Saturday, July 18, 2015

A trip to Karwar and Learning Aquaculture

I left for Karwar on the night of 12th July 2015. I was expected to reach the next day around 9, but was unaware that during monsoon, the train timings change, by 8 am I had just crossed Kankavli, and still about 2 hrs to go. Denver had decided that he would be going into his family business of Aquaculture. And to continue in that field and grow in it. A few days prior to my trip, I had received a call from him, asking if I would join him for a few days in this venture. I had a few plans for my future, but that was only to be realized after I leave the country in November. He was eager for me to just join him for a few days and see how things there are run. As I had spare time, I agreed and my tickets were booked, I was to go there for just 4 days, to see and learn about fish farming.

An Isolated Rabindranath Tagore Beach
I touched Karwar station at 11am. Denver was already waiting for me. The journey from Karwar railway station to the city is quite far. The house I was to stay was pretty good with all the basic amenities, including WiFi and a TV. After refreshing myself, we headed over to Karwar Beach. Also known as Rabindranath Tagore beach, as it was here where he wrote 2 of his most finest plays. The beach was beautiful and isolated. There was absolutely no one present. Every year in October, a 3 day festival takes place, known as Karavli Utsav, lots of shops, amusement rides etc. We could see the Karwar port nearby. Also there were alot of islands that were visible nearby. We went by bike to the next beach named Devbagh. Believe it or not, but Karnataka has better beaches than Goa. They are what we call, virgin beaches. Not exploited by tourists. There is not much to see in Karwar in terms of attractions, a few minutes from the Rabindranath Tagore beach is a Warship museum and an Aquarium. Karwar is a small costal town without any hustle or bustle.

Kali River separating the 2 beaches
In the evening, Denver took me to see the farm, where the Shrimp breeding takes place. This was where I would spend maximum time the next few days. Early morning the next day, we headed towards Goa to fill petrol. Many people from Karwar and the surrounding borders take a weekly trip to Goa to fill petrol as it is cheaper compared to non union territory states. On our way back, we visited the Aquarium and the Warship museum. The aquarium is small but well maintained even though there are hardly any visitors. The Warship museum consists of a single now out of service Warship INS Chapal kept on display along with a few missile replicas. It is possible to enter inside the Warship.
INS Chapal
In the evening we headed towards the farm again. Denver took me on a trip showing me all the 16 ponds and explaining how the process is done. There is a lot of monitoring and timely process that has to followed routinely. A lot of investment has been put into it and the people here have to make sure that no matter what, the end product has to be good. Another important factor is to maintain the dissolved oxygen in the water. Which has to always be above a rating of 5. Special meters are used to do these. There are also check trays present at every pond to routinely check the feed as well as the health of the fish (Shrimp in this case). Alot of the money is spent on the feed.

A Pacific White Shrimp
During a certain time, the Shrimp begin to outgrow their skin, this is called molding. They remove the old skin and produce a new one. This causes a lot of oxygen to be used. Machines such as ariators and blowers are always present in the water to make sure that the dissolved oxygen level does not reduce. That day we took the last DO Test at 9pm after which we headed home. 3 days had passed by now. I had learnt the basics. There was a lot more to be learnt. Although the best learning would be observing the entire process from the start. It takes 4 months for the first harvest. I had come during the 3rd month. Since the farm was really big, there is a lot of electricity requirements. The remaining was supplied by diesel generators. That morning we went to do diesel deliveries to the farm, followed by another trip to Goa for a petrol refill.

There are 2 main beaches at Karwar, separated from each other by the Kali river. Devbagh beach has more resorts, one of them offering guests their own private beach experience. There are many adjoining islands off the Karwar cost. These islands are accessible by boat. The most famous of them is Oyster island, owing to the British built lighthouse present on that island. Kurumgad is also a famous accessible island near Devbagh. There are boats that take you there. Sadashivgad fort is also present near the Kali river.
If you are in search for a calm place, Karwar is a perfect place to be. There are a lot of foreigners who head here towards November as its season time. Reaching Karwar from Mumbai is not difficult. Most hotels are quite reasonable, also most attractions are nearby, hence easy to travel. Overall I had a good experience, also got to experience Aquaculture first hand. It's a tough trade but not very hectic. It's also luck dependent. There is a lot of investment that has to be put into it, but you get your end product within 4 months.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Farewell Football God (A letter to a Bayern Friend Shattered by Basti's Departure)

