Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Amanda Lindhout's abduction in Somalia

“The world called out to me from a very young age. The world as I knew it, was simply images from National Geographic magazines.”

These are the words of Amanda Lindhout from Red Deer, Alberta. She was held captive for 15 months by a jihadist group in Somalia. She came from a low-income family with a single mom who worked as a cashier at a grocery store and has two brothers. Lack of resources restricted her family to travel and see places. This inclined her to see the world through books. She had big dreams to explore the world and experience different cultures.

After graduating high school, she never thought of going to University; instead, worked three-part time jobs and saved paychecks and tips to travel to Venezuela for six weeks. This was a pattern which continued for seven years, where she explored countries considered “off limits” such as the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. While experiencing the culture and sharing the same way of day to day life as the natives, she realized that the headlines were worse than the actual reality. During her excursion in Africa, she came across an Australian photographer, Nigel, who shared his stories with the world through his camera. This inspired Amanda and guided her to another path of life.

After settling back home in Alberta, she enrolled herself in a journalism program and had the urge to share the stories of people who didn’t have a voice for themselves. Post graduation, she got a job in Baghdad as a war reporter covering the atrocities occurring in the country. For the first time, she felt that what she did mattered and would bring about change. During her time in Baghdad, she couldn’t help but notice numerous news stories from Somalia where the Civil war had now been stretched for three decades since its commencement.

In 2008, she initiated a conversation with Nigel that would see them going to Somalia and covering the country’s ongoing events. A few weeks later, she found herself at Mogadishu, which is the capital city of Somalia. Nigel joined her the following week. The drive from the airport to the hotel was unnerving for her, as she witnessed pick-up trucks filled with teenage boys holding AK47s on the road. She wasn’t very afraid as she had previously lived in war zones. “In your twenties, you never think you’ll be the one that something bad happens to.” expresses Amanda as she recalls her memories of her initial days in Somalia.

Nigel arrived in Mogadishu and they had planned a visit to a camp to record the narrative of the commoners. With a translator, cameraman and a driver, they wasted no time getting on the road. Mid-journey, they noticed a car parked on the road, and as they halted their own vehicle, a dozen fearsome men emerged from the car with guns. The men spread out around them and pointed guns from all directions. They opened the doors, and in no time Amanda found herself on the ground face down with a gun to her head. The men drove them for about an hour off-road through the desert while nobody uttered a word. Amanda noticed that the man pointing the gun at her in the car was a teenager, whom she discovered later, was named Ismail and had recently celebrated his 14th birthday. 

They arrived at an abandoned house where Nigel and Amanda were separated but had rooms sharing the same wall. The dark room without electricity felt eerie and suffocating. A man in his early thirties introduced himself as Adam, the group leader; he wore round glasses and a striped polo shirt, holding a notebook and pen. He inquired about Amanda’s family’s contact details to which she gave her father’s phone number as she didn’t want to alarm her mother. Her father did not answer the phone, but Adam left a threatening voicemail demanding 1.5 million in ransom for Amanda or else his daughter won’t see the light of day. The same call went to Nigel’s family in Australia.

“Canada does not - and will not - pay ransom to terrorists, directly or indirectly.” Stated clearly by Justin Trudeau in 2016’s statement, sharing the same thoughts as his father did in 1970. The law stands the same in Australia, where the government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. It was a worrisome state for Amanda as she knew that it was impossible for her family to pay the ransom because her mother baked bread for a living and her father survived on disability cheques. “Those first few days in captivity were the longest days of my life,” affirms Amanda. Her days being captive turned into weeks and then months. They moved to several houses during that time and thoughts of killing herself were always on Amanda’s mind.

After two months in captivity, Adam arrived at the house once again. A few men barged into Amanda’s room and demanded her to follow them outside to the courtyard. She was on her knees along with Nigel; a camera pointed at them, and Adam asked them to look into the camera and beg for their life. They had to follow the script he provided, and the tape was later sold to a Middle Eastern news channel. After shooting the video, Nigel and Amanda were separated and guided to their rooms. She had never felt more alone in her life as there was no possibility of communicating with anyone outside their prison. She was aware of her mental state and knew if circumstances were the same for a long time, she would not be able to keep herself sane. So, she woke up every morning and paced her room and thought of escaping. She trained her mind to think she was taking a stroll in Vancouver with the gentle cold breeze hitting her. Nigel and Amanda whispered an escape plan to each other, through the wall.

