Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ganesha Chaturthi in Mauritius…

We just conquered Le Pouce and had a plan to have dinner at Indian Summer. We were waiting for food and having casual chat. As a great co-incident Prakash (An Other Friend) came to India Summer. It was a surprise only as he lives in Curepipe and having someone in Rose Hill in a restaurant on a public holiday at 8:30pm is a surprise only. Anyways he joined us in chat waiting for his food to come.

While talking to him we came to know that an other Indian friend and his team is organizing the Ganesha Chaturthi puja at a large scale. It was supposed to happen in quatre bornes close to JP’s place. Since we were in mood to go for some puja , but due to time constraints we could not plan any thing, we thought to go for it.

So next day 11 Sep’20, on decided time I met JP and went to the place where the puja was organized. As a great surprise to us we found big enough gathering there and add on to that surprise was that majority of the people were Indians. There were about 200 people in a small place which was next to the company elect system, the organizing company.

Good enough decoration was done for the puja and a beautiful Ganesha idol was kept there. The priest did the puja with all the rituals and told the story behind the special puja of Ganesha Charuthi. A small booklet was also distributed, which was about the symbolism of Lord Ganesha. Finally arti was done and Prasad was distributed.

The puja was followed by a dinner, which was a kind of potluck done by the elect system team. The dinner was not again less than a surprise box. We had more verities of food; we ever had in a Mauritius wedding. We had papad, pickle, daal, puri , chole-curry, rice with samhabr, rasam & curd, lemon rice, pongal , modak , barfi… Food was really tasty…

For some 2 hours of this puja and dinner we were in a different world itself. Later on while talking to organizer we came to know that they are doing it for last 6 yrs. Amazing efforts. This was our luck that we got a chance to attend this puja…

May Lord Ganesha Full Fills The Desires of All !!!

Ganapati Bappa Morya !!! Mangal Murti Morya !!!

Biryani @ Le Pouce ...

Day 10 Sep 2010 (Friday) Time 10:15AM and it is EID today. My phone rings. JP is on the other side. He says we have got a long week end; do we have any plan to go out? Answer was negative but we were ready to go any where. I told him that I would call him in next 15 minutes. I came home as I was enjoying sweets at Riyad’s place, opened map of Mauritius on google and started looking for the place where we could go now… Meanwhile I had a chat with Mahesh and asked for same. River Gorgeous was the first idea which came in mind but was dropped as it was very late for that. Next moment I had in my mind, let’s go to “Le Pouce”. Little India had already denied for this and it was perfect chance for us.

It was 11:00AM when we had our destination. JP asked for food. Fortunately I cooked Biryani and it was good enough for three of us, so food was all set. We decided out meeting point Rose hill bus terminal. Let me tell you about “Le Pouce”. This the second highest mountain of Mauritius and its height is 811M. Le Pouce mountain, located in Moka, offers some very good views over the North West of the island and on a clear day, the coastline of the North and East of the island can be seen.
It is a moderate climb as the route is steep in some places but can be accomplished by any level of climber given enough time to rest. Since the mountain looks like a thumb in sky it is named Le Pouce “The Thumb”.

Time 12:00 Noon: I am at Rose hill terminal and in another 2 /3 minutes JP reaches there and Mahesh. Since we did not know the exact place, where the trek starts we asked the traffic controller about the bus and the place. He boarded us in to the bus and we were dropped on a bus stop from where we took another bus for the right place.

Time 12:48PM: we are at the trek. We did not find any body there so we started the way which was straight. We were lucky another 10 minutes we found few people coming down so sure we are on right trek. The day started as a sunny day but slowly-slowly it was changing its mood. Anyways who cares!!! We were wrong here as another 10 minutes changed our mind and we started thinking about the trek. It was completely slippery and full of mud. Final decision was to carry on since we were already out for it and fully charged.

As we were going high the views were amazing and we were enjoying the trek. But the Sun and the clouds were in full mood to play Hide & Seek with us, the three poor guys. With the height the trek was getting tougher as we were completely in clouds and the way was wet and slippery because of drizzling. More over quite some way of the trek was like 1 or 2 feet wide line of mud and u have got big grass and other forest plants on your both sides. By now our shoes were all gone and we were 60-70% wet. But we were enjoying it as a long time pending desire was coming true, to trek in rain !!!

