10 Commandments: Don’t Do These Things While In Goa

10 Commandments: Don’t Do These Things While In Goa
Thou shalt read and remember this!

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Change is here..!

Not once in last 10 years have I seen such an exhilaration and jubililiation being expressed in a single day across all strata and classes.

I voted for Narendra Modi and thankfully my vote didn't go to waste. I believe that all this hoopla
over him is not a media created frenzy or political fervor or simply an expression of anguish against Congress. On the contrary, it is purely based on his stellar performance and credentials. I don't know whether any of you guys have been to Gujarat, but trust me, Mr.Modi has transformed it like anything. From a state once in shambles and recovering from earthquake and bloody riots to a fledgling economy with foreign and domestic investments of more Rs 80000 crore, he has simply transformed it beyond recognition.

As far as the next 5 years are concerned, a change is imminent, just hoping that it is for good.

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Reverse Tether an Android

Tethering is the ability to share Phone’s Internet connection (GPRS or 2G) with PC. Reverse tethering is the opposite. It allows for sharing of Desktop’s/Laptop’s Internet connection with an Android phone over USB.
Using ADBTools, it is very easy to enable reverse tethering in Android Phones (Gingerbread and above).
  • Root the Android Phone (Follow this link for step by step procedure for "rooting" of Android phones - http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/how-to-root-android-2-3-gingerbread-using-gingerbreak/ )
  • Download ADB Tools from the following link - http://depositfiles.com/files/ll7argiq0
  • Run AndroidTool.exe
  • Connect the "rooted" Android device. Ensure that the Debugging mode is enabled on the phone.
  • The device should be listed in "Select a device" dialog box.
    Select DNS Server (Preferably use Google's Public DNS servers: and
  • Click on Connect
  • The device will prompt for granting Super Access to the tunneling application
  • ADB Tools application should show status as Connected
  • Internet is now enabled on your phone
Kindly note that some applications like Google Play will not work, as USB tunneling utilities like ADB Tool cannot simulate a GPRS or a Wi-Fi connection.

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Cartoon Wars !!

11th May, 2012 : Politicians create an uproar in parliament over a cartoon featuring Dr. Ambedkar. This cartoon depicts Dr. Ambedkar in a manner which is supposedly demeaning to the father of the Indian constitution. HRD minister is forced to apologize. A group of youths belonging to RPI, ransack the office of an ex-member on board of NCERT, which is responsible for publishing the cartoon. All parties unanimously claim that, this cartoon is a big blow on the image of Dr. Ambedkar.

13th May, 2012 : We celebrate 60th anniversary of Parliament and Parliamentary form of democracy. The same politicians go ga-ga over how we are one of the very few surviving democracies in the world, in spite of being a multicultural society and how we should uphold the freedom of expression to preserve democratic principles.

Irony at its very best!

Political satires have been mainstream since times immemorial. We have had great artists like R.K Laxman, Shankar, who have made us look at the unattractive world of politics with humor-tinted glasses. We even have had politicians who take a dig at other politicians and governments through their caricatural masterpieces. Then what was so offending about this particular cartoon (in which Dr Ambedkar is merely shown sitting on a turtle named "Constitution" with a whip in his hand) that made our revered politicians go berserk? Was it

  • Their love for the Constitution
  • Their undying affection and respect for Dr Ambedkar (which the cartoon had nothing to do with)
  • Playing the card of caste politics

You obliviously don't need to be a rocket scientist to answer that.

Using the names of iconic figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlalambedkar1 Nehru, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, etc, for petty personal gains is an art that our current politicians have attained a mastery in. Its a matter of utter regret and shame that, they have not realized the vision of modern India that these great leaders had dreamt about. Our founding fathers had envisioned a country, that, is free from all socio-economic barriers; is free from social evils like fascism, fundamentalism, authoritarianism that plague the society; takes into consideration views and opinions of all its people, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion and is self-sustaining economy where no countryman sleeps hungry. This was the very same reason why it took such a long time for an intellectual personality like Dr. Ambedkar to frame our constitution. He wanted to incorporate all of the above and much more. He wanted a state where a person, dalit, under-privileged or otherwise, can live amicably and prosper; a community where woman, children and old are all treated equally with honor and respect; a society where a person is not “identified” by his last name and a country where every Indian puts his nation and its people before self. This is exactly what the cartoon along with its sub-titles was implicitly intending to portray. But, leave it to our genius politicians to misinterpret it, twist it and weave a story to ignite mass sentiments.