Over the week they had begun damaging the window grill in the toilet and one day managed to escape the facility. They ran to a nearby mosque, where they found Somalian men who simply glared at them but didn’t comprehend what they were saying. In no time, Adam and his men reached the mosque and started dragging them out. There was a Somalian lady in the mosque who tried to help them but didn’t succeed. She did however, leave a strong impact on Amanda as she represented to her the best of humankind at a moment when she felt completely lost.

Following her failed escape, she was taken to a new house the same day. As she named all the 13 houses, this one was called ‘The Dark House’ as the room was pitch black because the window was covered with garbage bags which restricted even a single ray of sunlight from entering. They tied her with a thick chain wrapped around her ankles for ten straight months. She couldn’t sit up but was forced to lay on her side as a result, all day. There were new rules imposed such as no talking, using the toilet five times a day for three minutes at a time. Food was provided to her in small quantities.

Her entire day came down to just listening to footsteps outside the dark room. They were addressed by their new names Noah and Amina. She realized the importance of simple things such as looking at the sky and the sun. A lot went in her head during those days, especially feelings of regret, anger, guilt, bitterness, injustice and especially hopelessness. However, there was always a voice which affirmed, ‘this too shall pass’ which kept her going. One day, when she was being hurt by one of the kidnappers, she realized that people who hurt her were also suffering themselves. “They were not innocent for sure, as they had a choice” expressed Amanda. For her own self, she started looking for ways to survive. She started digging the toolbox which each one of us has; that inspires us, and she discovered positive self-talk. She had always been a spiritual seeker and this was her time to discover herself.

A year had passed by, the kidnappers were getting frustrated, they called Amanda’s mother and threatened her; “If you want to play games, we shall too.” They tied Amanda and over the course of the next three days, hurt her, until she felt as like she was about to die. The kidnappers brought a phone and she was ordered to talk to her mom, but for the first minute, she couldn’t speak and cried out “Mummy Mummy.” When she was left in the room, she thought of ending her life with the razor they had provided her to remove body hair. Right before she caught the razor, something caught her eye, she glared at the little light coming from under the door and saw a little insect had flown in, it was a messenger in kind for Amanda. She had the opportunity to learn the power of the moment. In an instant, the desire to kill herself left her mind. The determination to survive no matter what filled her. Ever since, she reflects on her days in the Dark House and forces herself to be grateful for something every day, little things, such as the birds singing.

On one fortunate night, Amanda and Nigel were summoned to leave their rooms and sit in the car, from where they were moved to Kenya through the desert, where they were reunited with their families. 460 days after being a captive, Nigel and Amanda were released. The ransom was crowd-funded, paid by strangers across Canada and Australia. For the first time in 460 days, she saw her face in the mirror in the hospital and couldn’t recognize herself; she had seven missing teeth as a result of violence and torture.

The next and the most difficult chapter had started for Amanda, the time for recovery. She had become a news story, she felt a sense of shame and guilt. She was diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was flooded with symptoms such as violent flashbacks, nightmares, aching ankles and loneliness. She didn’t have a community who could understand her pain, she saw 21 different psychologists, but, no one could really comprehend the magnitude of what had happened to her. She was afraid to admit that she was diagnosed with PTSD.
However, a new psychologist came into her life and she saw drastic changes and a ray of hope. The psychologist asked her to reflect her time in Somalia and think of the gifts she received in Somalia. Initially, she frowned upon this, but later, realized that the purpose of life is to grow from experiences and that there were many gifts she received in Somalia especially the gift of hope that the lady in the Mosque gave her.

On her 34th birthday, she received a call and was informed that her kidnapper Adam was arrested in Ottawa. She was unable to respond and collapsed, hit by flashbacks. Later that year in October, she had the chance to face Adam in a courtroom and she testified against him along with Nigel, who flew from in from Australia for the trial. Adam was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She thinks that there is a deeper purpose when she tells her story; it heals her every time.

