But I go on forever…

 

Moments may smile, They may frown…
Times you cherish, Wish they ceased,
And then there are times, wish they were never there.

No being lives for an eternity, No breath lasts forever.
Time is neither a machine, nor tide waits for you.
You win some, you lose some…

For people may come, people may go in life…
But I go on forever…beating the blues.

P.S. The final line is an inspiration from one of Alfred, Lord Tennyson‘s works.

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Travelogue: Solo backpacking trip – Gokarna

THUMB RULE – If your trip is accompanied by a gang of gurls, then guys might just cancel their prior appointments, could even take sick leaves. If it’s not, then even after  ‘coaxing’  they wouldn’t show up. Anyways, so I made my own Ekla Chalo Re trip on the long weekend starting 29th Sep, as I had taken a leave on 1st Oct n 2nd Oct is Bapu Jayanti – National Holiday. Locking yourself up for 4 days is Bangalore is well-nigh unthinkable for me.

The journey:

29th Sep: Initial plans with a gang, was to Goa….(few dropped – plan changed)…Pondicherry…(rest dropped – plan dropped)….finally, thought of Gokarna. I had never been to this place but have heard quite often about this. Woke up on a Saturday morning, so why not make it there – I said to myself.  Immediately logged into RedBus/ TravelYaari and was lucky enough to get a single to-fro ticket as all seats were packed for the weekend. Boarded the bus at 7:30pm sharp near the East End stop. Plugged in the headphones and went on to my good old pal – FB. The best thing about Social Networks is that they too travel with you – Thanks to the power of 3G! Updated few statuses – a self-assuring one’s here. And after hours of listening to music, went into the limboland.

The arrival and stay:

Day 1(30th Sep):

The view through the mountains to the arrival point reminded of my Saklespur trip. Reached Gokarna check-post around 8:30am, also known as Maruti Katte point (this is where you have to come to board the bus back to Bangalore). Next thing to do was to reach the beach side. Surfed through Wikitravel on my BB and called up few hotels at Om Beach which were filled. Hence, boarded an auto to Kudle Beach for I had a gut-feel that Kudle has more reasonable and better places to stay. Bargained the auto-ricks from 150bucks to 90 (they might not come down from 100/- though). On my way saw this board Namaste Yoga Farm (the contact no. given in the page may not work, do contact Amit – 96205 69868 for bookings), asked him to take me there. I fell in love with this cottage the moment I went to the reception! I checked-in. It was time to take a shower and relax! But before that, I shot a few pics of this wonderful lush green farm-house.

This is where I stayed

This is where I stayed with my blissful solitude.

A neighboring cottage at Namaste Yoga Farm

Namaste Yoga Farm – The way to my cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now, I headed to the beach for some breakfast. After walking for a while I found this lovely beach-side restaurant (Mango Cafe) which is going to be the pivot point of my entire trip as I keep narrating.

The cafe in yellow is Mango cafe. Here most of my trip time was spent. Lazing, relaxing, hogging n sipping in solitude. 🙂

1st view from the cafe to Kudle beach as I had my Spanish Breakfast + a glassful of tea (oh it was a long glass):

The ebb and flow

After having breakfast and lazing at the cafe for an hour, gazing the vast expanse of the sea along with the greenery formed by the surrounding mountains and headed by coconut trees (the cafe boys are very sweet as they won’t get you the bill until you asked them even though I sit for hours without a jolt), I started walking towards OM Beach after asking directions to the locals by the beach side. It’s a small trek at the fag-end of the beach, the trek is around 20mins to OM Beach.

A couple walking hand-in-hand at Kudle

View of Kudle Beach from its left end

There are navigation marks from Kudle to Om Beach as you trek up and reach the plains are somewhat like these:

Navigation marks en route Om Beach

On my way to Om Beach (a bird couple busy on their date)

Reached Om Beach:

The shape of the beach depicts the sacred Hindu symbol – OM, hence the name.

I thought of spending some time at the beach, n get a few shots of me clicked. Couldn’t find a decent looking chap at that moment, so, approached some dude who was half-naked (from bottom). Gave some SLR lessons prior to clicking only to notice – this time I am a victim of Photography Fail!!!. Below pic explains:

A worse victim of Photography fail. This time the photographer himself!

After spending some time at Om, I headed back to Kudle to experience the twilight walking through the beach, sipping beer at Mango Cafe.

As I reached Mango cafe around 5:45pm, the dark clouds suddenly started invading the beach with a heavy shower imminent – it looked some what like this:

As I sit at Mango cafe at twilight with suddenly the dark clouds invading n hovering over Kudle. A heavy shower imminent.