Time 2:30PM: Hurray !!! we are on the peak of Le Pouce, we conquered it. It was full of black clouds by that time and we were not able to see any thing just 5-6 meters down. The space on the peak was also quite small , even less than the half of the Le’ Morne. Now it was the time to celebrate the victory. We were having the Biryani at the peak, in rain J

Another 10 minutes and it was time to come back, the most difficult part... it was all wet so we had to be much more careful. I know all of us were scared of it but no one talked about that. Slowly-slowly with more careful steps we started back. This time we were the only three guys coming down. No one else was there on the mountain. In some time we cleared the dangerous part of the mountain and came in to the open area. Here the biggest comedy (as well as grace of God) happened. It was full raining now and the area was slippery like any thing. My shoes were dead shoes and the sole was all plans, because of that I was slipping like a drunkard. I say thanks to God it happened in a non dangerous area. This time I was not the only one to slip all of did. But of course I was the champ in that. But now we were more careful and we were walking holding the branches / roots of plants there.

Time 4:30PM: WOW!!! We are back in single piece. By now Sun was teasing as the rain stopped completely and sky was clear. Since we were full dirty with mud and no bus would have allowed us in that condition, we asked a gentle man there to give us some water pipe so that we could come in a better shape to ride a bus.

This was a real adventure this time. Now we think Le Morne was easy to trek as most of the trek it has got rocks and it less dangerous. But Le Pouce was a night mare at some moments of time for us. After all risk and slips it turned out to be an fun and adventures trek…

Here a new phrase for Little India comes in… “ We can trek any time and any where” ~ by great Amit J

Details about the mountain & trek:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mauritius International School ...

I always believe that every day comes to us with a gift packet for us. It is we, who has to decide to open it and enjoy the gift or to keep it aside and miss the fun.
Day 27 June 2010 also came with a gift to us , which was supposed to be opened at 1:00 PM at the Mauritius International School , in presence of Little India. Yes, we are little India only in Mauritius, having people from North, South and east of India, west is missing but out enthusiasm always bridge that missing part :).

The school had its opening ceremony and started a nice head count of sweet sixteen cute kids and one sweetest kid among them. At the school where we were welcomed by our classmates Chetanya and Neetu. Me and Mahesh, we were the most obedient kids, as we were the first to reach to reach on time followed by another good student JP and we were given a badge on our back. It was a hand expression representing all four colors of Mauritian flag. Then we had a big list of late comers, who were punished by JP.

This was an only school of its kind where the lunch was served before the class and that too with by the classmates J… we all set down on the floor and were given with banana leafs on which food was going to be served. With the smell of the food we felt being in India. Now time was to taste it and be in India. As per the tradition slat was served first followed by Indian mango pickle and Daal Vada. By now only my mouth was watering. But I had to hold till the full food was served…

Again tradition, Hmmm sometimes the traditions are too much. Then Rice and Sambar was there. No I said, obliviously internally, ATTACK… I was not going to hold myself for any long now. Then second round of rice was taken with famous Tamil Rasam. I took thrice (:P) and then the Curd Rice… Though by now we were full but always there is a space for desert. Me , Mahesh and JP, kind of shout when we came to know the desert was Payasam. By now a questions was striking my mind, how to get up??? HMMM… Any how I could manage this :).

It was the games class time now… We started with “Fire In The Forest”, a game to make a group of players based on a number called out and then “Posam Pa”, typical north Indian game J. Loto was kept at last to play and the class was called off by a cup of tea /coffee. We did not come to know how did the time fly, our watches were showing 6:00 PM now. This was happening for the first time we did not want to go back to home from the school but had to or else how we could come again HIHIHIHIHI…

I can bet one thing… none of the students of Mauritius International School, can forget the first day at the school. All the credits to make the first day unforgettable goes to the brilliant students Neetu and Chetanya.
Finally I introduce you to Little India (in alphabetical order): Aashish, Most know guys in the country Me (:P), Ashish, Avidant (sweetest kid), Chetanya, Chitraprakash, JP, Mahesh, Neetu , Pawan, Retika, Ruchika, Spandana , Tarun. Yaju.
Note: Don't forget to read the text on the pics... Did you realize it is a poem (:P) by JP...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WE Conquered Le’Morne...

