Monkton Mondays!

It’s been a mixed weekend. Spent the first half of International Women’s Day in School at the PTM with Junior. All was well except that I was down with one of those inexplicable attacks of the common cold – you know the ones where you were perfectly fine the day before (or so you thought!) but woke up to a hundred sneezes? Yup! That’s the one! Well, Mom had to be on duty, cold or no cold, predictably; and so she was, again – predictably. Dad was…lets just not go there shall we? Wouldn’t want to begin the first post for the week with a rant against husbands. So passé n’est pas?!

Junior has found his footing in school, more or less. He’s happy to go, happy to learn and generally happy for the most part 🙂 Fingers crossed for Grade 1 in August! The second half of Saturday I spent ‘zonked out’ in bed. There is no better term to describe it, I promise! It was the sleep of the afflicted and it was restorative to say the least. Woke for an hour around dinnertime, when Hubby redeemed himself a tad by taking the Munchkin and himself out to dinner and bringing me back some Pepperoni Pizza. And before you jump down my throat saying Pizza is not appropriate nutrition for the afflicted; let me jump right down yours and say IT IS 😛 Proof lies in the fact that I felt much recovered on Sunday and was able to attend my first Sunday Soul Sante – a Bangalore institution of sorts I imagine, a fiesta of arts & crafts supplemented with the requisite food stalls, fashion show and live music 😀 The traffic was killing but luckily the venue was practically in our backyard, and I had fun wandering around with Junior, discovering little treasures, for an hour or so. That’s my limit in a crowd that size…longer is unthinkable!

I don’t know whether this is a part of growing older too (so much of what I feel and experience seems to be), but routine weekdays are now ‘easier’ than planning weekends 😛 This morning for example, I must confess to feeling a disproportionate elation on the arrival of Monday 😉 Perhaps the fact that I look forward to writing this post and a new theme in my Photgraphy Challenge has a little something to do with? Possibly…whatever the reasons, it feels good to be alone, in a silent house and able to write; able to think. Also I’m happy to report the number of sneezes is down to 10 🙂 and that I have finished my latest Julian Barnes book, Levels of Life, which has reinforced my love of his writing manyfold. He writes about grief (don’t they all?!), but he weaves magic with his insight into ‘grief’ and ‘the mourning process’ as he sees it, so that in the end it doesn’t leave me feeling as depressed as I expected it would. As always he tells not a conventional story – that is not his way – this reads more like a philosophical essay perhaps – I’m unsure of where and how to slot it, which for me is part of its allure.

Through ballooning and photography, and the journeys of three fascinating real-life characters (completely and utterly unknown to me), who are ‘put together’ and ‘torn apart again’, he explores the mysteries of the human heart and mind and weaves his way to the story of his own grief, his own journey, his own process. All this is in 118 pages! Along the way, he taught me a few new words too, ‘divagations’, ‘recidivism’, ‘solipsism’…words that I had to look up and that are now happily a part of my consciousness. Every thought he offers, every feeling he feels, felt real and resonated with forceful impact, no doubt because of the loss of my own brother 5 years ago. I identify on a gut level where he’s coming from. No explanations required. Needless to say I’m in complete agreement with one of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize, who called him ‘an unparalleled magus of the heart’. I don’t know of a better way to describe his writing 🙂

And so to Mr. Monkton – I must confess I’d almost forgotten him in my Barnes soliloquy 😛 but not quite! What with Women’s Day (although everyday is Women’s Day in my book!), and finishing this book which may be obviously about grief but is just as obviously about love, I think this thought of Mr. Monkton says it all. I’ve always thought that we women never do as good a job of loving ourselves and other women as much as we do with the men and children in our lives. And I firmly believe that’s it’s the only way forward! So here’s to self-love without which I believe there can be no form of lasting love at all.


Love Yourself People! You’re WORTH it! 

And then…Pass it On 🙂

Happy Monday!

Monkton Mondays!