I know that it's heart breaking for you. Now that it's official, that Bastian is gone. I can also understand all the emotions attached to him, and how shattered you maybe at moment. So am I, although it's nothing as much as emotional as you may be at the moment .  Everyone in the Bayern community are shattered. Just like you and me.
I mean Basti was the symbol of Bayern. Both him and Lahm, youth products of our beloved club. Around 18 years he spent here. The true breed of Bavarian blood, that he still is.
I know we all wished that he'd stay. Retire here, at his boyhood club. But as you already know, that the world is not a wish granting factory na?
In football club culture, players come and go. And I know this one is a big loss for us all.  But it's really something we gotta live with and move on.
I mean let's look at it from a different perspective. Not from a fans eye, but a more logical one.

1. As long as I have been following Basti, I understand that from all the interviews I have seen him give, he has never been shy in admitting that one day he would like to play abroad. I mean it was his wish.

2. He is soon to be 31, he has a few years left in top flight football, if he wishes for a new challenge than so be it.

3. Talking about the salary issue that I see some papers report, all I can say is that a footballer has only small span in their lives where they have to earn as much as to sustain them for the rest of their lives.

4. He is now the captain of the German national team. Euro 2016 will be is last tournament, he has to get more playing time, to prepare himself, and what better place than United where they have a non existent midfield. And of course Luis Van Gaal. Bastian owes him alot in some way.

5. I remember before 2010 when Bastian was just a usual winger, inconsistent and at times immature. Then along came Luis Van Gaal, our new coach,  he took Bastian from the wings,  and gave him a new role in Central midfield, and made him the leader he is today, made an ordinary player to a world class midfield player.  If he thinks he has a better opportunity, and more playing time in LVG's team,  then it's not just good for him, but good for the National team as well. I mean as much as we may hate United, we do love the  German NT, don't we?

 6. And I still recall that season in 2010, Bastian was now a world class midfielder, he had just 1 year left on his contract.  There were many big clubs behind him.  And honestly that was the first time I and many fans thought that he would be gone. Remember his wish?
But on the last match of the season, when all hope was lost,  he came out and announced that he would be staying. I will never forget that magical night. He could have left, if he wanted.  But he knew he still had lot more good years left, He was at his peak. And he gave it to Bayern, his childhood club.
To be honest, he is getting older, and maybe he himself knew that he would not be able to give us his best anymore.

7. This may sound a bit odd, but you do know his GF right. And going by a recent few media reports, they say that he and Ana have already tied the knot. He is 30,  and maybe it's time he felt he'd settled down. Almost all of his team mates have. Maybe this is also big contributing reason. AFIK Anna has a chain of stores in the UK.

All I want to say that, in the end, it was His decision, and we gotta respect that. It was his choice, and I'm sure he has put a lot of thinking into it., no matter how much we wished that he'd stay back.

 I hate Manchester from the bottom of my heart, but that wouldn't stop me from watching him play, week in and week out.  Just wishing that he still has it in him, come euro 2016. And I'd be more than happy to see him teach those over rated English midfield Fucks, what's it like to be a real midfielder.

I know it will take some time for it to rub in.  I really hope you understand this side as well.
He will always be a symbol of Bayern, a club legend, he has won everything that Germany had to offer,  and now with just a few years left he just wants to experience something new.
And please don't cry.  Don't ever wipe that smile off your face.. Just know that it was his decision
And it's not like he is gone forever.
Mark my words, one day he will return, a member of the Bayern board or some other rold at the club.  But he will return, they always do.
He will always have that Bayern blood

Mia San Mia.
I hope you get over it, as soon as possible, and try not to make it affect you too much on a personal level that it may interfere in your day to day life.

Just know. That it was for his best.......

