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  • Category: Reward Programs

    Set sail on a unique travel experience through an e-book - the voyage begins!

    After a long hiatus, people started on trips with families and friends. Soon will be the summer vacation, which means once again, perhaps, setting out on a fun holiday. So this e-book is going to be a travel experience, but not the usual one of a road trip or onboard a flight. It is going to be a voyage on a cruise ship!

    E-book theme: The Voyage

    What you have to do: First register in this thread so that a chapter will be assigned to you. Once registrations close, you will not be able to participate in the contest, so hurry! You will then keep track of this thread to know when the previous chapter and photo have been submitted. You have to submit your chapter within 24hrs of the photo response. Please refer to response #755329 in the registration thread.

    Since the theme of the book is a voyage on a cruise ship, you can include any aspect related to it, including dropping anchor at a port and passengers going offshore, activities on the ship, new passengers boarding, perhaps a mystery or a sweet unique as it gets!

    1. Each member will submit a chapter in English in the order assigned and must also upload a self-taken photo relevant to the story and one that will be the element that the next author has to include in her/his chapter. The element can be included in any way but should be relevant to the chapter's context. Please refer to response #755329 in the registration thread for clarity.
    2. The chapter's content can include conversations, new characters, etc but no references should be made to weapons, drugs, etc
    3. The chapter should be limited to 400 words (no more than five extra words is fine, if absolutely necessary). You may edit the chapter to correct basic errors such as incorrect spelling or to make grammar corrections, but do not change the character or main elements as then the next author will be confused.
    4. No title is required for the chapter and no links should be given.

    The rewards-
    The best chapter (up to two) will get a cash prize of Rs.150/-. The next best chapter will get a cash prize of Rs.100/- (one prize). We may give a consolation prize as well. The best photo element in terms of relevance to the story will get a special prize of Rs.30/-.

    The authors of the e-book as of now are-
    1. Chapter 1- Partha
    2. Chapter 2- Dr. Deepali Gangwar
    3. Chapter 3- Varghese
    4. Chapter 4- Dr. Srinivasa Rao
    5. Chapter 5- Kailash Kumar
    6. Chapter 6- Shampa Sadhya
    7. Chapter 7- Umesh

    Note- in case an author fails to submit the chapter within the 24-hour time frame, then the next author will continue.

    So let's set sail!
  • #755336
    Partha- here's the photo for including as an element in the first chapter that you will write:
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

    Delete Attachment

  • #755337
    So now Partha has to submit the first chapter by 12:18 tomorrow.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #755350
    First Chapter:

    The tourists who purchased the cruise tickets were waiting impatiently. Very soon they would enter the cruise ship. Very soon, the Sunset River cruise would begin.

    In Goa, the Sunset River cruise is well-known. People enjoy the mesmerizing sunset over the Arabian Sea on the two-hour cruise ride along the coast of Goa. The journey generally starts at a river-port on the River Mandovi at 5 p.m. and the tourists enjoy the beauty of the coastline of Goa throughout the ride. Taking the Sunset cruise is highly relaxing and refreshing after a grueling day of sightseeing. On the ride, the tourists can see the resplendent Panjim city, silent Adil Shah's Palace, the serene Fort Aguada, Hotel Mariott, Ferry Point, the Floating Casinos and Reis Magos Fort. Food and drink are provided to the tourists as per their choice and taste.

    On the interesting and eventful day of 1999, Partha, a young man, was waiting with his newly-wed wife on the jetty to board the cruise-ship. He was watching intently. The beauty of River Mandovi attracted him. He was trying to find similarities between River Mandovi and the rivers in his home-state. He was also observing other tourists, some of whom are newly-wed like him. Almost all of them were tourists visiting Goa from other parts of India. There were some foreign tourists also.

    The cruise-ship anchored. The tourists formed a queue and started boarding the ship. Partha and his wife were almost at the end of the queue.

    Suddenly, Partha noticed them. Two policemen were hurriedly approaching the ship. Along with them, there was a fat Goanese man of dark complexion. He was carrying a big packet. It seemed that the two policemen were guarding forcibly taking the fat man along with them. They also boarded the same ship.

