The Covelong Music and Surfing Festival 2016- #Music

Covelong near Chennai, is home to the annual 3 day beach fest with Surfing, Music and Yoga as the main attractions. This post focusses on the music festival.

The real beauty of a music festival by the beach is not as much about the music, as much as it is about the vibes that evening. Its about a crowd that wants to jive about, its about a musician who wants to get the crowd involved, even if they dont understand the music.

Usually the Covelong music festival has an acoustic stage and a beach stage through the day, but its the night that takes centre stage. The colours, the scent of the salted sea, the colours of the locals and fireworks, and yes the Bass thundering its away besides the raging waves makes for 3 evenings of high octane raving over music. I didn’t quite understand the music, but shaking a leg and feeling lighter is probably the key, as I would discover.

 

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Fuzzculture’s Arsh was engaging with the audience really well. He looked like the singer KK when seen from behind with long hair, and a guitar round his shoulder.

surf2

 

He had quite an aura emanating, when the smoke from the stage were seen in the background of the lights. The independent music scene and the musicians surely had me think, that I should probably move beyond bollywood and popular music.

surf3

 

surf4

surf5

 

The crowd genuinely seemed to be interested in listeing to the musician and it was nice to see the local fisherman also getting involved trying to sample the music.

surf6 surf7

The front stage is not where all the action happens. I briefly went behind and saw the stage from behind, and it looked like the cover of a music band, with all colours of the spectrum lit against the dark of the twilight playing into darkness’s hands.

surf8

The local flavour at the beach near Chennai was the corn seller selling corn. It was not overpriced like a lot of commericalised corn. I took some corn, rested on the sands, looked at the moon in the distance, its reflection on the sea and thanked providence for providing a beautiful experience of music by the Bay of Bengal. I would come back tommorow for the surfing. Till then, it was time to get to Mahabalipuram and go and catch the highlights of the India-West Indies T20 games being played then in Florida.

Corn seller at the beach, during the Covelong Surf Festival
Corn seller at the beach, during the Covelong Surf Festival

#TravellerStories-02- Off Missed Sunrises and Other Stories!

Let’s meet Arnav Mathur who is second on this series called  #TravellerStories. He’s a traveller from New Delhi (who is passionate about going green and sustainability) who blogs at Eat,Travel,Live and Repeat. He works as aSocial Media Coordinator and Content Writer at JustWravel Pvt Ltd. In this episode, we throw a few questions at him and find out what he likes and doesn’t. Since this is an experiment, feel free to comment and help us out with interesting questions for the next set of travellers to be featured.

Arnav Mathur

 

Why the need for such a series like TravellerStoriesXX? We hear so many travel stories, but we’d be able to appreciate the travel stories at a relative level, only when these same questions are put to people at different place, we’d probably have a sense of awe towards how geography and history places a bias on our thinking. So these are nice postcards that you want to quickly rummage through, over an evening snack. Yes, just meant over tea and biscuits.

A) Where are you from and what do you do for a living?

I am from Delhi but have spent all my life in different towns of India as my father is in the army.I have stayed in places like Wellington and MHOW which are like alien cities to people living in metro cities. I am a Civil Engineer by profession passionate about Green Buildings and Sustainability. I have been freelancing for a travel company and travel blogging and am enjoying every bit of it.

B) What’s the most cliched thing that outsiders say or feel about your city/country?

Indian food is spicy and unhealthy.

Well not all Indian food items are spicy and unhealthy, their is a healthier less fat, sugarless option for all sweets available these days.Of course, some Indian food is spicy, but we never cook too spicy items at home and usually ask for a medium spicy alternative of a dish while ordering in restaurants. The street food of India is hygenic if taken from a decent looking populated vendor.

C) What’s that one dish travellers should try out at your city and where?