I didn’t step out of the house this weekend. Really…not even to do grocery shopping! It’s just been that kind of weekend. For those of you who remember, I spent last week with Junior – exclusively, 24/7 – well it took it’s toll and I’m now down with a cold, which while giving me a sexy voice a la Depp & Downey (I can dream can’t I?), has also bestowed upon me the ignominy of a million sneezes. C’est la vie mes ami…for all I know it’s not a virus, but divine retribution for complaining about having Junior all to myself for a whole entire week! Junior on the other hand came through the ordeal swimmingly, no sneezes on the horizon as far as I can see! *Mommy Halo* 😉

Can I also just say that I’m very irritated with the Hubby, who after a whole week away in which he missed Junior’s Sports Day and first somersault, spent the entire weekend staring at the computer screen? Surely I’m allowed to feel RAGE?!!! Futile though it may be 😛 Oh don’t worry…I haven’t killed him or anything…not yet 😉 Can you tell I’m being overly explicit because I know he will read this although he won’t tell me he did? Yup…am sending him a message…a strong one…coz he’s off away again this time for the weekend as well! Now do you see? Well, just to be fair…he did play cricket with Junior as per their weekend schedule, which is why he is still alive 😛 *Wifey Horns* 😛

So anyway…as you can see, I’m in a strange kinda indeterminate mood…probably from a combination of irritation, incessant sneezing & ‘low oxygenation’, a phrase that Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars knows well! Finished the book on Sunday morning and I must say, was extremely impressed by how intuitive and funny John Green’s writing is 🙂 Although the story is tragic, it is rooted firmly in life and he tackles it with just the right balance of humour and poignancy while avoiding all manner of preachiness. That is tough to do. It reminded me of Juno – different story but similar irreverently sensitive treatment. For me it touched a very personal chord – I know my brother felt and thought a lot of the things the kids in the book do. Being terminal for whatever reason will do that to you I suppose. I can only imagine. This was difficult for me to read at times but also unputdownable! 

On a happier note – started my second 1000 piece puzzle last evening 🙂  This one is a glow-in-the-dark one and I’m quite excited to see whether it really does as it says! Felt good running the pieces through my fingers and separating out the edge-pieces! Got one side done too! Also watched quite a few Marple episodes online…she isn’t a great favourite of mine…but Christie is Christie and I had fun trying to remember what happened next. As Ms. Ariadne Oliver’s would say, I’m an ‘Elephant’ and I do remember! Don’t bother with that sentence if you’re not a Christie fan 😉

And so that brings me and you (Thankfully I’m sure!) to the reason why you’ve tolerated all the %&*#$ above 😉 Mr. Monkton! And because I am in the mood I am, this is what spoke to me this week…


I want to be a Dragon. I am that Hair! I love that Hair! I still want to be a dragon. Oh Whatever!

Go be Dragons People! Or be Hair! What do I care? 😉

Happy Monday 😀 

Monkton Mondays!

Another Monday and another chance to make a new start for those of you so inclined. I’m a little blue this morning since Hubby has left for a week of travel and will be back only on Friday night 😦 I confess there are advantages to his being away – there’s just less work around the house – Go figure 😉 But that doesn’t compensate for the fact that it’s just Junior and me for the next 5 days, 24/7! *Pulling out Hair* already 😛

So this week is going to be a test of my nerves and they don’t last long in the best of times! A forecast of turbulence for Junior et moi I’m afraid 😛 Still we’ll labor on as best we can and THANK GOD for School! The weekend was nice. Yesterday was our Republic Day and they had the parade on TV. The usual display of dapper men in uniform and their formidable looking weapons – impressive and yet not as comforting, when I think that most of the problems that plague my country are internal and men with guns can do NOTHING to solve those :/ But this post isn’t about that. 

We took Junior to school yesterday to see the Vintage cars that were to be displayed there on the occasion. I confess I was eager to go coz I didn’t want to miss the photo-op! The cars were lovely – looking all distinguished and sparkling in the sunlight. I got a few pictures but not great ones because the light was just all wrong and there were swarms of teachers and students everywhere. Still we got to see a stunning blue Daimler that once belonged to Motilal Nehru (father of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru), a bottle green Merc that had me drooling, a sporty Honda coupe, and a 1928 Baby Austin in a gorgeous cherry red! Will post pictures in my next post.