To cut a long story short, in a modern day India, all it takes is a facetious cartoon for all our politicians to unite and raise their voice in protest. On the other hand, acts involving money laundering, million dollar scams, corruption, land grabbing, terrorism etc, are all perspicaciously brushed beneath the carpet.

Sometimes, I wonder, if Dr. Ambedkar (or any of our great freedom fighters) would have been alive today! Would he be more angry on the cartoon or deeply worried about the saddened state of current leadership of this nation? A nation, which he loved so immensely and wanted it to be one of the greatest and fledgling democracies of all time.

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Aesthetic, pleasing, mesmerizing, charming; no matter whichever adjectives you use, words will always fall short to describe the beauty of Palolem Beach. Tucked away in southern tip of Goa, this arc shaped slice of sandy strip is every beach lover's ecstasy. Its has its own vibe of elegance and classiness that attracts tourists every year from all over the world. 

It was a love at first sight, when I first visited Palolem beach in Jan,2012. The vast stretches of the silver beach, tranquil atmosphere, pristine white sand, the calmness and serenity of theParadise beach waves, palm groves popping out from the shore and colorful shacks dotting the coastline created the most perfect and picturesque landscape;  something I thought existed only in a dream. I regretted the fact that I got to spend just one night in Palolem. This was the precisely why I was desperate to revisit this slice of heaven.

I made my second trip to Palolem in April, 2012. It was certainly not going to Palolem Entrance be an ad-hoc trip like the earlier one was. On the contrary, it was a 3 nights/4 days long excursion, all of which, I was to spend in Palolem.This time, I had researched and planned each minute of my trip. I wanted to experience everything that this place had to offer (I have given a detailed itinerary at the end of this article). Previously, we had stayed at Sai Valentine, which is located on the northern part of the beach. This stretch is considered to be more family-oriented, with most of the restaurants closing down by 11:00 PM. This time we opted for the southern side, which apparently appeals to the party types (considering that most of the bars here have a 24*7 license to serve alcohol). After few weeks of online research and multiple mail conversations later, we finalized upon Camp San FransiscoCamp San Fransisco as our choice of stay for the trip. The owner of the shack, Mr. Joseph was  prompt in responding to all our queries on the phone. He even helped us by suggesting few Do’s and Dont’s after arriving in Madgaon and tips on haggling with cabbies for Madgaon-Palolem fare.

Our shack, was a sea facing AC hut with en-suite bathroom. Sea Facing AC HutsAs power supply is a huge problem in Palolem (with power cuts for as long as 4-5 hours in a day), the AC hut was fitted with stabilizer which allowed for an  uninterrupted power supply (there was a timer which cut of AC after a fixed duration of time; this allowed for AC to be run at periodic intervals throughout the day, keeping the room sufficiently cooled, AC with Stabilizerwithout any worries of long power outages). The interiors were decent, bed sheets were clean, bed and pillows were soft. The toilet was much better than the one at Sai Valentine (especially, since it also had a jet).

The bed had a mozzie net, which was intact and not torn (our previous experience regarding mosquito net had been horrible).
Mozzie NetThis was a relief as mosquitoes can be a huge problem in Palolem (especially during summer).

The best part about these shacks was that, they were located 3 meters above the ground, thus providing an unparalleled view of the beach.

View from our shack View from our shack

One could literally gaze at the vast expanse of the Arabian sea with blue waters spanning all along the horizon.

Camp San Fransisco also offers Sea Facing Non AC huts and Papaya Garden facing huts.

Sea Facing Non AC Hut Garden facing hut
Given below is the trip log for 3 nights/4 days which I spent in Palolem. I have also tried to include review for some of the restaurants, I visited during my stay:

Day 1: Welcome drinks

1:00 PM : Check-in at CSF, Palolem (and have a chilled beer to kick start the vacation!)