Since then, life has changed for Amanda positively. She wrote a book ‘A House in the Sky: A Memoir’ and travels across the world talking about her experience dealing with PTSD and how she is overcoming it every day. Annapurna Pictures bought the rights to ‘A House in the Sky’ and plans to share Amanda’s story with Rooney Mara portraying Amanda. On the other side of the world, Nigel works for an Australian insurance company, specifically dealing in ransom insurance.

Amanda’s story continues to be an inspiration to the people she meets and works with; it helps us realize the magnitude of how important it is to be grateful and positive for each new day. ‘Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you.’

Thursday, 19 June 2014

GOA-VIII (The Last Part)

(I asked Era to write the last blog so that you can hear her side of the story, what she felt. This blog is written by Era)

Ab aage…

We did not talk at all during the entire bus journey from the beach to the resort .Kanav confessed that he loved me, something I was waiting to hear from the last three days or maybe from a really long time. I was not sure. I was reluctant about my feelings , I did not say anything. In reality I should have been really happy but deep down I was really confused and sad maybe fearing what would happen now. So during the entire journey these thoughts kept on haunting me.
Finally we reached the resort and got back to our rooms to get ready for that day’s party, something we always did at night. It kind of became a fixed schedule.I entered the room , got laid on the bed and closed my eyes . I and shina were alone in the room, both looking at each other with awe about what happened at the beach as she had already seen me and Kanav holding hands and had an idea of what was going on. I told her how utterly confused I was about my feelings. She calmed me down, asked me to listen to what my heart says and not think too much and assured me that there was nothing to worry about as everything would be fine.
After overcoming all this I finally got dressed and met everyone downstairs.Kanav,Navdeep and Zen were sitting along the pool side having dinner. It was our last dinner at Wispering Palms. I was in no mood to have dinner as there were many more things yet to get digested , did not feel hungry at all. I just came and sat with everyone.Nobody talked much , were just enjoying their food, listening to the wonderful music. Things were changing, between me and Kanav and I think between Shina and Zen too. The question was that would everything end on a positive note?!
Keeping our thoughts to ourselves, we headed towards LPK, LOVE, PASSION ,KARMA , one of the best discs in Goa. It was me ,Shina, Kanav, Zen, Navdeep,Sanskriti and Harman. Kanav went to call a cab while Sanskriti was awfully intrigued by the fact that who was dating whom in our group.She started linking everyone with the other one. When Kanav came to us to tell us that there was no cab around, OUT OF NOWHERE , and to everybody’s surprise she asked Kanav, “DO YOU LOVE ERA DI?” . Everybody was shocked as no one told her what was going on between us and she had no idea about it. Just to clear my side I told Kanav I did not tell her anything. Kanav just smiled and feeling embarrassed left from there saying that he would give another try to find the cab. It was weird yet a funny moment.
We finally found a cab and some of us went to LPK in the cab while Kanav and Harman reached there by activa they had rented. On our way to LPK Sanskriti entertained us telling us all her experiences of the past three days . She was the only one who talked for those 15-20 minutes. Also she kept calling Navz and Zen “BHAIYA” while they kept on pleading her not to call them that .We were amused. So after all this entertainment we reached LPK where we met Harman and Kanav. Love Passion Karma was one of the most amazing places we all had ever seen.It was not just a normal disc. In fact , there was a long path, followed by a dining area along the sea side and in front the disc. The treat for the boys was that the drinks were free there. So as soon as we entered the disc, Zen and Kanav rushed towards the bar whereas me , Shina, Sanskriti and Navz were all excited to dance to the bollywood songs which was something unexpexted in a disc in Goa. We can say that the bollywood songs just doubled our energy. Later, the guys also joined us. But Zen was sitting in the corner with his drink , he seemed a little upset. We stayed inside the disc for about an hour , had a lot of fun as we knew it was our last day in Goa so we wanted to make full out of it. So after an hour , we came outside and sat on the stairs which were heading towards the dining area along the sea side. Kanav came, sat beside me and held my hand. We were spending the most amazing time together. Suddenly , we don’t know what happened to Navz . He took Kanav’s glass of beer and finished it in a few seconds. This was happening for the first time as Navz had never had alcohol before. We all applauded him for gulping it in in just one go. Then Shina also got excited and tasted Zen’s whiskey. The excitement got infectious and I tasted the whiskey too. I and shina found it yuck. But it was all worth it.