The cars worked up our appetite of course and we headed to The Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. This was the first time we visited and we knew instantly it would become a favourite – a regular haunt 🙂 First – it has a play area for children…YES! Second – it has Happy Hours on Sundays which means you order a drink and get one free! Third – their Mojitos make me very very happy 😉 Fourth – the ambience is wonderfully relaxed and the staff all speak Konkani 🙂 Fifth – the food is pretty darn good 🙂 Such a find this – especially because for once the boys (who LOVE their fish), and me (not so much), can still all have a fantastic time in one place! Their authentic goan sausage pulao means I need never go hungry 😛

And so back to the Monday and to Mr. Monkton. This week I’ve chosen an illustration as a message to myself. Maybe even a warning! Since I anticipate an emotionally overwhelming week, it seemed only fair! Quiet reflection may have it’s advantages but on occasion a good shouting match to clear the air is very therapeutic 😉 What say Mr. Monkton? 😛

edward monkton

I apologise for the small size of this week’s image. Couldn’t find a larger one online :/

Happy Monday People 🙂

Weekend @ Patnem

This last weekend was spent with the Ardee gang at Patnem beach in Canacona, on the southern border of Goa. It was a weekend of fun, frolic and endless mojitos…well, it was for me 😉 We were nine families from Ishaan’s class in school and we took over the Cuba Patnem Resort where we were staying, almost entirely for the duration! For my part, this was a much needed break away from home, the computer and books – yes you heard me right – books 😛 My Booker project has been keeping me decidedly busy and the getaway offered timely relief. I took my helper Pushpa along, to give her a holiday and of course to handle Ishaan, which she did with much aplomb! She’s really good with children and they can tell. They flocked to her like ants to honey!

A view of Cuba Patnem Resort on Patnem Beach...

The Patnem beach, is in the manner of most South Goa beaches, much better preserved than those in the north. The sand quality is better and the number of tourists is still minimal, a rare sight in Goa these days. Consequently the beach is cleaner and more inviting, although there were an inordinate number of stray dogs around – not all of them friendly 😦 The journey from Panjim to Patnem took about 2 hours, but after we had got rid of the heavy traffic at Margao, the ride was scenic and enjoyable. The Cuba Patnem Resort where we stayed is a small resort with 15 cottages (both AC and non-AC) located smack bang on Patnem beach. They are rather dear to look at the cottages, painted in different colors with hammocks on every patio 🙂 Mine was sunshine yellow & overlooked the Arabian Sea, which occasionally obliged with a glimpse of blue waters.

My cottage by the Sea!

The Sea can be deceptively calm here, so swimmers beware! We spent the evening of our arrival frolicking in the waters and discovered the strength of the current, quite unexpectedly, landing often on our tushies 😛 Not very pleasant I can tell you 😉 The beach is lined with shacks and resorts fronted by the ubiquitous beach umbrellas. Home is one such I strongly recommend for its great food and ambience. They have an excellent vegetarian menu (their veg panini and pastas were a huge hit with our gang) and surprisingly serve no fish!! Sacrilege for a beach shack in Goa methinks 😛 They do however serve up tender coconut water from freshly plucked fruit on their property 🙂 I also recommend Dropadi (yes, that’s how it’s spelled!) at Palolem beach. The only problem here is the extensive menu which can make choices difficult. We had some honey shrimp & fresh strawberry daiquiris here that were spot on 🙂

What's a Beach without Umbrellas?!