Ever since I came to Mauritius two things were always in mind. One was to see life under water and second was trekking, climbing a mountain. Experience of under water life was a great experience, undersea walk was already done, left was trekking.
Le’Morne Mountain at the far south-west of Mauritius was the target for trekking. The mountain is about 585 meters high and has got a history associated with it. During the slavery times in Mauritius a number of slaves run away from the city and climbed up the mountain to escape from slavery. Later on the rulers found their hide out. Then the slaves choose death over slavery and committed mass suicide by jumping from the mountain. The area and mountain has been given the honour of world heritage by UNESCO on 10 July 2008.

The Le’Morne
24 Apr 2010, we (Me, JP, Mahesh & Ashok) planned to go for the trekking and reached there. There we came to know that mountain is in a private area and we need permission to climb up as well as a guide. We were quite upset as we were highly dispread for this. Then we decided to gather all information and book a slot for some other time.
15 May2010 was the D day to do the trekking. Before this we checked with few of our friends to join us for this. No need to say, they all were ready as we talked about this and showed them the photos. Now we were 10 to go for trekking. We had a short meeting to plan and arrange for the other requirements for this event. We were divided in 3 groups and were giving responsibilities for arranging different things.
According to plan we picked everybody and started for Le’Morne at 6:00AM. On given time 7:00 AM we met Yan our guide for this activity. Before the trek we had a light breakfast and then Yan told about the trek. The trek starts from the east of the mountain and we go up high till west and then take the say way back. This full way is about 7 KMs including both sides and normally it takes 3 to 4 hours to finish this.
Based on the difficulties it is divided in to 3 different levels. First 250 meters is easy and the way is wide enough as well. Second level starts from 250 meters till 400 meters which is more technical and difficult as the way goes narrow, slippery and steep. Third was lest 100 meters, the most difficult part of this trek as it is quite steep. We were highly excited to do the go up…
We started well and got more enthusiastic as at 130meters we got to see an amazing view of south coast of the Mauritius… Blue colored water having different shades. This was Le’Morne beach. Next 120 meters were covered easily and again we had a nice view of Le’Morne village and valley and a lagoon and a small island next to it.

Now the trek was going to be a little difficult and we were ready. 250 meters is the height where you and stop and wait for your friends to come back and join you, in case you don’t want to dare to climb up. After this point there is not such place. Next 150meters were technical and we were advised to concentrate more on the taking small steps and use our both hands to hold the rocks. We did the same way and used the few steps which were naturally made on the rocks. The mountain was getting steeps after every meter. Once we reach 400 meters the view was awesome. We could see the Coconut Island, and sea far till Flic-En-Flac.

Now we were 100meters away from our destination and enthusiasm was high to reach top. This part was the most technical and steep of entire trek. Some 10-15 meters of this trek was supposed to be done the help of a rope as the mountain was very steep and way was quite narrow. One by one we cleared it and soon we found our selves on the top of the mountain… WOW… the view was amazing. We could see deep blue sea till horizon. It was amazing and we were full of charge. The entire tiredness was gone as soon as we reach the top.
By a chance one of our troop member Meeta had her birthday same day. We celebrated the same at the top of the mountain and she performed few dance steps with another friend Ruchika at there at 500 meters and at a place where the diagram was hardly 2/3 meters and we 11 people standing were there. Unbelievable courageJ.
Now it was the time to come back and same precautions were supposed to be followed. I would say coming down was little more difficult was way was narrow and slop was high. We hold our hand tight on the rocks and foots on the ground. We took a little long time incoming down the mountain. We were up at the mountain in 1 hour 45 minutes and we could cover complete trek in 4 hours and 10 minutes. Not bad ! The time we reached at out van we all were tired and hungry but we all were very happy as we knew we just Conquered Le’Morne.
I would like to specially mention the efforts done by the gals. Tremendous performance shown by them during the activity. Big hands for them.
Points to Remember:
1. Put on comfortable cloths like shorts, lower etc.
2. Have a better pair of shoes, which don’t slip.
3. Have a back pack.
4. Efficient use of your water bottle.
5. Just concentrate on the present while trekking and keep strict eyes on the way. Key to win.