While we were sitting outside the disc, we could hear the  songs being played inside the disc. So this song ‘’ Main tera hero” from Desi boys got played and as drunk as Kanav was he started questioning me and these are his words,” Tera Hero kaun hai?” and that too in front of the other three . I thought to myself, not again , no more questions as I was still not ready to confront anything. I stood there numb, had nothing to say meanwhile Navz, Zen and Shina wanted to make full out of this situation which they thought was funny and supported Kanav by saying , “Haan haan bata kaun ha?i” ! I just turned his question down In a funny way but he was stuck up on the same thing for the next ten minutes and it those four VS me . While I and Kanav were standing beside the railing , unknowingly the tip of his cigarette touched my arm. He felt really bad that he hurt me with the cigarette and got annoyed with himself and left from there. When he left I told everybody to just shut up and stop teasing me. After a couple of minutes , even we all left and expected to meet him outside but he wasn’t there. We kept on looking for him for another five minutes when someone finally told us that he was helping a drunk guy from our college to reach the cab. Maybe it was the payback time . Remember how he got drunk on the first day and the guys from the college helped him get back to his room? So he and Zen accompanied that guy to the resort while me, Shina and Navz followed them in another cab.We reached the resort at around 2:00 am in the morning.After everything got settled down , five of us decided to go and relax in the guys’ room. As we were 6-7 steps away from our room Kanav held my hand, gently pulled me towards  him and we hugged. This was our first hug,though we had been best friends for more than a year . It was a magical moment.
We went back to the room , ordered some sandwiches , French fries and coke and decided to go to the beach in an hour. Kanav was still a little drunk and being drunk automatically makes him romantic. I told him I wanted to go to my room so that I could change but he kept on asking me not to leave him. That was really cute. But finally I convinced him that I would be back in five minutes so he said a yes with a sigh. We got changed into our comfortable pyjamas and T-shirts and went to the beach. Finally , it was the confrontation time and the arrival of the moment I was fearing since evening. Kanav asked me about my feelings, whether I was in love with him or not. I told him to let it go and not talk about it. But he said that it was important for us to be clear of what was happening. We both were too reluctant to get into a relationship because of that in built fear that what if it did not work out. Also, we were too different from each other, too too different. We discussed about everything from 3:oo a.m. to 6:00 a.m in the morning but still did not find a midway when finally Kanav told me that we should get together. By that time he was sure that with what we had for each other, things could never go wrong. But this was a life changing thing and I did not want to rush into it so I asked him that we would decide things only after getting back to Chandigarh.  After all the discussion we went to the balcony, sat on the bench in each other’s arms feeling completed .
After 15-20 minutes I woke up Shina and we went to our room and slept for a couple of hours. We had to leave our rooms by 1:00 p.m to go to the station from where we had to go back to Chandigarh. We woke up at 10:00 a.m. , packed our bags and went down to the guys’room. None of us wanted to leave the room but around 1:00 p.m . the housekeeper requested us to leave. We had lunch and left the resort. We were leaving behind so many memories and leaving Whispering Palms was one of the most difficult things we had to do. I and Kanav sat together in the bus, Zen was with Shina and sadly Navz and Lakshya found peace with each other. The journey from the resort to the station was beautiful as I and Kanav realised we were taking so much back from that place. I realised how awesome we were together and how beautiful everything was between us. This was the time I stopped thinking and finally told him I loved him too. We were , finally, after a long wait of more than a year together. The only thing common between us was that we were madly in love with each other.

It has been 8 months that we have been back from Goa but there is not one day we do not talk about our experiences there. It was a new beginning, of our love , of the friendship of five of us. The most extraordinarily amazing experience of our lives…….