It would definitely have to be the Tandoori Momos and the Vodka Momos. I heard their names for the first time in my life when I moved to Delhi a year back, and have become a momo addict ever since.Tandoori Momos are available in Hunger Strike, Amar Colony and the Vodka Momos in Queens Boulevard, Amar Colony.Read more here

D) Reg exploring places outside your city, which is your favourite place (and why) and send us a photo with you in it

My favorite city till now would have to be McLoedganj, Himachal Pradesh without any doubt. It was my first trip after relocating to Delhi, India and it spearheaded the urge to travel and explore. It was the perfect catalyst for my Wanderlust. It was a weekend trip after 3 months of hectic job so all we did inMcLoedganj was Eat, Sleep, Relax and Repeat. The place is so welcoming to travelers with so many cafes offering cuisines from around the world and free wifi in all the cafes. I had my life’s best Pizza till now in Carpediem, McLoedganj, so yeah!  McLoedganj is my favorite place till now and will always hold a special place in my heart.

E) What is the craziest thing you have ever done while travelling?

During my trek to Chandrashila Summit in May 2016, it was made clear by our Team Leader the importance of time hence we started early morning at 3 AM for the final summit trek.After walking for nearly 2 hours we reached a spot, where we were told our destination was not that far.While others were still to resume the walking, I took some giant steps and took a good 500 m lead which eventually led to a 1 km lead.When I reached Tunganath Temple, I was crazy enough to halt for 20 min for no rhyme and reason.As a result I reached the summit at sharp 6 AM but missed the sunrise by a mere 15 min. That’s when I realized the importance of time on the hills.I definitely should have been crazier to not take a halt at all and instead just kept moving forward.

Arnav Mathur missing his sunrise
Arnav Mathur missing his sunrise

 

 

If you would like to be featured and tell your stories that may be of interest to the traveller community, do write in to us at Kartik@katchutravels.com

#TravellerStories-01- Of Camping at Wimbledon and Other Stories

Let’s meet Verushka Ramasami who inaugurates this series called #TravellerStoriesXX. She’s a traveller from Durban (which she thinks is the best place in South Africa) who blogs at SpiceGoddess. She works as a Travel and Tourism lecturer and is a lifestyle blogger when the sun sets over Kwazulu Natal. In this episode, we throw a few questions at her and find out what she likes and doesn’t. Since this is an experiment, feel free to comment and help us out with interesting questions.

Verushka Ramasami
Verushka Ramasami

 

Why the need for such a series like TravellerStoriesXX? We hear so many travel stories, but we’d be able to appreciate the travel stories at a relative level, only when these same questions are put to people at different place, we’d probably have a sense of awe towards how geography and history places a bias on our thinking. So these are nice postcards that you want to quickly rummage through, over an evening snack. Yes, just meant over tea and biscuits.

 

 

 

 

A) Where are you from and what do you do for a living?

I am from Durban ,South Africa. By day I am a Travel and Tourism Lecturer and by night a Lifestyle Blogger. My blog has a focus on Food , Travel and Culture.

B) What’s the most cliched thing that outsiders say or feel about your city/country?

” Do you live in a treehouse ?”
” Do you speak African ?”
” Do you have a Lion as a pet ?”

C) What’s that one dish travellers should try out at your city and where?

Definitely a Bunny Chow ! No there are no bunnies harmed in the making of this dish. The dish is a quarter loaf of unsliced bread that is hollowed out and filled with either a vegetable or meat curry. It is eaten by hand so no cutlery. The dish originated from the indentured Indian laborers who came to work on the sugar cane fields in South Africa and use this as a way to transport their food to work.

D) Reg exploring places outside your city, which is your favourite place (and why) and send us a photo with you in it

I love travelling and have travelled to some pretty amazing places around the world. For 2016 my favourite place is Kerala , which was my first trip to India.

E) What is the craziest thing you have ever done while travelling?

I think every trip has a crazy adventure. But one that sticks out is while I was in London and we camped on the road for tickets to Wimbledon. It was worth it though as we got centre court tickets.