Our Troop (Appearance wiz):
1st Row: (L-R) Meeta, Ruchika, Yaju, Aashish
2nd Row: (L-R) Mahesh, Me, Ashish, Chitraprakash
3rd Row: (L-R) JP, Tarun

Photo by YAN(Guy behind our victory)...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moon from my window...

This is how the moon appeared from my window one evening... You decide it is beautiful or scary...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Undersea Walk in Mauritius...

Lots of water sport activities cross your mind when think of Mauritius and it is true that the country is full of water sport activities. The two major attractions out of those activities are Scuba Diving (Sub marine dive) and undersea walk. Mauritius is one of very few countries offering undersea walk.
Everybody is always amused by colorful underwater life and always interested to see at least once that what kind of life is there underwater… We were also in the same boat of such people and were thinking about to experience this since the time we landed in Mauritius.
We tried to go for this several time but anyhow it did not work out. Luckily we got a group of friends interested in this too and then started looking for the best deal for this activity. After a close follow up of one week we got a good deal for undersea walk. The price range for this activity varies a lot and it depends on you how much you can bargain and bring down the price. Normally this is MUR 800/- per person.
5-Dec-09, was the day for us to experience this ultimate experience of undersea walk. All of us met on Port Louis as decided and took a bus for Grand Bay. There we contacted the agent and he showed us a speed boat which was supposed to take us in the open sea. After a ride of 10 minutes we were on another boat which was meant for undersea walking. It has got all equipments like helmets to use underwater, shoes, oxygen cylinders etc. The guide gave us some instructions about how to communicate and walk underwater and then he helped us in landing on the sea bed.

Wow… It was awesome. It was strange but a wow feeling. We were walking about 4 / 5 meters underwater. We could see lots of fishes inside and some corals also. The guide gave us some bread to feed the fishes. It was nice to feed them. We just hold the bread in our hands and the fishes came to us and started having bread from our hands. With in no time the whole bread was eaten by them. The guide took some photos and small videos in side (paid separately).
This walk was for about 10 minutes but it was a life time experience, which I can never forget. For people who don’t know swimming /diving, it is a best way to see life under water. This was is 100% safe and all the times an expert guide will be with you. If you are in Mauritius, I’ll advice you to go for it for sure.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Diwali In Mauritius...

Dashra had passed and we did not even know what happened on this. Anyways Diwali was about to come and this time we could see some decoration on road side, so it was supposed to be livelier.

As I always say surprises are there on each occasion in Mauritius then how Diwali could be an exception. This time surprise was cleaning of houses rather say washing. Oh man… people were washing their houses like any thing from top to bottom. Thanks to GOD they could not wash foundation… it was not limited to houses only vehicle or every possible thing we can think of. I was afraid; we would get some water after Diwali. After this they put on the lights to the house, but this was limited to few houses only not like washing ceremony.

On the day of Diwali people distribute cake to relatives, friends and neighbors. By the way don’t stress much for cake; it is nothing but different sweets made at home. It was delicious, no doubt about it. This distribution goes for a day or two. As soon as started getting a little dark people lighted oil lamps (Diya/Deepak). Here people use a little bigger size of lamps that we do in India. I am not very much sure, did people do LAKSHMI PUJAN in the evening as around 7:00PM every body was out of the houses and were lighting lamps or doing fire work. Yes, people did fire work also though it was not much but still it was nice. Good environmental care. One good thing was the fire crackers available here were kind of enough safe to use.

Apart form all these activity, few of the municipalities had organized some different shows like musical nights, light show and all. Since we were invited to our friend Riyad’s place, he came to pick us up as we were not sure of bus services during that time. We met his family and had a nice dinner with them. After dinner we went out to see decoration on road side and then to a light show which was organized by Curepipe municipality. It was a wonderful light show and we enjoyed it for some 20 minutes and then it started raining and we came back to home. It was 12:00 AM by the time we were home.