    Partha's curiosity forced him to move behind the group of three. They were talking. Suddenly, one policeman pointed his finger towards a wall-clock kept on the deck of the ship. He said: "We have to ensure these don't lose the shape and melt at least till midnight. Thereafter, SP sahib will himself take care. He will do whatever is appropriate. Our responsibility will be over." They were carrying the peculiar-shaped packet very gently.

    Partha could no longer enjoy the enchanting sunset. Despite the nudging of his wife, his entire attention was towards the odd group of three.

    [Consolation prize winner]

    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

  • #755351
    Here is the photo for the next author:
    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

    Delete Attachment

  • #755363
    The second chapter has to be submitted by Dr. Deepali Gangwar before 15.13hrs. tomorrow (as per the time stamp of the photo submitted by Partha). Hope everyone has understood how this e-book will unfold.

    I will not be mentioning the next author's deadline from now on. It is up to the participants to be alert and check both, the registration thread and this thread. Only if required I will step in to clarify or to give updates.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #755376
    The photo posted by Partha is not opening.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #755385
    Yes, I have also noticed it. Yesterday, it was opening. I am attaching it again. I don't know whether it would be appropriate, or not.

    Here is the photo for the next author:

    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

    Delete Attachment

  • #755399
    So, her mood became spoiled. But at the next moment, Partha got it and tried to convince her. Then they sit in the luxury seats to enjoy the dance and music programme. There were three performances of Goan traditional dance forms on the cruise. Apart from that, they were playing loud Goan music. At that time, all the guests on the cruise were asked to come and dance on stage. Partha and his wife also moved toward the stage for a dance. They were enjoying everything, but intermittently, Partha's attention was turning towards the trio sitting in one corner of the hall. And it was still going through his mind, what was the matter? Why policemen caught him? And what was in the box? His wife understood that something was running in his mind. So, she asked him. He told me nothing.

    Now it's around 6 o'clock and they took seats for a fabulous three-course traditional Goan meal. They loved the traditional Goan food. In the background, Indian classical music was playing. Now her wife asked Partha, "What could be in that box that can be melted?" I think it might be something precious. But don't you remember when they said "they don't lose their shape and melt until at least midnight," Partha said? I think it will be a chocolate box. They were discussing when Parth's eyes turned to another side. He saw that there was a group of 3–4 people wearing unusual clothes and carrying a similar kind of box.

    Suddenly, a storm started, and the cruise started shaking. All the furniture in the hall was sliding. In this hassle, both the boxes were interchanged. People also started sliding, and they caught each other and made a chain. In this hurry, the fat Goan man came next to Partha. After some time, the storm starts to slow down. Then all felt relaxed. Then Partha asked the man why the police caught him. The man said I didn't do anything. I am innocent. But nobody is ready to listen. Then they saw that policemen were coming toward them. Then the Goan man gave a slip to Partha and returned to the policemen, who innocently stared at him till his disappearance. Partha unexpectedly opened the slip in front of his wife and hid it in his pocket.

    [First prize winner]

  • #755402
    Here is the photo for the next author:

    Delete Attachment

  • #755444
    Dr. Srinivasa Rao, since Varghese has failed to submit his chapter, please go ahead and submit Chapter 3. You will be required to submit the chapter by 13.47 tomorrow.

    The others will be as follows-
    Chapter 4- Kailash Kumar
    Chapter 5- Shampa Sadhya
    Chapter 6- Umesh
    Chapter 7- Sanjeev Gupta.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #755447
    Vandana, I have already noticed the same and I started writing my chapter. I will submit my chapter before 1347 tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me.
    always confident

  • #755459
    Third Chapter:

    Even though Partha is spending time with his wife, he is constantly observing the group of people who are holding a similar packet. He could see that boxes got exchanged. He is in two minds about whether to inform the police or not. He took out his smartphone and started taking photos using the camera on the phone. While taking the photos of his wife, somehow, he managed that the group of people who are carrying a similar box will be clearly visible in 2 or 3 photos. They may come in handy afterwards if any necessity arises.

    He has seen the paper handed over by the person. There are two phone numbers on that. Partha thought that the black man wants him to inform the people by dialling those numbers. He is trying to analyse the whole situation. He believed that the fat Goanese man of dark complexion is innocent and decided to help him. He tried the numbers given in the slip but the phones are switched off.