There isn’t much to do in Patnem itself which didn’t bother us coz we went there to do exactly that – Nothing! Palolem beach which is a few minutes drive away, is much more developed with the mandatory touristy market, completely uninteresting to us locals 😛 I last visited Palolem in 1991 during my internship, when it was undiscovered and virgin and we felt like we had truly arrived in Paradise 🙂 Now it’s a sad shadow of its former glory, such are the ravages of time 😦 C’est la vie! Our first night at the resort we had a power cut – this is Goa after all – so we took the opportunity to lounge on the terraced roof of my cottage, sprawled on dew-laden mattresses and bean bags, playing cards and placing bets! Although the heat was pretty unbearable at first, a cool sea-breeze soon fanned our sweaty bodies and when the lights came back on two hours later, we were so engrossed in our game that we just stayed up playing until the wee hours of the morning! I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until 4 am – stayed up having fun I mean 😉

Yoga on the Beach! One way to Nirvana I suppose, although Mojitos work for me 😉

Day two was more relaxed and we just lounged around at the resort and Home next door. On the whole – a wonderful time was had by all – good food, drink, and company. The children were exceptionally well behaved (for a bunch of hyperactive 4-yr-olds ;-)) and we not only survived but emerged refreshed 🙂

Bottle on the Beach 😦

Can’t wait now for May, when I’m planning a trip to the Hills up north with friends! This is fast turning into an addiction!

The Crazy Week That Was…

Do you know how sometimes, you blink, and a whole week has just gone by? It’s Monday again and you’re thinking…What?? Where did the week go? (That’s if you’re lucky! If you’re not, it could be a year or worse still your Life!). That’s what I’m feeling this Monday morning…exhausted and drained from a whirlwind V-day week. Luckily most of it was good, except for a close shave with Ishaan, which was rather scary. Haven’t had time to think much less write, and am far behind on reading my Blogs, so please forgive me friends! Now that Ishaan is back to school, hopefully, things will settle back down into a routine.

Monday (Valentine’s Day), was relatively quiet, and a staid start to a week without Hubby. In retrospect, it was lovely coz I had no idea of the roller coaster that lay ahead! It was also a dear friend’s Birthday and we made plans to have dinner on Tuesday with another friend, which was just as well coz for unfathomable reasons (mostly lethargy which is truly inexcusable :P), we haven’t met in the two years since I’ve moved back to Goa! And so that’s what we did! On Tuesday we met, first at her place for a long session of catching up and then had a great dinner at the Pan Asian Bowl, a restaurant with a great ambience & one of my favorite places for Southeast Asian cuisine in Goa that also makes a decent Mojito 🙂 Happiness all around 🙂 Did I mention my friend B is a whiz at crochet? She makes the hook fly, and weaves runners, tablecloths and doilies faster than you can say, ‘Fabulous!’ She’s also extremely generous and thinks nothing of gifting her friends with unique pieces over the years 🙂 She gave me two wonderful doilies on Tuesday! The best return gifts ever! I know…I have the BEST friends 🙂 Not to forget, she’s also works full-time as a Clinical Pathologist while raising a pre-teen daughter!

Examples of my friend's handiwork!

Wednesday, Ishaan had a holiday for Id. When we were young, I remember the Id holidays we got…we were always unsure of the exact day & date, because of the unpredictable nature of the moon! It added to the excitement and mystery 🙂 Ishaan was of course oblivious to any sense of excitement (he’s just too young!), and wanted to know why he wasn’t going to school (Now you believe me! He really is very young ;-))! I had to do something to keep him occupied and out of everyone’s hair in the morning, so we took a trip to the church atop Aguada hill in the tiny village of Sinquerim in North Goa, a 20-minute drive from where I live, which houses the famous Jail and Lighthouse. There are fabulous views of the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea from the hilltop, which also houses the brick-red ruins of the Aguada Fort (Now a protected Heritage Site), built in the 17th century by the Portuguese. Unfortunately, the road up was congested with traffic – busloads of tourists who seemed to think their money bought them the right to saunter down the middle of the road without a care in the world! The price we pay for living in a ‘Tourist Paradise!’ 😦

View from the Gazebo on Aguada Hill.

After making our way to the top at snail’s pace, I decided to avoid the crowds at the Lighthouse and headed instead to the much quieter, indeed almost deserted Church. Most Churches in Goa are whitewashed and this one was no different. The grounds around were large but not maintained and the whole place had a distinctive ‘commune with Nature’ kind of feeling 🙂 There’s a small gazebo which offers a view of the Sea and the Jail located at the foot of the hill. I thought of the prisoners within its stony red walls…all that water and never a glimpse! Some punishment that! Ishaan was thrilled 🙂 He ran around and posed for pictures quite happily! We stood and stared at the Sea and then went off to explore the Church.