Overall it was a nice celebration on Diwali, though this was our first Diwali out of India, but still we could feel homely.

Durga Puja (Navratri) and Dashra...

Ramadan was running and Durga Puja was approaching and was going to start just one day before EID. Nishu had a plan to keep fast for all days and we thought to go to temple to offer evening prayers. But our mail concern was whether the temples will remain open by that time in evening. Luckily 3 /4 days before the Druga Puja, we were passing by a temple and the president of the management committee of the temple (a person known to us) met and updated us about the puja. It was a kind of surprise to know that temple we remain open till quite late during the days of Durga Puja, so we were kind of assured that at least we could go to the temple in the evening.

On the first day of Durga Puja, we tried to reach the temple a bit early to be on safer side, still can not trust that Mauritius can remain open till late. We were in temple by 6:45PM and to add to our surprise we was a proper arrangement for people to come and offer prayers. Temple was fully decorated with lights and a musical group was singing Bhajans there. A nice sitting arrangement was also done for the people to sit and enjoy the Bhajans. Quite a few people were there to offer their prayers and then enjoy Bhajans. During these days one saint was also there in temple giving Pravachans.

This was nice to see so many people offering prayer and temple was nicely decorated. Now we were completely assured that we would be able to come to temple during the 9 days of Durga Puja. We managed to go to the temple during the days of Durga Puja. We used to offer our prayers and sat there for some time to enjoy Bhajans. We never had a chance to listen to that saint as it used to start a bit late. Anyway was not that interested too.

Since surprises are a by default gifts (at least for us) in Mauritius, two more surprises were also waiting for us. When the day of Navmi, we went to temple as usual we found it closed, means there was nobody to offer prayers on that day. On the next day Vijay Dashmi was there and as usual people were busy in their daily activity and there was a kind of no sign of the festival. There was no firework, no fair nothing at all. Since office was open that day we did puja early and went to our offices… This time it was good at least we could go to temple for most of the days… Now Diwali is approaching, let’s see how it will be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Glass Bottom in Pereybere & window shopping at Grand Bay...

Long time there was no outing; reason winter was running in Mauritius. Feb till May is the season of winter here. Though the temperature does not fall much but sea remains a bit cold. Don’t talk about wind and rain. The speed of wind is always very high during these days and absolutely no time for rain. You never know when black clouds will gather and will start showers. Thanks to God that does not remain for long.
During last days we have heard a lot about glass bottom and under sea walking. I was quite keen to and experience that. Since I was a little scared of under sea walking, we decided to go for glass bottom boat ride. While it is available at few places but our target was Pereybere. Way to reach Pereybere is same as to reach Mont Choisy. From Mont Choisy next is Grand Bay and then Pereybere. From Port Louis TBS Bus Service goes to Pereybere.

So, we went to Pereybere by after noon. First we had a light snack there and then looked for the glass bottom. It is a small beach and there was not much crowd also. We could bargain for the rent, usually the range is 150-400 Rs per person for a ride of 45 minutes.
The boat is usually of a normal size of boat with sitting capacity of 10-12 people but has a fitting of transparent glass in middle. Thru these transparent glasses we can see the life underwater. Though thru the glass usually we can see about 5 /6 feet under water, still it is enough for a good experience. During our ride we could see quite a few live and dead corals and lots of fishes. The boat driver stops the boat in between for some time and gives some bread to feed the fishes and we also did this. Since only two of us were there we could enjoy freely. Nisha used complete bread for those fished and was trying to touch them. We could see only one kind of fishes there but the number of them was big… In a small area we could see hundreds of those fishes. She had a nice photo session on the boat. Then we came back to the shore. Current he is not high so people enjoy swimming a lot here.
Then we headed towards Grand Bay which is about 5 Km from here toward Port Louis. This is again a small beach and like Pereybere known for water sports activities like water sky, parasailing and glass bottom. The area close to this beach is famous for shopping specially cloths market. We also tried our hands there but it was limited to window shopping only as prices were extremely high. We saw a shopping mall there named as GBS Mall. We were surprised when we saw the rates in EURO there in this mall, so there was no point of shopping. This was a nicely build mall with nice interior.
By 4PM we left for Port Louis and then reached home by 6:30PM. It is advised to leave early if you are not having own transport. Over all it was a nice experience of seeing under water life. Now I am planning for under sea walking also.
An advice: Be careful while shopping in Grand :)…
Pereybere Beach information:
Sand - medium to fine grain, coral based, some debris.
Facilities - close by.
Shade - casuarina and palm trees.
Sports - you'll find lots going on here. Swim, snorkel, dive, kite boarding.
Notes - can get crowded