And as expected, it started pouring heavy after some 30mins and just when I was sipping my beer on my own with some firangs and nice people around who I cracked a conversation until 10:30pm which is when I left the Cafe and headed to rest in my cottage.

Sheer bliss – U’re back 2 ur beach…seated at a beach side cafe, with d small surrounding mountains sipping beer…n just at twilight – the rains start pouring heavily with thunders n lightning.

Day 2 (31st Sep):

Woke up around 8am to freshness of the farm-house and felt the aroma of nature. Now today’s agenda – draw some cash from Gokarna town, come back to the cottage, take a shower and explore Half-moon beach after a brunch.

A view of the Gokarna beach while heading to the town to draw cash and explore the temples.

As I enter the town:

A beautiful street as I enter Gokarna town

Vendors ready outside the temples with offerings to the Lord

Some different flowers in front of Ganapati temple

I was back to my farm house, after some uphill/downhill walks and clicks, draped in just a towel relaxing in a jute chair. This is when I found a thud beside me as if someone threw something to me. Suddenly, I discovered it was a snake and it wasn’t moving. Looking at it, even I cautioned myself, did not move (there was a sense of shock and awe in the mind) and gave a frantic call to the cottage assistant so that he keeps a watch on it movement. Thereafter, I rushed to grab my cam ASAP and asked the helper boy not to disturb the snake. And here are some vivid pictures that would tell you the story on what I saw:

Snake that felt with a thud besides my chair on which I was seated with a lizard head in its mouth

The snake is now aware of human beings around him, so perhaps cautioned on any attacks to it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And wasting no time, it had to escape from unreliable ruthless human beings, with the prey slowly gulping into its  throat:

With no 2nd thought, gobbling up the lizard head in its mouth

I have never known snakes too camouflage. The color blue changing to the dry wood underneath it.

Soon after the ordeal, I started on my mission to explore Half-moon beach,which does mean I’ll have to walk through Kudle and Om as well. Already one beach had been covered i.e. Gokarna beach. Now rest 3. (Paradise beach, is yet another secluded (5th) beach but has been taken away by Forest deptt. and is closed now for general public) Had my usual lunch at Mango cafe who’s prices are way reasonable than any pub in Bangalore or shack in Goa. Had a beer and then got going.

Few folks I met at Kudle beach on Day 2

A kid playing football as his mom quite oblivious in her game against the sands.

As I headed Om beach again, made few friends on my way:

Met this nice chap Hari who’s now a facebook friend. Happy to get him few portraits/memories that he wanted. 🙂

So after around 90 mins of walking and some small treks, I did some photoshoot of these folks at OM Beach and without wasting much time headed towards Halfmoon beach. I had to keep time in mind for this was my 2nd and final day when I have to board a bus to return back.

Greeted by eagles that flew across the path to Halfmoon Beach

As I trek towards Halfmoon beach through these serene and breathtaking views

A light house or possibly a view point to the Paradise beach that comes as u head further. It’s more secluded.

Finally, I reached Halfmoon beach. It was totally secluded. It was just me and me. The time was around 4:40 pm. I could even run naked on the beach and there won’t be anyone to notice. 😉

A sense of accomplishment as the trek was little longer around 40mins, than the other beaches. And also a bit more adventurous as there wasn’t anybody who accompanied me.

Few shots of the beautiful and serene Halfmoon beach:

Half moon beach, towards the Paradise beach side

Half moon beach, towards the OM beach side

Spending some 15-20 mins, I headed back. And the thrill and jitters and stress were never so evident on my face than this moment when I actually lost my way back as there were no such marks that lead to OM beach or vice-versa. There were bifurcations. I had no clues which path I took but to realize that I went back to Half-moon Beach again!! I was petrified at this moment as it was getting late and I dint have a torch with me once there’s a nightfall!  I gave a call to one of my friend and let her know the situation. I called up the farm-house owner to keep him informed. He too couldn’t help much. There was no one as it was a Monday and already evening. I had to catch my bus back too. I can’t afford to waste time. Then, i tried searching for some polythenes, bottles (U know this is India, so litters are the marks), plastic to trace my way back. Somehow I found the directions correct. But never had I been this panicky. Below picture is the outcome of it. I tried clicking some snaps there from my Blackberry, so in case I never made it, someone should find them and make a movie on me like Christopher McCandeless ‘s in Into the Wild.

All pictures were shaky even though I tried to make my hands firm.

Eventually made my way back and reached Kudle. Was happy to see fire, if not bonfire but the Firangs burning the coconut tree branches.

