Guilt-Free Goa

We have our own version of Vegas in India…G-O-A…what happens in Goa stays in Goa and Goa seems to be built for everything you’d do while you’re away from home, boundaries, restrictions and the humdrum of the everyday.

How else can one explain the most prim and proper of “aunties” who is carrying enough weight on her hips and belly to feed a colony of starving cannibals, strut around very confidently in rather iffy outfits that leave nothing to the imagination whatsoever!

Or the sudden craze the biggest beer bellies get for wearing Speedos and jiggling their way along the beach, without a care in the world? Or the most hirsute of men jumping into crystal clear water where the hair on their bodies is practically at par with the sea anemones one might expect from the fathoms? Those are some sights people were not meant to see and be able to unsee.

It’s not just about being more daring with attire, people leave their food dos and don’ts behind…way behind I might add! Stuff doesn’t have to be kosher, in a manner of speaking…it just has to look and taste good. And nothing tastes better than the forbidden fruit or the bacon!

This isn’t a critique, mind you. It’s interesting to see how people loosen up with their inhibitions and just enjoy themselves in a way that they normally wouldn’t on any other holiday destination…unless it actually was Vegas or the French Riviera maybe.

Years ago when I was working with a B-School, I remember the spring break-like fever descending on the students. The senior class wanted to go to Goa together but they also had exams coming up and had to prepare for the campus interviews for the placements etc. My job was to prepare them for those interviews and wouldn’t you know it? I had to do it during the time they were in the Go-Goa mode! So little by little excuses started coming my way…suddenly a whole bunch of parents had silver wedding anniversaries that their loving children just couldn’t afford to miss. So many grandmothers fell sick and apparently a glimpse of their beloved grandchild is what the doctor had prescribed above all things! It was quite fun to watch and I didn’t have the heart to say no to any of them because this too is a right of passage.

When I took a mini-vacay with some girlfriends I went to Goa. We ate, drank, slept, gabbed and frolicked in the utter Goa-ness. And that’s the beauty of it…it’s not just the beaches..it’s the place. It’s where you head to get drunk, it’s where you head to for a romantic weekend, honeymoon even and it’s where you take your hyper kid to cool off while you sip cocktails by the pool in the am without a thought for time of day!

Goa was made for relaxation- be it quick or a long-drawn one. It’s for gorging on seafood, eating spicy stuff your stomach can’t stomach and still having a great big smile on your face because it’s satisfaction all the way! So if you want to get high on sun, fun and the occasional dram…this place is a surefire fix!

Cheers!

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The 3 of us (me, Red&MLM) rang in the new year inside a loud, creaky, semi-uncomfortable airport shuttle bus. But I got to wish my folks, my bestie and also make an  SOS call to good friends who came and picked us up from a drop-off point since Hyderabad cabbies decided to be sadistic on the last day of the year and go on a strike.

While I *am* known to bitch and gripe for fairly long periods of time when the fit is upon me, last night’s events seemed quite amusing. Here we were, fresh out of the First Class lounge followed by flying Business Class back home and we stepped out to get lumped in with the rest of the world when it came to getting back home. And lump it we did! And it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be at all.

There was a little boy incessantly asking his dad when the bus was going to move, there a conductor who was loudly asking about tickets and drop-off points and there were people who were (again loudly) discussing the taxi strike and those who were just so bleary-eyed that they didn’t give a rat’s ass about anything except their face hitting their pillow.

So why was I not grumpy and adding to the less than happy vibes floating around the bus?Well some of the credit for that goes to the champagne I had in the flight and the other was because I was going HOME!!

We aren’t the society creme de la creme by any means. But we’re comfortable. And we’d had a lovely fun and sun-filled week in Thailand. I had behaved like a glutton and was going to need most of 2017 and 18 to work off all that. But I’d really Zenned out while in Thailand and no bus, even one that needed a total overhaul and a muffler change STAT! was going to take that away from me. Add to that my child fell asleep quite quickly even before the bus started to move and it was an easy ride back home coloring mandalas (my latest thang) on my phone.