Friday, 13 June 2014


Ab aage…

So after getting fooled by the police and Zen getting drunk, the  next day we woke up around 11 am, had breakfast and everyone was in the room chatting, making plans. We were supposed to go to Calangute beach in the evening with the whole college for water sports. All of us gathered around 5 pm near the resort’s entrance, the bus was already waiting for us. Met everyone from the college whom we didn’t meet in the past 2-3 days as everyone was exploring Goa in their own way. We reached Calangute in 30 minutes. My hard cash got over, so I, Lakshya and Era went on to find an ATM . Zen, Navs and Shina went with everyone else to the beach and we were supposed to meet them at the entrance of  the beach, they didn’t have phone with them. So when we guys got the cash, we started searching for Zen, Navs and Shina but couldn’t find them.
20-30 minutes passed away and we still couldn’t find them and I was very irritated as water sports were going to end in next hour as it was getting dark. Finally, we found them and we rushed towards the parasailing ticket booth and I stood in the line and got tickets. We were the last batch to get the tickets. Everyone put on their life jackets and I didn’t feel like wearing one as I knew swimming but it was compulsory. We sat in the motor boat and we were ready to go. We were supposed to go in the middle of the sea and then start the parasailing. It was a beautiful ride, jumping through the waves and on the other side Era was feeling nauseous, so I sat besides her and asked her not see the water and to close her eyes. We reached in the middle of the sea and Zen was the first one to go, he got harnessed and the operator pulled the lever and in no time he was up in the sky. Zen is a guy who doesn’t get excited about things much. We were more excited than him to see him up in the sky. Next was my turn, when I reached up in the sky, I could see the whole Goa from there and cherished the view. Era and Shina went up together as they were too scared to go alone.
One by one everyone did parasailing and we came back to the beach again enjoying the boat ride. Once we reached the beach Era’s condition got worse and she walked up to the side of the beach and puked. All of us took a walk and it was getting dark, so we sat down on the beach. Lakshya was building mud castles, Navs was enjoying alone in the water, Zen and Shina went for a walk.
I and Era were lying on the beach and watching the sky, no one talked. After sometime, I dragged myself near her without her noticing and we started talking about something very random. Lying there besides her I felt something, butterflies in my stomach, our hands were very close to each others and I started caressing my hand on her hand, this continued for sometime, after gaining a lot of confidence I held her hand. Meri literally fatt gayi thi! No response for 10 seconds, I thought I should take my hand back. As I was about to lift my hand, she tightened it. I can never, in my entire life, explain that feeling. Only I and Era can understand ‘it’ (I am still getting chills in my entire body while writing this). No one spoke for the next 2-3 minutes and then out of nowhere I heard “I love you” and I realized that was ME who said that. Era didn’t reply and we lay there holding hands for some time. That was one of the best moments of my life, lying there with Era under the sky, holding her hand and listening to the sound of waves. It was the feeling of contentment.
Shina and Zen returned and it was time for us to leave the beach. I and Era kept holding hands as we were leaving the beach even when talking to a teacher. I just didn’t want to leave her hand or leave her at that time. I was talking to the teacher but my full concentration was on her. After a while, we left the beach and arrived the Calangute market , saw street food and rushed towards the stalls and ate shit load of Vadha Paus and Gol Gappe, till our belly was about to burst. On the way back to the bus Zen and I bought the Batman pyjamas.
Era was not talking the whole time and I sensed that there was something wrong and I asked her If there was something wrong. But she didn’t utter a word. She was still shocked from what happened at the beach. We boarded the bus, Era and I sat separately but Shina asked me to sit with her as Era was not feeling well. I think she did that on purpose as everyone noticed we were holding hands and that something was going on. I sat with her and she kept her head on my shoulder. I tried my best not to move my shoulder during the whole journey so as she didn’t pick her head from my shoulder. We both were quiet during the entire journey from the beach to the resort.