The Church

It was locked, but we ran into a few people. A father with his brood (all young), who were obviously chilling out like us on a school holiday, and a pair of sisters who were down from the UK & the US to collect the remains of their mother and transfer them to a family crypt. That explains why there were human bones and a skull in the garden, at one end of the passage!! The sisters seemed concerned that the children would be upset and tried to shield them, but in typical child-like fashion, they were totally unconcerned and only mildly curious! As for me, it was a throwback to my first year in Medical school when I first met a dead body, inhaled the overpowering odor of formalin and stashed a bagful of human bones in my locker 😉 All in a day’s work! Wonder where that bag is now?!

After a great morning, we had an equally happy evening. Wedding season continues in Goa and my aunts and uncle, who were down here for one in their family, came visiting. We had a wonderful time, chatting up and playing cricket with Ishaan! So Wednesday night, I was thrilled to have reached mid-week without incident and very happy. I should have known better!

Thursday morning started routinely enough, until a sudden wail punctured the air. I ran into the living room and Ishaan was in Pushpa’s arms howling his head off, bleeding copiously from his nose. He had managed to hit his face against the edge of our rocking chair and had a nasty bruise under his left eye, a cut upper lip and nostril! It’s a good thing I’m not squeamish at all – it wasn’t a pretty sight. He wouldn’t allow us to hold ice to the bleed for a while until he calmed down a bit (He was oh so brave!), and when he finally did, I was happy to see that nothing was broken and his eye was unhurt. After a while, when the bleeding had stopped and the hysterical household (read Granny and Pushpa), had calmed down, I took him to my friend and his pediatrician, so she could have a look, coz he still wouldn’t let me clean the wound. So I held him down while she cleaned the wound with Savlon and used a torch to examine the interior of his nose. No serious damage done and an antibiotic ointment was all that was needed, thank goodness. He promptly spat out his pain medication, but since he didn’t seem to be in any serious pain, I let it be. He was lucky to escape without a serious eye injury! Back home, he seemed fine except that he wouldn’t allow anyone near his nose.

The Buffet @ Fernando's

That same evening however, I took him to a dinner party in a wonderful restaurant in Raia (near Margao), called Fernando’s Nostalgia. I thought it would help us all get over the crazy morning. The setting was rather wonderful, with the interiors done up in the old Portuguese fashion, with terracotta figurines, antique furniture, old lamps and live music! There was a mini trampoline and a play area for the kids to play in where my wounded soldier played cricket to his heart’s content! I learnt that the owner Chef Fernando passed away 4 years ago, and that his wife was now in charge. Live music was provided by a singer on keyboards, who delighted us all with local Konkani favorites & the golden oldies…and I am talking serious oldies here…Cliff Richards & Engelbert Humperdinck, The Carpenters…you get the picture. He had a fabulous voice and took requests, which made for an entertaining evening! I danced to the peppy Konkani numbers with my son in my arms and I can’t wait for the day when he’s old enough to lead me on to the dance floor 🙂 He’s like me…loves music, loves to dance 🙂 An enjoyable evening, that really helped take the edge off Ishaan’s mishap.

Friday and Saturday were spent in the company of more visiting family & running errands with Ishaan in tow (NOT something I would have chosen to do!), and on Sunday morning, it was finally time to fetch Hubby home from the train station! Thankfully, the train arrived on time and then excitement took over as Ishaan spotted Hubby across the platform 🙂 There’s something so joyous about kids greeting their parents after a long separation! All these years while Hubby’s been jet setting all around the world, I’ve watched him come and go in mundane fashion. After a while, it’s just another part of the routine, if you get my meaning…but with kids, it’s very different. Their joy is a palpable thing – it’s almost a physical presence (the way they squirm and twist and want to leap into your arms :)), unabashedly enthusiastic and it’s infectious! A happy combination! After a boisterous reunion and the once over by Hubby, father and son were inseparable on the ride home.