A lot of the experiences we have in life, the good and the bad are usually colored by the thoughts going on in our head at that time. I’d spent a good amount of time travelling back to India irritated with my child. He was being a brat and I still wanted my Zen bubble around me. But the husband, a great guy to travel with, had intervened throughout, suggested I have some champagne and most importantly had changed seats with me so I was able to get a little more head space away from the offspring and his monster persona.

2016 had been quite a dramatic year. Quite a few things took me by surprise. Shook me up. But most importantly, the shaking stopped. And now I have a whole year to stabilize and look forward to more; memories, laughter or even Zennishness.

So here’s raising the virtual toast to  2017. May you prove to be an outstanding successor to 2016. And may the adventures continue…even if in a bus.

Sláinte

Holiday Bloglet

  • Books read since start of holiday on 23rd night: 4.
  • New mystery writers discovered since start of holiday: 3
  • Movies watched: half of 3
  • Drinks consumed: 2! (I know right?)
  • Local cuisine sampled: 2xs
  • Yelled at offspring: lesser times than I thought possible.
  • Got massaged: 1x
  • Cursed out loud: 3x
  • Songs looped in head: Never Give Up (Sia)& Wildest Moments (Jessie Ware)
  • Sighed in contentment: all the time!

Weekending The Right Way

A lot of us just imitate potatoes (or any other veggies if you’re cutting down on starch) on the weekends. And any doctor worth their salt erm degrees will tell you that some moments of inertia are needed. Whether you use that to contemplate, zone out or catnap; it’s all good. But too much of inertia can make it difficult to get back in the game as well.

Here’s what my family and I do…and take it from me…we are BIG procrastinators and potato-imitators but our weekends are usually quite enjoyable.

Everyone gets space to waste time for a bit. A bit can extend to an hour or two but that’s it. Lounging on a sofa  for hours on end better mean that you’ve ended the World Food Shortage or found a cure for a terminal illness while being cut off from the world around you.

Encouraging proper naps. Especially after a nice heavy lunch, something we Indians practically have a patent on. Naps together are recommended as well. Unless one of you is a light sleeper or fidgety in which case…find a couch to crash on bucko!

Time on your own but together. All that means is each one can be involved in a different activity (provided not terribly discordant) and still share the same space. Weekends aren’t about living in each others’ pockets.

Doing chores together makes it less tedious and occasionally (make it rarely) helps certain fussbudget members of the family realize that damn! we do go through a lot of clothes and NO! they don’t wash and fold themselves or maybe I should empty my pockets while putting the pants in the wash or unfolding my sleeves for a change!

My family also recommends doing something that one of us chooses for the whole family. That often ends up being swimming (my kid), watching cricket (my husband), or going for a drive with She- Wolf blaring on the speakers. Wait…scratch the last one. Only I get to do that.

Main thing is that the weekends don’t have to be about bonding as a rule. Each one can keep spinning in their orbits provided they all cross each other’s path occasionally instead of going further and further away.

Earlier I used to get a bit frustrated and pass it onto my family because I felt the utilization of time wasn’t happening adequately enough. But now, each one does their own thing and still gravitates towards one another because in nuclear families that’s *bound* to happen.

Try it out. I am…blogging while my kid watches Little Einsteins and the husband watches the U.S Open.This morning my kid had an art class while my husband finished some office stuff and I got some trip photos organized. All things that we each wanted to do individually but didn’t have much value to the other family members. After t.v. time gets over it’s board games and a trip to the Chocolate Room for gooey, sticky brownies for me and my kid while the husband plays tennis.

And who knows what the night will bring…anything’s possible!

Happy Weekend!

A Peek At My Photoblog#1

We took a weekend trip to Tadoba, Maharashtra to see tigers in the wild. That did *not* happen. Spiders however featured largely on the menu..

Take a peek here.

VaCaTiOn!

I thought I might blog each day of the vacation but that hasn’t happened. No biggies. It’s a vacation after all. Nearly free from rules except the 20-minute rule for getting into the pool post a hogging session.

