Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life Line of Mumbai


Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, better known as BMC is life line of Mumbai. Mumbaikars love to hate MCGM. Overpopulated Mumbai is bursting at seams still she is alive and thriving with able administration of MCGM.

Let’s not argue and take a snap at the typical Mumbai-day. We get up in the morning, hurry into the bathroom, turn the tap and voila! The water is always running, though the whole Maharashtra is facing serious water shortage. The engineers, sluice men of MCGM’s water department work skillfully to keep meticulous quantity of water flowing throughout the slums and skyscrapers of Mumbai.

Next we dump our leftover food and scrap into the bins. We never separate our wet and dry garbage. The solid waste management department of MCGM takes care of it.

While passing by the garbage trucks we cover our precious noses with eau-de-cologned hankies. The sewerage workers toil in those stinking trucks to keep our city spic and span, whether it’s scorching or pouring.

We always get adequate and fresh supply of vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat at reasonable prices from MCGM’s 21 markets spread throughout city and suburbs.

The most important of MCGM’s duty and where it spends its major chunk of the revenue is Public Health Department. There are 229 Health posts from where free vaccination, immunization, vitamins, family planning methods and general medicines are administered for whole Mumbai.

MCGM runs 30 maternity homes plus 16 hospitals assist in child delivery and maternal care. The best medical treatment is available at affordable rates at Cooper, Bhagwati, Lokmanya Tilak, Rajawadi, V.N. Desai, Nair, Centenary ( Shatabdi ), Kasturaba etc. MCGM’s mobile medicine vans routinely provide general medicine in various slum pockets of Mumbai. The airborne diseases are kept in check by the Pest Control Department.

MCGM gives free school education to 5, 19160 students of Mumbai.
Its Storm Water drain Department carries away pouring rain water to keep Mumbai active.MCGM administers 23 Fire brigade stations.

In other states, separate boards are formed for Water ,Sewerage, Education, but only in Maharashtra it’s MCGM which does the thankless extra job of providing the essential services.

Why do people whine so much about Mumbai-rains? If they really find it so much bothersome as to want to shift to Mars or Zumaritalayya, who has stopped them?. Nobody has invited or forced people to stay in Mumbai. It's equivalent to cursing our own mother and father for big family and resultant poverty. Finally If Mumbai is so problematic, why more and more people from inside as well as outside India rushing to Mumbai, dreaming to settle in Mumbai ?

It’s a fact that Mumbai is an Island, eclipsed by appx. 65% unauthorized slum population. The unauthorized constructions have blocked Mithi river, Sanjay Gandhi National Park ( aka Borivli national park ), drainage, beaches and footpaths. Many more rush to Mumbai, every hour of 365 days a year. How and where can MCGM accommodate and manage such mammoth population?.

Let me know about any island on Earth which is as much densely populated as Mumbai and still efficiently administered by local Municipal body.

Our Mumbai is clean, healthy and going strong with the efforts of MCGM’s work force. MCGM is truly the lifeline of Mumbai. But do we citizens care for the proper functioning of our lifeline which is clogged with slums and unauthorized constructions. Until and unless we remove these hurdles how could we expect the proper flow of services from MCGM?

We tend to take MCGM for granted, neglecting our own duties. Is it fair?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yo Aamen So ...

'Sujata Tawde, khaate batate vade' (meaning: Sujata Tawde, eats batate vade) Aamen, my nephew riles me when I try to wake him up early in the morning around 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. I flare up all right with "How could any boy be so disrespecting to his Mawshi?". Aamen's blunt straight forward is 'What has it got to do with disrespect?, you can retaliate me with - 'Aamen kumar, Takle pe bhar'.

We the family members have always been so buddy buddy with Aamen that sometimes, well almost all the times, he stretches that buddy-bond beyond boundary. I can imagine you chuckling under the breath 'As you sow, so shall you reap'. Okay fine, we don't mind! He loves us so much that everything is fair and lovely in our relationship. 




Aamen is a happy, loving, caring child who loves to play, play and play still more with his friends. His daily diet is fortified with lots of fruits, Dal-Rice, Kellogg's Chocos and freshly cooked home made stories. Occasionally he gets to feast on ice-creams, cakes and yummy Yo yo jokes.