I would have loved a quiet Sunday at home, but we had a ‘thread ceremony’ to attend and so after a quick shower, we were off to Margao again. Luckily, ‘thread ceremonies’, are not like weddings, and we were able to come home in time for a Sunday siesta…a must for any self-respecting Goan (indeed for any self-respecting human in my book!). And so that’s a wrap of ‘A week in the Life of…’ This week will be busy with work – I’m editing the Medical Bulletin for our State Chapter of the Indian Association of Pediatrics and that involves co-coordinating with plenty of busy doctors (always a nightmare, given that most of them don’t even check their e-mails, let alone respond on time!!). I have no doubt there will be a lot of frantic phone calls and last-minute panicked scrambling involved! But I have my own guardian angel S, (who dragged me into the project in the first place!), who enjoys this sort of thing and has mean convincing skills. I’m relying on her to see me through! Well, at least Ishaan will be back in school…Oooh! Fingers & toes, firmly crossed!

Have a great week ahead People 🙂

Funk-buster 2!!

Have had a dreamy Sunday morning…whoever invented Sunday Brunch gets my vote, my undying devotion…you know what I’m saying 🙂

This morning my cousins and I made our way to the Alila Diwa Resort in South Goa, for Sunday brunch, which came recommended by K’s friend. He wanted us to try it instead of our standard Marriott brunch, which frankly, I’m pretty much tired of. We were happy to oblige. I researched the Resort online and the pictures were stunning! They described it as a boutique hotel, with heritage architecture, nestled in the middle of paddy fields! This last is pretty unusual for resorts in Goa, which are eager to build on the beach itself, flaunting every building regulation in the book. Many do 😦

We left Ishaan at home, coz I needed a relaxed adult outing. It took us less than an hour to get there and I knew as soon we arrived that this was my kind of place! The Resort was styled after a large rambling traditional Goan home, with high ceilings, simple white-washed walls, a red-tiled roof, and several courtyards. The passages between sections were tiled with cool sandstone and dotted with pillars & archways of traditional Goan laterite stone, which shone ochre-red against the white walls. No gaudy decor here, just a harmonious synchrony with Nature, enhanced by green gardens and the judicious use of water features, including an infinity pool, which overlooked the lush green paddy fields surrounding the hotel.

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The brunch included use of the pool and snacks were served poolside. We made our way to it past a droll grey-marble statue of my favorite deity, Lord Ganesha, with a single blood-red hibiscus tucked at his feet. The poolside was full of ‘firangs’ (as we like to call them in local lingo), busy with the business of acquiring that perfect tan! We of course chose a spot in the shade and got down to the serious business of drinking beer 🙂 Not to forget eating the snacks that were really very good. Worthy of special mention – the moist, luscious ‘sheekh kebabs’ & the crisply scrumptious ‘tandoori baby potatoes’. I wandered around taking pictures, although I regret not taking any of the food! Was too busy eating to click 😛

After an hour, we moved to the restaurant area for the brunch buffet. It was indeed a great spread – a blend of Indian & Continental – everything from cold cuts to Sufi lamb curry and a great dessert selection. However, although I liked what I ate, I must confess that for the most part, the desserts looked better than they tasted! Let me take the precaution of stating here that I am NOT a dessert person. I do not like chocolate unless it’s very dark and very bitter and cakes and their ilk hold no attraction for me. I have noticed however that most stuff that looks exotic rarely tastes good or maybe that’s just me and my simple non-gourmet tastes! There was a chocolate fruit tart though that looked and tasted delish! K even stuffed two whole ones into his mouth, just to show me he could! I took a picture to prove he did too 😉

