Read : Girls Must Have Fun!
Early this month I took a trip to Goa with my bestie. She has a little Enid Blytonish pad, beautifully furnished with immaculate whites, where we spent three dreamy days. It was my first girlie trip. Having heard so much about all the fun girls have when they go on the much talked about “girlie trips”, this was a much-anticipated one. We had planned to do this for a while, but you know sometimes plans have a way of crashing mid-flight, or the flight never takes off. But this time we resolved to not to dilly-dally any further and take the plunge.
The trip turned out to be more fascinating than we had anticipated. I went a day earlier and soaked in some solo, serene time. You can read about it here-Susegard and Solo. My girl power joined me the next day evening and thereafter we went around painting the town red, blue, green, orange and all the other beautiful colours that you could think of.
We made a bunch of Goan friends who ensured we had a great time. We were touched by the hospitality and joie de vivre Through them we discovered Cantara, a little diner and night club tucked in Salaigao near Calangute. The Sangrai there was the best I’ve ever. We got so busy chatting, socialising and listening to the melodious live band play; we missed out on trying the food which looked delectable to say the least. Though we did sample a few bites off others plates. And yes, it was all sheer magic on a plate. The owners Mervin and Joanna were the sweetest hosts we had met. Mervin is Goan and Joanna is a Brit. They had trotted around the globe, before they choose to settle in Goa and set up this quaint little diner.
On one of our drives I managed to find my favourite ripe jack fruits by the roadside, being sold by this charming local woman. I have always loved biting into these slippery, fragrant, yellow fruits, their flavours mingling with my taste buds and transporting me to fruit heaven. Since the ripe fruit is surprisingly not available in North India, they were like treasure for me. A small plastic bag, full of them cost us a mere Rs. 50. My favourite figs were out of season, so no luck with those. But I tried the local Alphonso or Hapus, which was tad sour, honestly.
We wanted to sack out at a quieter beach minus the touristy humdrum, so we drove all the way to South Goa to Zeebop by Majorda beach. The drive was long and tiring, and our enthusiasm had started to wane but a nice dip in sea with a bare and mostly private beach awakened our senses. We were further revved up by what followed- a lunch that included a large helping of tandoori Red Snapper, fish curry and Naturals Coconut ice-cream.
The two of us would wake up each morning, after having slept just a few winks and start our mornings with a big mug of tea made on the induction. We would catch up on our long-lost times together. After a rejuvenating shower we would have a breakfast of boiled eggs and toast, sitting by kitchen counter, top on these lovely, Ikea high chairs; before heading out for the days adventure. A day before we left we had breakfast at Vivanta-Fort Aquada and then lounged around at the SFX bar which has the most spectacular view of the azure sea. We sat there enjoying our coffee, feeling liberated of all our worries as we watched the parasailers plunging near the idyllic boats that floated in the morning sea.
We were invited for Urak tasting. For the uninitiated, Urak is the first flush of the local drink Feni, a distill of the cashew fruit or coconut fruit, before it is fermented to the Feni. Our gracious host, Marios, the owner of Cavala, had this party at his lovely, little boutique resort, Banana Republic on Baga. It was too tempting an offer to decline, so we actually postponed our tickets and stayed back another day to experience this out of the ordinary experience called URak tasting . Marios had invited all his Goan circle of friends, and it was a privilege to me among them. There were “Uncles” attired in their pyjamas and flip-flops and “Aunties” in there palazzos and Tees. We just kept hoping we weren’t too over dressed, but then Delhi people can always get away with over dressing you see.
We, made ourselves comfortable on the bar stools and enjoyed the cloudy beverage. Alex, the deft and completely pro, Russian bartender was creating some magic with Urak Mojitos, Urak Bloody Mary’s and Urak Spritzers. I went for an Urak Spritzer which was essentially Urak topped with Limca, Soda and some lime. It had a pungent aroma, yet a lemony zing. I believe the sweetness of Limca mingles with the cloudy, somewhat acidic Urak to make it a refreshing summer time drink. We were treated with such royalty and served lip smacking Crab papad rolls, Pork Sorpotel, Chicken Xacuti, and Saans, the local Goan bread.
It was a memorable evening yes, and we had an early morning flight to catch. My friend had to head straight to work and I had some writing commitments to wrap up after reaching home. Despite sleeping through the flight we barely managed to keep our eyes most parts of the day. I don’t know how my friend survived the entire day at work, and post that she had to entertain people at home. She’s a super woman you see.
We still continue to reel under the influence of Urak, the balmy Goan air, the salty Arabian Sea, the King fish curry, the warm and wonderful bunch of friends we made and the uninterrupted fun we had. We had imagined the trip would be much quieter but than more often than not what you would have imagined rarely turns out to be the reality.
Girls must have fun and loads of it at that! So even if you are a mother with kids, or a working woman with a full time job, take out some days off from the rigours of your daily life to go unwind with your friends or alone if you please. I promise you the memories that you would have created and the joyful abandon with which you would have spent those few days, will ensure you come back home recharged and ready to take on the world. I believe life passes by in a jiffy and it is meant to be lived and celebrated to the hilt.
Girls, go have some fun!