Aamen's sense of humor is phenomenal and he delivers it saucily, with a deadpan expression. We have enjoyed lots of "Khushi ke pal" with him.

I try to ruffle his feathers with 'Yo Aamen so lazy that he possess two Dunlop tires around his west'. He ROFLs and replies 'Yo Mouse ( petname for Mawshi ) so workaholic that she slogs and tires herself even in her dreams'.





I like to annoy him with 'Yo Aamen so lazy that his tongue needs rest while saying Maav...shi ... so he calls me Mouse'.

He YoYos me with 'Yo Mouse so Kejriwal that Kejriwal has replaced all the mirrors at his home with Mouse's photos' and 'Yo Mouse so Aaloknath that he calls her every morning to ask for a day's script'.

Aamen is extravagant, so my being careful with money is a constant source of jokes for him, 'Yo Mouse so Kanjoosh, that Shylock took special coaching from her and paid a whole pea as the fee' and  'Yo Mouse so Kanjoosh, that she shops for a pin, only when it's a Buy 1, Get 2 free deal'. 




Our war of words has enabled Aamen in gaining A+ in Essay writing and English literature. Aamen's Self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek humor put us in quandary - 'Yo Aamen so Catty that he got a little mouse as a Mawshi'. His funda is very clear "Chill ..."

Aamen's sense of humor is hilariously  dangerous. He possesses an armor full of freshly sharpened one-liners. Stay safe in his company otherwise you might die in varying degrees of LOL, ROFL, LMAOing. Aamen's gem of a joke - 'Yo Mouse so thin that she actually floats in the air while walking so I have to hold on to her as if a balloon's string'. 

In other news 'Yo Aamen ke sath Khuljaye Bachpan so much that Rajnikanth dreams to be reincarnated as Aamen in next birth. To realize his dream Rajnikanth has opened up a giant Kellogg's Chocos manufacturing plant in his palatial kitchen' 

Wish you all lots Khushi Ke Pal with your kids and Kellogg's Chocos .


https://www.facebook.com/mychocos

on Twitter



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Little Mouse

Yes, Mouse Little , that's what my nephew Aamen calls me, his Mawshi ( mother's sister in Marathi ). 



Do I scold him.? Never. I am actually proud of that nick-name as 'Mouse Little' is Geronimo Stilton. My nephew's favorite author and the hero of a best selling children's book series is Geronimo Stilton. 

'Buddy Parenting' is not just a term for me, I am living it Extra Large size, since Aamen's birth. The memory of that first time, I took Aamen in my arms is still fresh in my mind as if it happened just yesterday. He was all pink and pretty like a delicate Japanese doll with tiny-winy nose, chink eyes, chubby cheeks and ruby lips. 

Aamen could not even utter an A, but I was already reading out my page two stories to him. No wonder then, he started reading the newspaper at the ripe? age of two. So what, if he held the newspaper upside down, he could recite both career and personality development articles, I wrote a day before.

Aamen was in Junior K.G., and wanted to be a journalist, while his classmates were dreaming to be Doctors and Engineers.


True to his words, Aamen did win the semi-final of DNA's Junior-Journalist. He was just 10 years old then, so could not be selected as a Junior journalist, which required to be at least 12 years old. I still remember his essay 'Why I want to be a Journalist' Aamen wrote all politically correct things in an essay and he clinched it at the end by confessing "Last but not the least, I want to be a journalist so that I can interview my favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan."


We had donated our TV-set  to an orphanage in Vikramgarh. Aamen grew up in a TV-less home, surrounded by hundreds of story-books and newspapers. He did not know Shin Chan and Chhota Bheem, but he relished Charlie's Chocolate Factory and James's Giant Peach.

"Aamen loved stories.", is an under statement. He always expected to be the hero of each and every story recited to him. I learnt to make my stories exciting and reader-friendly by getting an approval from him. He would either crinkle his nose or squint his eyes or wrinkle his forehead, if he did not like a single sentence in a story. All hell would broke loose when he combined all 3 i.e. nose, eyes and forehead together, meaning my story was a complete disaster. 


I know, you must have a little doubt, whether Aamen grew up to be a boring book-worm. On the contrary, after reading all those Enid Blytons, Roald Dahls, Geronimo Stiltons etc. he has turned out to be quite a smashing teenager, who loves adventures, learns karate (brown belt), has won medals in running, roller-skating, swimming, baby-sits neighbor's little daughter and to our horror ,drives his papa's scooter (early in the morning, in society's compound.)
                      

