3 Days Bachelor Trip to Diu

Are you still close friends with people with whom you went to college?

If yes, and if you’re still looking forward to creating new life experiences with them, you’re fortunate.

“Friends are the family you choose.” ~Jess C. Scott, The Other Side of Life

In friendship, you don’t “have to” take any actions. You take particular actions because you “want to” take them.

In friendship, there are no social boundaries, no looking good, just pure you … Imperfect and vulnerable.

And that’s the beauty of it. I am fortunate enough to have a few such friends who have been with me in thick and thin times and my words always fall short to describe our friendship.

Though physical distance has increased over the years as I relocated to Ahmedabad 9 years ago, there hasn’t been any mental distance whatsoever and we have always enjoyed spending time with one another.

For last 3 years, at least once per year, we choose to spend time … just 2-3 days … alone. Without anyone’s spouse, children or any other family members.

Idea is to recreate the carefree and stressless life experiences again without much worrying about Bank balances, the decreased amount of investments or increased size of the belly.

2nd weekend of July 2016 enjoyed one such trip. On Friday, we started from Rajkot, drove to Diu via Sasan/Gir, and returned on Sunday.

While the places we visited were good, the memories we created together are priceless. Here is a PhotoLogue of our trip:

Weekend Trip to Diu

Why do people from Gujarat often love to visit Diu?

So they can enjoy the hard drinks that they officially cannot in the dry state, right?

Wrong.

That’s not the only reason.

People go to Diu to find a beautiful blend of sea, sand and sun with an interesting history. Now a Union Territory, separated from Goa in 1987, it was a Portuguese colony until 1961. Find more info here.

Last week, three friends and I went for a weekend trip to Diu to spend some quality time together.

Three of them came directly from Rajkot. I reached directly from Ahmedabad. We reached early morning. Our booking at Sugati Beach Resort was already taken care by a friend who runs a travel agency.

I visited Diu after 6 years. Earlier, when I used to serve domestic clients, I used to visit Diu every now and then. I must have visited Diu for about 30 times during 2003 to 2007.

When I hear the word “Diu”, I always see images of good hearted, loving people who are always ready to help you selflessly.

We spend some good time together. Sugati Beach Resort was good as it offers a kind of private beach, which is not crowded by people as Nagoa Beach that most people visit because of its popularity.

Our weekend was filled with witnessing the sunrise besides the Arabian Sea and capturing its different shades, having good breakfast and lunch at the hotel, spending quality time with friends and visiting nearby places, taking some snacks, drinking chilled beers in hot weather and sitting on the cold sand of Ghoghla beach in moonlight.

During the past year, my camera has missed me a lot. Less number of trips, other priorities, new changes and challenges…there are many things that are causing me to keep not so close with it.

So playing with camera also felt like an event!

“You realize the importance of someone when they are not accessible to you as they were; otherwise it is routine,” My camera said to me.

When I was returning back, it left me thinking:

My camera was same; I was the same but the experiences were different.

Most of the time we react to what happens to us and just “feel” what is obvious according to our default ‘act’.

The other way, apparently the difficult one, is to first feel what we want to and then turn the situations around.

Something for me to get better at…

Polo Forest One Day Trip

vijaynagar-polo-forest-utpal-vaishnav-one-day-tourFor long, wanted to play with my camera that was feeling lonely for last few months. So, thought to explore a nearby, unseen place. Left for exploring one such place last week early in the morning at 6am. With my better half, a like-minded friend and his better half.

Headed towards Gandhinagar. The morning was charming. The day was agile. Full of energy and cold. An interesting combination. So thought to explore it for even longer time. Before we realize that we are going too far than planned, my car found itself close to Polo Forest near Vijaynagar that is 160km away from Ahmedabad.

Now, Vijaynagar has a special place in our hearts. Coincidently, we were there exactly a year ago. But this time, it was different.

Beautiful weather. Cold morning. Warm, big-hearted people. An interesting trek and a whole new experience.

We hired a guide who led us for 3 hours trekking. Saw several places. Got to know the forest little better. There were 400+ year old temples and its stories of construction and destruction.

The guide was a warm person. His name was Dalsukh (meaning “Happy Hearted”). He charged just Rs.250/- and gave his 110%. He was not much literate, did not go to school yet he was  a good communicator. He knew some English words as well. He was polite and had good guts about how to relate with visitors. He ensured that we get ALL the information that we should get. He entertained us and enabled us to have a great time.

It didn’t just remain a photography tour morning but became a unique day of my life. Took some photos but spend significant time before the camera. These days I’m enjoying being before the camera as I’ve lost 13kg in past year.

So, posted the photos on Facebook. Here’s the link if you want to have a look.

vijaynagar-polo-forest-utpal-vaishnav-photography-tour-one-day

There’s sweet thing about posting the photos over FB. I have a LOT of friends connected via Facebook. Each posted photo album is an opportunity to interact with them at a more personal level. The reason is simple. People need a reason to interact. And photo albums are good reasons, isn’t it?

Traveling, photography, exploring new things and conversations.

So, the album I posted started a conversation with Tanmay Vora, a close friend who has written an awesome post about lessons learned from photography. Very thoughtful 12 lessons. Liked all of them. Thinking about it:

“Photography is an opportunity to be spontaneous, observe the situations as they are, align our actions to pick the right perspective and act upon it.”

A cool, fresh day, spontaneous outing, some photography and memorable experiences. Read my review on TripAdvisor too.