Far from madding crowd—A trip to Elephanta cave.


 It is seriously maddening, really. Same area , same people, same routine, disgusting; mind looks for respite from maddening environment.  Of course, this search for respite may be different for different people. It would be best to escape to a snow clad mountain or at least the lush green environment of Nagaland/ Arunachal Pradesh but it requires a journey for 15 days which demands a lot of physical stamina. After a certain age, there is a limit to stamina that we can master. MILON MANCHA, have just successfully completed a similar remarkable tour in the north eastern India.

Ours one is very much unlike them, a short one day trip to near by Elephanta cave. This one day trip was dirt- cheap, ie Rs 580/- per head ( from home to home), but the joy was unbounded. All the necessary arrangement was done by Sri Mangal chowdhury.  As I , several times,  made mention of him as a very resourceful person yet unassuming, complete devoid of egos, always in the habit of helping others. His very presence among us encourages us.

Having such a person amongst us and as per preplan, we arrived at the right time at the india gate,  just before nine in the morning, from my Naigaon home.  Mangal chowdhury, his wife and their son just from Pune, and we two, me and my wife, a well woven team boarded the launch from India Gate. We got best seat in the terrace of the launch, as Sri Mangal’s people kept aside the seats reserved for us. Sri Mangal has a great influence amongst people who work in the various launches  at India Gate, because many of the launch- people are  among his friends and relatives, jobs for many of them was initially arranged by Sri Mangal, now they want to pay back to him through their allegiance. With their support our journey became very pleasant.

Elephanta is 10 km away from India Gate, takes nearly an hour’s journey.  All around  there are at least 15/20 other similar boats, many foreign ships, giant floating oil rigs, our all sorts of questions about those were answered by Sri Mangal. I was wondering  what might be the depth of water in that area of the sea, I am told it is 35 feet. I find the depth is same as in Vasai creek –at its mid point  —it won’t be less than 35 feet. I draw this comparison here because I live on the side of Vasai creek….. Sea water was very clean,  sea breeze was blowing  soothing our nerves. We passed by Buchar Island, from distance we saw four Oil tanks, a few months back one of those caught fire from lightening and raged everything around it killing top engineers of ONGC. At around 10 am our launch reached Elephanta cave jetty.

We carefully got down from the ship and boarded the toy train to reach the land of Elephanta, as the jetty is one km inside into the sea from the land. Per head ticket for toy train is Rs 10/-. Immediate getting out of toy train, we completed our breakfast. Then a flight of steps, total 120 in number, in a slight curved way. Instead, if the steps were straight upthout a break, on looking-up it would seem that those may break on your head, those being a snake like, we did not feel the fatigue. People with knee problem also can climb without much effort, and we did.

It is a rock stone sculpture worked out in sixth century AD, and is a UNESCO world heritage site now. It is a collection of temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.  The sculptural carvings narrate Hindu mythologies—Sadashiva, Nataraja and Yogishvara being the most celebrated. In this part of year—month of May, is very hot, of course sea breeze flowing will reduce your hardship.

Being a small area inhabited by 1200 people, there are not many eateries, except MTDC hotel and 1/2  restaurants. Walking  at the top of the cave  made us fatigued, and hungry. MTDC hotel is a very good place to lunch, we ordered for four thalis  and enjoyed those much. Per thali cost was Rs 250/-. Apart from the good taste of the meals, what is remarkable here is the location of the hotel. From the verandah of the hotel we could see nearby green trees, Buchar island and at the distance Bhaba Atomic Centre, ONGC installations, and India Gate. Constant cool sea breeze was flowing to us creating an ethereal pleasure, I would only wish it engulfs whole of our life!!!!!! . Who knows a day will come when technology will offer us this also. With the gift of mobile technology we took photographs at every step.

Soon it was four pm, boarded the toy train, made for India gate enjoying the sea journey again. On return journey to home we saw the parsee temple,  Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda etc etc. It was a short one day outing, costing us little energy, minimum money—Rs 1160/- for two of us, but enormous refill of energy. Our next destination is any of –Haridwar, Kerala;  possibly we shall do Matheran before that. You may join us if you are of like mind.