If you would like to be featured and tell your stories that may be of interest to the traveller community, do write in to us at Kartik@katchutravels.com

A Day out at Lords-London

When I got off the tube at St John’s wood, and proceeded in the direction that most people were walking, I felt a strange sense of home coming with a bunch of strangers. I paused for a second, I took a deep breath. This was not for taking in oxygen in a crowded place, but rather to come to terms with reality of a dream that was a 100 steps from coming true. The enormity of being right next door to the Lords Stadium was overwhelming me. It probably was about the place, but not the occasion as a lowly West Indies team were playing England on the ascent, Johnny Bairstow was making his debut, Kemar Roach was ripping leather bolts-Not quite the stuff that cricket fans would be relishing to compromise their sleep over, but it was enough to make me like I was entering a magical kingdom. I walked out of the station, and felt the chill in the Summer air, hit my face. It was summer as they said, but it was chiller than Bangalore where I lived.

Lords Ground in LondonLords Ground in London

I heard touts selling tickets, outside the ground. I obviously had not planned coming to London to have booked tickets earlier at Lords, so I went forward knowing fully well that I would probably go upto 50 Pounds to buy a match ticket. There are something in life you feel priveleged to be paying surge-pricing, and I was not going to argue on price. Once I had the ticket in my hand, my chest swelled with pride, and I strode into the Lords ground, walking my way to the John Edrich stand. I turned around and checked that the Middlesex county had no stand named after Mike Gatting, one of their more famous sons. Maybe if Gatting had not done that reverse sweep in Kolkata, and England had won the 1987 World Cup, he would have a stand in his name. Guess what, as I was thinking and settling into my seat, I happened to bump into the man, who’s here conducting a fans activation show for the local sponsor.

Mike Gatting at Lords
Mike Gatting at Lords

When I started to settle in my seat, I quite enjoyed the view from the Edrich stand. It was a view facing the grand pavillion and while I was at Thirdman, the replay screen was diagonally opposite me which meant, I could also watch replays of how the action panned out. Good seats for the 50 pounds!

Aleem Dar Reversing a decisionAleem Dar Reversing a decision

The greens of the grass against the brown of the players pavillion, brought out the contrast of the players in white very well. The only constraint was the morning sun, which never came in the time I was there. Here’s Ian bell shepharding the tail as England march to a first innings lead. Watching the cricket in London was so different from watching it in India in the sense that people would come all buttoned up and upright in coats. They seemed to have a schedule of sorts in watching the cricket, and getting to one of the stands called the Tavern stands, where the cricket fans would drink. The members would sit opposite the edrich stand at the Grand stand, and would stand and applaud as the players would walk through them. This is something I had heard when I had earlier gone on a Lords tour. Also there were no restrictions on bringing in Cameras. Back in India, I remember being stopped for bringing my Nikon SLR by the police, despite the fact that I had ICC’s letter as an official fan engagement photographer for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The fans came first here. The ECB had a fan engagement program called the ‘The Twelth Man’ back then, and it showed how much they valued the fan, who was paying money and spending his time watching a bunch of people entertain in flannels over leather and wood.

Driving at LordsDriving at Lords

By the time, the afternoon came, the ground was partially flood lit, owing to the simmering rain clouds which threatened to pour. It was a surreal sight watching a panorama of the ground being completely lit up.

Panorama of Lords GroundPanorama of Lords Ground

England were playing out overs, and were content to score at a snail’s pace.  I decided to head out during the interval to check the scenes in the ground. I found Phil Tufnel, the yesteryear finger spinner signing autographs for his book,while a Carribean fan decided to dedicate a whole shirt to autographs. Now comes the question of asking, if these autographs were accumulated over the years.

Back in the 1990’s, my mother used to work in the hopitality industry, which opened quite a few doors for me, whenever the cricketers were playing in Chennai, I would have access to meeting them. I would meet them, listen to their inane jokes and wait for hours for their autographs. The nerd that I was,I would also rattle stats to them about their own batting. I remember doing that with a rather young Sanath Jayasuriya in 1992 when he was part of a World XI playing a Wills Indian XI at Chepauk.

