
On the one hand, he wants to try everything possible to save his father. On the other, he has no resources to afford a private institution.
When this episode of his life is over, he's never going to be the same again.

How many more people will have to die needlessly?
How many more will be caught in a power struggle not of their making?
How many more lives will be ruined because Mr Arjun Singh wants backward class votes?


And to all you medical students and doctors who have taken this decision to hold innocent lives at ransom while you seek your own means: Have you forgotten your Hippocratic oath?

To quote:
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hurricane Jessica

Something I wrote for the paper which was hacked in editing because I was expressing opinion and not quoting anyone.


In what appears to be real life imitating reel, public rage at the “verdict” in the Jessica Lal case is building momentum. Taking suo motu notice of reports of shoddy handling of the case, the Delhi High Court sought all the details of the case from the police on Friday. Adjourning the matter till April 19, the court has asked the cops to file a reply to the allegations. The Rang de Basanti-like outcry at the dismissal of the case due to lack of evidence in what was, and still is, a prima facie open-and-shut case will spill out onto the streets on Saturday March 4, with a public rally at India Gate at 5.30pm.

Seize Manu Sharma (SMS)
Countless SMSes from friends, family and strangers have begun inundating cell phone inboxes since Friday, petitioning for a retrial against the acquitted. It isn’t just college kids stirring up a ruckus either. Journalists, fashion designers, restaurateurs and socialites are forwarding SMSes. NDTV’s petitioned the President for a retrial, showing hundreds of SMSes sent to the channel’s 6388 number as the literal voice of the people.

Cut and run
There’s even one SMS that wants the “entire film, modelling and advertising world to ban Shayan Munshi for his cowardice”. Munshi’s volte-face under interrogation is well known. Coincidentally, co-witness Malini Ramani who submitted in court that she had seen the accused fleeing the scene, has conveniently pushed off to Goa to “work on her fashion week collection”. Surprising considering her factory is in Delhi.

In Cyberspace
Another petition generating impetus in cyberland is at unityisstrength.blogspot.com. The site’s owners intend to send the page to the President today. At the time of going to press on Saturday afternoon, there were 121 comments, all filled with disgust and shame. The site states, “Everone of us, including Judge Bhayana, knows who the culprits are. Indians have always prided ourselves that with corruption all around, the judiciary in India is still untouched and is independent from pressures, political or monetary. This case will change that forever.”

The bigger picture
This is not about Jessica Lal and Manu Sharma anymore. A generation brought up under the belief that “this is India and aisa hi hota hai” is rebelling against the bureaucratic and political slime we are subjected to everyday. This nouveau riche, political-backed trash needs to be taught a lesson. This sub species of human being that does what they want because of who their daddy is. Enough is enough. We are sick of this Jungle Raj, of being governed by illiterate thugs and of being helpless against their atrocities. This verdict is not only a kick in the crotch for the judiciary; it is an embarrassment for the entire country.Although no one has yet expressed vigilante tendencies, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s box office hit is always ready inspiration. What goes around comes around. The corrupt beware… Hurricane Jessica is coming. You can’t run and you can’t hide.

Friday, May 26, 2006

stoner story 8 (I think) - a weekend to forget...

This past weekend was a bitch. To put it lightly. I'd bought a T of cream from Baba, some really insanely crazy shit. Just a little bit of maal, less than a pinch really was enough to make you talk to the fridge.
The operative word in the previous sentence being WAS.
Saturday night was the Sandyman's 37 birthday and the old bastard was throwing a little shindig, even went and invited the in-laws for some reason.
I had some crazy fever - vomit - cough - cold disease happening back then I remember, because Chottu, Jas and W were to pick me up from Ashram and I was telling them to get their enormous rears to my house because I was sick.
But you can't argue with these guys. So there I was, waiting at Ashram when Thor decides to show off.
15 minutes of waiting in the storm and these guys show up and we get to the Sandyman's place soon after.
The usual drinking and music scene at the Sandyman's. Latter is married to Minnie, who is Chottu's sister, which is how I know him. Was supposed to be a "band party" because he'd invited Indian Ocean and Silk Route, but when we got there, only Sushmit was chilling on the sofa. Rahul walked in later.
Wayyyyy too much alcohol later, Chottu's dad pulls out the harmonium and sits Rahul Ram down on the dining room floor to sing Kandisa
Of course Rahul is wayyyy too drunk to say no.
Hearing a song like that sung live, in front of you, by the original singer, who's pissed drunk, on your living room floor..
Man..just had to smoke one.
So I stagger out to the balcony, that incidentally is on a seventh floor apartment overlooking the Aravliis (read: trippy view) to roll.
I probably put too much, because I was fucked. Touched Chottu's dad's feet when I left. (I have never done that in the seven years I know the guy despite it being literally tradition in this group)
Got in the car, was pulling out a cig when I saw half a joint. I was like..fuck..where did that come from?
But then I took a drag, the scenery changed and I forgot.
One hazy car ride later, we troop into Chottu's place to crash and W says he has to take off.
The next thing I remember is getting up bright and early on Sunday morning yearning for a fucking good wake and bake, looking for my hardcase ... and FUCK FUCK FUCKMOTHERFUCK..it's nowhere in the house!!!
The next two hours were spent on the phone trying both Minnie and W. But both the fuckers sleep till afternoon on Sundays so I had to spend the rest of the morning gnawing my nails, mentally kicking myself for getting so goddamn drunk to forget the damn thing.
The thing is..I didn't know if I left it at Sandyman's place or in W's car and I think it was the need of reassurance that was killing me most.
W answered the phone later in the evening. Had checked his car. Nothing.
Minnie called back, saying she hadn't found it YET.
I'm going to go this weekend and try my Sherlock skills.

