Monday, October 31, 2016

Secret Garden resort at Colomb bay, Patnem, South Goa

The Diwali weekend saw us heading South Goa, specifically towards Patnem - Palolem. We love those beaches of white sands and at this time of the year, expecting less tourists. 
We had booked a hut in Secret Garden Resort on the net. I was excited about this holiday!
After reaching Palolem, and crossing the Mosque, take a right turn and 100m. from the turn, there is the resort. It was easy to find. 
Secret Garden Resort is equidistant from both Palolem beach and Patnem beach, about 5 -10 min. walk. 
It is a sprawling resort  on a 2500 sqm. of land; all of it sloping. Mr. Nazir, the proprietor cum everything else he can do with his hands, said when he took this land on lease 6 years back, was thick over grown jungle. He was lost where to start and how to proceed. There is a street light just inside the property, and ss he was pondering about the location of the main entrance to the property, it struck him, why not have the gate right under the street light; it will light up the entrance through the night and takes care of the lighting issue! That is an example of Mr.Nazir's way of thinking and functioning. He tried to make it eco friendly, from the use of recycled / reused wood, boards, doors, windows, etc. in the construction of Secret garden. 
It still has a jungle look, (especially soon after the monsoon), though carefully cultivated trees (several fruit bearing ones like guava, papaya etc.), bushes (bamboo etc.), and shrubs (all kinds of crotons and elephant ears etc.). He also grows vegetables on the terraces. They are more or less self sufficient during the tourist season.
Originally from Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, while working for a travel agency in New Delhi, Mr. Nazir visited Goa, 20 yrs. ago with a friend. He was so enamored by the serenity of South Goa, that he decided to settle down here. He opened a beach shack on Palolem beach, serving Kashmiri food. By the way, he is a top class chef himself. He says, within a year, his beach shack was listed in Lonely Planet; customers would line up for his food.
When Palolem got crowded, he moved to Patnem beach, opened a shack / restaurant with the name Secret garden. After running successfully for 2 yrs. the landlord wanted to sell the property. So he had to vacate again. This time, he decided to stay put in one place, and develop his business. That is Secret garden resort came to be. 

As can be seen from the picture above the main entrance / gate is still covered by the blue plastic sheets, to keep off the rain water. Soon, the original wooden gate will replace this one, I am told.
From the main entrance, first he made the central pathway. There are gentle steps to climb up or down; plants lining either side, trees forming a canopy.
There are a total of 12 cottages / huts, named after flowers, like Rose, Sun flower etc. befitting the resort! To maintain privacy, there is a gap between the huts.
Each hut has a front verandah; some cane furniture to relax in. Inside the hut, the furniture is functional, eg: a clothes stand, a wall mirror, a side table, and a small shelving unit. the attached toilet is minimal but adequate. There are wash basin, western style WC, a shower etc. A mosquito net and mosquito repellents like coil or plug in varieties will also be provided. though a ceiling fan is provided, one does not need it, as it got cold in the night since the property is on a hilly land and huge trees all round...
Monsoons have just ended, so the blue tarpaulin sheets have yet to come off. Talk about being in the lap of nature, one wakes up to all kinds of bird sounds, and come out of your hut, you will see a host of butterflies flitting about. What sights and sounds!

I saw the largest elephant ear leaves here. papaya trees in bloom!
Except the months of monsoon, ie June to Sept, Secret Garden is open from October to the end of May. Since the property comes inside the CRZ limit, ie. 349m. from Colomb Bay, it has to be dismantled during monsoon.
While Mr. Nazir manages the guests, the huts, kitchen, Monica takes care of their 3 yr. old son, home and online bookings etc. It is an interesting story how they met. She was from UK, touring North India, where his friend directed her to stay at secret Garden if she is in Goa. She meets likes him, goes back to UK, and returns for good.
We would love to be back to taste Mr. Nazir's food, as the kitchen was not operational yet.  
Here is a happy couple, working hard, doing what they love to, living close to water, land, vegetation ...

For bookings, go to:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Multiple Sources of Income

Desire more money?

I had once attended a workshop on ‘Prosperity’ by a trainer from Louise Hay teachings. I was struggling with finances back then, and the 25 others who attended, all seemed to have some sort of issue with money / earnings / savings etc.
Among others things, one topic which caught my attention was ‘How to have more money?’
For example: You have a job and earn a decent income, but somehow feel it is meeting your needs but there is not enough surplus. Or the job is unreliable and how to meet your needs in case there is a downturn. Or you have been wanting to buy / upgrade a vehicle/ electronic item etc. But don’t have the money, Or simply want to have more savings and investments. 

Back to the question, ‘How can one have more money?’   

The answer is to Have Multiple streams of income!!! And this has changed the way I looked at money since.

First let us look at why multiple streams. Some of you must already be struggling to manage one job or one source and two sources in some cases. You already tried working longer hours and it was eating into your other duties or not producing nearly enough income; or tried getting a better paying job, which may not have been so easy, so on so forth. So, you may want to ask that you are finding it difficult to increase one income leave alone several incomes?
It is not as difficult as it seems. First let us understand -
What do I mean by Multiple streams of income? It simply means income from several sources.
You may say that you spend all your week days at a job and get a salary, where are these other sources of income coming from. Valid question.
1.       You may already be receiving income from few other sources other your salary / wages / commissions (whichever is your main source of income), which you are not aware of.
Eg: Interest on savings bank account. It is too less to be counted? May be...
2.       Cash gifts that friends and family give
3.       House hold items you were planning to chuck, but some one pays for it and takes it off your hands etc.
From the above examples, you will notice that money is coming from other than your primary source. These are all incomes. They may not be much in terms of amount and may not be regular or consistent, BUT they still are INCOMES. Become aware of them! The point is not whether a source of income is big or small. Never look down on small amounts of money. Remember that money grows with time. A small amount over a longer period grows to big amounts. I look at it another way, small amount fulfill smaller goals, but goals nevertheless.
Maintain a record of your incomes with dates and sources. You will notice to your pleasant surprise, how much it all adds up to, by the end of the year; Rs.240 in quarterly bank interest goes unnoticed; Rs. 1800 at the end of the year is something! 

Possible multiple sources of income could be:

  1. Interest on savings bank deposits
  2. Interest from fixed deposits
  3. Cash back from insurance schemes
  4. Cash back from purchases
  5. Dividends from investments in stocks
  6. Dividends from investments in Mutual funds
  7. Interest from investments in government securities or Bonds or company CDs
  8. Rental income from real estate investments
  9. Rental income from any of your possessions
  10. Income from sale of securities / stocks (if you made a profit)
  11. Income from redemption of mutual fund schemes (if you made a profit)
  12. Cash Gifts from family and friends
  13. Income from 2nd job / weekend job / odd job
  14. Income from royalties (on books, music, content, art etc.)
  15. Income from internet or blogging
  16. Income from teaching classes (music/art/driving/cooking/sewing/computer skills or anything else)
  17. If you have skills and monetise them, you can build a study source of income over time
      These are some of the streams I am working on. Do you know of any more? I am very interested. Do drop a line.

Thanks for reading. Rest in the next capsule ....

Salvadordo Mundo Church - Goa

  It was Easter and we have a ritual of going to a natural spring before sunrise and drinking the holy water from it. Since both Jo and ...