Cricket Fan at Lords, London
Cricket Fan at Lords, London

While someone managed to get one on a test match hat. I remember using autograph books, shirts and bats but never a hat for memory.

Wearing Your Autograph

Meanwhile, lunch was being served, and I could have none of it below, since there was no vegetarian fare on display. I had to make do with cup cakes.

Tandoori Chicken for lunch at Lords, London
Tandoori Chicken for lunch at Lords, London

A little further down were dancers from the Carribean country of Barbados. They hired a bunch of dancers and and an offline activation booth outside the Edrich stand. I somehow felt that commercial tourism could be sold better. All these tourism agencies have the same ideas which go on the lines of “Lets-show-some-local-flavour-and-dance-and-sell-tourism”. I am not quite sure that’s the way to sell travel. As a traveller, I would have loved to hear a cricket connect to the place, and then hear about possibilities of Barbados like visiting certain beaches/experiences that only Barbados could deliver. Maybe someday when I have enough influence in the world of travel, I will love to help tourism agencies tell better stories at why travellers should visit them.

Barbados Dancers in London
Barbados Dancers in London

Travel Post Cards 04

This edition features some low resolution photos from the little island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia

“This series, called the Travel Postcards are basically the short story version of a single frame. Some tales are told between 2 sips of your juice. These are those tales. Not too long, Not too short, a little context, a little perspective and yes, they do act as a pill, that you can pop up for some travel inspiration”

 

If you go to Bali, and are quite fed up with all the touristy actions along Kuta, and if you’d like a Robinson Crusoe experience, in a quiet island, but with SCUBA Diving, Partying, Beach Cafes and no honking at all, go pick any of the 3 Gili Island. These islands are closer to Lombok province of Indonesia (Air Aisa flies to Lombok now). The rampant tourism in Bali spoilt the ecosystem, and brought in traffic jams to an island that feasted on palm trees and the sea. The locals fearing the same, decided that Gili will not meet Bali’s fate and they decided to have no vehicles on the Gili Islands. Also, there is no police on the island as the people govern by themselves and police comes here once in a while to check on things. The island is idyllic with white sand and blue waters, and despite its flashpacker vibe, the island still is never as crowded as the beaches in Bali. On an index of crowded to totally Crusoe level, you move from Gili Trawangan > Gili Meno > Gili Air.  To know more, there will be a series of detailed posts on the island shortly.

Open Air Toilets in Gili Trawangan
Open Air Toilets in Gili Trawangan

 

Cidomo- The only mode of horseback travel on the Gili Island
Cidomo- The only mode of horseback travel on the Gili Island

The Sights and Smells of the Charminar at Eid

In a city of 7 million, if 3 million people spend a period of 10 days shopping after sunset and feeling great, it must be a place with a lot of good vibes and energy. I decided to visit the Charminar during Eid in 2016. I called up Ravi and Avinash, a couple of Hyderabadi friends, who decided that they would also learn a bit about photography, and also help me navigate through the maze of roads leading to the Charminar. We parked the bikes on a lane far away from Charminar, and took note of the place, sending between us the geo location of the place, since every road looked the same. There was a charm and beauty in an old city where the houses looked similar.

As we walked down the road, we could see the Charminar from a distance, but there was a huge sea of humans thronging the place, walking across streets. The charminar was glowing, from all the lights in the distance. It was beautiful to see the city so alive at 10 pm in the night. The ladies were thronging by the perfume shops, and I decided to go have a look, instead of standing by the sugarcane shop, or the tea cup shops or the cloth shops. On closer examination, and through the bokeh of my lens, I found a colourful world further enhanced by the aroma of the scents on display. I was asked to spray some scent and try it on. I found the scent too strong, and decided to watch others try it out.