A word about the loos…the quality of which definitely catapults a resort from good to excellent in my book! These were excellent. Simple, clean, with actual hand towels (no paper rolls or wall mounted noisy dryers here!) and a pleasant attendant who flashed me a bright smile 🙂 And then it was time to leave, having gorged ourselves, we were all ready for a long Sunday siesta…just the tiny matter of settling the cheque and we would be on our way. K called for the cheque and this is where the entire experience transformed from a great brunch to a fabulous once in a lifetime experience – we discovered that K’s friend had arranged for the entire meal for all of us, on the house!! I nearly fell off my chair in excitement (yes well, I’m only human!), and it took us all a while to wrap our brains around this happy surprise 🙂 K even tried to get in touch with his friend and confirm, but couldn’t get through. However the restaurant manager confirmed it for us and we walked out very, very happy and thankful 😀

So you see…with a morning like that…Funk has nothing on me! Back home, Ishaan was napping and so did we. In the evening we lit some of the remaining firecrackers from Diwali on Ishaan’s request 🙂

All in all, an excellent weekend! Hope you had one too 🙂

And if you’re ever in my neck of the woods, be sure to visit Alila Diwa. You won’t be disappointed!

p.s. On our way back we had to wait at a railway crossing. The goods train that chugged by was pretty long…G counted 60 carriages!! I was pretty impressed with K’s knowledge of goods’ trains. He told us there would be a minimum of 54 carriages or a maximum of 58 – 60! He’s in the mining business, where one gets to know these interesting tidbits of information. Each carriage can take up to 21 tons in weight…and most engines can haul up to 3800 tons!! That’s some weighty stuff, that!!

A Party, a Phone-call & a Reunion…of sorts

Have been busy as a bee this weekend! I’m still getting used to the feeling. Before Ishaan, both Hubby and I preferred quiet, lazy weekends with only each other for company. We are not party animals and Hubby especially needed the time to unwind from a hectic corporate schedule (that’s if he was in town at all!). With Ishaan, we feel the need to make an effort to do stuff with him…take him out, to the beach, to the park, for a drive…you get the picture.

As you know, spent Saturday morning with a peacock on Vagator. Spent the evening with (I wish I could say peacocks of the human kind here! But…they were all good people :P), humans, partying. It was a seriously rollicking party…loud, noisy and fun-filled! Left Ishaan @ home with Mom and proceeded to enjoy 4 guilt-free hours, of adult conversation and banter with gay abandon 🙂 (Don’t scoff people and NEVER underestimate the therapeutic value of adult banter. I won’t!). No watching my language, no worrying about being a role-model and setting a good example and (here’s my favorite), guzzling down obscene amounts of Thums Up, without having to hide from Ishaan’s hawk-eyes 😉 Bliss 🙂 I must mention the ‘egg pakodas’…they were a marvel those pakodas! Piping hot, fried to a crispy, crunchy golden-yellow batter on the outside, enclosing a succulent bite of boiled egg within! Heaven! Was a glutton to add to my other sins 😉

The perfect ingredients for a gluttonous evening...Egg pakodas...
...and Thums Up!

Then there were the games! It’s been a while since I played games, other than cricket with Ishaan! My cousin K, our host, is quite the whiz, especially at Bollywood-based games and these were no different. Interesting and well thought-out. We were 5 teams and had to figure out in turn, the lead pair of a movie from its title (harder than you think!); the debut film of a given actor (ditto); and actors on whom a particular song had been picturized (toughest one this, especially since you only heard a garbled bit of the song for 20 sec!). Amidst much shouting and screaming and cries of “No fair!”, our team won all 3 games in spectacular fashion, thanks to P, who apart from being a Mills & Boon addict, also has a PhD in Bollywood Science 😉 Wicked skills P!! I haven’t enjoyed myself so much in a long time 🙂