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 Life Lessons I learnt at Palghar

My time at Palghar has finally come to an end. Its hard to believe it myself,as its something i have yet to swallow. My life in Palghar  has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Up's and Down's, turns and bumps at every corner. There were these days where I felt like I'm wasting my entire life away. When I get out of bed and I didn't feel like I did sleep at all. Yet everything was a lesson to be learnt. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and there is good after everything bad. When i joined there, i was an immature teen, yet to ever be out of my comfort zone. Today i can say, that I'm a completely different person. And as much as i hate Palghar, i cannot deny the fact that it was also the most learning experience in my life so far. I have lot of memories attached there. Good ones and bad. I met some awesome people who changed my life forever, good friends that were there for me all the time and for that I will always be indebted. What were the most important things i learnt there?

1.Time Flies. I thought I would work tomorrow for the class tests and get average for once after I finished the first season of Prison Break. Next thing I know, I'm at the Test venue, trying to solve derivations when all I can recall is when Micheal and Sara gave their relationship another shot.

2. People have different ways to interpret the world - There'll be people who will disagree with you no matter what, not because they hate you (that may be part of the reason though), but they see/hear/feel things differently from how you precieve them. It's not their fault, that's who they are. It's not your fault either, it's just the way it is.

3.  Don't try to change people. Strategise instead - It is ridiculously difficult to change people. Way easier to 'hack' your way through. If a person is a arsehole in general, it's a long term job to try to convince him/her to not be one. Try instead to use his/her being arsehole to your advantage.

4. Heartbreak saps more college productivity out of an average SJCETian than bad teachers, and silent crushes are the worst. If you like someone, you owe it to YOURSELF to let that someone know.

5. Learning stuff isn't hard, but it's made out to be - If you don't get the concept from your textbook, look at your reference book, look at wikipedia, email your prof - explain what you have understood till now and what is hazy. This is something i realized during my final year. Better late than never

6. Nobody is expecting you to achieve great things. It's a pleasant surprise and an extraordinary thing to start achieving while you're still in there. Be extraordinary

7. Learn how to meet new people consistently, it's the new barometer of professional success. (Walk up, smile and say Hi, people don't bite)

8. If someone can become a HOD without even knowing basic Microsoft Word, I can also become the president of My Country

9. To compromise. Everything isn't about you. Sometimes we need to let things go.

10. There's a time and place for everything, and it's called college.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Down Memory Lane

For the first time on this blog, i am using a non AMP video to showcase my college life. This video was made by our juniors and it was played at our final year farewell. The creator and his entire team deserve utmost credit for their hard work.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

7 Weddings and a Trip to St. Mary's island

I remember back in June of 2011, when me and Denver had planned to take a trip to Lakshwadeep, only to be notified days before that entry had been barred to the islands due to an on going conflict between the government and resort owners. In my list of things to do before I die, traveling to an island surrounded by crystal clear water on all sides, was a long pending dream.  To us, the only available options in India, were the Andaman's or Lakshwadeep. And unfortunately for us, both were not a realistic option due to the high cost involved and considering that we were both just college students at that time. The other options I could think of were close to mainland India. The closest to our place was manori, elephanta, kandheri, undheri etc.  There are no shortage of islands, when it comes to just visiting one. But none of them come close to the clear water I was looking forward to.

Me as the Best Man
In November of 2014, my long doubtful tickets to Mangalore were confirmed after getting the final confirmation that my exams were to end before my cousins wedding to which I was to be the best man. I've never been a best man at a wedding before. In truth, I rarely ever go for weddings. Upto that point, the only wedding I ever attended from start to finish was that of my sister.  In total, I may have only been to around 10 weddings in my entire life before. On the 15th of December 2014, the day of my last paper, me along with my cousins departed at 10pm from CST heading towards mangalore by train. It had been 4 years since I had last been to my village, and this time it was to be my longest stay ever, spanning an entire month. In total I had 5 Weddings to attend, although by end of the entire trip, I had attended 7 weddings,  6 race ceremonies and an engagement. Weddings in Mangalore are far more lavish than City counter parts. Here its all about showing status. I'm just glad, that i got a lot of free booze to drink. My village is situated North outskirts of mangalore city, in a place called Karkala, which translates to Black stone. In Karkala, there is a place called Attur, which is a famous pilgrimage area for Catholics due to the presence of the famous iconic Church of St Lawrence.  The last time I had been here, was during the Church Feast which happens in Jan every year. One can equate it to same grand scale as that of Mumbai s Bandra fair.