Aamen is an ace prankster, he adds charms to the family gatherings by mimicking us all in an endearing way. Nobody can remain angry with him for more than a minute as he embraces us in his signature bear hug, smiles his sweetest and pleasures us with a chocolaty kiss enriched by Kellogg's Chocos. His exclusive excuse = "Mazzak kar raha tha, give me a tight slap if you wish but say Chee...eese".

The first Starbucks opened in Goregaon and Aamen dragged me there. I was showing the recycled tissues to him and hinting to add them to his World Environment Day collage. He didn't pay attention to my novel? idea. We took a parcel of Java Chip Chocolate muffins and Chatpata Wraps for Aamen's Mamma, Papa. Aamen paid the bill ( We always request Aamen to pay the bill. So what if his academic maths is not upto the mark, we trick him into practicing the maths in real time.) and received the carry-bag. Suddenly his face lit up with 1000 splendid Suns powered smile, " Mouse, Let's do the World Environment Day collage on this carry bag. We will open up this paper bag and stick the paper-cuttings on it." That's what, I love about Aamen, he has done perfect SWOT ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats ) analysis of his parents and takes accurate advantage of them with cool confidence. 


So every thing is goody goody between us ? No, Capital NO. Aamen had made me cry, when I taught him how to measure an angle and Longitude / Latitude. He hates Maths, loves to learn History and English Literature. He hates to eat Subzi-roti but loves to cook Omelettes for us.


Few years ago, I showed Aamen , how to create his own blog, and within no time, he taught me, how to embed a video in my blog. 

Buddy Parenting is a Two-way Process and High-way ProgressThe Child and parent both grow together and the loving, caring, sharing bond between the two enriches both of them.

Won't you just love to share the bond between Aamen and me?. Here you go...( this is an expression, Aamen taught me to utter in an uber-cool style )

Khilkhilata Bachpan ... Kellogg's Chocos ke sang ... Hardam with Aamen

https://www.facebook.com/mychocos

on Twitter






[ *All the photos, except Kellogg's Chocos video are clicked by me ]

Friday, July 10, 2015

Honey hain toh health hain

'Money hain toh Honey hain' proclaims a hilarious Hindi movie. I would like to go one step ahead to state the reality ... 'Money hain toh Honey hain and most importantly HONEY hain toh HEALTH hain




How?. Let's do some Reality check about HONEY :


All over the world in general and particularly in India, Honey has always been a very popular gourmet delicacy as well as an important medical remedy for thousand years. Globally, our ancestors were well aware of the many health benefits of honey. It's earliest known use as a medicinal prescription is found in ancient clay tablets. In India, honey is an important part of Ayurveda. Egyptians used Honey to cure skin, eye diseases, and as a natural bandage applied on wounds. 

HONEY is more popular due to it's Ready-to-Eat form. Even the lazy people like me, who love to eat sweet and hate to cook can use Honey in our diet liberally, that too without worrying about weight-gain. Honey can be eaten directly, can be smeared on bread, toast, chapati, pancakes, can be added to various juices, cakes, mithai, chocolates, cookies as a substitute of sugar. 

My favorite medicine for cough / cold is Honey + Sitopaladi choorna, prescribed by Dr. Sandhya Kadam ( M.D.- Ayurveda ). Honey contains 69% glucose and fructose, so it's commonly used as a sweetener, which is better for our overall health than normal white sugar. 

Lots of people, eager to lose weight, drink warm water mixed with Honey, early morning instead of tea. The fact is Honey has more calories than sugar but when Honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in our body. Honey and lemon juice as well as Honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. 

Honey as an ingredient in medicine is savored by children as well as adults due to it's sweet, creamy, yummy taste and liquid golden looks.

On personal level, for thin people with delicate digestive systems like me, the carbohydrates in Honey can be easily converted into glucose by the most sensitive stomachs since it's pure and natural. Honey contains 64 calories per tablespoon so can be used as an instant source of energy. 

