How a trip to Mangalore can actually rejuvenate you

written byShekar Kunder
posted on

Welcome to Mangalore!


‘Welcome onboard, Ladies and Gentlemen. Please fasten your seatbelts and secure your baggage in the overhead compartments and make sure your seat and food trays are in the upright position’.


As the pilot was making the announcement, I felt like we are in a different world altogether. Sure, this was not my first flight, but this scene looked like it was a movie scene where they show you the future. People walking in the white PPE kit as if they are zombies. This was my first journey post the covid19 outbreak and the mask and face shield made me feel suffocated, as it was a new environment which I had to get accustomed to.


Wearing the face shield and the mask at the airport is still bearable but once inside the aircraft it felt a bit hard. It was one of the worst travelling journeys till date. Thank you COVID, travelling will never be the same.


It was a nostalgic moment to visit Mangalore. As kids, summer vacation was the best time to visit native, as all the cousins would meet up. We used to play cricket, swim in the river. I was showing Soumya (Wife) all the places. I was sharing all my childhood stories. The best part is I took her to the river where we had so much fun as kids, visited the old shop where in childhood post playing cricket we used have cold drinks, revisiting memories after span of so many years felt so wonderful.


I was travelling to Mangalore for my house-warming function. I was super grateful as we could build our house during the COVID phase. It was a happy moment for our family. One day before the housewarming, we celebrated mom’s birthday. We had a small celebration; mom was overwhelmed with joy.


Housewarming Event:

We had to wake up early in the morning at about- 4 a.m. and get ready for the housewarming function. There was pooja and all the relatives had come together to celebrate it. I met so many people with whom I have not met and spoken in years. The best was meeting my uncle, whom I met after 15 years. It felt so good to meet them after such a long time.


The housewarming event was a success. My parents were super proud. It was my dream to get them settled in our native.


I was meeting two kinds of people in native, one who were extremely happy to meet us after a long time. They were full of blessings and you could feel genuine love and care, when you are with them. Then, there was the other set of people, who were jealous and would only talk nonsense around you. They will not leave one chance to ridicule you. They are super quick to comment on your looks, bodyweight, or height. You can’t connect with them and want to run away as soon as you can.


I was the old guy, my wife was the skinny girl, my sister was the short one, etc. I don’t understand why they must talk negatively about anybody. You are just meeting someone for few minutes, after years, just be cordial and have a good time. This is a habit by the old members of the family, and this we should stop as a society. These behaviours should not be encouraged by anyone.


One cannot even fathom how much effort we take to build ourselves. None of them will come to ever help you. If you look at their life, they spent most of their life criticizing people. I feel bad for them, but I guess we must have more empathy towards each other.



Night at Mama’s house:

Me, Soumya, Pramila (Sis) & Jason (Bro in law) headed to our Mama’s house for a night out. My cousin didn’t travel back to Mumbai as we were to visit them. We had a gala time and the night was full of stories, good food, and laughs. I have always seen some of the best conversations happen in the night-time. We were all connecting, and this was a welcome change after few days of work.


The next morning, we headed out to Soumya’s house. We made an instant plan with the kids at home to head to the new swing at the beach near her house.




Beach Time:

The car ride back to Soumya’s house was enjoyable. We played Mafia, with all the cousins at home. It is fun when all of us get together.


As it was evening, and not much sunny, it was ideal time to visit the beach. We were heading to the new Blue flag beach in Padubidri. The blue flag tag is awarded to a beach if they meet the highest level of cleanliness, maintains marine life. It is awarded by a Denmark-based non-profit organisation. And let me tell you, it is not easy to be certified, as only 8 beaches in India are certified so far. Hence, it is a proud moment for all Mangalorean’s.


All of us were excited to sit on the swing at the beach. Unfortunately, it was already broken by the time we visited there. Few of us were disappointed, yet it didn’t affect our spirit as the water was clean. All of us decided to go for a swim in the beach. Except for a couple of us, no one knew swimming. No one cared about anything, we enjoyed our time at the beach. We were playing, swimming, splashing water on each other and a few of them were trying to learn swimming.


As this was happening, I stood there looking back at each one of them. I was so present at this moment, watching everyone laugh and smile. This moment was very beautiful. It was playing like a slow-motion video with everyone being happy. 


We don’t need a lot to be happy, all it takes is a few like-minded people and nature to enjoy life.


