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Old 14th September 2012, 18:35   #16
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Part One

The last day of this trip was supposed to be a lazy day. Gopalpur was only 70 odd kms from Barkul and all I would be doing was spending the day there at the beach. There was nothing else to do there at Gopalpur unless one wants to visit Taptapani where there is a sulphur spring which is a 100 km drive from Golpalpur. I was not planning on doing that. I only wanted to chill a bit at Gopalpur. So woke up late, took a lazy breakfast and set off towards Gopalpur via NH5. It was a bright sunny day unlike all the other days and looked like the best day to use the camera.

It was a Sunday hence no traffic. NH5 in pristine condition looked inviting. In fact I found NH5 much better than the condition of NH2.


As NH5 winds near the Chilika lake there are some teeny weeny ghats


The absence of traffic felt like that it was my own personal highway. The turn to Gopalpur came up in no time.


The road to Gopalpur from NH5 is broken in parts though driveable. The distance is around 10-12 kms and currently some repairs and widening is taking place. I decided to grab an early lunch and before going to the beach went to the only upmarket hotel in Gopalpur, Swosti Palm Resort. It is located on a road that veers off right on reaching Gopalpur before the road to the beach. The hotel is not located on the beach hence some folks might not like it but there are limited stay options in Gopalpur. The erstwhile Oberoi property has now been taken over by Mayfair which is being renovated and that one would be probably the best one and pretty expensive too. What more once it opens all its rooms face the sea and with direct access to the beachfront.

Well after a lazy lunch I make way to the beach. The sun was beating down and though it was warm the cool breeze from the sea kept things under control. As soon as I entered the beach road at Gopalpur I was stunned to see the beauty of how the blue of the sky merged somewhere far away with the blue of the ocean. Parked my car by the beach camera in hand I started walking.

Rarely have I seen the sea so beautiful lapping up at the shores, given the thin crowds of tourists it was absolutely serene and calm, simply made you chilled out and relaxed. Let me start with a short video of the beach and the sea waves captured using the not so good video recording capabilities of the camera. So to compensate I added some background music from Pancham. Identify the movie where this title music was used. In fact part of the guitar riffs were also used in another movie where Pancham gave music. Incidentally the movie titles for both the movies mean the same .


The pictures follow.

The stunning view of the sea greeted me
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5836.jpg

There was this intriguing ghost hotel on the beach
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5835.jpg

But then I wanted to lap up the waves of the sea here
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5837.jpg

The lighthouse at Gopalpur. Hotel Sea Pearl is perhaps the best economy option at Gopalpur.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5838.jpg

This is the worst economy option at Gopalpur. In 2004 I had made a trip with my family and by mistake booked this one. On the first day we found cockroaches crawling over our lunch . Avoid it like the plague unless you literally want to get the plague.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5842.jpg

Oh yes after we refused to have our subsequent lunches & dinners there these guys got in a physical brawl with me. Unless you want to ruin your vacation never ever go there.

Well back to more pleasant views
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5843.jpg

The foam from the waves looked beautiful
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5844.jpg

The waves even better. In fact I liked it more than Puri and given the size of the waves they were amateur surf quality.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5845.jpg

The blue sky
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5847.jpg

The boats were taking a well deserved rest
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5849.jpg

That is the Gopalpur lighthouse
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5850.jpg

These kids were collecting something.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5852.jpg

These
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5856.jpg

The Three Musketeers
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5857.jpg

That's the erstwhile Oberoi property now being redeveloped by Mayfair. Once open it will have direct beach access
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5858.jpg

The lonely duo
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5860.jpg

I loved the sparkling clean beach
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5862.jpg

I had walked quite a bit leaving behind Gopalpur
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5863.jpg

Were these guys collecting something too?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5865.jpg

I just didn't seem to get enough of this beautiful sea here
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5867.jpg

Or the waves
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5871.jpg

The lone sentinel
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5874.jpg

The Village By The Sea
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5875.jpg

I had come a long way. It was time to retrace my footsteps.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5879.jpg
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Old 14th September 2012, 19:06   #17
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Lovely pictures and TL, Samarjit. You've evoked a huge sense of nostalgia within me.

I'd spent the first 20 years of my life at Cuttack and Berhampur, and have visited the places in your pics several times. Especially Gopalpur, which is just 16 kms from Berhampur.

A close pal of mine had a house right opposite the old ruins there, and that was the spot where we used to hit the beach whenever we went to Gopalpur. The lighthouse manager was my schoolmate's dad, and we did get to go to the top a few times. What fun those days were!

The Oberoi property you've taken a picture of was the first Oberoi hotel in India, with the name of Palm Beach. It was the only swanky place there in the 70s.

Do keep posting more to whet my appetite.