Last but not least is about we Bengalis. Wherever I go on a tour and travels, I meet too many Bengalis, mostly from Bengal. The readers must also have experienced the same during their any tour—Bengalis talking noisily,  loudly in mother tongue with exuberance believing that the language of the world is Bengali and everybody around should understand them. They loudly talk about their experiences of the ongoing tour. Bengalis generally considered to be misers in closed friedly circle, are tour loving, apart from tour they love reading books, art, music and cinema, and have the capacity to analyze things, and everybody right or wrong, have their own independent view. All these qualities makes them happiest …………… But now a days, all these bright qualities at home, has been marred by their self seeking politicians killing social peace, law and order and industry. In this sense these are their bad days. Hope, a day will come their golden past will revisit them.

 

Air travel really have become cheaper for the masses.


[ click above to reach the amazon site for your placement of order ]

It looks air travel has really become cheaper. It is good for the masses, and economy. It was long overdue, and has become as a relief for me and many common people like me. It has struck me very comfortable, yesterday booked to and fro ticket for journey in june’18 , between Mumbai and Kolkata, for a cost of Rs 16,287/-. This looks going to Kolkata by air, will no longer be that painful for me. 26 hours of journey, will reduce to 7 hours’ from point to point. Life for the masses, is really becoming better, at least, in this respect.
I stay both in Kolkata and Mumbai, used to do my journey in train; at the minimum, it takes 26 hours in the best trains . At this age strain is too much, when I get down from the train in Kolkata, there is a dizzy feeling, and whole body trembles, every time think never to repeat the journey again, but resolve stays with me only until the next journey, and then again travails start. Add to this, the extra hazards being added to train journey every day now a days. Although this picture is common with train journey but age refuses to accept this pain any more.
Xxx In young days I would travel in general compartment for long hours for days together, drinking water and eating foods supplied in the train or collected from venders from platform, rather food in the train journey would be more romantic than home food. There would not be any complaint against anything. After joining jobs for earning livelihood, travelled in sleeper classes from one end of the country to other with no notice of any fatigue . With gradually getting position in jobs like many others, gradually, travelled in AC classes, and at the end, air travels also, at employer’s liberal allowances /expenses.
xxYou must have noticed, now a days, travelling in AC classes in all reputed trains even, have become insecured and uncomfortable. I along with others, lost my luggage from AC-II tier coach on 22.11.2016, after being drugged . It is not me alone, many many cases are happening regularly. A very bad and unhygienic foods, uncleaned blanket and bedding are given to passengers on board. There are numerous complaint by passengers, every time Govt re-assures to improve but unable to do anything. Every time Govt. promises—I am sure it is sincere utterance, yet same state of affairs continues, and to me it seems it will never end because it is beyond the control of any Govt. Every time when I am face to face to be in such a situation, I experienced that it is not easy to administer a country of 135 crores of people, just too many… too many. Have you ever tried to meet an authority to redress your grievance whenever you had any problem in life, definitely no, you ran from pillar to post, until you broke down. For my theft of baggage, I approached the office of PMO, claiming compensation, even to meet PM personally, I could not cross even the preliminary levels and it was frustrating to me. Managements are inefficient through all-out bad education in the country. There is a requirement of artificial intelligence in every department of game of our governance to improve general efficiency, forget job creation and all sorts social thinking, socialist philosophy of governance since the time of Nehru, spoilt the country, spoilt the national resources.
Unlike in other fields of business activity, air travel has become a bit better, has an enormous potential to further improve the life for our teeming millions. By this time air fare has ultimately come down by virtue of private operation. As I noted, 5/6 years back air fare to Kolkata was approx Rs 10,000 for one way travel—that was really too much to bear for me, naturally, would not think of going to Kolkata by air. Now, as I found, that for a single person, one way journey is Rs 4000 appx, is OK. It should come down more, at that all our masses can use it regularly, it should be possible by the imaginative businesses, with the cooperation Of Govt.
Reducing taxes connected with airfare, and arranging for landing on thousands of water bodies instead of expensive present airports by small planes, will bring down cost of air journey. This will bring down the cost of maintenance of airports. Further, I am a strong advocate for Application of artificial intelligence in every department of management and administration of the country, this will raise the efficiency, safety and all round public comfort at a reduced cost. AIR TRAVEL HAS BECOME REALLY CHEAPER.