P.S. There are many amenities at the beach viz., washrooms, changing rooms, play equipment for children, CCTVs, parking facility, solar panels to generate enough power to run the entire beach. The best part, you can make use of well-maintained changing/shower rooms for a minimal fee of 20 Rs. There is an entry fee of 20 Rs., which is totally worth it. I was amazed to see so many amenities at a beach in my native.



Time with Cousins:

We were visiting Soumya’s cousin’s factory. They are into the packing of food items. We got to see the entire process – from how plastic is manufactured to the end packaging, which was new to me. There was a huge machine that converts raw material into the plastic. We had the privilege to go on top of the machine, which was about 30 ft. from the ground. It was scary to look down from that height.


We headed to another cousin’s house in Suratkal and luckily, we had a beach quite next to house. In the evening, we headed to the beach for a walk. This beach is also very clean and many of them have not explored it yet. I played football with the local kids. Playing football on the sand is difficult. Just makes you realize that you are getting old.


We were heading to Mangalore city in the evening for our dinner. But there was something special about this ride. We were travelling in Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé newly booked by Soumya’s cousins. It was one hell of a ride. I will never forget this ride.


This car touches 100 km/h within secs. The adrenaline rush during the drive was just amazing. Your heart will start pumping. This car gives almost a formula one experience. We touched 220 km/h on our way to Mangalore. It is scary and fun at the same time. Vitesh & Nitesh (Soumya’s Cousin) have superb driving skills. You need good skills to control this beast.


I don’t recommend this fun ride for heart patients.


Dinner time at Sai Palace was also fun with them. A lot of storytelling and laughter.


Kayaking in Mangalore???!!!

By this time, I was regretting why didn’t I take more leaves. I was having a gala time. We had only one day left, and we could either do Kayaking or Go to St. Mary island or do Surfing. Finally, we decided to do kayaking first and then we decide on the latter part of the day.


Thanks to Soumya who found out about this hidden place in Mulki for Kayaking. We were a group of seven people and could choose from 4 different slots for kayaking. We chose the 6 am slot to witness the sunrise. As a result, we had to wake up at 5 am and we headed for kayaking, which was a 5-7 minutes ride from our place.


Once we reached the kayaking spot- we realised how beautiful the ambience was, and the weather was cool making it a perfect time for kayaking and we all were glad we chose the morning slot, making the early wake-up time worthwhile.

As we started to row initially, we found it to be a bit difficult, but then all of us got the hang of it. I was scared about falling inside the water stream due to jellyfishes. But there are no jellyfish during the winter season.


We did 3 hours of kayaking and it was super fun to visit the village through the water. We rowed around 3-4 km. Witnessing the sunrise was special.


By the end of 3 hours of kayaking, I started to have back pain and was super tired by the end. But I decided to take a dip inside in the river, post kayaking. The guide advised non-swimmers not to jump inside as there was a strong current in the water. The water was cold, it felt so nice after a long kayaking session. I swam a little but decided to wrap it soon. The current was so strong that it would take you away with it.


All of us were hungry after a good early morning workout. We went to the nearby restaurant and had all the Mangalorean delicacy- dosa, buns, golibajje, medu vada, filter coffee - to our hearts content.

We had the second half of the day so we could have gone surfing or go to St. Mary island. We didn’t do anything. All of us were so tired so we slept instead went to Pabbas, an ice cream parlour in Mangalore.


I ordered my favourite vanilla ice cream; the taste is very different from the vanilla ice cream you will have elsewhere. You will have to taste it to believe me what makes this plain jane vanilla ice cream so special that it has won numerous awards for its divine taste. I make a point to eat this every time I visit Mangalore. Then I also devoured Tiramisu and the Mangalorean famous - Gadbad ice cream.


If we had one more day, I would have taken Soumya to St. Mary Island. But will do it next time.


FIFA at night:

Our bags were ready, next day was our flight to Mumbai. So, me and Sumit (Brother in Law) stayed up all night and played FIFA PS4. It was our boy’s night out. We played multiple rounds and ended our session around 3:30 am.


We hardly slept for few hours and had to leave home around 9 am to catch our flight.




As I had got the hang of mask and face shield, taking the flight back to Mumbai was comparatively easy.


Currently, if you must visit Karnataka from Mumbai/Maharashtra, you must compulsorily get Covid testing done, glad I could visit at a time when this wasn’t required.


With so many beautiful memories, this journey will be one of my treasured journeys to date.

This is not the first time and certainly will not be the last time I will visit Mangalore, this particular trip will always remain close to my heart.


I have so some fond memories that I will cherish for a long time.


This is Shekar Signing off, I see you in the next one.