But that wasn't the only piece of shit thing to happen to me this weekend.
Sitting in Chottu's place, Jas says she wants to go... guess where... hippie Mecca Paharganj to look around and maybe shop for shit.
Ok..a turn in my luck..
We head down to PG in the evening, some little scruffy fucker intercepts me with a "you want hash, hashish, charas, ganja, trippy". So I nod and we go into one of those tunnel alleys to negotiate.
He's asking 800 bucks for what doesn't look like a tola and smells like weed.
I start to walk away when I realise I have no immediate source of maal and this was one of those days when you HAVE to smoke. So we haggle and I get what he says is a T and a half for 8 and we leave.
Laksh, Ankita and Mad Shark were coming over later so I thought I'd experiment with the maal on my self before the public was exposed to it.
Back home, lighting it with trepidation and my worst fears are proven true. It had passed the bootpolish test but the damn thing was definitely 3/4 Iodex. Some really sick shit.
Out of sheer desperation to get high, I went down to the ATM next to my house to draw out some money, head to the theka and pick up some rum. I pop my card into the machine and voila!!! we have loadshedding and with a beep beep beep the ATM dies. The guard comes in and says, "Oh ho, card atak gaya kya?
I'm stoned, tired, stressed out and fucking pissed off now.
"Tujhe kya lagta hai bhen ke lode?"
"Nahi bas pooch raha tha"
Gives me this paper on which I'm supposed to write my name and card info and shit. I tear it up and walk out.

An hour later... Laksh, Ankita and Mad Shark land up with maal from Kasol and a mutton tikka roll from Sanjha Chulha. After they leave, Baba lands up with some chick who's name I don't remember with the SAME maal he sold me and we blow through two with beer before finally calling it.

Moral of the story: All's well that end's well (predictably)

Some stuff I've written for the paper

McLeodganj
Far in the distance, the horizon turns purple as the swollen clouds threaten to burst. The bus from Pathankot continues through the Kangra Valley whizzing past picturesque hamlets and startlingly pretty Himachali girls.
The mighty Dhauladhar blocks out the afternoon sun as the Punjab State Roadways bus hurtles to the root of the mountain.
Around me the scene is much the same. A pack of scrubbed pahadi boys fighting over a harassed puppy, assorted villagers with assorted luggage and a handful of reticent, chanting monks sitting behind the bus driver.
This was my first trip to magical McLeodganj. I had mentally prepared myself for a vacation of calm and solitude. Maybe catch the Dalai Lama in action too.
Dharamshala, 9km below McLeodganj, is crowded and polluted. Stay here only if you have no accommodation options up in McL.
To get to McLeodganj from Dharamshala, you can either hop on to one of the 10 rupee-a-ride Sumos, grab a rare bus, hire a taxi for Rs 200 or just walk damn it!
On the way up, you’ll cross the Church of St John in the wilderness that boasts a sprawling graveyard. Walking into the cemetery here is like a tutorial in the days of the Raj what with all the moss-covered tombstones surrounding the ancient gray stone church.
When you get here, the road bifurcates three ways. If you’re backpacking your way around, go left and check into any of the guesthouses you see. This area is usually populated with loud Israeli tourists that party up in Bhagsunag so you won’t get a lot of peace.
If you’re not on a shoestring budget, take the middle path and ask for the Chonor House. Run by the Norbulingka Institute, each of the 11 tastefully appointed rooms has stunning murals by Tibetan artists.
This is where ‘Mr Pretty Woman’ likes to stay when he comes to town.Chonor House overlooks the massive monastery from where the Dalai Lama conducts his business. If you want to attend a lecture or a seminar here, remember to leave your camera and cell phone back in the hotel.
McLeodganj is a small town. You could walk all over the place in less than an hour. However, if you want a little adventure, you could sign up for paragliding (in Billing) at any of the tour operators on the middle road (Daya Tours and Travels is an option).There are several nice restaurants here. The Pema Thang restaurant serves only vegetarian cuisine, but the food is wholesome and fresh with a view that overlooks the valley.Come to McLeodganj to get away from it all, make friends with some genuinely nice people and if you’re lucky…maybe you’ll get to fly off the mountain.

Manali
Every would-be lotus-eater I know has made the bumpy, winding 15-hour journey to the Valley of the Gods at least once.
More to claim that, “I’ve been to Manali,” than anything else. Over 13 trips up, either by bus, car or Bullet, and the place still exudes the same appeal for me.
New Manali is ‘reserved’ for the middle-class Indian family, much like the way they’ve taken over towns like Mussourie and Nainital. The main town is highly avoidable unless you take a sudden fancy to the sprawling Tibetan market or have to pass through on your way to Rohtang and Vashisht.
Old Manali, to the left, across the river Beas and left up the hill, is home to scores of Israeli backpackers ‘burning’ their way through their military pay. You’ll also bump into random English, French and the rare American tourist.
Eating and accommodation options in Old Manali are clean, safe and affordable. The Dragon Guesthouse is a popular choice among the shoestring crowd for the view each room offers and the accompanying Dragon Café that dishes out a variety of cuisines at short notice. The rest of the ‘hotels’ here are 10-15 room joints that are good enough to pass out for the night, but not much else.
Drive up Circuit Road, before you cross the bridge to Old Manali, and you’ll come to Log Huts, probably the best place to park yourself in this hill station. Just across the road, is the comfortable Apple County Resort. Almost all hotels save for the extremely low-budget rest houses; will offer running hot water, clean linen and restaurant facilities.
If you wish for a little more peace and relaxation, lunch or dinner at the rooftop of the World Peace Café in Vashisht is a must. To your left is Kullu, shrouded in grey cloud while the snow-clad peaks of Solang beckon invitingly on the right. In front, across the surging Beas lie the twinkling lights of Manali. All this while the wind that whistles through the valley, teases a song out of the huge wind chimes.
If you thought you’d had the best pizzas in India, you clearly haven’t been to Roberta Angelone’s Il Forno that’s up on the way to the Hadimba Temple (down the road from Log Huts). Supposedly where ex-PM Vajpayee loves to drop by when he’s visiting the ancestral home.
One of the trippiest activities to do while in Manali, is to pack a picnic basket (preferably with some of the local plum/apple wine) and head to the ‘forest’ that stretches from Old Manali to New along the banks of the Manalsu River. Take a walk down a pathway lined with ancient pines that make everything around them seem small an insignificant, much like the mountains that surround them.
Come to Manali for the spectacular view, great food and local folk who let you do your thing.
The drugs are secondary.