    He is feeling that the exchange of packets may push that person into a bigger problem. With that thinking, he decided to inform what he observed to the police. So, he is waiting for a chance to meet the police persons. Meanwhile one of the police persons with that Goanese man stared at Partha and just smiled. Partha also smiled at him. Then that police person came and started talking with Partha. During the course of the discussion, he informed the police about the exchange of the packets. Police told him that they noticed the same and asked Partha not to worry. He also said they will take care of the issue. Then he asked the police person why they are escorting that man. The police just smiled and left from there.

    All the couples on the ship are enjoying the journey. Some of the people are enjoying their drinks and nobody is worried about what others are doing. Only Partha is trying to observe the group of people and the police. Parths'a wife asked Partha not to worry much about the unrelated things and not to spoil the joyful evening with unnecessary thoughts. Partha tried to get relaxed and moved closer to his wife.

    always confident

  • #755465
    Dr NV Srinivasa Rao, You can post photo for the next author now.

  • #755467
    This is my photo for the next author
    always confident

    Delete Attachment

  • #755468
    Thank you, Dr Deepali Gangwar. I could post the photo for the next author because of your timely interaction.
    always confident

  • #755472
    Chapter- 4

    Partha's newlywed wife was tolerating his behaviour so far patiently but now it was becoming unbearable. Her mood was totally spoiled. She had anticipated that they will enjoy the evening spent on their sunset cruise, witness the beautiful and never seen before sunset of Goa making it even more romantic for the couples on the cruise like them, be mesmerized by the picturesque beauty of coastal areas in twilight and darkness and enjoy the calm and serene backwaters of Goa. The trip included beautiful choreographed Goan folk dance, DJ music on the cruise, famous sightseeing and relishing food and drink.

    However, Partha was playing a Sherlock Homes constantly following the fat Goanese man carrying a big packet and two policemen accompanying him. Later a group of 3–4 people wearing unusual clothes and carrying a similar kind of box were also spotted engaging Partha's full attention in monitoring their movements and behaviour.

    All of a sudden there was an announcement on the PA system of the boat that the boat is about to anchor on shore shorty. The organisers thanked the tourists for availing their facility and requested them to give a chance to serve them during their future sojourns to Goa too. The organisers also thanked the tourists for bearing with them despite the inconvenience caused to them due to the storm. As a matter of fact, because of the sudden storm only, the cruise time was extended. On hearing the announcement, Partha glanced over his wristwatch which was already showing 10 minutes to 9 PM. The normal duration of the sunset cruise was 1 hour and 30 minutes only.

    Soon the boat anchored on the shore and the people alighted one by one including Partha and his newlywed wife. Watching her wife's mood, Partha forgot about the fat Goanese man, the two policemen accompanying him, the big packet and the other men wearing unusual clothes and carrying a similar box. He was quite intelligent to gauge the mood of his wife and started behaving like a meek and submissive husband.

    The next day morning Partha read in the local newspapers that a notorious and wanted smuggler was arrested by the Superintendent of Police of Goa by laying a trap. The police team had boarded the sunset cruise to chase the clever smuggler who was spoofing the Goa police for a long.

    Then Partha planned something to surprise his wife.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #755473
    This is my photo for the next author
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

    Delete Attachment

  • #755501
    Chapter 5

    Partha had a plan to surprise his wife, Sudha, but was hesitant about how she would react. He asked Sudha to accompany him to a local market, but she preferred to stay back in the hotel, citing having a headache. Partha gauged her mood, and without further discussion, he left for the market.

    After an hour, Partha happily returned to the hotel room. Observing his happiness, Sudha was getting more irritated and was about to comment when Partha giggled and uttered that he had two exciting surprises for Sudha. Well, Sudha showed disinterest in his statement. Partha knew that his detective nature had spoiled their voyage on a cruise ship, so he tried hard to make his newly wedded wife happy. He took out a sequined golden yellow saree with a zari work on a reddish chocolate border and quietly wrapped it around the shoulders of his beloved wife. Sudha annoyingly asked Partha, "Was he bribing her for spoiling their voyage?"
    Partha innocently uttered, "Yesterday, you looked radiant in your golden yellow salwar suit. The rays of sunset made you glow, so I thought to gift you a saree of the same colour, which suits you a lot."
    She felt a little happy that at least Partha had noticed that golden yellow coloured clothing enhanced her beauty. Many had given her such compliments earlier. It changed Sudha's mood. Gradually, she started behaving normally. A little later, she inquired about the second surprise that Partha had mentioned. Partha excitedly said they would go for another voyage on a cruise ship. It again irritated Sudha as she knew that they didn't have a day to spare for the cruise as they would leave Goa the next day.