Vijaya Sanmilani of Milon Mancha at JED Garden, Bandra East


As is customery in Bengali culture, After Vijaya Dasami, all friends meets in a get together in a vijaya sanmilani to exchange good wills. All embrace each other and partake of sweets. Every locality celebrates it in their own way world over. And where Bengalese are there no occasion is complete without sangeet and rosogolla. So it happened in our vijaya sanmilani in JED Garden, Bandra East, this sanmilani was arranged by Milon Mancha on the evening of 14.10.2017. It was a grand occasion.

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A disciple of Manna Dey, Sri Surjya Bhattacharjee , a professional artist of great acclaim , supporting my wife, Tripti chakraborty, to sing in this cultural evening.

Milon Mancha is a cultural organisation, has many members. The beauty of Milon Mancha is that here you can meet many people who are very important in their respective fields. This vijaya sanmilani was great such occasion. It was attended by members who are singers, composers, actors of no mean importance, they generally tour worldwide on invitation of their fans. When such stars are present you can imagine the quality of enjoyment, and all these we enjoyed.

Shri Padmasree awardee  music composer-singer-lyricist Shekhar Sen, Chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy, Great Singer Shurjo Bhattacharya and her little daughter ‘ Jhilik’, Painter and artist Aurobindo samanta and his wife, among others, enthralled the audience.  Supriya Mukherjee fondly known in close circle as Mana Di—a model and voice over artist, played her role also in a shruti natak;  you hear every day her voice in the aquaguard advertisement in your TV.

We reported there at JED Garden at 6.30 pm in the evening. Since morning weather was very bad, but pull of the occasion was so strong that defying the weather all were present at the right time. We started with narkel naru, nimki and ghugni. Then followed light snacks and tea, and it continued with different snacks items throughout, till the great dinner. Cultural program was continuous without any break.

Apart from the artists, there were many who like me were not professionals, but Milon Mancha was careful, so that every non-professional also got the opportunity to the stage and perform, and did not feel left-out from the limelight. Some sang, others danced, read poems etc etc…it was the day when every non professionals among members also, were heard and seen, on the stage. Me and my wife are very grateful that we got an opportunity to be introduced to many talented people whom we would not have made access to otherwise. Sri Aurobindo Samanta is a young artist, whose paintings have been bought and displayed in many museums of European countries, I requested him to guide my grand daughter, naturally it was an opportunity to mingle with many greats, and potentially great people. Shivaji Sanyal–an actor, writer and a reformist poet–all rolled into one, very popular in face book, displayed the fireworks of his multifaceted talents , Thanks to Milon Mancha for showcasing the talents of its members.

At the end there was sumptuous dinner. Individual items I won’t explain here as you may be repenting why you missed it. Food was tasty, items were cooked well. We left the venue at around 11-00 PM in the night with a sweet memory.

Last and by no means least, there are some heroes who talk less to work more— without mentioning their names my article will remain incomplete. First Renu swami, her husband, and Lucky Da had a good contribution.  The other two were—Rudra Mondal and his wife Sharmistha, worked hard in the background. Their basic philosophy in life is SIMPLICITY, AND LIVING FOR OTHERS. They live their philosophy, may GOD multiply their breed, in this selfish , complex , and dangerous world full of egos, LONG LIVE MILON MANCHA AND ITS HIGH IDEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

__________________________________________Mahatma GandhiThe best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others–Mahatma Gandhi.

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Visit to enjoy the picturesque beauty of Goa.


 

bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India’s smallest state by area, and the fourth smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, that is, two and half-times that of the country.

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margao still exihibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early sixteenth century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province, the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.

Goa is one of the most popular destinations in India and is ranked first in India for its excellent quality of life. In popular culture, Goa is especially known for its golden and white sand beaches and its extravagant party scene. All over north and south Goa lie beaches nestled among cliffs and forests with topaz waters kissing their shores. These beaches are the only ones of their kind in India. They are incredibly clean and their popularity with western tourists has won them excellent touristic facilities.

Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan plateau. Among the seven major rivers, zuari and Mandovi are the most important rivers. These rivers are fed by the southwest monsoon rain  and their basin covers 69% of the state’s geographical area. The total navigable length of Goa’s rivers is 253km. Goa has more than 300 ancient water tanks built during the rule of the kadamba dynasty and over 100 medicinal springs. Some of the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa’s border with Karnataka. The rocks are classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be 3600 million years old. Goa being in the tropical zone and near Arabian sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. Over 90% of average annual rainfall ( 120 inches) is received during the monsoon season.