Shiva Ratri in Mauritius...

As I said earlier also, Mauritius is a country where people celebrate festivals with at most joy and religious feelings, same is shown for Shiva Ratri… Main attraction for this festival is that almost 90% of people from Hindu community walk down to Grand Basin, a place where they have biggest statue of Shiva in Mauritius (One of the biggest statue of Shiva in world) and has a sacred pond named as Ganga Talao to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. Our land lord told us about this well in advance and asked us to be prepared for this. This place is about 24-26 Kms from our place rose hill.
Nishu was quite keep to walk for this but I was a but scared as I had to go to office after this… but later I came to know that we have leave after this so I made my mind to join her. Since entire Mauritius was walking for this so there was no issue to know the way to temple. Two days before Shiva Ratri we started for the temple early in the morning. We did not see much people on internal street but as soon as we hit the main road we saw a number of people walking.
As we were told, this was well managed. People were walking in a row and no matter they we single, group or carrying the KAWAR. Every kilometer or two stalls were there to offer food, juice , tea coffee to the people walking to feel the refresh and have gain energy…after every few kilometers medical facilities were there and proper Police arrangement was there to help people and to maintain the arrangements.
This day it started raining since morning and we had only an umbrella to protect. Any how we were on our way taking rest and shield from rain on the way. We walked well and reached the temple by 12:00 noon. It was full of people offering their prayers and place was full of beautiful KAWARs. We offered our prayers first and then had small refreshment.
It was now 3:00 PM and was time to return. After some time I started feeling tired as I was carrying heavy bag and was wet also. Anyhow I managed to walk few kilometers and crossed the village on the way and as soon as we reached to a town we got a bus. By now rods were almost block on one side as so many people were walking. Bus took quite some time to pass and by 8:00 PM we were at home. We took a bath in hot water and had some food which we carried with us. We were too tired that we never knew when we slept.
Next to next was it was the festival and we went to temple and offered the JAL to lord Shiva. Since people were coming in small groups today we had enough time to do our prayers…
It was really a great experience and I was fully surprised to see the crowed on the road and devotion of people for Lord Shiva.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mauritius: 24X7

Mauritius, a place known for beautiful beaches and sea food, wonderful climate and cool & calm people. You don’t find any rush for anything in Mauritius; everything goes with its own speed. I am sure you will be surprised to know that it is the one side of the coin. The other side is you will see people rushing for transport or closing down the shops and wrapping up the things as soon as the clock approaches 5:30 PM. it is quite difficult to get food items after 7:00-7:30 PM.

Now, gone are these days. Soon Mauritius is going to adopt 24X7 culture. Based on the result of surveys conducted Mauritian Government is taking some progressive steps in this field. Mauritius HRDC is the main responsible body to plan and promote the same in Mauritius and to design a basic infra structure plan for it. Recently a 3 days festival / promotion campaign was organized by HRDC at Port Louis, capital of Mauritius. This festival was open for public till mid night. This was for the first time in Mauritius.

During the festival dance and music programs were organized, arrangements were there to amuse the kids and for light snacks. Transport facilities from Port Louis to main destination of the country were arranged till late night along with the security arrangements for the festival. Road side shops which used to close at 5:00PM were open till late. A big number of people gathered to see what all it was and to enjoy the festival also.
How people of Mauritius take this initiative this will be visible in near future but the festival and promotion campaign was a good time for lot of people for sure. People who never came out to Port Louis at night they could see the lights and decoration, hawkers could work a bit late for 3 days to earn some extra bucks and few people got chance to show their talent on stage.
Anyways just wait and see what is next. All the best for Mauritius.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

At President House...

