As part of our teaching work at NCST, we are required to evaluate student projects for the modules that we teach. This year I was sent off to Goa University to evaluate the students at VIT Goa. The evaluations were to be held on the 4th, so I decided to get there by the 3rd.
My choice of transport was the Volvo bus from Paulo Travels. It came highly recommended, and the timing was ideal. The bus left Bandra at 7 pm, which means I could get a full day's work done on Monday the 2nd, and have enough time to drop home before getting to the bus stand.
On an average, a bus ride from Mumbai to Goa takes around 16 hours. The train takes less time, but the station is far off from the University... really far off.
The bus ride was uneventful... to begin with. They played some music through till we reached Vashi - where the last of the passengers boarded. Then the night's movie started. They started to show `Bend it like Beckham', but stopped it about a minute into the move and switched to `Aamdani Atthanni Kharchaa Rupaiya'. If you haven't seen the movie... hey, lucky you!
The bus stopped at about 10pm for a half hour dinner break. I didn't have anything heavy as I was travelling. Tried to sleep after that, but the confounded movie was too loud. The disk started skipping around 11:30, so they shut it off. What a relief!
The ride was okay after that, but I couldn't get much sleep. Kept drifting in and out of a semi dormant state, and decided to give up. Spent the rest of the night watching the stars. The sky was completely clear, and there was no moon out. The Ghats at night are ideal for star gazing. It was absolutely brilliant.
I tried calculating the time by which constellation had reached its zenith. It was fun as I had to do a few back-of-the-envelope calculations in my head, and trying to remember which constellation was associated with each month of the year.
We stopped for Diesel at 2:30, and about 4am, we crossed Samantwadi and entered Pernem. This was completely unexpected. If we were entering Goa at 4am, I'd be in Panjim before sunrise. Not a nice time to be out without transport.
So, we finally got to Panjim at 6am, and I had no idea what to do. Dr. Kamat told me to take a Rickshaw from the bus stand to the University and that I should pay about Rs.60. The Rickshaw driver quoted 80 saying that it was still night rates, so I decided to take it. We got to the University Guest House at 6:30am, and I checked in without any trouble. My name was already in the reservation book.
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