The western Ghats which form most of eastern Goa , have been internationally recognised as one of the biodervasity hotspots of the world. Goa is compared with the Amazon and the congo basin for rich tropical biodervasity.Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries boast of more than 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 species of birds, over 48 kinds of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles. Foxes, wild boar and migratory birds are found in the jungles of Goa. Goa has many famous national parks.

Tourism is Goa’s primary industry, it gets 12% of foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In winter, tourists from abroad, mainly Europe, come, and summer ( which is Goa is the rainy season) sees tourists from across India.

There are lot of items for curious tourists. Wines , cashew-nuts, enchanting local music to alternative books and handicrafts, Goa has lot. Talented goldsmiths have laid out their shops. Handicraft items range from shell work, ceramic, bamboo, paper mache, coconut-items and fibre. It attracts a lot of tourists, especially foreigners.

There are a lot to satisfy palate. The Goan cuisine is a blend of Portuguese and local flavours. Many dishes such as prawn balchao and kingfish in garlichave distinct Portuguese flavour. The cuisine is mostly seafood based, the staple food are rice and fish. Kingfish is the most common delicacy, others include pomfret, shark, tuna and markerel. Among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid and mussels. Most beaches have shacks that serve surprisingly delicious meals. Most fancy hotels and restaurants serve terrible food.

Goa has liquors and wines that are priced noticeably low. Product’s  available range from wine  ( red and white ), to the oddly-named Indian made foreign liquors which include whisky, rum, gin, vodka and more and local liquors, basically cashew and coconut feni, range is long.The above is enough for overall view of a place for tourism. Now, know about some spots that will interest you for sure—

1.

oa has well over 25 amazing beaches ranging from the full of life party destinations to the serene and peaceful ones. As a general assumption, the beaches of North Goa are considered to be more happening and lively than those of south Goa which are quieter and more secluded.

North Goa offers sprightly beaches like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna and Colva, that necklace the northern coastline with tons of shacks buzzing with life, serving lip-smacking delicacies from the Konkan cuisine with cocktails and mocktails to go along; Goa’s beaches make your holiday experience complete.

South Goa is rather mellow, with serene beaches like Arambol, Palolem and Galgibaga which are cut off from the world, but really worth paying a visit if you are looking for some peace and quiet.

  1. Basilica de Bom Jesus overview—This UNESCO world heritage site is a church, which is situated in old Goa, and is an excellent example of Baroque architecture.

Basilica of Bom Jesus was constructed in the year 1605 and is one of the most important destinations for chritian pilgrims from all over the world. One of the most important attractions here are the remains of the missionary saint francis Xavier.
Basilica de Bom Jesus overview—This UNESCO world heritage site is a church, which is situated in old Goa, and is an excellent example of Baroque architecture. Basilica of Bom Jesus was constructed in the year 1605 and is one of the most important destinations for chritian pilgrims from all over the world. One of the most important attractions here are the remains of the missionary saint francis Xavier.
3. Dudhsagar waterfalls—One of India’s most splendid waterfalls, Dudhsagar falls are located approx. 60 km away from Panjim. This multi-tiered waterfall gushes down milky white waters from a height of 310 meters, making it India’s fifth-highest waterfall. The site, nestled in a completely natural habitat is a pleasure to witness and one can even enjoy some swimming or rock climbing here.

An easy way to reach Dudhsagar is to hire a jeep from castle rock or the nearby village, which will guide you through the forests to the falls.

 

 

GANAPATIPULE

Shri Rudra Mondal , leader of Milon mancha, enjoying a ride on the beach of Ganapatipule.


Ganapatipule is a small town located in the Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, some 375 km south of Mumbai, along the Konkan coast. It is a calm, quite and serene place inhabitated by a very small no of people. There is a Ganesh temple 400 years old, hence it is a place of pilgrimage for devout Hindus. In addition to its clean beach and clean waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms.

At the top of the world

Shri Rudra Mondal of Four Banglas in Andheri, is almost a wanderer. All his life he was an avid traveller. His retirement from job, has added a big opportunity to travel frequently. He leads a team of like minded people who lose no opportunity to travel  as soon as they arrive.  Not only this he is a great photographer, for him photography is an art. All the photographs used in this blog post were snapped by him, If you enjoy the beauty of photographs, do not forget to give credit to him.