Crash Diet for Zero-Figure is horrid past, thanks to Internet ,we all know the benefits of daily exercises ( Yoga in particular ) plus balanced, nourishing diet. let's add just dessert to it with Honey Diet. We can stay Fit, Gain admirers with 3 clicks at Dabur Honey Diet 

Enough of lecturing and it's time to acquaint our selves with the real life benefits of Honey Diet , which can be accessed from http://www.daburhoney.com/

A spoonful intake of pure Honey has lots of advantages : such as 

1. Weight Management A Spoon of honey taken with warm water in the morning is useful in weight management.

2. Sugar substitute : Honey is a healthier substitute to sugar as it contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are good for health.

3. Beautiful Skin: Honey is useful for the skin because of its moisturizing and nourishing properties.

4. Source of energy: Honey is a good source of energy as it’s natural sugar and carbohydrates are easily digested by the body.

5. Aids Digestion: Honey in our diet aids in digestion.

6. Cough and cold: Honey relieves the cough and throat irritation. 


To get fit connect to : Honey Diet.

@DaburHoney_Ind with the hashtag #HoneyDietIsHere.


( The image / photo of Dabur Honey jar with Plums is clicked by myself , specifically for this post )

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Let's ZOOM into 'Thank God It's Fryday' with PHILIPS

Thank God, It was Wednesday. I had already RSVPed for the GCPUG (Google Cloud Platform Users Group ) meetup on 2nd July and then I received an invite for ZOOM - PHILIP's launch 'Thank God It's Fryday' at ITC Grand Central-Parel (12.30 p.m.) and GCPUG was at J. W. Marriott-Sahar (4.30 p.m.) while I stay at Goregaon. Thank God, It was Thursday and I reached Grand Central before time to click it's Grand Glory.




The grand stage was set in a ramp style for the unique Food-Fashion show to launch season 2 of ZOOM - PHILIP's popular lifestyle program 'Thank God It's Fryday'.




The charming hostess acquainted the media about PHILIP's Airfryer-'Thank God It's Fryday', a fusion of healthy food, popular lifestyle entertainment and fashion show, with a twist ... which will be travelling to 8 cities. ZOOM , the flagship Bollywood and Lifestyle channel of the Times Network in partnership with Philips revealed the unique features of Season 2 of Philips Air Fryer -Thank God It's Fryday. Bollywood star, Celebrity show-stopper Yami Gautam walked the ramp and superstar chef Ranveer Brar demonstrated signature dishes from Season 1 of the popular show.




 “ZOOM is closely connected with its premium audiences who are driven in their pursuit of a stylish and fulfilling lifestyle. PHILIP's Air Fryer-Thank God It’s Fryday helps them in their quest, as it shows them ways to keep their diet healthy even as they happily enjoy tasty, fried food. This is why we are particularly pleased to launch Season 2, in which it will offer even more engaging, entertaining and extremely useful and relevant content to our viewers.” said M K Anand, MD and CEO of Times Network.


Thank God It’s Fryday was a truly innovative concept that seamlessly brought together food, fitness and travel to create a very interesting story. As expected, the audience loved its first edition in 2014 and were left hungry for more. This year, once again, PHILIP's Airfryer is joining hands with ZOOM to explore more cities and more cuisines to create interesting stories that the audiences will love. And it is not just stories – we have received tremendous response from people trying the innovative recipes and re-discovering tasty, healthy food. Like everyone else, we are also looking forward to Chef Ranveer once again creating magic with his trusted companion Philips Airfryer.” said ADA Ratnam, President Consumer Lifestyle, Philips India Ltd.


Filmstar Yami Gautam added dazzling charm as well as perky humor to this Yamilicious launch event with funny anecdotes like ... 1. Muze meetha bahot pasand hai , guilty feel hi nahi hota . I wanted to marry a Halwai , when I was a child. 2. I can help you, once you are done cooking, that is I can help only with eating part.  3. I love home-made food, which is prepared on chullah, that brings out earthy flavor. 4. Once when I ventured into kitchen to cook the dish turned out all burnt-black, ekdum filmy scene tha. 5. Mummy jo subah chai banati hai... uski to lajjat hi kuchh aur hai ... nobody can beat that .