On Friday 15thMay09, Sameera (an office friend) told me about an open day and vintage car show at the President Residency (used as office these days) of Mauritius on the occasion of International Family day. This show was supposed to be held on Sunday 17thMay 09. I made my mind to go for this that time itself. It had been more than 2 months I went out on any of the weekends. I informed my wife about this and she was ready to join.
Sunday morning she was a bit tied up with few things so I had to move out for this show alone. I was sure about my plan, not to miss the opportunity at any cost. I was very much clear that I’ll get this chance once again.
The house is known as The State House and is about 10 minutes walking from the University of Mauritius, Reduit. I reach the main gate. The residency / building is about 1 Km from the main entrance and the way is full of trees on either sides. It is building of 2 floors… It is made as the old pattern of hut shape which looks quite decent. Only the ground floor or better say one of the conference room was open for public rest all was still restricted. This hall was big enough with some decent decoration and 2 beautiful chandeliers.
As soon as u come out of that room there is a corridor and after that a big garden. A small fountain welcomes you. The house is surrounded by small hills and a small valley on one side in which a river flows. This looks quite good and gives a feeling of botanical garden of Ooty.
Because of the vintage car show I could see few of the old cars there. But it was not well organized. For the information about the car a paper was pasted on the screen having little information about the make and model. Still quite a few people were enjoying it.

Since it was a family day there were quite a few arrangements to amuse kids. A lot of stalls where there for different snacks and a big arrangement for Sega… Yes, this was the first time I saw the live show of Sega. I really enjoyed it and did full video shot. There was a small show about Judo from a club.
I was there for some 2 hours and had a good time there mainly because of Sega and Judo show.

New Year in Mauritius...

X-MAS had passed and now we could see a bit more decoration in the market and on other places as well. Curiosity was at its peak to know how the New Year celebration was going to be here. One obvious reason for the curiosity was we were out of the country for the first time and that to a place which is a famous tourist place. Anyways it was just a day to get all the curtains to be raised.
It was 31 Dec’08, we were in office and had a small celebration here itself. It was started by opening bottle of Champaign, no doubt non-alcoholic one, need to follow office ethics also… it was ended with some snacks. By evening I was at home. By the time I came back I could see quite a few lighting out there.
As a tradition we had some musical programs here on TV to welcome the New Year. It was in local language, English, Hindi and Bhojpuri also. Since we did not have any transport available with us, we did not go out anywhere, but were on TV at home.
Well now clock was show 00:00 hrs and New Year knocked our door. It was up the surprise, when we saw the fire work. Really it was like celebrating Diwali in India. Everywhere we could get the sound of crackers and fire work in sky. This fire work lasted for more than an hour. People were enjoying at it most as they had leaves for coming two days (It is official leave in Mauritius).
Definitely, I would say that the welcome of the New Year was up the expectation as it was told to us.
Just to mention that few of the hotels / club/ pubs had special arrangement of parties for this celebration, entry fee ranging from 1000/- till high. Over all it was a good experience…

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I was on Mauritius Radio...

Few days back one of my friends Vashist (from office) asked me that how much I know about cricket. I simply replied that cricket is in blood of Indians. Let me tell you that in Mauritius Football is the main sport and for last 1 /2 years they are trying to promote cricket there and have made some teams for this. After 3 /4 of our talks he gave me a proposal to go live on Mauritius Radio and participate in a program based on sports. I was shocked for a moment as I never thought to be on Radio even in my dreams and I was out of touch of cricket for long, so denied for this. Next day he called me with his friend Arvind , who is the anchor of the program. After talking to him I had an idea about the program. Still I was a bit nervous so I called him next day to know his expectations from me for this program. My only concern was not to ruin his program. When everything was clear to me, I said yes for this.
On the D-day 18-APR-09 I reached Mauritius Broadcast Center at 6:00 PM and met Arvind. There he told me that this program has some music along with the discussion / talks on sports. He gave me few guidelines that how we would proceed in the program. Now I was not that nervous as I was initially and all set to go for it. Program started at 6:30 PM and he introduced to me first to the listeners and I said “Hello Maurice “to greet the listeners. I was there for almost 45 minutes in the show and we talked about the feelings of Indians associated with cricket and culture of cricket there, about IPL tournament, T-20 cricket and present cricket team. How those 45 minutes passed away , I did not even come to know.
Nitish, Co-Anchor of the show played some of my favorite’s songs and I dedicated “DHEERE DHEERE SE MERI JINDGI MEIN AANA” from movie Ashiqui to my wife… Really it was a strange and pleasant experience for me. Thanks to Vashist and Aravind to give me this chance.