    Partha didn't fail in assessing Sudha's mood, so he passed his cell phone to her. It was a mail from Partha's Sales officer informing him of receiving an incentive with five more colleagues because the company made a huge profit due to the Sales Department's dedicated team effort. It was a trip to Goa for five days with their respective families. Now, Sudha felt happy.

    The next evening Partha with Sudha shifted to a 5 Star Hotel of the Welcome Group to join his colleagues and their families who reached there in the afternoon. Sudha wished to enjoy the next voyage on a cruise ship the most and relish some more Goan delicacies.

    [Second prize winner.]


  • #755502
    This is the photo for the next author:

    Delete Attachment

  • #755508
    Chapter - 6:

    Partha and Partha's colleagues were enjoying the hotel facilities and were talking about the next 5 days programme. They got a detailed schedule of the same from their office where the name and phone number of the tourist agency were mentioned which would be coordinating the 5-day programme. The first day was to visit the Northern Goa and its beaches, the second day was dedicated to the local market and exploring the variety of Goan food, especially the seafood, the third day was kept for a day cruise in the Arabian Sea with a lot of fun and fair, the fourth day was for visit to some famous places and fifth day was to attend some cultural programmes of Goa being organised by the local administration on the beach and tickets for the same were arranged.
    They were much excited about the coming activities. The tour operator informed them to be ready by the next day early morning to go to Northern Goa to enjoy the beaches there. They were 12 people in total and the next day about 7 AM, a minibus came to the hotel to pick them up. Once they all took their seats on the bus, the guide briefed them about that day's programme. He told that they would be going to the Calangute Beach which is situated 15 km from Panjim and would have some water sports there and then would take their lunch in which a special variety of the fish with less bone and bone pins would be served which is not only convenient to eat but delicious also. After lunch, they would go to one other popular and beautiful beach that is Baga Beach which is located close to Calangute beach. Baga Beach is famous for its variety of shops and amusements and nightlife. They would have sufficient time there to walk on the beach and have fun in the local shops and then have dinner in one of the restaurants and would leave back to the hotel by 10 PM.
    By 7:45 AM they reached Calangute beach and were asked to have some tea and snacks after which they moved to the water sports arena. Some of them opted for it and enjoyed the sports. It was already 1 PM and then they headed for the restaurant where lunch was planned. Everyone enjoyed lunch and appreciated the special fried fish.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #755510
    Here is the photo for next author -
    Knowledge is power.

    Delete Attachment

  • #755568
    Chapter 7:
    After lunch, there was a declaration that all passengers should board the bus. Everyone boarded the bus, and the guide started giving the details about the destinations they will be visiting in the remaining days.

    Sudha was delighted and was thinking that this time her mood will not get spoiled. Partha also prayed that he may not face anything as he faced on their last cruise. But there was something else in their fate.

    They came back to the hotel after visiting Mangeshi temple, the last destination of the day.

    Sunil invited Partha and his wife to Tito's club. Though Sudha did not want to go there yet at the request of Partha she got ready. Sudha was not aware of the environment of the nightclubs so she was feeling a bit embarrassing there as she never visited a club or a bar in her life.

    There, Sunil asked Partha to have drinks. Partha denied but he had somewhere in his mind to enjoy. Partha is not a heavy drinker but he was over drunk and was not able to move by himself. Sudha was very upset while gazing at him.

    They all did a cab to the hotel and reached safely and slept. But when Partha woke up he saw Sudha was packing the luggage. Partha realized what he had done yesterday and was not able to gather the courage to speak to her wife but he had to start from somewhere to please his wife.

    Partha said," We will see Goa separately". We won't go by bus. He thought Sudha will agree but he was wrong. Sudha started crying and said she won't go anywhere and will go back home. Partha was also upset about his behavior and promised her that he won't touch alcohol in the future.