Blog continues…

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Ab aage…

Finally, after getting lost for 3-4 times and experiencing the strangest things we reached the parking of Curlies and sighed. The distance of Curlies from its parking was of around 400 meters and a very uneven muddy path. There was no light, we switched on our phones for some visibility. Era was wearing heels so I held her hand and we walked pass through the muddy path and eventually reached Curlies. It was just so beautiful in front of the sea, with full moon and peace all around. We sat on the first floor on the mats and ordered hookah, something to eat and I again was stuck with fresh lime soda. We were sitting by the window and enjoying the breath taking view. We talked about the horrifying drive and how we had to be attentive while going back. I saw a room there, as we were leaving the place. An empty room with almost no light and loud trance music, all the stoned people were grooving to the music.
The ride back to resort was much more difficult than reaching Curlies as Shina’s phone died and we were on our own.  It took us almost an hour to get out of the that place. As we entered the city, we saw a police check post, I was driving the car and I was confident as I had my license with me. The police officer stopped us, and asked for the license, I showed him the license and he asked if the car was mine. I told him we were tourists and we hired the car. He checked if I was drunk with the machine, I passed that test. Zen was drunk, so he began saying “Sir he is not drunk, I am! I am!”
The police officer said that the car’s number plate should be yellow. I tried to explain him that it’s not a cab, it’s a car which we hired from a guy. He told us that even the hired cars should have yellow number plates, he accused me of stealing the car. I was shocked. He asked me to call the guy from whom I hired the car, I called him but the guy didn’t respond. He threatened me that he would have to take me to the police station and I would have to spend the night there for verification. I had no idea what to do. I asked him if I could pay for the mistake in other way. First he didn’t agree but later I convinced him. I went to get my wallet but as I had two bills of hundred but in no time Zen took a five hundred rupee bill from his wallet and gave it to the officer. Facepalm! Later we got to know through a waiter that you don’t need a yellow number plate for a hired car and we realized that police officer fooled us! Zen got so furious he started abusing him and cried that he gave him five hundred rupees. It was hilarious.
On the way back to the resort we picked up a bottle of whiskey for the night. Finally, we reached our resort’s parking , parked the car and headed towards the beach. It was around 3, we were lying on the beach when Harman came to the beach with a girl. We guys had never met her, she was our junior in the college, Sanskriti. As we were lying, it started to rain slowly, we were still there as we thought the rain would stop in some time. But, in no time it started raining heavily and we headed towards a small stable like place. I ran towards it and Era was walking slowly because I think she was not wearing any footwear, so I went back towards her and accompanied her. 
We waited for the rain to stop, but it didn’t, so we ran towards the resort in the rain itself . It looked funny. There was an open restaurant, especially for candle light dinners near the pool side, we sat there. Zen had already started drinking the whiskey and it was showing its effect. Zen took off his tee so as to relax. He was drinking a lot, so we asked him to stop and took the bottle away from him. He was drinking Signature and repeatedly asked us to return Teacher’s. The way he spoke was hilarious. He asked if anyone wanted to throw his phone in the pool. And out of nowhere Sanskriti asked that who was the guy who got drunk last night and whom people were carrying, again the awkward moment for me. Zen was sitting besides Shina and held her hand thinking that no one would notice. For the next ten minutes they kept holding hands. Zen again told us about the Nimbu incident which happened last night, when he went to take lemons for me and returned with nothing. He laughed after every line. After a while, Zen started to tease and started to make fun of Lakshya but Lakshya took it sportingly as he knew Zen was drunk. Though everyone was giggling and having a good time. We recorded all this on the phone.
It was around 5 am in the morning and Zen was going a little out of control, so we decided to take him to his room. I went to find the lemons and Harman supported Zen to walk him till the room. I made him drink the lemonade and he slept. Everyone decided to sleep and girls went to their rooms and boys to theirs but somewhere deep down I didn’t want to sleep and spend some time with everyone or maybe just Era.

Blog continues…

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Ab aage….

After  facing all the embarrassment, we reached the resort’s dinning area, and were having food sitting on our favorite corner round table and then Navs arrived with his plate which looked like a multi-storey building with 3-4 vegetables on one side, rice adjusted right in the corner and ice-cream floating on the dal. A sight to watch. While having breakfast I didn’t raise my head so as to avoid an eye contact with anyone out of embarrassment.
Later, we played pool , clicked some photos near the poolside, Era and Shina posing in the most weird ways. Our fags got over so I asked Era to come along with me to the market to get it. We started looking for the fags from outside the resort and in the quest we reached a kilometer away from the resort, eventually found out that we could get it from right outside the resort. Era and I didn’t talk much maybe because of the last night. On the way Era even bought the typical Goan hat for herself and I bought a tee, ‘Goa’ printed on it for my little cousin. Everyone was sitting in the boys’ room watching India VS Australia , we joined them too. In that match Rohit Sharma scored an amazing century after struggling with his form for the past two years. That was a moment to watch and India won!
It was evening and we decided to go to the famous Goa fort shown in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. I asked a guy for renting a car, he asked me to come with him and took me to a really shady place as others were waiting outside the resort for me. He showed me a Wagon R and then my eyes got attracted to an open jeep, really fascinating but it was out of the budget, so agreed on renting the Wagon R. Showed him my driving license and paid him for a day. I drove the car back to the resort and picked up everyone and switched on the GPS on the phone. We learned that the fort was in some other city and was a little far away. Still we planned to go but after ten minutes, we got lost and couldn’t go according to the GPS and agreed upon to go to Calangute beach.
We reached Calangute, sat in a nice shack and ordered some delicious food AND ordered liquor too but I couldn’t as I had promised Shina I wouldn’t drink that day and give myself a break as what happened last night. I kept myself to fresh lime soda. After an hour, we went for a walk on the beach and later we sat down and everyone started building castles with sand. I displayed my talent with building mammary glands with mud. After some time we headed back to the resort and got ready for some partying!
Harman told us about a beach party on Baga beach. GPS made a big fool of us and we were lost once again. We planned to go to Curlies which is one of the most famous places in Goa, a huge shack. We started our journey trusting the GPS yet again . It was around 11 pm and we had to cross through a road which was surrounded by forests . It was so dark, we had no idea where we were and where we were heading. Shina’s was the only phone that had GPS but its battery was gonna die any moment. It was a small road where only two cars could fit at a time. We reached in the middle of the forest and the strangest things started happening, 4-5 times some animals crossed our path and as we approached further we saw an old lady in a pink sari crossing the road, Navs was sitting next to me and he screamed on the top of his voice and scared the shit out of everyone.

Blog continues…


Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Ab aage…

I sat on the bed and asked Era and Shina “What happened? Did I do something wrong? I don’t remember a single thing. The only thing I remember is gulping down Lakshya’s drink.” Both of them were continuously laughing at me and were not telling me a single thing. Then finally, Era started talking and told me that (All these are their words, this is what they told me) after I drank Lakshya’s drink, I sat on the seat for some time and I drifted towards sideways and was about to fall off the chair when Navs caught me. Everyone didn’t take me seriously and thought I would be okay in sometime. Then we again went inside the disc and danced for a while. I came close to Era and told her how much I cared for her. After a while, we came out of the club and I shouted ‘Puke free since 1993’ and puked a fountain all over the outer lounge of the club. Navs and Era made me sit and kept holding me. Zen was also drunk and  got confused between a 500 rupee note and a ticket and kept asking Shina the difference. And shina kept on explaining him.
I got so wasted that I could not even walk, so Navs and Zen made me sit and went to call a cab. Navs, Zen and some other guy in the club held me and took me towards the cab and everyone in the club was staring at me. Lakshya decided to stay back. I reached near the cab after a lot of efforts and I puked again and some of it  splashed onto Navs and Era. The cab driver warned everyone that If I puked in the cab, we’ll have to pay 500/- extra. After this everyone got worried and realized how worse my situation had become. They made me sit besides the window, keeping my head outside the window so that I don’t puke in the cab. On our way back to the resort, I kept on telling them that  how much I loved them and kept on abusing Harsh for not coming to Goa with us.
We reached the resort and Navs and Zen tried to pick me up but failed to do so and had to take help of  two Afgani guys from our college who came to my rescue. At this point of time four people were picking me up and taking me to my room through the resort’s central area and the whole college witnessed that embarrassing moment. When we reached the corridor, they lost their balance and I fell on the floor. Era and Shina found it very amusing and giggled but Navs gave them his serious look. I was lying in the middle of the corridor for about 10 minutes as the guys were too tired to pick me up again. Meanwhile Zen and one of the Afgani guys went to the resort’s restaurant to get some lemons to make me feel better. When Zen came he had nothing in the bowl, he was so drunk that while running towards us with four lemons in the bowl he dropped all of them on the way. Everyone went crazy laughing at this.
Finally they picked me up and dropped me on the bed. Vishal was already in the room and he got petrified when he saw me in that state and left the room and returned the next morning. Zen, Era, Shina and Navs sat there for 15-20 minutes to see if I had slept and then left for the beach. They stayed their for a couple of hours and then came back to the resort, went to their rooms and slept.
When I heard the story from both Era and Shina I got so embarrassed, I kept on apologizing for the last night and they laughed like maniacs. After a while, when I crossed the resort’s swimming pool to get some breakfast, at least 15 people asked me whether I was okay and this felt so awkward.

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Saturday, 31 May 2014


Ab aage…

A bus was waiting for us outside the Railway Station that was supposed to take us to the resort, ‘Whispering Palms’. Sounds flashy. I would have never thought that this name would stay with me for the rest of my life. It was a one hour journey to the resort. We could feel the humidity as we reached Goa and the bus was congested too. So, the journey from the station to the resort was quite difficult. As we reached the hotel , the staff welcomed us with a Goan song and a special welcome drink. The best part about the resort was that it was just 50 feet away from the Candolim beach. We waited, as the teachers were allotting us the rooms. So I, Vishal,Lakshya,Navz(Navdeep) and Zen were in the same room . We had decided to hit the beach in an hour, so we quickly went to our room to settle down and get fresh. Our room was on the ground floor facing the garden with a small balcony and the girls’ room was on the first floor. The best thing about the room was that the toilet seat had a jet spray not toilet paper, Lakshya and I sighed. Me, Lakshya and Zen sat in the balcony and enjoyed our first fag in Goa, it was just the same as I dreamt of.
Era and Shina came to our room and we were all set to finally hit the beach. So, we left the resort through the back exit as it faced the beach. The sea was just 20 feet away, I could just see the whole sea in front of me. We immediately decided to take a dip in the sea and out of nowhere Zen takes off his shirt and reveals his abs! I was stunned and jealous too. So we enter the sea and take a dip and then stand in the water, waiting for the tough waves to hit us so we could slump in the water again. Era was apprehensive entering the water, so I held her hand and took her towards the sea and kept holding her as the waves hit us. It was a beautiful feeling. Something I had never experienced in my entire life. It was special.
Me and Zen went to get some beers and I asked for the price and the shopkeeper said Rs 35/- ; we were shocked. Got back to the beach, clicked some memorable photos. After almost two hours, we headed back to the resort and entered the swimming pool. I was a swimmer for five years when I was a kid so I thought I still had it in me and tried to show some tricks like summer salt but failed. It was around 9 pm and we decided to get ready and go for a party! After getting ready Lakshya and I headed towards Era and Shina’s room .I knocked the door and Era opened the door, I saw some other Era right there. She was looking the best she could ever look, wearing a classy, black dress. Elegance at its best! We waited for the girls as they were putting up make up. Zen and Navs also got ready and they joined us at the dinner table, the food was just delicious with all the international dishes. As soon as we got over with the dinner, we started discussing about which club to go. After discussing for 15-20 minutes, lastly we decided to go to ‘Mambos’ ,one of the best discs in Goa. We hired a cab and in 30 minutes we reached Mambos.
There were many discs in that same lane. There was this weird thing I experienced in Goa, when you go for clubbing, the bouncers outside the club check if you are in a proper attire, they scan you from head to toe. You can’t enter the club with slippers or in shorts. As we were heading towards the main door which lead us  to the club, we could hear the  loud music . Finally, we entered the club and the two things my eyes hooked to were the stunning and striking beauties and the breathtaking bar. We stepped on the dance floor and started grooving to the beats. Zen, me and Lakshya headed to the bar and ordered shots of tequila and cheers to Goa! We had quite a lot of beers and tequila inside the club.
After a while, we needed some air so we sat in the open lounge of Mambos outside the club, I had a lot to drink, seriously a lot. I was totally wasted still I got whiskey for all of us from the bar walking in a strange way. I asked Lakshya and Zen for bottoms up, me and Zen slurped Jack Daniels in one go but Lakshya did not do so I took his glass and had his share. The next thing I remember is I am in the hotel room with a heavy hangover with my shirt changed. I see Navs sitting in front of me and  ask him what happened last night, he gives me a bold look and doesn’t tell me anything. I rush towards Era’s room with uneasiness, she opens the door and again I ask her the same question ‘WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?????!!!!’. She laughs  and asks me to come in and sit.

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