Also realized that I’m quite the local celebrity (well in my limited friend-circle) as a blog-writer! That fact can cheer me up on my darkest days, and this one was far from it. I do hope I was suitably modest and humble, but I can tell you right now, I was bursting with pride and joy 🙂 A friend, I shall call S was especially kind 🙂 She called herself a ‘Fan’ and said there should have been a button that says as much, so she could click it on my posts!! Aaaaaaaaaw S…you’re very sweet and I’m very flattered and now it’s on ‘record’ so you can’t retract it later 😉 LOL…seriously though, I’m very grateful that you take time out to read my scribbles 🙂 However, to be fair, I must add that when I let S know that the party and its people would probably find themselves in my next post, her exuberance did taper a little! “You’re dangerous!”, she said, “Very dangerous!”, she announced to all those listening, before erupting into a bout of uncontrollable giggles 🙂 S & the afore-mentioned P are related (who isn’t in Goa?!), and yet while P has the Bollywood PhD, S is…well lets just keep it simple and say, she’s  Bollywood-challenged 😉 And yet thanks to her knack for making the right sort of friends, she had the largest pile of chocolates (that’s what we won for all our troubles!), at the end of the games session, without winning a single one! But that’s S…smart, witty, tongue-firmly-in-cheek! Here’s to you S…enjoyed your company & for what’s it worth, am a ‘Fan’ too – yours 😉

At 9.30, I made the mandatory call (good mother that I am), to check on the doings of my little devil. That led to the most amusing if rather weird phone conversation I have ever had! Mom picked up the phone and informed me that they were all still at the dinner table, and that Ishaan in his high-chair was in one of his crazy moods or should I say sugar-highs?! He had them enthralled with crazy talk and faces and they were all in splits! I must admit at that moment any teenie-weenie vestiges of guilt I may have felt for leaving him behind, magically evaporated! He was having a good time and so was I, and what could be better? 😀 Ishaan then came on (phone conversations are his new area of interest these days), and burst into an amusing incoherent monologue, punctuated occasionally with meaningful phrases like ‘Beggin yo! Sandwich khali. Nani asa.” (Come quickly! Ate a sandwich. Grandma’s here.). He went on in this vein for a good 15 -20 minutes, while I asked him questions in the hopes of improving his coherence, trying hard to control my laughter that threatened to ruin everything! Finally, after a particularly long diatribe, Mom managed to get the phone back and rather reluctantly, with Ishaan still yelling at the top of his voice in the background, we hung up. It really was too funny! We finally got home after midnight (we gave the karaoke session a miss :(), to be told that Ishaan has just fallen asleep not  10 minutes ago!! Looking down at his peaceful, sleeping face, I’m seized by a sudden urge to wake him up, tickle him and have a chance to say Good-night…but I resist (see, I am truly a good Mom!). It’s been a wonderful evening 🙂

Sunday morning and Hubby & Ishaan sleep in until 10 am! I should be so lucky! Still, I wrestle out of the bed by 8.30 and wandering downstairs decide to clean up the living room, which these days looks like a permanent war-zone! I’m expecting a friend in the evening and if I don’t get to it, she and her kids will have to squat on the floor like refugees 😛 There’s something you should know about me…I’m the world’s laziest person except when I’m possessed by a fiendish form of the cleaning-fairy. Then I can be clinically brutal. I spent the morning happily banishing Ishaan’s  innumerable toys to obscure corners, rearranging and dusting furniture, and sprucing up cushions. When I was done, the room was once again fit for human habitation. The evening was an extremely pleasant and memorable one 🙂 M arrived with her Mom and twins and we talked ourselves hoarse! A little background…M is related to me (Didn’t I tell you before that’s how it is in Goa!), and has visited our home, several times as a young girl. She’s my brother’s age though and I must confess that until she found and wrote me on Fb, I had no clue she even existed! She however had wonderful memories of time spent with my brother at home, on the beach, eating ice-cream and the like, which she was happy to share and we were more than happy to relive 🙂 The twins are 3 and a 1/2, adorable and Ishaan enjoyed their company. M is just as I thought she would be! You know how disappointing it is when you think you know someone and are then cruelly disappointed on the actual meeting? I’m happy to report, M met and exceeded every one of my expectations such as they were! We hit it off splendidly as I had known we would and my only wish was for more time together, a wish I hoped M shares 🙂 She did as I got to know from her very sweet message later that night 🙂 I do hope we get to catch up again, just the two of us over lunch. As always with women, there’s so much more to talk about 😉

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend…one that I’ll remember for a long time to come.

And now, Happy Monday Folks 🙂