Scents and Colours at Hyderabad
Scents and Colours at Hyderabad

The scents in the glasses and outer covering on a 50 mm lens, were decked up to the T. The shop keeper’s son came forward and noticed that I was not quite trying out, so decided to ask me, what I do, and when he knew I was a travel writer and photographer, he uttered those 3 words that most people do-” Ek Photu Please”. I did a few shots to humor him, noted his email ID, and promised to send him his pictures in a couple of weeks. I had a glance at the beautiful golden shade of the perfumes and decided to move to some of the shops that seemed to have a list of perfumes.

Scents laid out at Charminar
Scents laid out at Charminar

 

While I could not quite pick a winner to recommend a perfume, I liked the way the perfumes were shown with different names. The earlier shop that I passed by had no names. In that way, a little colour and character over random items.

Charminar's Perfumes
Charminar’s Perfumes

There was a throwback to a yesteryear world, in the way the fonts were, and the way they communicated. Intimacy is indicated by a simple font. They haven’t used any model to convey their communication or used any skimpy clothes to show passion. Show a bit about how we folks express our love in this part of the world. I’d love to see such local flavour retail at experience stores at the Hyderabad Airport. I am quite blind to these foreign brands that are sold at the airport, with the only real local item being the Karachi biscuit store. Maybe these perfumes being sold as is at the airport makes a case? What do you think? Do let me know in a comment below.

Exotic Perfumes at CharminarExotic Perfumes at Charminar

By the time, I walked down the street, despite the light rain in the air, there was a lot of heat from all the lights. I managed with frequent stops for juice, but when I saw the spicy samosas mid way, I stoppped by. There were other people too, who were admiring it like the way, I was.

Spicy Samosas at Charminar
Spicy Samosas at Charminar

Just like an oarsman, who is delighted after seeing the shore, after a while at sea, we were delighted at seeing the Charminar. We admired the monument, and walked around it and proceeded to walk to the other side and we saw a group doing a photo walk. You’d find a bunch of people with cameras trying to stop at this very place to try and get a good composition of the Charminar.

Zipping through the Charminar
Zipping through the Charminar

The Charminar stood silent there, while vehicles zipped past the monument leaving trails of light. I too tried staying as still as the Charminar, but I figured out that this was a huge challenge. I could not stand there and feel completely safe about it. The Hyderabadis have a funny way of driving extremely fast on these crowded roads and then applying brakes just to get attention. I have a 30 X 15 cm area to stand on, with my tripod and making sure that my camera bag is not jutting out. My hosts Ravi and Avinash, help guard me on either sides, requesting vehicles to avoid getting close.

Motion by the Minars
Motion by the Minars

In between these shots, I had a person come over to me, and abruptly say “Bhai Meri Photu Lo” and he started posing right in the middle of my composition. I was perplexed and decided to smile at what happened and asked him what frame did he want. He asked to take whatever I could. I took this shot, and showed it to him, and then he walked away happy, even before I could ask him his phone number(Whatsapp) or email ID. Reminded me that maybe next year, I should look at buying a portable printer to pass a shot to all those people who ask me a photo. Its just another JPEG file for me, but for them, it could be a window to expressing themselves and be wonderstruck. That’s the power of a photo in print!

Ek Selfie Le Le re
Ek Selfie Le Le re

 

And then some time later, a vehicle passed passed by, and whizzed past us, and when we looked back in the camera, it looked like we had spotted a UFO in Hyderabad, but dont worry, that’s just Long exposure trails being applied to the frame of the Charminar.

 

UFO Speeding at the Charminar?
UFO Speeding at the Charminar?

 

And then it occurred to me, how beautiful it would be if the vehicular trails of light could be captured around the Charminar. We had to choose a spot high enough that would allow me to a semi-panoramic view of the Charminar. We moved to a nearby coffee shop, and then found this view from there. It was almost 3 am, and the Charminar still had a steady stream of auto’s raging through the limited spaces, while it stood glowing amidst its surroundings. Slowly people started to retire for the night, and we found ourselves mentally tired. We knew, our time was up. Our senses and vision had just seen a beautiful array of people and objects, and now after 4 hours and many conversations, we decided to respect our bodies, and maybe come back again next year.