In Season 2 also, the show will  be hosted by the audience-friendly, charming, multi-talented brand ambassador of Philips Kitchen Appliances, Chef Ranveer  Brar. This season the show  will have a new format, new fried flavors, and most important, a host of healthy and delicious new regional delicacies created in the PHILIP's Airfyer. Season 2 will also feature a new fusion of cooking and photography. The chef and his photographer friend will travel to different cities around the country, exploring various local delicacies and new fried flavours. Philips Air Fryer Thank God It's Fryday will travel across Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar, Hyderabad and Goa and will target those eateries that believe their local fried favourite dish deserves to be featured on the show as a challenge to Chef Ranveer’s skills and abilities. Chef Ranveer goes on to recreate a healthy version of the same dish in the Philips Airfryer, but with an interesting twist to create a new fusion dish. Commenting on the show,  Chef Ranveer  Brar said “In today’s world of stress and convenience, where well-being and health have become all the more important, a gadget like the Philips Airfryer, along with Thank God It’s Fryday, bring back well-being into our lives, and with style.” Super Chef Ranveer Brar gave tips for healthy eating 'Eat fresh , eat whatever is in season. Eat whatever is grown locally. Use as much as possible fresh ingredients such as fruits and vegetable to even out the demerits of fried food. Eat whatever you want without guilt with Philips Air Fryer.

To know more about the show 'Thank God It's Fryday' and Philips Air Fryer , please visit :

http://www.philips.co.in/e/airfryer/home.html
http://zoomtv.indiatimes.com/

Monday, June 15, 2015

OYOROOMSREVIEW.COM


From Oh...No to OYO : Part 1

Voila... !Where on Earth is this Paradise located? What were you doing there ? Who all were with you ? Why you, of all the people ? you all must be wondering. Well it's all about #OYOxplorer



Let's take it, Sushegaad( in Goan Konkani means leisurely )

It all started with a #OYOxplorer Contest on IndiBlogger ( 21 May 2015 )



I was like, I must get on the board. But how? IndiBlogger-Forum displayed the contest format of #OYOxplorer in greater details : Spend the day discovering the hidden surprises and unique adventures of your city with fellow bloggers. Kick back with a free night's stay at OYO Rooms ( India's largest network of branded hotels ), with complimentary breakfast and Free Wi-Fi .

As usual, I geared up to WIN the spot among the 10 bloggers from Mumbai. I twitted about the Craziest things to do in Mumbai ... with all my Heart, Brain and Hands. It was fantastic tweeting wittiest at top-notch speed. I was sure to win this contest. I was ready to pack my bag for the Mumbai #OYOxplorer team


The Trendinalia-India declared:The 3 most active users for #OYOxplorer were: @sujatawde (66 Tweets and RTs)  @shubhamtweets (40) @indywrites (39)   — #trndnl  — Trendinalia India (@trendinaliaIN) May 30, 2015


Oh...No ! After all this Twitter-frenzy about #OYOxplorer, I was not among the 10 selective Mumbai Bloggers.

I felt a bit disappointed. The concept of #OYOxplorer (OYO Rooms - Branded Budget Hotels at Rs.999/- with AC , Free WiFi and Complimentary Breakfast) was so swell that it was lingering in my mind all the while. Well, afterwords I got busy with Hindustan Times's initiative 'No TV Day' for the weekend. 


I had just returned home after attending Chef Indrajit Saha's recipe contest at Trident-BKC-Mumbai and ... Drum rolls, Please ... " Congratulations Sujata, you are among the top 4 Blogger-Winners of #OYOxplorer twitter contest " ... an IndiBlogger representative was on the line. "There are 2 bloggers from Delhi and 1 from Kolkata, you are the 1 from Mumbai. Get packing , you are going for an all expenses paid trip to Goa with OYO Rooms. How does it feel ?". 

OYO... Oh...Yeah! That's how I felt after getting the Goa-prize News. So the title of my post is 'From Oh...no to OYO

I was further informed about my prize from OYO Rooms, as follows: You will be flying from Mumbai to Goa on 6th and will return to Mumbai on 8th. You will be staying at OYO Rooms ( near Candolim Beach ). Next I received a call from OYO Rooms representative to congratulate my win and more details. Teena the vivacious Senior Manager of OYO Rooms created an OYOxplorer in Goa-WhatsApp group and then we were all ready to Get Set ...GoA. 