2:00 PM : Lunch at The Dylan’s (tender chicken steak and an awesome Banoffee pie; Prawns salad is avoidable)

5:30 PM : Swim – Palolem beach

8:00 PM : Sameer Restaurant (must try is a Fish sizzler)Venue of the Silent Noise Party

9:00 PM : Silent Noise Party at the Neptune Point in southern most end of  Palolem beach (its a sin to miss this party when in Palolem – the birth place of Silent Noise Disco)

 Day 2:

10:00 AM : Hire a Scooterette (Do not pay for anything more than Rs 200. Ensure that, you are carrying an additional photo ID apart from the Driving license)

10:15 AM : Breakfast at Cafe Inn (located at the back side of Palolem bus stand on the main street, this place is a hidden gem. The deli sandwiches and tortilla wraps were perfect and served with authentic sour cream. Scrumptous Breakfast Cafe Inn Cafe Inn

Watermelon Juice and Mint Ice Tea was fresh and soothing. The staff is local and trained to a very high degree of service. The atmosphere is friendly, relaxing and warm. Café Inn serves amazing coffee and coffee slush from a real Italian coffee machine. Undoubtedly, one of the best cafe/restaurants in Palolem.)

11:00 PM : Visit to Cabo-de-Rama fort (Not much is known about who built the fort, but legend has it, that Lord Rama and Sita took an abode here, during their years of exile from Ayodhya.

View from Cabo-de-Rama fort View from Cabo-de-Rama fortView from Cabo-de-Rama fort View from Cabo-de-Rama fortCabo-de-Rama fort Mount mary church on the fortMount Mary Mount Mary church
The fort now lies in ruins, but the panoramic view of the Canacona sea coast makes it a must visit)

12:30 PM : Visit to Cola Beach (Finding this beach is like finding a lost treasure.

Lagoon at Cola Beach Palm groves at Cola

Though the beach is not safe for swimming during summers, the adjoining fresh water lagoon makes up for the loss)

1:00 PM : Visit to Agonda beach

Agonda Beach Shacks at Agonda

(a relatively younger cousin of Palolem, this beach is less crowded and has limited food and stay options than its southern counterpart)

1:30 PM : Lunch at Patnem beach (This beach is comparatively rougher than Palolem but attracts a swish crowd. It has plethora of BnB options, thus making it similar to Palolem on many fronts).

For lunch, we had Stir fry prawns and Goan fish curry at Casa Fiesta, Patnem. The stir fry was perfectly done with hint of tanginess of the soya sauce. The Goan fish curry was bland with no visible tinge of spiciness that is expected from a Goan fare. Other options for foodies include The Papayas, The Home and Cuba)

4:00 PM : Visit to Rajbagh beach (Nothing much to see here, as the entire beach stretch is owned by a private five star hotel. However, we did manage to click few snaps of the Talpona river located at the end of the road)

Talpona river Talpona river Talpona river

6:00 PM : Drop off the Scooterette (Make sure to collect Photo IDs submitted with the bike rental shop)

10:00 PM : Dinner at Casa Feista, Palolem (This is one place which you can clearly strike off your itinerary. A clear sham in the name of authentic Mexican food, they serve, what you can call, an Indianised-Mexican fare. The nachos were nothing more than fried maida (plain flour) and tacos were maida roti stuffed with vegetables and chicken.

Casa Fiesta Indianised Tacos
Heck, they even served Rajma chaval under the name of fried beans and rice. Avoid at all cost)

Day 3:

8:00 AM : Breakfast at Ciaran’s (This place is undoubtedly a five star as far as beach huts are concerned. However, there are very limited options when it comes to breakfast)

9:00 AM : Kayaking in Palolem (Per hour charges for a two-seater kayak ranges from Rs 200 – Rs 300 per hour. Knowing how to swim and life jackets are mandatory pre-requisites before indulging in any water sport. Avoid kayaking after mid-April, as sea may tend to get a bit rough)Lunch at CSF