Trip to Mont Choisy...

December 2008 had already said good bye and people were welcoming 2009 and to welcome the New Year our target was Mont Choisy beach. This beach is in the north-west of the capital Port Louis at a drive of about 50-60 minutes by bus. TBS bus service is the one which is running from the second bus terminal of Port Louis, from where you get the buses for north.
Since this beach is quite far from rose hill area so we started early around 8:00 am for the beach. Usually it takes about 50 minutes from our place to reach main bus terminal of Port Luis and then 15 minutes walk to reach the bus terminal for north. Soon we got the bus for the beach. The journey was a bit longer than the expectations and had to ask for the stop 3 /4 times from the conductor.
Here I would like to tell you something… In Mauritius, buses there is a button on each seat which is connected to a bell close to driver. Whenever you want to stop the bus at a bus station just press the button… is it not good? Definitely yes… Second good thing, people waiting down to board the bus will not enter in to the bus till all the people getting down the bus are done… People here are quite helpful in terms of tell you the way and all.

Around 10:15am we reached the beach. As we heard, we found the same, it was fully crowded. This beach is famous for water sport. You can easily see people here having sun bath sitting on a big boat in sea, doing water ski and other water sports. Here water is quite clear to see deep and sand is also white. To resist the sun you have got quite a few trees here and public utilities are also near by. Approach to the snack is quite easy and you can find people sailing such stuff here and there and on permanent shops also.
We spent some 3 /4 hours and had fun in water… Since we don’t know swimming we did not try any adventure J… This time we were there with all preparation done had our brunch there on the sea side itself. It was a first experience of this kind. Since Port Louis closes early so we left from the beach early while we wanted to enjoy there more L… When we reached home it was already 5:30 pm… it was time to have a bath and early dinner… This was a nice day spent on the beach…
Some Facts:
Sand - white, coral based. Medium to fine grain. Some debris.
Facilities - near by.
Shade - mature trees.
Sports - snorkeling, swimming.
Notes - gets crowded on the weekends

X-Mas in Mauritius...

Market and roads were full busy these days... Though decoration was not much or I can say at least in area of rose hill but all the super markets were full of people and were running with lots f saving schemes… And it was quite obvious as X-Mas was approaching. In Mauritius there are about 30% of christen of population. By the way in Mauritius there is a bulk of people who celebrate all the festivals with equal dedication and enjoy them. This is really a good feeling of respecting all religions. Even I heard that X-Mas will be celebrated at a great level.
X-Mas arrived and as I had decided earlier I went to the church in morning after my bath. We have a church “Saint Patrick” nearby so I went there. I was a bit surprised when I reached there… Though it was fully crowded as expected but there was no decoration at or at least at the main entrance and outside. Anyways I spent some 10-15 minutes there and offered my prayers in my own style. Being a Hindu I don’t know their patterns and more over a prayer is a prayer no matter, in which style it is offered.

In after noon around 3:00pm we went outside to have a look of market and some other church. We were outside for about 2 hours and visited few other churches also… As long as we visited we were more surprised. We did not find any special / more decoration on any of the churches. Don’t know why? But it was not expected at all… On top of this all the main markets were closed… very Strange L…
We returned home in some time and started thinking about the new year… It was also heard that new year is also celebrated on a great scale… it was just a week left and all the secretes were about to revel.
I forgot to mention that we went for a lunch from office to a Chinese restaurant. There I could see some decoration which has been shown is the photo attached.