Rafting in Rishikesh
Probably the second-most favourite weekend break for Dilliwallahs, Rishikesh is the gateway to the Himalayas in Uttaranchal.
Religion may have established this small pahadi town, but rafting is what is getting it added attention.
The Ganga is essentially a ‘pool and drop’ river – placid stream interspersed with boiling rapid. Every single river guide will swear that this is the safest river to raft on.
There are six grades where rapids are concerned with six being the most difficult. The most difficult rapid to get through on the Ganga down river from Devprayag is the ominously named The Wall, a Grade 4 rapid.
Ideally if you’re coming here on a rafting trip, you should drive out from Delhi early, say 4am, to get here by roughly 9. So you’ll have enough time to grab a light bite and for the instructors to walk novices through the basics.
No matter what anyone tells you about how you can’t drown in the Ganga, take your life-jacket seriously, under- currents in the rapids are extremely strong. If you are unlucky enough to fall in, hold your breath and, allowing the current to carry you forward, try to grab hold of the raft. Don’t try to swim.
If you’re doing the whole 36km stretch, the first rapid is Daniel’s Dip, followed by The Wall going onto various rapids ranging from Grades 2 to 4 with The Golf Course being the last major rapid before you hop off at NIM Beach.
Usually, rafts carry six-eight oarsmen and one river guide who sits at the helm. Sometimes if there’s an extra person, they’re used as a high-hide, up front where their only responsibility is to hang on to the ropes and not talk in the rapids.
Although the experience through a whirlpool can be quite heady, sitting back and tripping on the view as the raft meanders past forest, waterfall and startled wildlife is just as intoxicating.
There are a multitude of camps dotted along either bank and most offer additional activities like rock climbing and trekking. Since significant portions of bookings are done by the burgeoning BPO brigade, a lot of the activities are built around team building exercises.
By the time you get back to camp and dry off, a bonfire will have been lit and, if your friends are the enterprising variety, that case of beer will have been fished out and stuck in the river to cool.
Most campsites have local staff that double as storytellers and musicians once the moon comes up. So entertainment for the evening is take care of.It’s when you’re sitting by the fire in a crisp moon lit night, tanking up and listening to haunting Kumaoni folk songs that you realise that THIS is what the Great Outdoors is all about.
Pick that up!
The rafting route runs through the Rajaji National Park, so if you’re planning on stopping for a breather at a particularly inviting beach, watch where you’re throwing that cigarette butt, Uncle Chipps packet and Bisleri bottle. All campsites strive to be as environment-friendly as possible with dry toilets and minimal use of electricity. Cell phones may not work because you are really in the middle of nowhere, though some camps will have landlines for emergencies.

Kikar Lodge (Sukhi's place)
Not very many people would consider Punjab a leisure destination but that’s about to change. Nestled in the lower Shivaliks and a two-hour drive north of Chandigarh is the Kikar Lodge. Built in the middle of 1,800 acres of private forest, the ten-cottage Kikar Lodge is a wildlife retreat with a difference. The only thing typical about this resort is the amiable Punjabi hospitality.
As you enter the gates of the estate, you drive past the owners’ homestead, their dairy farm and orchards, before you wind your way into the resort proper.Although winter frost had burnt the immediate flora to a crisp on this visit, the surrounding hills, thick with evergreen foliage and the absolute quiet impart a sense of dreamy detachment from the chaos of the Capital.
The Ropar Wetlands form an integral part of the retreat and if you keep chatter to a minimum, you might just spot some barasingha, wild boar or an elusive fox.
The Lodge has eight air-conditioned cottages and two suites built along the contours of the land. These tastefully appointed rooms are equipped with comfortable facilities, and thankfully no TV.To cope with the surge in guests, the resort is also planning to have ten luxury tents on the lines of the Aman-I-Khas in Ranthambore.
Although they do not encourage room service, as they prefer guests coming out to mingle, if a honeymooning couple asks for a little privacy, the resort provides for a luxury tent in the middle of the forest with a butler and cook at hand.
One of the biggest attractions at the Kikar Lodge is the Kairali Ayurvedic Spa, a first for Punjab, with trained masseurs and a host of spa treatments. One shirodhara followed by an afternoon’s worth of beer and sun is equal to heaven!
There’s a lot you can do here at Kikar if you have the inclination. A quad bike ride through the forest on marked trails is loads of fun, especially for novice bike riders, as is the night safari in an open-top Gypsy. Silence is an absolute must for the latter. Please leave giggling relatives back at the resort if you want to see any sort of fauna.
Other adventure activities include angling in the Sutlej, mountain biking and camel safaris, besides the 30-odd km of hiking trails throughout the estate. There’s bird watching in the lush Ropar Wetlands, a playpen for accompanying offspring and horseback riding, besides other team-building exercises designed especially for the BPO crowd. Or, if you’re the leisurely sort, you could just grab a beer, sit by the pool and vegetate.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yay!!!!!

I may have lost the cream over the weekend but Baba just called with news of a fresh consignment... stoner factory is back in session!!!!!!

No woman ... no cry

I know a lot of people (if they ever get down to reading this) will laugh their ugly faces off
But.. yeah .. I think I'm finally done with women.
No.. I'm not turning gay, I just don't see the point in a relationship any more. Casual sex is all good, but I've been burnt too many times by too many women to even bother about chasing any skirts.
The thing is, I like being by myself. If I need someone to talk to, I have cartloads of friends with time to spare to listen to my whining. and seriously people, sex is an activity that is highly over rated.
And I'm not saying that because I'm not getting any.

