This story involves me aka Pranshu Sharma aka Akhil Mehta, Tillu aka Akhil Mehta, Sanso aka Sanskriti aka pseudo-Akhil Mehta, Angad Single aka Angad Singh Gill, and The BOSS aka Nimit Mehra aka Akhil Mehta.
Wait, where was I? Yeah. Nimit decides we'll have a trip to celebrate the awesomeness of the best committee BITS has ever had. So he very conveniently tells me to make the plan. Arambol is cancelled, Vagator is our venue. Next, I am instructed to book a cab. So after calling up 8 cab bookers and leaving out the ones who were already booked, didn't pick up their phones, decided to fleece us, I finalized a guy, and so after a bit of bargaining, we had a cab.
All systems go, you might think.
Oh oh. This is gonna be a REAL LONG post. And on Tillu's recommendation:
PS. Do chicken daale tandoor mein, dono zinda the, ladne lag gaye (the joke with which it all started. :') ) Which song was playing in the background?
Ta tananana tandoori fights tandoori fights!
PPS. Do chicken daale tandoor mein, dono weight loss program mein enroll ho gaye. (Tillu's joke, words might have been changed a bit.) Which song was playing in the background?
Ta tananana tandoori diets, tandoori diets. (Note: this isn't a regular tandoori joke, as the joke doesnt end with -ites. But it is an interesting variation.)
Good. Now that Nimit and Tillu cannot avoid reading these jokes, lets begin with the story.
So the story starts with the five of us starting off from the campus without any money. Not too much, that is. All except Sanso. So then we went, on our way, with one customary rendition of Bhande Kali in that same soul-stirring voice, through Tillu's phone. And then we clicked pics, and found an ATM. The ATM didn't work. So we found another. Angad, Nimit and I took some money out, and made TIllu realize he needed money too.
Sanso and Gill then bought chips and Frooti etc while the cab was getting its tank filled with petrol. We started off, which is when we realized we had no straws to help us drink up our Frooti. Result:
Right. So after our Frooti adventures (I didn't have any, I never do. Wonder what happened to the pack they got for me.) Gill enusred his shirt got its share of Frooti too. Anyway, so without any more major mishaps we reached Vagator. Which is where I figured the plan was to climb up the fort, trek more like. My argument was this: I wasn't wearing my shoes (and instead slip-ons, pretty ones at that) because I saw Tillu in bathroom slippers. Apparently he didn't know about this part of the plan either, as was obvious from his comment when he saw the hill rising above us, "Yeh chadhna hai kya?"
Well, so we began the climb, well, began with beginning with the climb. We didn't realize we'd spend more time clicking pictures of ourselves, the scenery, ourselves+scenery, ourselves clicking pics of ourselves that we'd actually spend climbing up, and getting done with it. Proper photoshoot, it was, what with Gill being with us!
And then we reached the fort, where we clicked more pics. A little less walking, a little more clicking seemed to be the mantra of the day. And as soon as you thought things were geting mundane, Tillu saves the day with "Arre! Look! I'm wearing different chappals!"
And so we reached the fort, and looked at what was awaiting us. Brilliant blue with foamy white galloping across it, only to recede after it met the beige of the sand, all of this under the sun shining oh so brightly. (The last was more uncomfortable than beautiful, but you get the point.)
Then after a few more photos, Gill's camera's battery died, which is when we decided to get back to the beach. Now, how, was a tricky question. Just climb down the hill and get to the beach the quickest way, or go back the way we came to remain safe, and not risk slipping and falling down and breaking a few crowns.
Gill and Sanso (ones with sensible footwear) took the first path, while Nimit shepherded me and Tillu through the safe way.
Now this is where Tillu and I had our near-death experience, which almost killed us.
We walked up to the fort, and then we walked down to the road. Tillu slipped twice I think in this leg of the journey. Then we walked to a shop where we bought and drank water, which made Tillu make this obsedvation: "I was really dehydrated. Look, in fact, I've started to sweat now!"
And then we resumed our journey. And oh, earlier we had called the cabwala and told him to meet us at the beach, so we did not have a cab to take us there. Anyway, we then followed Nimit, who took us in this resort, which we circumambulated, only from inside. So we then walked down the innumerable stairs, with the Jamun trees doing their best to provide us with some shade, but falling short. And then we walked towards a spa when Sanso called up to ask us what the hell was taking us so long, after the driver had called up to tell us "Main bus ke paas rukela hai".
So with red faces, and no breath to spare, forcing our legs to go on, we followed Nimit, who then opened a rickety creaky gate, that led to the beach from the resort, and looked at us with his best triumphant look on his face.
To which I replied, "Kya ukhaad liya?" (and that was all me or Tillu could say then.)
And now not wearing shoes really killed me. You see, there was sand all over, and it isn't exactly cool fifteen minutes past noon. And so, with last remaining drag of energy, I ran across the beach, hoping I'd get away with just blisters on my feet, and not serious burns. Tillu wasn't very amused, he wanted to hit the beach. And I wanted to hit him, which I think I did.
Then we went and ate at Mango Tree, which our cabbie called the foreigners' place. Ad then we came back to Vagator, and decided to get to the rocks, go as close to the sea (safely) as we could. Which is when serious doubts about Tillu's state of mind crept in. Lack of sleep and overdose of food coupled with the long walk had made him very, well, confused about a lot of things in life. One of these things was climbing up on rocks on a beach.