Last edited by vnabhi : 14th September 2012 at 19:07.
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Old 14th September 2012, 19:07   #18
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Part Deux

Some sea weed
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5880.jpg

I had to walk a long way
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5881.jpg

But I was suddenly paid a visit by this
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5883.jpg

I tried getting a closer look
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5938.jpg

They were fishing
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5889.jpg

I tried to get a closer look
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5892.jpg

Can somebody identify the specie? An eagle?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5893.jpg

A closer look at one of them
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5902.jpg

And the other
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5906.jpg

They were hunting in pairs
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5910.jpg

Female?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5916.jpg

Male?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5918.jpg

While they returned back with their catch
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5922.jpg

It was time to rest
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5927.jpg

They were resting too
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5923.jpg

There was this under construction hotel where the owners seemed to have given up midway. Fab location I must say.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5929.jpg

They probably ran out of funds?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5941.jpg

The name was
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5942.jpg

Perfectly manicured
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5945.jpg

I am interested in buying this property if the owner is reading this. I wondered who took care of manicuring and pruning the grass. I looked around.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5946.jpg

Hmmm.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5939.jpg

The "You are standing on my grass" look.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5940.jpg

The hotel had its first potential customers even
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5949.jpg

They came to say goodbye
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5933.jpg

Click image for larger version

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Contd.
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Old 14th September 2012, 19:43   #19
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

I have some nostalgic memories of Berhampur, Gopalpur, Chilka, Rushikulya and Puri. Thanks for these beautiful pics and making my day. I have dined several times in the erstwhile Oberai, Sea Pearl and the lighthouse.

Have you ever visited the Rushikulya during the olive ridley green turtle breeding season? Its amazing! Wish If you had some pics of that.

Good to see that the travelogue continues...
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Old 14th September 2012, 19:48   #20
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Quote:
Trivia quiz. Identify this instrumental title music.
Sholay would be my top guess.

While my slow BSNL connection loads the rest of the pictures and the videos (the above video in question has loaded only initial 10 seconds and is still buffering ) how is that you didn't face any rains? Or is it that you haven't taken any pictures with the rain?
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Old 14th September 2012, 19:49   #21
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Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Goodbye Gopalpur

I had almost made my way back to beach civilization. There was some crowd now at the beach but nothing like what it is in Puri thankfully. Given its distance of about 180 kms from Bhubaneswar its not so accessible. Most of the folks who come here to relax are from Brahmapur. Since it was Sunday they had come down to relax at the beach.

Even this guy was doing the same
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5924.jpg

While this guy was giving a mermaid pose. Reminded me of Derek Zoolander
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5951.jpg

While this guy had sold all his horses and gone to sleep
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5950.jpg

Awwww!!!! How silly.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5953.jpg

That hotel in ruins
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5954.jpg

This huge rock formation jutted out of the sea.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5958.jpg

The beach stretched for a few kms on the other side too. But I had run out of energy and time.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5959.jpg

Another group of fishermen were back home
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5963.jpg

The classic chicken and egg situation
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5964.jpg

Mackerel? Deep fried? Anyone?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5966.jpg

Gastronomic exploits if one can dare
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5967.jpg

I decided to return back to Barkul. My short solo road trip was over. My system was cleansed of the office toxins now and was ready to ingest more. Another relaxed drive through NH5 where this time I stopped for some pictures.

The bridge on this unknown river
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5970.jpg

NH5 in the evening
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5974.jpg

Another look
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5975.jpg

And yet another
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5977.jpg

That's Chilika Lake in falling daylight as seen from NH5
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5979.jpg

And that's Bagheera who served me tirelessly without complaint on this trip.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-dscn5981.jpg

Very soon I was back to Barkul and relaxed for the entire evening. Tomorrow I make my way back home with some wonderful memories of this trip. An ideal road trip I must say and I promised myself that I would be back soon.

For those interested in the GPS tracks.
Barkul-Gopalpur.kml
Gopalpur-Barkul.kml
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Old 14th September 2012, 20:25   #22
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
I have some nostalgic memories of Berhampur, Gopalpur, Chilka, Rushikulya and Puri. Thanks for these beautiful pics and making my day. I have dined several times in the erstwhile Oberai, Sea Pearl and the lighthouse.
Thanks for the appreciation. I just tried my humble hand at photography for the first time. I am really a noob at this from all aspects .

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
Have you ever visited the Rushikulya during the olive ridley green turtle breeding season? Its amazing! Wish If you had some pics of that.

Good to see that the travelogue continues...
No never visited Rushikulya so that gets added to my list. Will look up more details on this. My travelogue is almost at its end now. I wish I had 2 weeks to laze around here but toxins at my office were waiting for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Sholay would be my top guess.