Every last minute detail was taken care by OYO Rooms ( a comfortable stay at affordable rates ). We were constantly receiving updates about #OYOxplorer Goa trip.


The Spice Jet took off from Mumbai Airport ...


The #OYOxplorer series to be continued ... from landing in Goa. Please keep reading ... for more details about OYO Rooms properties : 

Website : OYOrooms

Twitter : OYOrooms 

Facebook : OYOrooms

From Oh..No to OYO : Part 2 



I got my first taste of OYO Rooms' ( Branded budget hotels at Rs. 999/- with AC, Free WiFi and Complimentary Breakfast ) grand-hospitality in Mumbai itself. I received a call from their driver, as soon as I boarded the Spice Jet for Mumbai-Goa flight . He confirmed that he will be waiting for me at Goa-airport. I was totally comforted by this bit, cause it was my first time in Goa.

It was my first Aha... moment of the day when I met fellow bloggers - Ragini , Manjulika ( Delhi ) and Sammya from Kolkata for the first time in person. Earlier, we had known each other, through our respective blogs, Thanks to IndiBlogger and #OYOxplorer, we got this opportunity to interact with each other. We were greeted warmly with cool Pina Colada by the Genelia-look-alike Teena ( OYO Rooms-Senior Manager ) at Ruffles beach resort ( OYO Rooms property )in Candolim , Goa.



Teena briefed us about the exciting #OYOxplorer activities planned for us. We were presented with OYO Rooms Blogathon Dossier, pocket-money and OYO-gear, consisting sipper, umbrella and cap. I was searching for an exclusive angle to click the pic. Watch out, if you can catch the fun-element.



After refreshing and rejuvenating ourselves with Pina Colada, we were ushered into our OYO Rooms. My next Aha... moment, as soon as I entered Room 20. Have a look and let me know ...

                           




























I didn't dare to disturb the superbly Swan-sculpted towels on the bed and made do with my own, as I took a quick wash in the spotlessly clean bathroom. The washbasin, mirror, walls, flooring, shower-curtain and most importantly the commode all were immaculately clean. There was an extra tissue-roll in the bathroom. The room itself was fully furnished with large wooden closet , full-length dressing-mirror, 2 big cushioned chairs, writing table, color-tv, air conditioner , intercom, curtained french-windows, mini-fridge loaded with assorted cold-drinks and mineral water bottles, a king-size bed adorned with freshly laundered snow-white bed sheets, comforter, 2 pillows, 2 cushions and 2 turkish bath towels sculpted as swans, 2 side tables with night-lamps, an OYO Rooms toiletry pouch consisting of a soap, toothpaste, shower-jell, shampoo, note pad, pen etc. The balcony with a scenic view of crystal clear swimming pool had 2 cane chairs and a center-table to enjoy the morning cuppa. Last but not the least : 2 extra plug-points to charge our ever-draining camera and mobiles plus FREE WiFi.



Our first lunch at the Ruffles - Beach resort, Candolim was full on rice-oriented. Veg. Pulao , Veg. Fried Rice , Chicken Biryani + Dahi Raita and chilled Pepsi to add the fizz. 

The ricey-rich lunch fueled us enough to hit the Candolim streets with vigor. Goa is vibrant and colorful. Look at the bright colored maxi-dresses, bikinis , mirror-worked zolas and mojris ( Zari-embellished foot-wears )  




We the #OYOxplorer were discovering the Candolim-Goa streets OYO, i.e. On Your Own ... by taking help of the locals. The taxi-rates were exorbitant plus we had to burn down the calories so we boarded bus no.11 ( walking en route ). In bargain we gained the eye-candy view of funky-decorated Goa-restaurants.







The murals depicting the laid-back Goan country life were delightful to match the Disco-lighted facades of the restaurants, all over the clean, green streets of Candolim .



We returned to Candolim beach, just at the backside of OYO Rooms property Ruffles, to see the sensational Sunset .






Now, was the time to get in the warm swimming pool at Ruffles- OYO Rooms  property. Sammya and Ragini were absolute buddies with pool, Manjulika had her share of fun in the shallow side. We returned to our rooms for a shower and returned all mint new to #OYOxplorer Goa at night. We were on the other side of 'The Fisherman's Cove', when the Goan folk-music mesmerized us towards it.