Hence, came to the end of my trip on Day 2. I made it bang on my estimated time. Grabbed a beer at Mango cafe. It was around 5:45pm. I headed for a shower in my farm-house. My bus was at 7:30pm. The farmhouse dude booked an auto-rick for me which was waiting for me around 6:30pm. As I stepped out of my guest house, there were some nicely clad pretty ladies heading to the same point where their autos were stranded. I am never short of cracking a conversation, am I? So figured out they too were traveling back in the same bus to Bangalore – SeaBird Tourists .… 😉

When U visit hometown at 28!

28 is not a nice age to visit hometown if you are still single. But you have to, not to see possible matches that have been talked about by your parents before your visit, but to attend one of your best friend’s wedding (baraat) and to spend some time with your family. But thanks to the constant reminders from your parents, and now that you’re  eligible, you tend to see newly wed couples everywhere. 3 years back, it was just single ladies in front of your eyes that have now been replaced by young “just married” couples.

I really do not know what this syndrome is, that I end up seeing them – at the airport, in the flight, in the malls, at the theatres,  ugh! Everywhere! Ab sab chhod chhad ke Facebook pe baitho….to wahaan bi Wedding Albums ke alava kuch hai hi nai!! The then FarmVille updates have now been replaced by marriage pics. Oh yes, there’s a LIKE button. Hit like – the best thing you could do to bless the couple, ONLINE. You see even Mark Zuckerberg is married now!! And hence the status follows:

Currently, it’s Wedding Season on Facebook —
As per Census: For every 1000 men in India, there r only 778 women. So, 778 couples are busy updating relationship statuses & uploading albums. The rest 222 men (including me) are busy hitting Like button.

Kya karein, jisne humein chaha, naa uska bhala ho paya…Aur jise humne chaha, naa humara bhala ho paya. Par chaahat mein hum ek bewakoof insaan jaroor ban gaye the. Spiderman bhi bana hoga. Thanks to Female Foeticides, finding even “a little close to the right match” is like spotting a tiger in India – Only 1411 left!  So the final straw – Arranged Marriage. But that’s like going on a wild goose chase – Caste, Color, Height, Horoscope, Family status, Age, Package…are to name some of the criteria of this concept. More than 50% of matrimony profiles out there are of BROKEN HEARTS that need some healing before they’re actually ready to accept you. Whew!!!  Hum to kaafi kuch compromise karke bas 3 essential/basic cheezon pe atke hain but uspe bhi not a single proposal that you will “feel good” about. Humein to yaar dowry bi nai chahiye. Totally against it. The ones your parents feel, you don’t; the ones you feel, your parents don’t; the ones both feel, caste/kundalis don’t!  Although I agree to some extent with the concept of risk/uncertainty based on Kundali matches since predictions are based on the science of Astrology but I fail to understand the relevance of caste system in today’s self-made progressive world. [ An elaborate post on Caste system and broken hearts in the offing]

You being the only child, your parents are deeply disappointed, you are upset because your parents are and feeling immense pressure but you keep citing some examples to console their much delicate hearts. (Ab ‘Haan kaise kehdein, humari bi koi preference hai ki nai? Poora life kisika banna hai. Moreover, I don’t like seeing girls and refusing. More girls have refused me just seeing my matrimony profile rather!! )

Ab Pyar koi chai ke dukaan pe to nai mil raha, ki ek mangaa lein…time chahiye, jo shayad hai nai. Aur humein koi stranger ko chahne ke liye jab tak woh feel aaye, tab humare kundali mismatch ho jaate hain. Aur ladkiyon ke kahaan kam nakhre hain aaj kal. When they are getting interests from any Tom, Dick and Harry on Matrimonial sites with counts that match their FB ‘unknown’ friend requests, bhao to badhna hi hai. Aur us race mein shayad hum kahin chip jaate honge. Jab nazar aate hain, tab race is over! Unko kya chahiye ab rabb jaane. Perhaps they want Greek Gods who can give dowry to them instead. Or guys with altitude but size of brain immaterial!

I would rather not elaborate else this post would turn into a work of fiction!  Dil nai kar raha aur likhne ko, but one day I’ll pen down all my experiences. Now Men don’t have a choice. They really don’t. Perhaps the wise ones could wait for that “One day of Autumn” after 500 days of harrowing Summer is over. It’s all about time. 🙂

Here’s a small video from one of my fave movies – 500 Days of Summer , that speaks all about the above line:

I may be aging as the days pass by, my hairs might be greying (but there’s always Schwarzkopf professional to your aid, nuh?) but barely my parents know that I still feel, act and think young, just like the way I was at 21. And at 41, I’ll still be the same. Love (when it fails) may make you weak, timid, numb and dumb but never lose hope in finding love, again. Just have to keep your eyes wide open. Hope you found a suitable match – that would be your love. 🙂

 

Ekla Chalo Re…

What if your friends pull out of a trip you planned so desirously,
What if there’s no one to accompany you to a rock concert or a trek,
What if you invite people to dine together and all you get is alibis,
And then there’s none to give you company to a movie theatre…

What if you had a real bad day at work/interview & you got none to share your woes,
What if you wish to give vent to all your bottled up agonies & the world is busy,
What if you have all the love to give but there’s nobody to accept,
And what if you want love and just everyone’s so cold?
……………..So what! My friend, just remember these precious lines of wisdom from the great Rabindranath TagoreJodi Tor Daak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Chalo Re” (If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone)

Wait for none...I walk alone.