While my slow BSNL connection loads the rest of the pictures and the videos (the above video in question has loaded only initial 10 seconds and is still buffering ) how is that you didn't face any rains? Or is it that you haven't taken any pictures with the rain?
If you are guessing about the video on the ferry then bingo. Well that was an easy one anyway. Just posted another trivia quiz on the video of the Gopalpur sea. A small hint on that one is towards the end of the video you will see not one but two Dimple Kapadias walking down the beach .

Thankfully the rains had already blasted their way through Odisha in the early part of August and by the time I was there it was only clouds with an occasional drizzle. Nothing dramatic. It did rain sometimes during the night which only aided my fitful slumber. Also it rained on my return leg and you would see why Bagheera is one hell of a car when I post the videos of driving through pouring rain.
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Old 15th September 2012, 15:22   #23
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Part Deux
I am interested in buying this property if the owner is reading this. I wondered who took care of manicuring and pruning the grass. I looked around.
We will recommend this blog to Orissa tourism as a potential investor .

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Part One
Rarely have I seen the sea so beautiful lapping up at the shores, given the thin crowds of tourists it was absolutely serene and calm, simply made you chilled out and relaxed. Let me start with a short video of the beach and the sea waves captured using the not so good video recording capabilities of the camera. So to compensate I added some background music from Pancham. Identify the movie where this title music was used. In fact part of the guitar riffs were also used in another movie where Pancham gave music. Incidentally the movie titles for both the movies mean the same .
Its a wonder full composition.

To complete the song, on the last portion of the video(around 4.55') suddenly Dimple Kapadia was appeared in "mechowari" style .
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Old 20th September 2012, 13:54   #24
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Day 5: Time To Head Back

Though it was a Monday, it was a public holiday at most places, the day being Eid. Another perfect day for being on the roads if you like driving without having to use your left foot much. After settling my bills, I set out for the last time on this trip on NH5 again driving towards Bhubaneswar. Empty roads and light traffic in Bhubaneswar allowed me to cross the city quickly and I was already at the outskirts where I refueled at 9:30 AM. As I approached Cuttack the historic river Mahanadi appeared, the bridge over it probably would be one of the longer ones in India.





As soon as I crossed Cuttack whatever traffic existed on NH5 simply vanished and I had the entire road to me.



I must say in general the highway traffic in most of Odisha is pretty disciplined. Not to mention truck drivers who in anyway are, even the general populace including the long distance buses will let you pass without any issues.



And my drive videos continue to be replete with Pancham's music.

Bhadrak came up soon and passed but very heavy rains caught up. This is where Bagheera showed its character on the highways. The wipers impressed beyond all my imagination as it poured cats and dogs and other vehicles were forced to stop on the side of the road. Bagheera soldiered on albeit at reduced but steadier speeds as you can see. Not once did I feel uncomfortable or out of control. Just continued driving with the same confidence and ease.





Specially in the second video you can see how well the wipers do their job and visibility remains always good for safe driving.

I never bothered to calculate my FE on this trip, I reckon I got somewhere between 17-18 given the mix of city driving and some quick bursts. But still.

You gotta be kidding me.
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-08202012744.jpg

By 1:30 PM I was a few kilometers away from Jaleswar where I decided to stop for lunch in a new placed called Aahar. A decent family restaurant with relatively clean facilities. Parathas were yummy too. In less than an hour I was on the road again carefully negotiating Jaleswar town as I had no intention of encountering the truck jam on Jaleswar bypass. More rains had further broken down NH60 through Jaleswar which needed some careful negotiation but finally I managed to get back on the main highway.

From there on it was straight and brisk driving till I reached NH6. That is where all madness breaks loose being a holiday where young somethings take out whatever vehicles they can lay their hands on and put them to the speed test. I had no option but to reduce my average speeds and let those who were considered extras in their families, pass and possibly meet up with the Almighty soon. Also the Eid crowd on the roads were not helping much as bikers celebrating Eid were trying to exchange greetings and hugs across bikes at 100 KMPH and above speeds. So it was only by 5:30 PM I could make it back home after witnessing some unique holiday road madness.

However my mini road trip went pretty well and I was already looking forward to my next one. So let me say goodbye with these funny and not so funny items on the food menu of the OTDC hotel at Barkul, Odisha. If ever you try them, do let me know.