Almost all the women I know nowadays are only really interested in how fat your wallet is anyway. Which is kinda sad but then we live in changing times and thats the way the cookie seems to be crumbling.
Either that, or they're too goddamn dumb to understand the words that are coming outta my mouth, which is also really sad.

I've always been the typical slavering lunatic wheh it comes to pretty girls and like all those of my ilk, I've had more than my fair share of relationships... none of which have lasted more than a few months (except the last one, which completely rogered me)
Now, I'm just fucking sick of the mind games, wasting money, time, patience, attention and energy on people who really don't seem to notice any of that. Chicks today, like chicks before them, all want the moon and the stars. Just that today chicks want it NOW, and they want a bigger moon with lots of fucking bright stars.

Life is just so much easier now that I'm not supposed to behave a certain way, acclimatise to someone else's mood swings, family and ... most importantly .. smell.
Maybe I'm slightly neurotic, but if a girl smells funny, it really isn't funny. By funny I don't mean body odour or a wierd Sri Lankan perfume. It's a combination of breath, hair smell, the whiff I get when she passes by and a lot more I can't describe.

More than one girlfriend has tried to come between me and Mary Jane and usually that's when the relationship starts going downhill. I'm not addict. I don't like being told how to run my life. I'm completely aware pot makes me lazy, absent minded and probably give me an enlarged prostate when I'm 50.
But right now, I don't give a fuck.

Last Xmas Eve, when Kbeer, Sister and I went to the folks' place for a quiet family celebration, Dad, self and Kbeer got down to the usual whisky elbow exercising when after one too many (and a hidden spliff) I told my father not to expect any grandchildren from me except maybe by mistake and that I was never going to fall down the aisle in a black suit ever.
Maybe if he hadn't been killing the bottle, he'd have given a better answer than "molecules and atoms and the importance of family structure". Dad went to the seminary to learn how to be a priest before he, thankfully, changed his mind. So that probably came from there.

Coming back to what I was saying earlier, I've always held the belief that the perfect woman was out there somewhere till I met two who fit the bill to a L and now I'm completely disillusioned.
I've been trawlng on hi5 too over the past few weeks, more out of sheer boredom than anything else and that's made me realise all women are the same. They think the same, they behave the same, ... fuck no more surprises..

Needless to say, I don't think the emotion of 'love' exists anymore .. at least not for me .. It's all about what you can get in exchange for what you're giving.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A nomad for life...

Ever since the sister and I moved out of the folks' place, wayy back in 2002, we haven't stayed more than a year at each rented apartment.
The first house we moved to, a family friend's in B-block, PV Gurgaon, it was fucking wierd. We had the living room, one bedroom, bath and kitchen on the ground floor and I was stuck with the servant's quarter on the first floor.
Stayed there a total of three months.
The next nest was in quiet GK3, better known as Masjid Moth. Excellent location with the theka literally around the corner. We had to shift to Delhi because I quit my Gurgaon-based call centre drudge for a Noida-based call centre drudge. :-/
Within a year here, I had quit that job too, took a huge nosedive in pay to go work for my first hack job..a travel magazine called Go Now. Since we couldnt really afford to stay in Delhi any more, we shifted to this really shady place in Sec 23 Gurgaon where the electricity had a mind of its own and the road in front would flood every time any one living on the street flushed.
Stayed here a total of two months, before shifting back to H-block, PV.
This house was, hands down, the trippiest house I'v lived in. A first floor place, you walked into a small lobby-like area which was really a terrace bar covered up. We used this as the kitchen-cum-TV lounge. Sister's room was red-brick and L-shaped while mine (the bigger room for once) had a 9foot semi-circular concrete bed, spotlights and huge stained glass windows.
Like it was made for a porn flick!!!!
The bed was so big that I remember once Laksh landed up with some friends to watch Pulp Fiction and smoke. We ALL passed out on the bed and no one was touching any one else.....
The terrace was even more killer. The house itself was surrounded by trees (empty plots on all three sides), a park in front and a second sloping terrace (the roof of the kitchen) where Badhwar's didgeridoo really kicked some ass.
A year here and we moved again. No shit
This time to I block PV, just behind where we used to stay with the folks.
This one was a little cramped, but a proper two-bedroom flat with a fantastic view. Overlooking the lane in front with a small garden ahead, the Jaipur railway line and then acres of mustard fields stretching to the forest in the horizon. Plus trainspotting at night was one habit I am yet to kick.
A year there and the landlord being the bitch he is, we had to move again...finally this time to J'Pura where we have a fourth floor penthouse, smack bang in the middle of the city and a terrace the size of a soccer field.

Think we're going to stay put for some time.... unless that farm in Sainik Farms is available...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Some of my favourite jokes

It’s a normal day in the jungle. The elephant is rolling a joint when a rabbit comes hopping up to him and says, "Hey Mr Elephant, that shit is just killing you, why don’t you run through the forest with me? You'll feel so much better." The elephant thinks about it, puts down his papers and roach and starts running through the forest with the rabbit. They come across a giraffe about to shoot heroin when the rabbit says, "Hey Mr Giraffe, that shit is just killing you, why don’t you run through the forest with us? You'll feel so much better." The giraffe thinks about it and putting down his needle and spoon follows the elephant and the rabbit through the jungle.
They come across a lion about to snort a line of cocaine, when the rabbit stops and says, "Hey Mr Lion, that shit is just killing you, why don’t you run through the forest with me? You'll feel so much better."
The Lion gets up and beats the shit out of the rabbit
"What'd you do that for?" ask the elephant and giraffe in horror
The lion says, "That damn rabbit does that every time he's high on ecstasy."
---

A bear and a rabbit are shitting in the forest together when the bear turns to the rabbit and asks, "Do you mind shit sticking to your fur like that?" The rabbit thinks a moment and says, "No". So the bear picks him and wipes his ass with the rabbit.
---