The beach is clean, seem to have no riff-raff (none that I’ve spotted so far) and is pretty shallow so MLM and we have been able to venture pretty far in without worrying too much about turning turtle once a big wave hits.

The resort by itself is nothing over the top. It’s cozy, looks like a resort, feels like a resort, acts like a resort as it were but it’s not your run-of-the-mill filled to the brim during holiday season either.

We get enough pool time and don’t have to jostle for a good spot on the beach either.

One of the things we wanted for the vacation was an overall sense of being relaxed. We haven’t yet opted for too many activities (that’ll come with the second part of the holiday) and neither did we want to have our fill of things to feel that we’re getting our money’s worth. We wanted to relax, have some laughs, take a few pictures and have a good holiday.

Barring a smallish (well..not that small) with the luggage arriving once we landed in our destination it’s all been just dandy.

We’ve tasted the local cuisine, gone to a party, made half-assed sand castles, caught a wee mudskipper, chased crabs on the beach and seen a mangrove and it’s denizen amongst the whole of things we “haven’t” done.

MLM has been pretty social too….going up to people on the beach and in the pool, saying hello. Sometimes choosing people to interact with purely on the basis of their attire viz the boy who wore the alligator swim trunks or the lady who was just lazily floating in the pool till the little monkey swam up beside her and decided he wanted to do what “aunty” was doing 🙂

We’ve had to resort to the television only once or twice till now. The digital media is a companion during meals but we’re working on that.

All in all it’s a good way to round off a year that’s seen lots of hours in the office, lots of scoldings over handwriting and homework and plenty of time agonizing over the ironing, maids and choosing schools for the offspring.

So here we are….vegetating.

How sweet it is!

Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging

Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging

This says it all...happiness personified.

This says it all…happiness personified.

Movie Review- How To Train Your Dragon 2

I have been waiting to see this movie since i got to know it was in the pipeline. And it hasn’t been that long a wait. I had actually despaired thinking that if it gets released in the 3D format then I would need a babysitter (no luck getting one till date) or go see it on my own since MLM would certainly “have issues” with wearing the 3D glasses. This child of mine likes being unencumbered by all things even going to the extent of watching movies in the buff if he feels it’s too hot around him.

Anyhoo…review time. It was good. In parts. I love Toothless. His bond with Hiccup doesn’t seem contrived at all. I know they’re CGI movies and all that but a boy and his dragon…that’s like the original love story because before there was Old Yeller, there was…wait for the drumroll…THE DRAGON!!

Ok…back from the digression yet AGAIN. I like how they makers kept it realistic…if the story’s 5 years into the future it’s only natural that Hiccup’s face show some sign of maturity, his voice deepens more. But the GINORMOUS dragons they’ve pulled out of thin air and made them into not one but TWO alphas was a shade over the top.

I mean you had the mercenary, exploitative giant dragon from the first movie who used to make the other dragons steal food from the humans and also kill them but this time to kind of fall back on a similar statured dragon is  kind of ho-hum.

But there are moments in the movie which I felt could have been dealt with differently- Stoick for instance. I mean the man had just started to get interesting and off he gets a Viking funeral (hell the movie’s been out for over 2 weeks now, hardly a spoiler alert!). Hiccup’s mother appears from nowhere and is the original dragon whisperer and yay for her but again, a bit unbelievable.

The excitement seemed a bit off in the movie. The main enjoyment came from watching it with my family and seeing my kid’s reaction to one of his favorite characters flit about the screen.

But all in all…it was a good one-time watch. Drago the Bloodthirsty (or was it Bloody) wasn’t too scary embodiment-wise or even enactment-wise and he seemed a bit like a prop to me overall.

Be as that may…nothing takes away from seeing a happy child who claps on seeing dragons blowing fire and swooping midair and doing loop-da-loops and that’s why it will remain one of our good times together as a family. Although I can’t wait to see how large a creature they bring in for part 3 of the series.