If you seriously hate the tree-huggers, you can have them fried .
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-08192012736.jpg

Some BS ice cream for desert?
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-08192012740.jpg

How can they misspell "chicken" immediately in the next line
Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-08192012741.jpg

Good bye and good luck, till the next road trip.
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Old 20th September 2012, 22:38   #25
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Day 5: Time To Head Back

Though it was a Monday, it was a public holiday at most places, the day being Eid. Another perfect day for being on the roads if you like driving without having to use your left foot much. After settling my bills, I set out for the last time on this trip on NH5 again driving towards Bhubaneswar. Empty roads and light traffic in Bhubaneswar allowed me to cross the city quickly and I was already at the outskirts where I refueled at 9:30 AM. As I approached Cuttack the historic river Mahanadi appeared, the bridge over it probably would be one of the longer ones in India.





As soon as I crossed Cuttack whatever traffic existed on NH5 simply vanished and I had the entire road to me.



I must say in general the highway traffic in most of Odisha is pretty disciplined. Not to mention truck drivers who in anyway are, even the general populace including the long distance buses will let you pass without any issues.



And my drive videos continue to be replete with Pancham's music.

Bhadrak came up soon and passed but very heavy rains caught up. This is where Bagheera showed its character on the highways. The wipers impressed beyond all my imagination as it poured cats and dogs and other vehicles were forced to stop on the side of the road. Bagheera soldiered on albeit at reduced but steadier speeds as you can see. Not once did I feel uncomfortable or out of control. Just continued driving with the same confidence and ease.





Specially in the second video you can see how well the wipers do their job and visibility remains always good for safe driving.

I never bothered to calculate my FE on this trip, I reckon I got somewhere between 17-18 given the mix of city driving and some quick bursts. But still.

You gotta be kidding me.
Attachment 988985

By 1:30 PM I was a few kilometers away from Jaleswar where I decided to stop for lunch in a new placed called Aahar. A decent family restaurant with relatively clean facilities. Parathas were yummy too. In less than an hour I was on the road again carefully negotiating Jaleswar town as I had no intention of encountering the truck jam on Jaleswar bypass. More rains had further broken down NH60 through Jaleswar which needed some careful negotiation but finally I managed to get back on the main highway.

From there on it was straight and brisk driving till I reached NH6. That is where all madness breaks loose being a holiday where young somethings take out whatever vehicles they can lay their hands on and put them to the speed test. I had no option but to reduce my average speeds and let those who were considered extras in their families, pass and possibly meet up with the Almighty soon. Also the Eid crowd on the roads were not helping much as bikers celebrating Eid were trying to exchange greetings and hugs across bikes at 100 KMPH and above speeds. So it was only by 5:30 PM I could make it back home after witnessing some unique holiday road madness.

However my mini road trip went pretty well and I was already looking forward to my next one. So let me say goodbye with these funny and not so funny items on the food menu of the OTDC hotel at Barkul, Odisha. If ever you try them, do let me know.

If you seriously hate the tree-huggers, you can have them fried .
Attachment 988986

Some BS ice cream for desert?
Attachment 988987

How can they misspell "chicken" immediately in the next line
Attachment 988984

Good bye and good luck, till the next road trip.
I was just wondering about the Odhisa road tax collection @ Jaleswar by the corrupt RTOs. Because I faced them while returning from Chandipur trip.. They demanded Rs 700, though we stuck to a strict no no and finally they gave up and let us pass.. Didn't you face them during this trip???
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Old 20th September 2012, 23:16   #26
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I was just wondering about the Odhisa road tax collection @ Jaleswar by the corrupt RTOs. Because I faced them while returning from Chandipur trip.. They demanded Rs 700, though we stuck to a strict no no and finally they gave up and let us pass.. Didn't you face them during this trip???
Although I have gone through that difficult truck jam only once, I was only charged toll for Rs 40. This time the entire truck jam was so bad on the bypass that I entered Jaleswar town and while returning did the same. Hence I never encountered these thugs who do this extortion. My advice to you would be to use NH60 through Jaleswar town.
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Old 21st September 2012, 18:18   #27
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

[quote=samarjitdhar;2881675]Prologue

Hey thanks for reminding Office Space.

Lovely travelog. Thanks.
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Old 21st September 2012, 19:27   #28
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Hey thanks for reminding Office Space.
Whew finally !!!!! Thank you so much.

And all this while I was thinking nobody ever would get the reference. That was one cult movie made way back. Those guys back in 1999 predicted how our offices would like now .

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 21st September 2012 at 19:33.
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Old 21st September 2012, 20:52   #29
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

it seems you enjoyed gopalpur far more than me. Somehow after growing up in trivandrum, with a beach almost everywhere, beaches don't impress me any more :P

I stayed in a much better resort (which we got for a song)
I've put up my pictures - including those of bhitarkanika - do have a look and reconsider if its worth going
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Old 22nd September 2012, 00:23   #30
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

Great writeup. And what a co-incidence.
I am planning to make a trip to Chilka lake just after Dashami in our Vento Tdi.

This will be informative. Thanks a ton.
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