There's this incredibly obese man who desperately wants to lose weight but nothing he tries seems to work. Diets, exercises, yoga, surgery .. nothing.
One day he sees an ad in the newspaper that reads: If you want to lose weight instantly, call this number.
Our man promptly does just that. On the phone, the lady on the other end asks for a $10 credit card payment. "Its a dollar a pound," she says. The fat man pays up and she tells him that the company rep will contact him the next day.
Its 6am the following morning when the doorbell rings. He answers to see a naked brunette with a sign that says: If you catch me, you fuck me. He chases her around the living room, catches her amd screws her proper. After they're done, she tells him to go weigh himself. And miraculaously, he's lost 10 pounds!!!!
Ecstatic, he calls back saying he wants to lose 20 pounds and pays the required amount.
The next morning, he's sleeping wheh the doorbell rings. he answers it to see a naked redhead with a sign that says: If you catch me, you fuck me.
Again, he chases her around the living room, finally catching her and screwing her. Sure enough, she tells him to go weigh himself and he's lost exactly 20 pounds.
His wildest dreams come true, he calls back the number and says he wants to lose 200 pounds. "But sir," says the lady on the phone, "that can prove to be fatal." but he's adamant and gives her the payment.
The next morning, he gets up early and cleans out his house, setting up a romantic atmosphere. Finally he gets ready in his best clothes and waits for the doorbell to ring.
At 6am the doorbell rings and he runs to open it to find.....

a 900 pound gorilla with a sign that says: If I catch you I fuck you

I want I want I want I want.....

I have my heart set on this car. Its a concept.. a one-of-a-kind... a Fiat (Premier Padmini) .. the kind they use as taxis in Mumbai.. except its stripped down to the bone.
I want to remove the back doors and the roof,
Sparco buckets up front, a small bench at the back,
the Hyundai Accent CRDi engine (or the older Honda City Vtec) mated to the same five-speed gearbox, Blaupunkt DVD/MP3 player,
drilled aluminium pedals,
Xenon lamps with integrated indicators,
five spoke black alloy wheels with red disc brakes,
an upgraded suspension system,
a sports exhaust
and painted in matt purple

And I'm going to put a sticker on the rear lid that says pocketrocket....

Random mumbling

Iv been in a funk this past week. Why? Because I lost almost a tola of cream and have no fucking idea where.
Man is this depressing or what???? Even went to hippie haven PG to see if I could score ... and score I did.. some fucking disgusting tatti. Never go scoring when you're drunk...you lose the power of bargaining..never mind vision and smell.
Came back home to try out the maal and I think it has Iodex mixed in it..
Weekend stoning took care of itself however as Laksh and Baba landed up one after the other with sweet shit..

Every weekend I learn something new about this city. Last weekend , I found out that on the Noida expressway .. when you're coming from Delhi, there's a bus stop like area with wrought iron benches where you can park your car and your ass for a bit. What's insane about this little stopover is a bottle opener that's nailed to the walls!!! So you can pop a beer and watch traffic zip past, while the fetid smell of the Yamuna blows through your hair..
Some people will stop anywhere for a beer!!
This past weekend, I learnt that if you jump the IIT redlight at 7.20pm, you can get to Sector 55 Gurgaon in 17 minutes. Ok, so that isnt very useful information for most, but could be necessary if you're racing down the MG Road.

Was in Gurgaon on Saturday night for the Sandyman's 37th birthday. Fuck! Everybody's getting old..
The plan was: Chottu and Jas (who were with W) would pick me up from Ashram and then we'd proceed to Gurgaon. Didn't count on the sudden squall and torrential downpour however. Had to huddle inside the cop booth at the bus stop since I had fever and didn't want to risk fucking pneumonia.
There's something surreal about driving down the MG Road at night .. especially just after it's rained buckets.
The slick streets reflecting the yellow and red of traffic, cool zephyrs billow through and out the open windows of the car, past the shrouded ruins of capitalism, the multitude of strangers in the same predicament (usually the red light near Fabric) as W's vague dancehall music pounds through your the back of your head.

The party was pretty nice..mostly family and Rahul Ram from Indian Ocean. Sang Kandisa for us, with Chottu's dad on the harmonium, which was fucking insane, considering all those present (W, Chottu, Jas, Sandyman, Minnie and the older lot) think that is one of the landmark songs of the Indian Sufi movement.
Must have gotten a little too happy because I decided to roll a spliff and immediately forgot to out it back in the bag...

Haven't been coming to work for some time.. Party because I was sick with fever and throwing up, but mostly because I desperately need a break from this city.....

KASOLLLLLLLLLLL BABY!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Crazy people I know

If you ever ever get to meet Vicky the Beast, your life will change forever.
Not necessarily in a good way.
This guy is one crazy motherfucker. I've lost count of the number of dumbass things he's done... right from humping a signboard and singing to the moon during school (in broad daylight) to claiming he's a vampire and getting bit on the ass by his own damn dog.
When we first got to know him, he was already quite fucked in the head. A movie plan emerged and so we asked him to come along. Just that he didn't show up at the place we were supposed to pick him up from, so we left him and carried on.
We're at Priya (McDonald's had just opened) and we're trying to act all cool and all. Something only gawky teenage boys with magnifying-like spectacles and emerging facial hair can do, when Vikcy the Beast bursts onto the pavement, runs screaming straight to us and throwing himslef prostrate in front of us, shouts at the top of his voice, "I FOUND YOU I FOUND YOU..I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy"
We're all like ..hey who the fuck is this motherfucker and are trying to sidle out of his grasping fingers...
Once at a party at my place, Vicky came cycling from C Block (I lived in I-block) was so tired, grabbed the first bottle he saw (vodka) and swigged it. Never knew anyone was so stupid to KEEP drinking after you KNOW its not water!!!
He threw up a couple of times and then went out into the road and started humping the signboard. After he passed out, we threw him in the driveway with one of the blankets the dogs used to use (this was in December). Big Man Don happened to see a little desi Stuart Little scurry past. Didn't scurry too far before he met Don's big boot and the rat was soon Vicky the Beast's bedmate.
After the party finally wound down, Don and me carried the fucker up to my room and threw him on the lower bunk where Spinner the blind dog found him and immediately began to exorcise his sexual tension on Vicky the Beast's comatose face.
Wish I'd had a handycam or something back then....

next up... the Mad Shark

Friday, May 12, 2006

too much black comedy

Uncle Ben sent across shitloads of Dave Chappell, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor mp3 standup comedy so excuse me if the language tends to veer toward the ghetto...


aarrrgghhhh....

its 10 in the fucking night on a Friday and I'm in office doing fuckall...