 

The Charminar shines through the night
The Charminar shines through the night

And then, my hosts Ravi and Avinash, decided to end it up digitally with a selfie against the Charminar! Maybe that’s how we say “All’s well that end’s well” in these times of digital narcissm

Travellers taking a Charminar Selfie

 

Travel Postcards-03

This edition of the Travel Postcards features a little village, by the northernmost beach in Goa. That little village that no one told you about. That little village, that is nestled in the middle of nowhere, like a bermuda triangle between the intersection of the Arabian Sea, The Terekhol river, and a little sleepy village.

“This series, called the Travel Postcards are basically the short story version of a single frame. Some tales are told between 2 sips of your juice. These are those tales. Not too long, Not too short, a little context, a little perspective and yes, they do act as a pill, that you can pop up for some travel inspiration”

It has an ancient fort (Fort Tiracol), which is now converted into a luxury hotel. Once you get to the Hotel, you will come across the rooms, which are named after each day of the week, and when you get to the eating area, you will have a beautiful view of Kerim Village by the palm trees and the beautiful curves of the Kerim beach. Even if you cant stay here, you can hop over on the free ferry from Kerim, to the Terekhol side, and walk up to the fort on an ascent. You could also chose to go via an auto, but that kills the charm of such a beautiful place. Get there at a Leisure walk, until the bright orange of the fort welcomes you.

Terekhol Fort in Goa
Terekhol Fort in Goa

You would be drive through this palm tree laden path to arrive at Kerim’s jetty. Its a scenic drive from Arambol Village or Pernem Railway station to come here to cross over to the other side. Kerim is away from the noise of Punjabi music blaring, away from noisy tourists and most importantly far away from any kind of populist ride like the Banana boat rides or water scooters. It makes the beach and the village a lesser attraction, but that’s where the charm of Kerim lies. Away from it all, so that you discover yourself and the that 3 letter word called G O A.

Palm Trees lining Kerim Village
Palm Trees lining Kerim Village

To know more about this place, keep visiting this space for a longer piece on Fort Tiracol. Till then, spread the love and let the travellers know about Terekhol. It doesnt cost much!

Travel Postcards-02

Today’s Photo series features the iconic Vithala Temple and the Anjanadri Hill Temple, from Hampi( Karnataka) in India. Now go get your tea, and read on!

“This series, called the Travel Postcards are basically the short story version of a single frame. Some tales are told between 2 sips of your juice. These are those tales. Not too long, Not too short, a little context, a little perspective and yes, they do act as a pill, that you can pop up for some travel inspiration”

Panoramic View of the Vitthala Temple
Panoramic View of the Vitthala Temple
View from Anjanadri Hill-Hampi
View from Anjanadri Hill-Hampi

The first photo was taken in Hampi, over the side of the Tunghabadra river, that houses the Vithala temple. The whole place has a ‘What If’ feel. What if, this whole empire was not razed down to ruins? What if, this place was teeming with people? I would love for it to be captured or shown via Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality when you wear a headset and strut through the town. Hampi is basically yesterday’s empire frozen to today’s times. Its interesting to see how the temple was the centre of most activities. There was a place for trade, outside the temple with a stable for horses, and a rest place for travellers to bathe. Today all that stands are ruins of a kingdom that once was the envy of many. The boulders and rocks, add the extra charm to the modern day rustic Hampi, especially during the golden hour sun-light.

I took the help of a local guide called Basava, who took me to the top of a hill, that gave me this near panoramic view of the Vithala temple. I call it near panoramic, since this was shot on an 18 mm focal length, on a cropped sensor SLR. I wish I had my Tokina 11-16 lens on this trip. It would have made for a little more surreal imagery of the Vithala Temple

The second photo was taken on the top of Anjanadri Hill, which is the birthplace of the Indian deity-Hanuman. These places at the top of a hill during sunrise or sunset. Hampi seen from above, is probably the way it was ordained to be. The soft greenery that adorns the rough landscape, shows you how contrast can make a great scene.