Valentine’s Day from a Single’s Diary…

It’s 10 p.m. now. And I am online. That does mean I wasn’t lucky today to find someone to spend the evening, to have that special moment shared with a special person. But right about now, just 2 more hours for the day to be over and everything be back to normal. Have ordered something for dinner sans alcohol, and yet another dinner like most Fridays would be on my own.  So why make a fuss about this day? Why would it hurt or make you feel bad to be alone on this day at all? Isn’t it way too commercial as of today that they charge you an arm and a leg wherever you go to celebrate this special day “meant for lovers” (or more so, people from opposite sex)? No doubt the Love Industry has a turnover of billions post-Valentine’s Day. Not only that, they cash in on the stupid frivolous so-called Valentine Week where each day is dedicated to all the possible mushy stuffs that you would possibly gift your partner on Feb 14th. (But I really hope you’ve an understanding partner who scoffs equally at these inane and old school methods of making her special)

But yes, Today you’re earning that much that you can afford to make that ex-kinda lady feel special (who possibly walked out of your life because you felt it is little too high on your budget to go for a Valentine Special Dinner out in a classy restaurant when you were a fresher in the Job Industry). But why spend on so very materialistic people? But well cuz you can afford to. And it’s the Time, Moment and Company that matters for you more now, I guess. But if only Money could buy feelings…sigh!

So, now it feels bad to have come out of office, a little early, to see most of them carrying bouquets in their hands – some to gift, some receiving the gifts. And if you’re working at UB City, the grandeur of the building decorated with flowers and its restaurants inviting you with neatly embellished tables with wine glasses, bouquets and heart-shaped balloons around is simply alluring! Having spent 3 years in the vicinity, especially when tomorrow is your last working day at current office, where after you won’t be a part of it but a guest, a visitor…you tend to get a mild heartache. But well, you don’t have a company. Your instant reactions go to the past years of this day where you had someone, more adorable (NOT the ex who also was my 1st love I mentioned above) to celebrate with on that particular day and would wish the same person was still with you, right here right now.

Nobody wants to be lonely. At least, I do not. But when you’re 28, most of your friends are busy with own lives/wives. The close and single ones are not in the same city anymore. Being in a city where you 1st arrived after your studies feels like some alien place, as if you are at some onsite location for work. You were alone on your birthday few days back, but well, you celebrated it with a bottle of wine and some pizza to pamper yourself to turn that loneliness into solitude. Yes, there were some online friends thankfully to wish you over video with their happy smiling faces and others who called you at the midnight hour.

Ugh! I made it sound all sombre. No way, there’s a flip side to all this too. You have social networks, namely, Facebook and Twitter, where in you pour your heart out with funny statuses and tweets. Also, connect to the world of other singles out there and their views and interactions. It’s sheer fun! Few of my statuses today unlike the deep satire on the Valentine Week specific days:

https://www.facebook.com/vishy.rana/posts/369942753034093

But here’s one I framed just out of bed, right on this Valentine morning:

There’s money in my wallet, & tonite will be thine,
There wud be flowers on the table n a bottle of wine,
But if u’ll be mine…my sun will shine…

So tell me love…would U be Vishy’s Valentine?

(https://www.facebook.com/vishy.rana/posts/369850606376641)

Although it has become an increasingly commercial day for love birds but well, if life gives you opportunity to celebrate why not make the most out of it. You won’t get all the shops all over the world be decorated like they were today on your anniversary after all. So, more days to celebrate, more special moments and more joy to life! May not be at some classy restaurant but yes, if you have the right ideas and items, then trust me you can have a blast within those four corners of your sweet home.

All said and done – I say Cheers today! For it’s way better to be in solitude than be in a relationship & still be alone!!! Next year, by this time as you all “suggest me”, would have tied the knot and become a man from bohemian. But who knows, who has seen the future. But if it turns out to be true then this day would always remain a past. Hence, made note of the day. 🙂

P.S. I leave you with this wonderful article Love in Three Photos (award winning love stories) and a lovely song that’s way too close to my heart: “Phir Le Aaya Dil” by Shafqat Amanat Ali: