Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bangalore - Goa Adventures_Day I

I made my second trip in a month to Bangalore and Goa around 23 - 27 Jan and it was nothing less than an adventure.. The first time was post New Years - which was much more fun. I shall write about it later may be.

Not a very positive trip, but still it was something which shook me from my roots..

Reached Bangalore on the 22nd Evening and headed off to my cousin's place. I was staying back at her place and we were meeting after almost a year after her marriage. Brother in Law was hit by an iron rod a few days back by some random guy outside the Microsoft Office in Bangalore, which kind of shocked me and made me feel disgusted..

Are these the Metros which they talk about... Why would someone hit someone so innocent, someone who hasn't scratched anyone all his life..

They were in the US before returning to India, Jiju was pursuing Post Doctoral at the Rutgers and also teaching at Princeton. I am not sure if its the other way round, but probably if you know Neeraj Kayal, I don't think I would need to make further statements about him.

I am going to get thrashed by sis for putting him up on the blog, but I guess its ok :P

Anyways, I was in Bangalore for Proto, which went off pretty well and unorganized. We did a Pitch Camp and also a VC Speed Dating Session for startups who wanted to meet potential funding partners, which was appreciated by the audience and the participants. It was a little unorganised and on the spot, but it went off pretty smoothly.

The Event was a good networking platform and I ended up meeting a whole lot of VCs and Startups and pitching them our iAccelerator Program.Freeman did a small Introduction on both the days and got a good response as well.

24th night, I took the bus to Bangalore. I had reserved a KSRTC and the services were ok. The mid way stop was awesome, and since I didn't get a chance to grab on some food, this was a blessing in disguise. Chatted with a couple females on the bus, the men were all obnoxious.. :P

25th morning, I headed off to Namita and Priya's house near Baga. Post friday night, I expected these girls to be drunk and sleepy.. I reached at about 11:30 pm and Priya was still sleeping and someone by the name of Sonia was also sleeping in Namita's room. Namita was no where to be seen, apparently she went off to sleep at her friend's place because Sonia had taken her bed :D

Sonia is an Afro Indian lady, who was in Goa writing her thesis on Afro Indian Lifestyles in India. She is studying in France. She still looked hungover and dead and I had just met her, so I didn't know what would make her feel better. Nonetheless, since I was hungry [no breakfast] and she looked like she wanted some breakfast, we headed off to the near by restaurant to eat something.

Had some banter about Commitment, Marriage, Guys, having kids and not having kids and how 33 yrs and Socialogy has taught her what life is all about... All this over Masala Omlette and Veg Fried Rice with Coke and Mazza.. And then we headed off, when she insisted she wanted to go back to Panjim to her house, as she had a lot of stuff to wrap up.

Asked a couple people there for rickshaws and where we can get them, no one had a clue. So we crossed the road and stood under a tree against a White Maruti 800, and were looking for an empty rickshaw to Panjim or Mapusa. 2 mins.. 5 mins.. no luck and the sun was burning me up.

The traffic was speeding past and no one even bothered to stop by and help us what so ever. The roads were thin and two lane traffic is something which was almost impossible on these tracks. But traffic was flowing.. at almost 50 - 60 kmph.

Worse comes to worse, I would have had to hire a bike and drop her to Mapusa and drive back to home at 1 in the afternoon. I suggested to come back home and rest for some more time and leave in the noon, but she was hell bent on leaving at 1 pm. So I accompanied her..

We were still waiting for rickshaws when a speeding inter city volvo, which looked almost out of control of the driver, was coming towards us. Considering that we were standing off the road, Sonia didn't expect it to come and bang into us. I mean, the bus is expected to move atleast half a meter away from the parked vehicles if not more. I moved behind the car because I didn't want a scratch on my body. But she was still there, leaning against the car so that she can be safe.

Well, the bus came crashing into the White 800, scratched the car, pushed it about half a meter from the road and also hit Sonia. Sonia was pushed about a meter from the car on the sides of the road and her head was bleeding. All this happened in the second that I moved from the car to the back.

I ran to her, was disgusted at the driver's ways. The bus had stopped about a 50 metres away and someone from the bus had already called the Emergency Number - 108. Gave her some water to drink and shouted at the driver, apparently the guy I shouted on wasn't the driver :P

Till the Emergency Van came, we figured that she had fractured her right arm, it was swollen and painful. The Emergency Van took us to Calangute Hospital which looked like some shady Government hospital, but the services were ok. They cleaned up the open wound and stitched it up. Almost 14 stiches on the forehead ! and applied some red tonic on the other open wounds.

In between, Sonia called up one of her friend who came to see her at Calangute Hospital. Priya and Myself had to accompany her all over Goa because apparently her "friends" were all working on a "national holiday". She also informed her Mother about the accident and aunty was trying all possible ways to figure out how to help Sonia from Bangalore.

The right arm was squashed and the Doctor just tied it to her neck with a bandage for support. She was being carried around on a wheel - chair. We were asked to move to a specialty hospital for X - Rays and CT Scans and we drove off to Goa Medical College.

It was the 26th of January and everything was shut. And it was getting difficult to get small things done. Goa Medical College took a lot of time to carry out tests. Priya was running around with her because I couldn't sit any longer in the Emergency Ward, which had people puking and screaming with pain. It kinda brought back memories of Ahmedabad Blasts and the patients at the Civil Hospital [I had gone to meet them 3 days after the blast, with a reporter friend]. So I was waiting outside.

One of Aunty's Contacts came to meet Sonia at Goa Medical College, someone with connections in the Government and private establishments in Goa.. Rich Man :D. We were a little relaxed then.

It was almost 3 pm and Priya was hungry.. She'd just gotten up and washed her face and brushed too [apparently she thought it must be some minor accident so she dressed up and freshened up before coming out to see the drama on the road outside her house] but didn't have anything to eat. So we rushed to the Hospital Coffee Parlour [Nescafe it was] and called for lots of stuff to eat. I explained her the entire story and she still looked confused.. Had to use the empty glasses from all the drinks we had and animated the scene on the table.. was fun.. :P and she seemed to be following it, so all was good.

I am not sure if such tragedies and dramas in my life make me a comedy model, may be its just a reflex action to not show the tension on my face and in my head. But I was smiling all through out and handled the situation pretty much well.. I would say so. This was the first time I'd ever faced an accident and so it was good..

Talked to a couple friends, while Sonia got herself checked up at the CT Scan place but all in vain.. didn't really help.. I didn't know how I was feeling.. One part of me said its all fine and that I need to keep my head open and take quick decisions and that tensions on this moment will screw up more than one life.. Had this rush of blood and energy and all good things which kept me going..

God was there.. And I knew he was there.. cus I was saved by a second and I knew he would help me.. :) help me survive till Sonia gets into better hands..

Goa Med College wasn't of much help, to the extent that they didn't want to give it in writing about the analysis they did on her and the injections they gave her. The IAS Office [Aunty's Friend] made a decision of taking her to the Manipal Hospital. We carried Sonia back into his car and drove to Manipal which is pretty much South Goa. Sonia was craving for a smoke, lit one for her and she was happy.

Manipal Hospital is close to the Cidade Goa resort, pretty location !

We put her into the hospital's custody and while they did their duties. What a relief !

The X-Rays and CT scan was done again and the reports mentioned multiple fracture of the right shoulder which had to be operated and no other major injuries. The Right Shoulder would be eventually fixed with metal joints because it was squashed completely.
The operation was scheduled for the 28th Morning. I still haven't got a chance to talk to her and ask her how she is, but I know that her family reached Goa on Tuesday morning to take care of her.

Another problem emerged before we could leave her in the hospital. Someone had to stay back with her all through the night to take care of her demands etc. We were in a fix and hoping she had enough friends to stay back at the hospital, because we barely knew her to stay back and take care. Over and above that, both of us were dead tired and lived pretty far away, leave that, We didn't have clothes or the morning stuff to stay back at the hospital.

Sonia then called her friend to come and stay back at the hospital and he agreed.
It was almost 7:00 P.M. when we left her. Her friend had still not come and we were not in a mood to stay longer.

Bid her farewell and headed off home, only to find Max sitting with Namita in her room. Max is Makarand Deshpande :)

Eventually, Sujoy drove down to Namita's place and the five of us headed off to Whispering Lake Resort, near Arambol Beach to have some gala time and good food. Makarand and Sujoy are Namita's friends. Sujoy lives in Goa itself and is a journo by profession, and Makarand came down from Mumbai to spend the extended weekend in Goa :)

Whispering Lake Resort was one heaven and after all the jazz during the day I really needed some piece of mind and a nice place to relax. The place has been designed and maintained by Stanzin, again Namita's friend from TISS. Amazing person and amazing work. If you like this place and want to make a visit there, leave a comment on this blog with your e-mail ID and I shall put you in touch with Stanzin.

The Night passed away singing with another bunch of people and Makarand Dancing :)

coming up, Bangalore - Goa Adventures_Day 2

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