1:00 PM : Lunch at Camp San Fransisco (We had one of the best meal of the trip at CSF. Chicken Cafriel with Roti (Indian bread) and Fish curry with Rice was as perfect as an authentic Goan fare could get. Highly recommended)

4:00 PM : Trek to Columb Hill (This is the southern most tip of the Palolem beach. From here one can have a panoramic view of the entire Palolem stretch. A visual treat for photography aficionados)

Palolem beach Columb HillPalolem Beach Palolem BeachCancona Island  Columb Bay Bridges and TunnelsNeptune Point, Columb Swaying Cocunut trees 

6:00 PM : Sunset drink at Boom Shankar (this restaurant tucked away in Columb hill has a sunset view to die for. Strawberry Daiquiri is a must try)

8:00 PM : Shopping in Palolem market (there is a plethora of artifacts, handicrafts, hand bags, apparels, masalas and flavored tea leaves that can be bought. Be ready to bargain. If possible, do buy one of the exquisite hand crafted chillums)Cuba

10:00 PM : Dinner at the Cuba (Famous for cocktails; Bloody Mary, Cosmo  and Margaritas are a must try. Avoid Pin-a-colada as the cream may not be fresh. The Italian fare is also delectable)

Day 4:

7:00 AM : Fishing trip (Local fishermen will take you on a fishing trip to nearby Honeymoon beach. If you are lucky enough, you might as well catch some small fishes. However, if you are not so lucky, you may end up catching some weird sea creatures like eels and sea urchins!)

10:00 AM : Breakfast at Smuggler’s Inn (A Palolem institution, this restaurant has a fan following of its own. It has a typical British feel to it, with interiors resembling that of London pub. It has an extensive menu to chose from with cuisines ranging from English, Mexican and Indian. We had chicken burger and French toasts with honey. The food was delicious and mixed fruit juice was tasty and filling.

Smuggler's Inn Smuggler's Inn 
Off topic, but worth mentioning is the in-restaurant toilet. It has got the cleanest toilet amongst other restaurants in Palolem.

1:00 PM : Lunch at Magic Italy (A must try for Italian food lovers. It serves mouthwatering and scrumptious pastas, pizzas and other Italian favorites)

3:00 PM : Explore the north end of Palolem beach (This side has classic shacks like Sundowner Cafe, Ordo Sounsar, Dreamcatcher and Cozy Nook. This side also has the famous inland creek which cuts inside the northern end. During low tides, one can even walk along the shore to Canacona Island).Canacona Station

6:00 PM : Depart from Palolem

I could not believe the fact that my 4 days and 3 nights of blissful solace had ended, no sooner than it had began. Leaving Palolem was easily the most toughest thing to do!
Finally, I hope Palolem retains the beauty and rawness that it already has instead of succumbing to the perils of heavy influx of tourists: too much commercialism, over-development, noise and littering. I don't want it to be just like another Baga or Calangute. I hope Palolem continues to remain, Palolem.
Tranquility Divine it is !
As for me, I'll keep returning to this heavenly abode, for as long as I possibly can. In me, Palolem has found an admirer, for life.
  • Be ready to bargain at all places, especially with vendors, rikshawallahs, cabbies, bike rental etc
  • Carry a hand sanitizer at all times
  • Only drink bottled water
  • Don't trust anyone with valuables and important documents
  • If possible, book a room before arriving on the beach. The locals might take you for a ride otherwise
  • Stock on cash as cards are not accepted. The nearest ATM is 3 kms away.
  • In case you hire a bike, fill up the gas at the nearest petrol pump (about 5 kms away from Chaar Rasta). Petrol sold at local shops is twice the authorized rate. There is also the possibility of the petrol being adulterated.
  • Don’t Litter. We are equally responsible for preserving the beauty of Palolem. Help the locals keep the beach and its surroundings clean.
  • Enjoy responsibly

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Hello and welcome to my blog.

My name is Ganesh Parab and I am a writer, techie and guitarist based out of Mumbai, India. I love photography and am passionate about travelling, exploring the unexplored on my trusted bike and capturing all the candid moments on my Nikon.

This blog for me represents freedom of expression and sharing my opinions with the rest of the world. This blog is my story. You can also follow me on