 
Fisherman's Cove : Folk music and dance ... 'Mirchi Papad , Loncha Papad ... in full swing added extra flavor to our Rawa Masala Fry, Chicken lolly pop, Noodles and Aloo Paratha with raita + Angry Bird for Sammya , who had disappeared mysteriously to get a cake for Ragini. Exactly at 12 p.m. we 3, Manjulika, Sammya and me surprised Ragini with cheery 'Happy Birthday'. 












We took full advantage of the Free WiFi from OYO Rooms for twitting, Facebook updates of #OYOxplorer fun-moments.
The expressions : The cat who got the cream is similar to the bloggers who got free WiFi at the OYO Rooms.

In a true explorer-spirit,Manjulika invited me to share her room as she had sensed my discomfort of sleeping alone. Next day Ragini chipped in and invited me to share her room. Strangely, but quite specifically, the bed in Room 20 remained fresh and inviting.







From Oh..no to OYO - Part 3 













Sunday turned out to be literally a Funday for us #OYOxplorer. The OYO Rooms had planned a surprise birthday party for Ragini, which was joined in by the courteous Ruffles staff. The creamy chocolate cake was accompanied by golden cheese omelettes, buttered toasts, poha and tea / coffee. 

We zoomed in an Innova towards Bom Jesus Basilica in old Goa. "All lines in this route are busy... Ya margavaril sarva lines vyasta aahet , Krupaya pratiksha kara athava poonha prayatna kara ...' the FM-radio in the Innova was playing Goan Konkani folk songs with hilarious lyrics. On the way we spotted lots of fully loaded Mango, Coconut and Jack-fruit trees and the souvenir shop selling key-chains, dresses, hats etc. I wondered, what if my ZenPhone5 remained so much loaded to capture the Goan nature. 



As an #OYOxplorer I have a special tip for Goa-tourists, you would get the same quality of wide-brimmed hats, key-chains, hairbands etc. on the footpath opposite the souvenir shop at half the rates. But of course you must have honed the bargaining skill on Mumbai's Colaba causeway, Fashion Street, Linking Road etc. Hiring a car for sight-seeing is tricky. They tell you the fixed charges for 8 hours and then they charge you extra for more hours plus extra for kilometers also. So beware, while engaging a car otherwise the drivers and the locals are very friendly and modest. 


                                                   


The opulent interiors of the Bom Jesus Basilica consists huge  and ornate gilded reredos stretching from floor to ceiling  behind the altar. This church is India's first minor basilica and the best example of Baroque architecture in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which preserves the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.

Our next destination was 250 year old Casa Araujo Alvares mansion. It happens to be Goa's first automated museum, which possesses many priceless artifacts of ancient Goa. 



We the #OYOxplorer were so enchanted with Goa so far that we had almost 
forgotten to have our customary noon cup of tea. Suddenly the cool breez accompanied by drizzle gravitated us towards the nukkad chai ki tapri. We watched the lady while she fried the Vadas to a perfect golden hew and cushioned them in soft Pau. The lady had run out of both chutneys still the Vada-Pau tasted so yummilicious with steaming cup of ginger-tea, that we repeated the order. Would you like to share the treat virtually?

On this spicy note of Vada-Pau lingering in our mouth, we returned to OYO Rooms-Ruffles for a quick dress-up as we wanted to try out the famous Goan-shack style dinner at the beach. We wandered around the Baga beach market to buy cashews, but could not find my favorite Zantye brand. The whole area was lit up as if it's a Diwali. It was fun browsing through various restaurants and clicking candid shots.





After a lot of night-bird watching, we finally settled at the St. Anthony's shack and ordered Brizzers , Limca , chicken , fish etc. The atmosphere was full on charged with karaoke music, friendly banter, hookah smoke, candle lamps and laughter all around as if Christmas was just around the corner. We returned to OYO Rooms-Ruffles with our hearts filled with Goan happy-go-lucky spirit.

Monday morning, mood was a bit Mumbai-centric. After all you can take a person out of Mumbai to the paradise and he/ she still pines for good, old Aamchi Mumbai. Freshly puffed puris and steaming hot bhaji were spread out on dining table with buttered toasts / tea / coffee as a sendoff breakfast. I am sure after reading this exciting #OYOxplorer travelogue you all must be craving for Goa with OYO Rooms.