I need a joint

Rickshaw mania

There are times when I wish I had a remote controlled grenade launcher so I could obliterate every single motherfucking cycle rickshaw on the planet. Of course, I only really feel that way when there are fucking millions of them in my way...all going a different direction and not one of them acknowledging that I'm driving a car and I'll run over one of them motherfuckers if they piss me off. Like in Chandni Chowk or Sadar Bazar or even Delhi University at times.

I remember when I joined college, I was one shy motherfucker. Eleven years in an all-boys school will do that to you. In class, there was this one other girl.. a huge goddamn sardarni with two looooong braids down her back.
One day, on the way to college in the Gurgaon "U-Special" (i don't know why they were called that...absolutely nothing special about those motherfucking buses) when I spot Jas get on at DK. Oh crap..she's seen me..which means I'll probably have to go with her everyday..
I managed to avoid her till the end of the day when she comes and says, "Hey aren't you in the Gurgaon special also? Why don't we go together?"
Didn't want to say no for fear she'd sit on me, so I tagged along as we walked out the gate to grab a rikker to take us to the Arts Faculty where the buses wait.
She takes one step on the rikker and the bugger tilts to one side. She climbs on to the rikker and the whole damn thing swings over on its side...driver and all!!!!
I'm laughing so hard, I can't see her getting up and coming around to take a swing at me..like it was my fault she fell!!
One thwack!!! later and we're in the rikker, riding to the bus stop in complete silence.

This other time, I was ambulating down the road from home to the main road where I'd intended to catch an auto and head somewhere (don't remember where). I do recall I'd had a bit to smoke before leaving home though.
I'm trying to cross the road...looking the right way...and I can see a gap in the traffic flow. Now this is fast motherfucking traffic so you want to be sure you got your timing right or all that'll be left of you is roadkill.
So I get ready to make a run for it when this blind motherfucking dickweed rams his rikker right into me!!!! He's coming the wrong way (behind me) and has the balls to say, "sadak mein kahan khade ho".(why are you standing in the road)..
Goddamn motherfucker.. I still have the bruise on my thigh.

It's fucking difficult to ride a cycle rickshaw. If you try it, you'l know. Its not like riding a bicycle. Its like trying to ride a bicycle with two elephants and my Aunt Maggie having an orgy in the backseat cause the motherfucker just doesn't go the direction it's supposed to. The worst part is that if you want to go left, the rickshaw will go right and if you want to go right, you'll just fall off or get your nuts stuck in the handlebars.
Truly appreciate the balls some of these rickshaw wallas have when they're lugging a brace of 2-ton Punjabi aunties to their weekly kitty party.

The best people to buy weed off is also your friendly rickshaw puller. They're almost like some Delhi cops in that respect. I was walking back from a friend's house after watching that fuckall India-Pakistan one day series (the DLF Cup I think it was). We'd won if you remember, so I was pulling on a spliff I'd rolled before leaving and minding my own business when I hear the all too familiar sound of a cop bike coming up behind me.
Really wouldn't have made sense to throw the joint away, so I kept smoking it.
The thullas come up and stop right by me and the conversation goes something like this:
Cops: "Kahan ja rahe ho?" (Where are you going?)
Me: "Ghar" (Home)
Cops: "Kahan se aa rahe ho?" (Where are you coming from?)
Me: "Dost ke ghar se" (From a friend's house)
Cops: "Kya kar ke aa rahe ho"? (What have you been up to?)
Me: "Match dekh raha tha" (Was watching the match)
Cops: "Match mein kya hua?" (What happened in the match?)
Me: "Hum jeet gaye" (We won)
Cops: "Sachin ne kitne banaye?" (How much did Sachin make?)

This ENTIRE time, I was still smoking the joint, and they're sitting on the bike looking at me.

Cops: "Daroo tho nahi pe rahe?" (You're not drunk are you?)
Me: "Haan thoda bahut...India jeet jo gayi" (Well, a little bit..considering India won)
Cops: "Accha theek hai... aaram se ghar jaana" (OK..get home safe)

I was like what the fuck was that all about?????????

Monday, May 01, 2006

Ancestry and one dysfunctional family

As far as confused parentage goes, I think I have one-up on most people.
My Dad's from Goa and he's half Indian-half Portuguese, while Ma's half Dutch-half Portuguese... part of the European contingent of colonisers who settled in Ernakulam and Vypeen in Kerala.
Actually my mum's mum's family were part of the Portuguese people in Macau where there was some inter-breeding with the local Chinese population...the Bayross family...which would probably explain why the Sister and I look, to some people, like Manipuris.