Anyway, Tillu got by with a little help from his friends, and was fine. I sang Live forever by Oasis rather tunelessly to myself, and then decided to join Sanskriti, Angad, Tillu and Nimit there, thought I'd wet my feet for some time.
After careful calculation of the distance and depth of the gap between the rock I was currently on and the one I intended to be on, including the factor of slipperiness of each rock in question, for each set of such rocks I had to encounter, I finally reached these guys. And then I almost got swept off my feet once, and I don't mean it in a nice way, more with scary undertones. And then I didn't wanna go back, though the high tide kinda made it rather difficult for us(and even more so for Tillu) to get back to the beach. I had just finished commenting upon how I managed fine with my dainty slipons, when I fell with a thud and just about escaped hurting my back. (In my defence, it wasn't becuase of my slipons as I had them in my hand then, to avoid getting them soaked.)
Also, Tillu fell there too.
While we were on our way to Panjim, Lita called up! I mean, it just isn't a marketing trip wihtout Lita's input. And for a refreshing change, she actually laughed at my tandoori jokes! :') TIllu joined in too, with the diets version mentioned above. So we all talked to her, and after we had made enough fun of her and her Hindi ("Mera ghar bahut badi hai", for example) we finally let her get to her business. And then Nimit got senti. (Also, I think I heard a faint 'love you' before he kept the phone! :D ) So began reminiscence of the trips this committee went on, the friends we made, the people we bullied, the chores we did, the cash we barganied hard to save, the amazing times we had, on our actual 'Marketing' trip, trip to Vasco to get informals' goodies, trip to Panjim to get more goodies plus get some errands done, and the the trip to Colva, made immortal by Tillu's "Bhaiyya kheer nahin mangwayi."
Anyway, we went back on our way to Panjim, where we went to an undisclosed heaven of all things baked! Though the Opera Fantasy (forgot the actual name) wasn't that great. Bose speakers playing Paper Planes, while you experience chocolate melting in your mouth! Oh, and the Gelatos must be mentioned, especially Melon that Sanskriti took.
And then we came back, after our rather eventful journey, that even included a near-death experience, which, mind you, almost killed me. Did our hisaab-kitaab in front of my hostel, CH4, where Tillu was in grave danger of being caught asleep in front of a Girls' hostel and getting DISCOed.
And that's all, folks. That was how Marketing trip 2 went. As brilliant as any of the other trips we've had. Brilliant buncha hooligans, we were. Even the rather 'sane' ones like Pratik, who couldn't come. And I'll end here now, else Nimit will get super senti and maybe even cry like a baby.
'L K Advani for PM' all over the internet. Congress and their 'Jai Ho' mantra all over the media. Talks of a 'Fourth front'. Pawar pulling out of a rally at the eleventh hour. Everyone going all out to grab the vote bank's attention, and hope that converts into votes.
You know, all this talk about youngsters going and voting, it makes sense at a certain level. Voting is a fundamental right, and that unless you contribute to the process, things really would not change. I checked out www.jaagore.com too, lots of college mates are totally into the mode of voting for the right candidate, being a part of the process etc etc.
I agree, voting is vital. But then again, we don't really have a lot of choices. Sounds odd, given the number of parties plus independent candidates we have in the country. But then again, voting for these independent candidates won't really give you a government you want in the Parliament.
There's the NDA, with their 'we'll do anything to get the Hindu votes' agenda. Then there is the UPA, who are all about 'we'll do anything to get minority votes' plus their India Shining part 2 (better known 'Jai Ho') campaign. Then there is this something called the 'Third front', most of which is the Left parties, who believe in 'we'll never let anyone grow, all of us will be equally backward.'
Latest I've heard is about a 'Fourth Front', consisting of regional parties going big, like RJD, LJP etc.
I might sound cynical, but really, do we have a choice? What matters when you decide who runs the country, is numbers in the Lok Sabha. You might vote for a guy who you trust will work, he might win the seat too. But ultimately, the party he belongs to needs to win. And most, if not all, of the MPs from this party/alliance need to be progressive, and actually get some work done around here.
Every citizen has ONE vote. If say I like the Prime Ministerial candidate of party X, but I think that the candidate from party Y would make a better MP than the guy from X, how do I decide? X needs numbers to reign, the region needs the guy from party Y. What had happened five years back, was that no one party/major alliance got the people's nod. And so the UPA was formed, which (lo and behold!) had the Left front and the Congress working together. Last minute manipulations, buying, compromises and hiding of MPs was what it took to make the government.
Yes, the turnout makes a resounding statement in states like J&K, where the courage of the people shows in the voting turnout. Yes, it makes everyone sit up and notice that the citizens of India are aware of their rights, and demand progress. But it really doesn't go beyond the symbolism, does it?
General Elections are here. Soon enough we'll be sitting in front of the television, listening to experts rattle on about how a particular region is the vote bank of a particular person/party, and forget in the calculations that we are the people who make up some or the other vote bank.
Unless and until EVERYONE in the country gets over the fundamental divides (minority issues, caste issues) we will have to stick with leaders who will continue manipulating us, using these weaknesses to get to the coveted kursi. And that is something nearly impossible, kinda like a vicious circle.
Well, I hereby end this rather loosely-written post on The Great Indian Dance of Democracy (I think a channel's used this line, not sure.) Hope it made some sense.