    There was complete silence in the room. Suddenly Sudha's phone starts ringing. It was a call from her mother. Her mother asked her, Is everything fine there?.

    She wanted to complain about everything to her mother but she didn't as she wanted to give him an opportunity. She gets ready to explore Goa but she told that they will go to " Butterfly beach" as she has read that it's a gorgeous beach.

    She asked Partha to carry a "steel water bottle" as last time they forgot it to carry with them and had to buy a water bottle from outside.


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #755569
    Here is the picture

    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

    Delete Attachment

  • #755584
    Chapter 8 (Final Chapter):

    That was the last day of their trip to Goa. Fortunately, that was an open day and there was no scheduled tour with other members of the tour. In early morning, Partha and Sudha got ready and left the Welcome Group hotel to explore the Butterfly Beach on their own.

    Their hotel was located at Loutolim. Partha told Sudha that Loutolim itself was a very old place. He told her that when the River Saraswati dried up, the Brahmins living on the bank of the sacred river shifted to Loutolim and adjacent areas and settled there. The Saraswat Brahmins who had come to the Konkan coast, were later known as Konkanastha (Kokanastha) Brahmins. Sudha was impressed, but did not say much to Partha. She was still angry with Partha for the previous night's misadventure at Tito's Club.

    At Loutolim, Partha and Sudha visited Shri Ramnath Temple. Partha told the painful history of Portuguese conquest and how they tortured local people. He explained the significance of this sacred temple in the life of the Kokanastha Brahmins. They enjoyed the sight of Salvador do Mundo Church which was built during the late sixteenth century. They also visited the Don Bosco school, the theme park at Loutolim, Saint Mra Bai and Miranda Mansion (an ancient Portuguese mansion) .

    They could not visit all the important places at Loutolim as their main plan was to visit Butterfly Beach. Partha and Sudha took a light breakfast and started their journey to Butterfly Beach.

    Sudha became normal after enjoying the ancient Temples and churches at Loutolim. While taking breakfast, she asked Partha about the Butterfly Beach. Partha explained that it was a separate beach located north of Palolem Beach. He also explained that the beach is famous for dolphin sighting and enjoying thousands of butterflies flying together.

    The newly-wed couple took a cab and reached Palolem Beach. Palolem Beach is itself a very beautiful beach in South Goa, but they did not spend much time there. They took a ferry service from Palolem and reached the Butterfly Beach. Partha had already read the details. He explained to Sudha that from Palolem, some tourists reach the Butterfly Beach trekking through the beautiful forest. The trek takes a little more than two hours.

    Sudha was pleasantly surprised by the pristine beauty of the Butterfly Beach. She was watching intently from the ferry. Finally she could see what she had been looking for. She saw a pair of dolphins somersaulting in the open. She was very excited and nudged Partha to watch the dolphins. Immediately thereafter, both of them saw a group of dolphins in the sea.

    The ferry reached the beach. They sat on the clean beach and enjoyed the beauty of the calm and cool Arabian Sea. Although it was January, the day was clear and they could watch upto a very long distance. Suddenly a breeze started blowing. They could see the first group of beautiful butterflies. They felt as if a colourful light cloth was floating in the breeze. Sudha was very excited. She could see thousands of colourful butterflies. When she shifted her attention towards the sea, she could see groups of dolphins playing in the water. She took hundreds of photo in her camera. She enjoyed the pristine glory of nature in the Beach. There was no bitterness left in her.

    It was almost four. They were unwilling to leave the beach, but they felt hungry. They chose a restaurant just where the beach ended. Sudha took vegetarian food, but Partha, as a non-vegetarian, chose sea-food. As a connoisseur of sea-food, he started with squids masala fry. The stir-fried spongy squids tasted delicious and increased his appetite. Both of them had a sumptuous meal.

    After finishing their late lunch, they came back to the beach. They planned to watch the famous sunset of the Butterfly Beach; but missed it due to time constraint. They took the return ferry service and ultimately reached their hotel at Loutolim.

    The next morning, they left Goa. But, before leaving, Partha had to promise Sudha that they would return to this beautiful land very soon.

    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

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