My foks met when Purple (dad's sister) married Ben (mum's brother). My Dad's the youngest with three older sisters (in descending order AFA, Mother Superior and Purple); my mum's also the youngest with two older brothers and sisters (The Quizmaster, Pampam, Flower and Ben). Mother Superior is actually that, of a convent in Jaipur, while Purple lives with Nana in Delhi. Both Quizmaster and Flower live in the Bong Capital while Pampam chills in Goa with Mikey. Ben used to live in the States on work but has since moved back with Purple.
The Quizmaster fooled around a bit back in the day and ended up with two families. The first one - Aunt Mask and cousins (in descending order) Fat Cat, White Girl, Big Boy and Princess while the second one was Aunt NoFace (I've never met her) with RandomCousinSister (RCS)1 and RCS2.
Fat Cat was 18 when the shit hit the fan and she ran away from Cal to Delhi. No one knew where she was for the longest time. Dad and Mum had just gotten married and were living in South Ex when this happened and Dad saw her a couple of times around town.
Many many years passed and with no contact, no news and no sign, the memory of Fat Cat turned to legend.
Till one day, Purple on a church visit to the local steakhouse espied a vaguely familiar face in the throng of sullen dykes.
And Fat Cat it was.
She'd been picked up on a snorter raid when she'd been hanging with these African imports some where in the mid 1980s and had been there since as an under-trial.
Bully for the Indian justice system.
The family got together and got her ass out and she's been living it up ever since.
That's the short version..she's writing a book about the shit she was upto when she ran away...something you people should look out for..

The other cousins, on Dad's side, are more my age. AFA's and Pedro's kids - Lulu and Arturio, and Purple and Ben's kids - The Saint and The Grandmother.
In fact there's only a month's difference between The Saint, Arturio and self.
Lulu married Fez and Arturio hooked up with Becks, the rest of us are nowhere close to a dance down the aisle.

The Saint is another character in this family. Part of having a hyper-religious mother is having heavily decorated religious artefacts around the house.
The island in Goa that my Dad comes from, has a statue of St Francis Xavier that they pass from household to household with each home getting to keep it for a year no matter where in the world they live. The statue itself is bedecked with strands of gold jewellery, precious stones...the works.

This one time the statue was in C4 (where Purple and Ben stay) was the same year The Saint and I were under the ball-crushing stress that is the Class 10 preboards.
I fucked up like both me and my parents were expecting, but The Saint had painted glorious pictures of laurels and victory to Purple and the latter, though initially doubtful, had become carried away with his infectious confidence.
R-Day came without any surprises for me, but two minutes of walking in the door and we get a call from Purple (we used to live quite close by then) that The Saint has been possessed by the Devil.
Jumping in the jalopy, the four of us raced to C4 where the circus had finally come to town.
The Saint had ripped the gold chains, the flowers, everything off the statue of St Francis. He had the neighbourhood's wailing women kneeling before him trying to pray over him while he danced a manic jig on the bed with a fork in one hand and a cotton bud in the other.
"Say 'Our Father, who art in heaven," they beseeched him, only to have him reply, "Who's father? I ain't got no fuckin' father you fuckin' bitches...I'm the devil you hear ARARRRRAHHARRRRAAAAA!!!!!!!"
Purple was beside herself not knowing what to do...she just kept praying for the demon to pass.

Dad asked to be alone in the room with The Saint which is when the latter confessed to having screwed his pre-boards to kingdom come and could do without a tongue lashing from Purple.

The family also suffers from an incurable, genetic disease called hykumfluki. I don't remember who came up with this term, but I do know a lot of people who suffer from it. Hykumfluki is when a person suffers from a sudden rush of shit to the brain making them do stupid things, ask stupid questions and generally magnify stress levels ten-fold. It's the ability to turn minute, manageable issues into gargantuan, impossible problems, to blow innocuous situations into mind-boggling affairs and to cause as much chaos as humanly possible.

My folks used to have normal jobs a long time ago. Mum used to be with Unicef and Dad was with Philips. Till while on a trip to Bombay, Dad met up with this woman who sold dried bombay ducks and prawns in bulk. He started getting them sent up, repacked and resold in Delhi for a decent profit.
From the dried fish came Goan masalas and then pickles till we had 4C's pickles spread out in all the chic groceries in town with export orders in the offing. We moved out of the boondocks, bought a plot, built a house of our own in a peaceful, friendly neighbourhood.
Everything was fine and dandy so Mum quit; Dad had already quit to concentrate on this.
All it took was one wrong turn, one chance meeting with Obelix that sent the fairytale into the sewer.
Obelix was the importer-exporter guy who the folks were introduced to by a common accountant.
What followed was a forgettable number of years with debt collectors, double and triple mortagages, sheepish borrowing from family, scrounging on 30 bucks a day to college, and a whole lot more I don't want to write here.
My Dad developed this fetish for dogs around this time and from the two we already had - Bambi and Whiskey -- we now also had Doogie, Simba, ChooChoo, Pickles, General, Junior, Sameera, Odie, Mama, Ebony, Sheepu, Dipstick, and the blind bugger - Spinner.
I can't remember the names of the rest.
So many dogs in a three bedroom house meant just one thing: total furniture destruction and islands of shit on the floor. Not something my Mum was willing to bear.
So along with our fortunes, peace and quiet at home also...literally...went to the dogs.

Since then, my folks sold the house and moved to the farm where the existing pariahs have discovered the space of the Haryanvi heartland. Starting afresh, the folks opened Bernardo's, the only authentic Goan restaurant north of the Vindhyas in Delhi, shifting to Chit Park before settling down in Gurgun.
Today, the debt has been cleared, the house is comfortable and warm to come home to and the restaurant has received wide acclaim. Both Outlook and India Today rated it among the best new restaurants in Delhi in 2004, and we've gotten rave reviews by The Statesman, Midday, Today, Rediff, Marryam Reshii's Talking Turkey column, The Times Food Guide, The HT City Food Guide and a few more I've forgotten. Some random cooking show on Star asked my Mum to give a demonstration..the first time she's been featured on TV. And my Dad's growing his salt and pepper out to fit with the Goan restaurant owner-pirate image.
Whenever you're in Delhi, specifically Gurgaon, head here: http://www.bernardosatgurgaon.com/location.htm


I'm very proud of where I've come from and who I am...not something I felt for a very long time.

stoner story 7 - The family vacation

Aarrrghhh!!!!
Got back last night from an extended vacation with Aunt from America (AFA), cousin Lulu and latter's husband Fez. This being the first time Fez was meeting the desi brigade.
The plan was to head to Goa for a few days in the sun..maybe a few trips to visit distant relatives too. At least that 's what I thought it was.
The first day we land in Goa, we're off to the Mapsa market for shopping. The first thing I've always done when I arrive in Goa is to grab a nice, cold bottle of Kings brew. AFA is not much of a beer drinker while Lulu and Fez don't drink at all.
Evidently this was going to be a different vacation.
I'm always up for a different experience, so gallivanting around Mapsa looking for gold chains and toilet paper was a change from the ordinary.
A sweet deal with Baba ensured I had shit to smoke anyway, so that was sorted.

