Wednesday, July 31

Burrday in Joaaaaa

Hola amigos!

Naah, aint gonna display my Spanish proficiency (or lack of it) in this post.

This is gonna be about my latest visit to Goa since my darling hubby wanted me to have a relaxed and happy birthday.

(Thank you, to those of you who are wishing me Belated Happy Birthday in your hearts. To the rest, please read on… and learn some etiquette… humph!!)

I’d looked up Casa Vagator a long time ago while daydreaming about a Goan vacation. As soon as Akhilesh got wind of this fact, he went ahead and booked us there for a 3 night birthday-cum-honeymoon. Goa Express was the way we’d reach Vasco and a Neeta Volvo would bring us back. Plans set, and we were all ready to go!

Now I know that monsoons are not the best time to visit Goa, but this wasn’t our maiden trip to the domestic holiday paradise and we did not have plans to go gallivanting and sightseeing across the state. That the rains were lashing the place did not deter us from going, and we set off on a Sunday afternoon post a wonderful lunch at Shahji Paratha House. What phenomenal parathas that place sells! And they sell like hot cakes… (better than that actually)! And at very economical rates.

(Don’t forget to try the Patiala Lassi there, it’s mindblasting – both the tall glass as well as the drink! And if you’re looking for some recommendations, you could opt for any variety of Paneer paratha or maybe the Amritsari Naan thali.)

We were celebrating my promotion from a Lead Trainer to Assistant Manager at IBM. Just in case I forgot to tell ya :-) Got married my last birthday, and got promoted this time round. Lucky birthday phase, methinks!

Our 12780 Goa express was a little messy since it was arriving from Delhi. But it suited us perfectly as we wanted to meet a family friend in Vasco Da Gama. Trains are good fun when you don’t have cranky and noisy kids in your bogie, worse in your own compartment. Unfortunately, I and husbandji had to endure extremely rowdy Mallu kids on the way.

Don’t misunderstand me – I am not racist and all that crap. Yelling children are annoying anyway, but when they keep talking nonstop and that too with an irritating accent and shrieky pitch, it’s something that the most patient of us cannot put up with… And Akhilesh and I being trainers with (obviously) excellent communication skills, it was nothing less than torture for us.

Imagine my chagrin and amusement when the kid kept saying stuff like, “Aapke paas aati heeee?” and then clarifying that “aati” was elephant. Then she asked a fellow passenger what his brother’s name was to which he responded that he had no brother. The kid, not to be outdone, asks, “Father heeee?”

Some more maha entertaining lines… “Aapka khlaaaaaas kaunsi he?” and “Eeeeske memmi ke name he Aaaaaalis”.

Akhi was initially trying to pacify me coz I was on my way to getting mentally unstable thanks to this constant badgering. Kind, thoughtful, adorable chap my guy is….

But when the girl said ”Angil” to her ”uncle”, it was the last straw for my tolerant lover. My anger vanished when I saw his reaction each time she screamed ”angil angil”. She, more than happy to oblige, must have said the word at least 150 times in 5 minutes, if not more. And Akhilesh was seething, almost blowing fire from his nostrils. LOLzzz… The simple joys of life ;-)

The journey was scenic and beautiful. There was a slight drizzle and the greenery was calming. Akhilesh slept on top of me (on the upper berth, you pervs) while I made myself cozy on the lower side berth. Until we reached Vasco, our destination and the last point of the train at 8 am, after a delay of an hour. After breakfasting with our family friends, we were driven down to Vagator. The roads of Goa are small, but the traffic sense is admirable. We took about an hour to reach Casa Vagator, situated next to Alcove and Ozran in Bardez.

It's a lovely place, almost private as there were no other guests there for the first 2 days. We had the pool, beach and restaurant all to ourselves. The food was excellent and the service gave us nothing to complain about. The room was large and lavish with a wonderful personal sit-out area. Most of all, I loved the pleasant helpfulness of the receptionist Jyoti – she deserves a mention for being such a terrific hostess! Full marks to her, and half as many to her team who could not help us with a needle and thread but gave us multiple towels on request.

Pasta, prawns, sizzler and desserts – we had our fill of the tasty foods, both at the hotel as well as the other hangouts nearby. I have successfully converted my vegetarian husband to a maansahaari – he digs chicken but hates seafood.

The rains were relentless on day 2 and 3 but we still rode to Baga and Calangute and refreshed memories from our last visit there in Feb 2011. We shopped a bit and we went for a trek to the Chapora fort. Beachwalks were obvious, but we were prohibited to enter the water due to the dangerous tides. Watching the waves was treat enough, and we did not miss the shacks too much as we preferred being indoors after sunset.

You will be stunned to hear that I gave up alcohol for one full year on my birthday eve! Yup siree, I did… Just a passing thought, that I promised to make permanent for 365 days. Sober is the way to go, fellas! My daaru buddies – let’s catch up next year ;-)

After a gorgeous birthday vacation, we finally bid adieu to Goa and boarded our bus back at Mapusa. The bus station leaves a bad taste in the mouth, what with the lack of place to sit or leave your luggage and the filth all around. But then, it’s a small price to pay. The next time me and hubs go, we’ve decided to take our own car and not go during the rainy season!

And here we are, back again to aamche Pune. Wishes for my birthday and promotion kept pouring in all through our trip, and it was touching and flattering to see so much love and affection from people known and unexpected.

Coming back was tinged with joy, anticipation, hesitation as well as a little sorrow coz the holiday was done and over. The next chhutti is far across the horizon. (Else Akhilesh Singh will have another fit, hehehe.)

Had to resume work on the weekend itself - A hundred mails to be read and worked upon… BAU!! But I did manage to watch Bhag Milkha Bhag - amazing movie and great acting. Worth a dekko! Also have downloaded Lootera and D Day, and looking forward to Wolverine, Ship of Theseus and Pacific Rim.

Let me not forget to mention - We had an altercation with Reliance Communications over internet issues. I stopped using my Netconnect due to poor connectivity and service but they gave us a hefty bill that I logically refused to pay. So, we met the reliance guys in court. We did not pass up on the fact that Akhilesh uses their broadband connection and his service was suspended due to some fibre cut for more than 20 days. We somehow managed to seal the deal for half the quoted amount, and then we celebrated with a bucket of caramel popcorn from Inox! Customer service is a nightmare in India... And Reliance is the guru of all tortures!

That’s it for now!! Busy times on – lotsa plans and lotsa dreams.
Hope to return with more good news soon….

Until then,

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