Overlooking the coastline
After an 18 hour journey to Mangalore city, it took us another 2 hours to reach my village.  My Brothers roce was scheduled for the next day of our arrival, so there was not much time to spare and preparations were already on full swing. It also happened to be the first time I ever sat for a roce. The next day we headed back to city as the wedding was to take place there. The next few days were spent attending the roce of the girls side, and the rest, me roaming the Bejai side of mangalore, visiting malls etc. The wedding day was a nervous affair for me. I was pretty much in a hurry for everything. And it took me almost an hour to open the champagne bottle. With the wedding ending, the rest of my days were all about attending other people's occasions. Everyone there was in some way or the other related to you. The girls here also marry at a younger age than compared to the city. I never really had a lonely day, as I was always either attending a wedding or a role, or going on long drives with my cousin. I visited 2 different waterfalls, the iconic Gomateshwara twice and almost everything around that area. This was also the trip where I traveled the most around Karnataka. The Weddings I attended were very far away each other, usually taking hours to reach our destination. Scattered all around the state of Karnataka. This was not only to be my longest stay trip but also my most travelling one.  Christmas and New year were also quite a grand affair. A celebration almost everyday, meant that there were extremely few days when I went to bed with my head not spinning around due to access of alcohol. There were times during my previous journeys to my village when I used to have a lot of time to myself. This time I really never had a moment alone.

The Island as seen from the Boat
When all the celebrations had ended, with just a few days left for my return, the extended family decided to go for a picnic to Udipi's famous Malpe beach. I have said this before,  and I will say it again,  Karnataka has some of the best and cleanest beaches in India.  The journey was quite far from our place but we had mini bus arranged to reach us to our destination. We first arrived at the port , where i was told by my cousins that we would be visiting St. Mary's Island. i had heard about the island from a friend before and I was excited to finally be going there. The journey to the island is beautiful, The water is clean, and there were a lot of Dolphin sightings. We need to change two boats to get to the island as the water is too shallow for the larger boat. It was quite visible at the island looking at the mess of garbage around that we humans are on the verge of destroying this beautiful place as well. The rocks at the island were volcanic rocks. We took dip in the ocean and it was one of the most amazing experience i ever had. I could see the waters on all four sides. My leg was deep in it yet i could see through the crystal clear water. It was definitely a dream come true. We spent a few hours on the island, taking a complete round of the 500m land mass. Later we headed to Malpe Beach on the coastline where we spent the rest of our day.
I'm glad i got the opportunity to visit such a beautiful place. One thing is for sure, i will definitely be returning with friends here. My Karnataka trip ended with 28 days of staying. This was the longest time i have ever been away from home.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Random Musings:Part 2

I am Receptively Open Minded! What I mean by receptive, is that I have the necessary tools to comprehend new ideas and theories even if they don't end up adjusting my own personal opinions. I am always open to listening to and understanding what others have to say, Whether it involves a counterargument in a debate, an opposing view point in a political discussion, or something else a bit more controversial. I still find it within myself to give in to the opportunity to learn something new even if I disagree.
Everyone is entitled to have their own understanding of things. Opinion's are like assholes. Each one,has one. And we each stick to our own. We can open up to people we think we can speak to. Not everyone may agree with you. Not everyone may stand besides you. I too regret opening up to some people and it just bugs me knowing there’s a few out there who didn't even deserve to know me like that but do. But the most important thing to do is to learn. Learn from your past, its the best teacher you can have. I've been walked on, used and forgotten and i don't regret one moment of it, because in those moments, I've also learned allot.I've learned who i can trust, and Ive learned who i cant. I've learned the meaning of friendship. I've learned how to tell when people are lying and when they're sincere. I've learned when to be a teenager, and when to be a grown up when i need to. I wont take anything that i have have for granted, a material or an individual, everyone has a part to play in your story. Some may be for ever, most wont. This is life. Live one day at a time. You never know how many days you have left.

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