The first night packed in quite early, seeing as we were all pretty exhausted. We were staying at this boutique hotel called the Casa de Goa in Calangute. Nice place..a bit far from the beach, but two pools and we got adjoining for suites for 9 grand a day together, which is not bad.

Fez is actually from Goa too..from up north in Ashvem (where the Boom Shacks are). So the next day, we packed into the car with Diego the Driver and headed up. First stop: Vagator for some photographs, then up to Ashvem to meet Fez's uncle and check out his ancestral pad. Also stopped by a graveyard to check on his grandparents before heading south to Porvorim and the Menezes.
D Menezes is Dad's (and so, also AFA's since Dad is AFA's brother) cousin and his wife Terror is quite the character. Since this was the first time she's meeting Lulu and Fez, she insisted on giving a wedding present and badgered Lulu to choose between a 'selection' of tablecloths.
When Lulu is finally harassed into chosing a random tablecloth, Terror says with obvious sorrow, "Oh, I had bought that for myself, but you can take it now." Although we'd had a light breakfast before leaving the hotel, we were quite starved but AFA was adamant on not lunching at the Menezes'. After extricating ourselves from Terror's loud presence, we drove up to O Coqueiro's for prawn raechado, mutton xacuti, sorpotel and some fucking good beef chilly fry.
Next stop: The Bom Jesu cathedral in Old Goa for a typically sightseeing trip before heading across the Mandovi river by ferry to check out my ancestral place on the island of Divar. '
The barrage began at Vigilante's house. She's D Menezes' sister and is also supossed to be taking care of our place. Like really now.
Vigilante married her own first cousin and so her daughters Ann and Aggie are..how do you say it?... special people.
I got into this routine where we'd drop in, hug, sit down, look at photographs, try to comprehend rapid fire Konkani, eat a piece of cake, drink some arbitrary soft drink, get up with the excuse of not-enough-time-too-many-visits-left, take a mandatory group picture, hug again and leave.
From Vigilante's place, we headed to T Menezes' place (T's D's brother) followed by Ann escorting us to our house to open the doors. Place is still the same..half way through renovation with gray plastered walls, no electricty and overgrown shrubbery.
Some more pictures and we got back in the car to meet relatives I didn't know existed and have hence completely forgotten their names as I write this.

By now I'm exhausted.
Both from the incessant travelling and the strain of the plastic smile.
But we still have to visit the church on the island (built between 1590 and 1597..somthing I didn't know), say hello to the priest, stop by some friend of AFA's and another chap's place who is someone Darwin would be interested in. Then there was also P&N's place as AFA's hubby, Pedro's place to visit as well. Pedro didn't make this trip because of work, staying back in the States with Arturio and Beck (the son and daughter-in-law).
Pedro's house is on the same island, but the other side. So we had to get back to the mainland, take a u-turn, drive back to the jetty 2km behind us and cross the river again.
My feet were killing me, I desperately wanted a beer and get my ass on some nice soft sand to watch the sun sink into the Arabian. Lulu and Fez felt the same way too, but this trip was pretty much AFA's way or the highway so on we went to Mallara and Pedro's house.

It was pitch dark when we got there..kinda defeating the purpose since AFA didn't want to meet Pedro's relative and only shoot pictures from outside.
FINALLY...just when we thought we'd be heading back to Calangute, we had to go to Panjim to see some long-lost aunt who I'd never heard of before that evening.
No beer, no smoke and no rest were starting to piss the fuck out of me but considering I was staying with these people, I went along. The long-lost aunt we went out of the way to see...wasn't home and whoever was home refused to answer the door and phone either.
Don't why we didn't just call before driving all the way. Diego the Driver didn't seem to mind, considering we'd just taken care of a week's wages in a day.

At the hotel, we nibbled a tired dinner before I convinced the others that a walk to the beach would be worth their while. Which is what Fez and Lulu had been wanting to do anyway.
A short walk down, we sat on the emptier side of Calangute watching the waves crash into the sand with a bottle of urrack, white wine and a spliff for me.
Back at the hotel, AFA and Lulu passed out while Fez and self proceeded to attack the mini-bar in true Goan style. One beer each, followed by a Bacardi minature and Coke (each), a breezer (each), a vodka and Sprite (each) and a whisky+soda (each) and I finally get to the Goa I know.

Within 15 minutes, we were in the pool. Floating around, happily drunk, surrounded by swaying palm trees, with a million constellations filling the cool night air. The highlight of this particular trip. The guard came to stare at us for a bit since the pool officially closed at 7.30pm and it was close to midnight. But he must have figured out that we weren't going to drown and we weren't making a nuisance either so he went back to sleep.

The wierd bit of meeting disconnected relatives is that although you know they're related to you and you should be behaving a particular way, they're still complete fucking strangers. Although my aunt is clued in to what the family is upto in general, I have no fucking idea who is married to whom, who died, who moved to Australia, who had twin boys, etc etc etc.
Frankly I dont really care. The only family I bother about keeping somewhat in touch with is my parents and their immediate families (Considering my Dad has three sisters and my Mum has two brothers and two sisters, that's a lot of family already). The rest just seem like so much extra baggage.

Moral of the story: Never go on someone else's vacation