Have you been here to Hampi? Which is your favourite place? Do mention in the comments below! Do watch this space for a longer post on these places!

 

 

Goan Monsoon Musings-Part 1

The alarm rang at 7 am as planned, the snooze button was activated (not as planned) and I went back to sleep. I heard the sounds of droplets of water falling hard outside the floor of my hotel. It was raining hard. I was in the midst of the Goa n monsoon, and there was no escaping from the fury of the Goan Monsoon. The sea was raging too. I could hear the waves, as it crashed on the whatever was left off the coast of Sernabatim in Goa. I was at Furtardo’s Beach Café, which was perched on a slightly elevated platform, with the beach having been eroded. So the waves basically hit against the hotel wall, and I was that close to the monsoon’s fury. I stepped out of my room, and opened the door, and the main area was just fine. The fury had not swallowed my room. The beach shack’s garden, was glowing green all over, fresh from the rains.

Main Reception at Furtardo's Beach House in Sernabatim-Goa
Main Reception at Furtardo’s Beach House in Sernabatim-Goa

Umbrella clad, I stepped out to the beach below me. The rain had abated a bit, though the winds were strong. There were a handful of people on the beach, presumably locals who were maybe at their daily walks, suggesting that everything is normal. The coconut trees, were trembling and could not quite mask the calmness of the locals. The weather felt beautiful.

 

Winds and Rain-Goan Monsoon at Sernabatim Beach
Winds and Rain-Goan Monsoon at Sernabatim Beach

An hour and many droplets later, I was on the road. I had made my plans for the day to get outdoors and drive through the Goan monsoon. There’s a special charm to Goa in the monsoons. Its as if the whole state is painted with grey skies and green grass all over. If you had to fall in love, make love, or rekindle your vows towards a relationship, Goa in the monsoons is when you come. A little walk through Sernabatim village maybe.

As soon as I started walking, the sun chose to make a guest appearance. The paddy fields seemed to have 2 shades of green, gleaming in the morning sun. It was beautiful. The different shades were due to different sets of farming efforts maybe since there was a boundary in between separating the plots. But 2 shades of green was maybe all I needed to ramble along.

 

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage2-ver2-normal

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage4

 

The roads were empty. No Tourists, Just the locals, Just the way Goa functions normally, and I was put right in that situation. I saw a diminutive uncle, taking his wife on a cycle, amidst the tall trees and wet roads. For a village, these were pretty sturdy roads. I have lived in Bombay, Bangalore and Chennai, and at the first sign of rains in a remote colony, the roads disintegrate. There was just the odd puddle of rain water stagnating but the villages were pristine and un touched by all the tourism.

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage6

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage7-bw

I quite loved the colourful houses, complementing the contrast that the monsoon brings to Goa. On the red bricks, that anyway dominate most homes in the Konkan belt, you are bound to see moss and off shoots of plants, as borders between the house and the roads. Weak borders at that, which could fall anytime.

 

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage8

If the houses, were not enough for color, the Goan vehicles too oozed off some quirky colours. I saw a greenish Bajaj scooter, over looking a Honda Activa parked in the distance. It was about 9 am, and I see a Goan youth, cozying up in the little space that is there as seats, to lazily read the morning news. It’s a working day for most part of India, but Goa is as relaxed as ever. It’s an alternate reality in Goa, which does good job of convincing people that life is ‘better in goa’(Like those T shirts).

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage9

 

I come across a Goan Taxi stand, which is basically a shed, that was built in the middle of nowhere. The wall is basically their ‘Amul Advertisement type medium’ to let the world know that they could call these folks for a taxi. The Taxi union in Goa, I hear is very strong. They have not allowed private radio taxis/app based businesses to set shop in Goa, which protects local establishments, but works out not so well for travellers.

wsf-goajul-sernabatimvillage3

More coming in the second edition!