Ramblings on a Sunday afternoon

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Hiya… there is so much to talk about and so little time. Instead of being asleep, I am relaxing with a book and now the blog… Here goes:

  • I gained some weight in Goa (obviously)… too much food and rest and little exercise. So I went for a walk yesterday morning. The plan was to walk for 60 mins but I got 15 mins late. Now, how hard can 45 mins of walk be? Quite hard, actually. After 15 mins I got bored even though the weather was good and I had my ipod along. Thankfully, each round around my complex takes 15 mins so it was a matter of 3 rounds which I pushed myself to complete. I wanted to sleep on my return. Weird… I was supposed to feel refreshed but I was just tired and sleepy. There was no hope for that since it was time for work. All day my legs were aching and I had the Jazz classes today. Now, I am in bed trying to sleep off the pain. But, I plan to go for a walk everyday. I don’t have enough time to work out in the gym… I have been trying but cannot fit it into my schedule. Lets see how the walking works out.
  • Last night KC and I went for dinner to Big Chill in Saket. As I was leaving the Zara store after checking out the new collection (more on that later), the sales guy at Seacret caught me. I tried to avoid him since the products are expensive and I will never be able to afford them… ever. A year back I had been willingly led into the kiosk by a sales girl who showed me this amazing buffer. It was the best thing I have ever soon and I reached into my wallet to buy it. Price ??? Rs 3500… for a buffer!!! I smiled and fled. Yesterday, the guy showed me an amazing eye cream. Price??? Rs 7000… I laughed and told him I was not going to spend so much money on a cream. He persisted… showed me a scrub, night cream etc. And then offered 1 product free with the eye cream. Avoiding these guys is so difficult. I wish they would approach the people who purchase bagful of clothes from Zara instead of poor me- who only window shops there.
  • The new collection at Zara is… nothing new. Same old trousers (which were discounted earlier)… a top I bought  is available at the regular price (in a different color)… the blazer I have been lusting after is available at regular price again… it was discounted during the sale… same old styles… They really need to up the ante or will lose the charm.
  • I will reveal a secret- after watching serials like True Blood, I head over to tvrecaps.ew.com to read about the episode. Crazy, right? Not in USA… where people read about the episode and post their views on it. Their involvement level is higher than Indians. The difference is- in India, we (saas and bahus) identify with the characters in the event (not matter how over the top), in USA, they comment on plots, characters, point out things they liked or didn’t. I am sure producers/writers of the show are reading these comments. After all, it affects TRPs. Also, some actors are popular – they may have minor roles but ‘coz they were liked in some other serial. I guess, the writers/producers would want to increase their roles to increase TRPs. I read the recaps incase I missed out some part of the episode or could not connect what happened previously. Also, some of the comments are hilarious. Like, there are 2 black characters in True Blood… 1 is very popular but the 2nd one was a whiny character everyone was bored with (she has been turned to a vamp now). Some negatives comments against the character (not actor) started a racial war of comments. It was quite dumb actually. But, thats not the point. A lot of people were commenting how the serial ‘Game of Thrones’ is better than True Blood etc etc. I was intrigued. I downloaded and watched the 2 seasons (20 hours) in a week. Yep… thats a lot of TV/laptop. Game of Thrones is about kingdoms and war and maybe supernatural characters. It is based on a book by the same name by George R R Martin. I am waiting for the next season to begin in 2013. Worth a watch. Now I have downloaded Six Feet Under but its taking me some time to warm up to it. 6 episodes down and I am wondering about the tag “Best Serial created”…
  • I had purchased ‘Kitne Aadmi Thay’ by Diptakriti. I follow his blog and ordered the book from flipkart. It is a book about Bollywood trivia… only his blog made me spend that money. Disappointing. I don’t think I am going to finish it. Then I read the next part of True Blood… there is one more but its priced quite high. I will wait for a cheaper version before purchasing it. For the last 2 weeks, I have been hooked to the book ‘Game of Thrones’… problem is that the serial follows the book completely so there are no surprises. Its like I am watching the serial all over again. Hopefully, the 2nd part will be full of surprises.
  • I baked a cake on Rakshabandhan. I had the day off, was craving for something sweet but with fruits and wanted to carry something for my bro in Mumbai. I took the recipe for carrot, pineapple and walnut cake from Anita’s blog-  http://sliceofmylyfe.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/a-birthday-wish-for-the-special-people-in-my-life-with-some-carrot-cake/. Its the best cake I have made at home… yum. My bro also loved it. Here is a pic:

  • Recently some school acquaintances have formed a group on whatsapp and chat all day. Its kinda fun… except most of them have kids… and all of them (except me) like kids. Which makes it very awkward and irritating. Now, I do understand that mothers love their kids and love to talk about them. We all pass through stages in our life which change us- school, graduation, losing virginity (not in that order), post graduation, first job, affair, marriage, kids. Full stop. Each stage is monumental but kids are the most of all. Also, it is the also the last stage. I can’t think of anything more significant… not for me atleast. Yes, I also believe life ends as we know it once we had kids – for better or for worse. What I am trying to say is (and maybe failing) that mother/fatherhood is very significant. I do not deny it and mothers talking about their kids is natural. There are 2 blogs I follow which talk about kids regularly. My problem is when these mothers expect me to follow their footsteps- have kids and love them. Now, to each his own. The mothers cannot understand how someone does not “want” kids and does not believe that they are the best things in life. I don’t believe in universal truths. What is right for someone else is not necessarily right for me. And then these mothers start advising me to have kids. And even male colleagues/friends cross all limits by asking me when I am having kids. Its like everyone is worried about my ticking biological clock (except me). A best friend used to advise me to have kids in every phone conversation. I have stopped answering her calls. I may or may not have kids… its not of relevance to my life right now… but I refuse to follow the stages of life set by society. I will not have kids because now is the time or because I am expected to have them. I am such a stubborn mule that I may end up not having kids just to show “society” that its possible and its normal… and not having kids does make me a half person. I do not need to have kids to feel “complete” or “fulfilled”. Unfortunately, none of the women/men making my life miserable read this blog. I hope they did.
Ta da.. I am off to the Game of Thrones while KC snores away next to me.

Just a few minutes of typing…

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.. So I have a few minutes before the work begins and I thought I should blog.

KC and I returned from a well deserved holiday in Goa. 1 or 2 colleagues were surprised that I was going to Goa in the monsoons… after all, it is a non peak period. I think the whole peak and non peak period is the travel industry concept… any place, any beautiful place has its charm in every season. I remember while studying in Mt Abu I hated the foggy, incessant rains. My parents had visited during the monsoons and told me how lucky I am that I get to stay in such a beautiful place. I did not understand the charm of fog with the sticky, wet feeling. Goa is green and beautiful during this time of the year. It is also not very crowded which makes it a perfect place to relax. There are 2 kind of holidays you can enjoy in Goa- book a resort with a private beach and lots of activities to keep you engaged or visit during the peak season and go beach hopping, drinking at various shacks, gambling and water sports. We chose the former. We stayed at Dona Sylvia Resort near Madgaon. This is the 3rd time we have stayed here and like it. The private beach is… private, clean, beautiful. The buffet is fairly decent, the pool is always open, rooms are good. We spent 4 days and ventured out just once. We got a good deal with add ins like free drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) from 6-8 pm, 50% off on spa/massage (yep, we got a massage), free use of jacuzzi etc. On the last evening, KC and I had planned to drive down to Madgaon but my very (un)predictable hubby was too tired (lazy) to drive. Instead of being the ablaa nari, I rented the 2 wheeler, seated him behind me and drove. It was fun…

All in all, a good vacation and I am glad there is a day off on 15th August’12 ‘coz working for a week just makes me want to go for another vacation.

I leave you with some pics:

The Goa trip

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Surprisingly, it was a good trip. We reached Goa at 6 am on Thursday and checked into Hotel Mandovi at Panjim. The hotel is not too great but located across the river. Day 1 was spent in meeting and working on presentation. We had lunch in the hotel which included a range of non-veg- chicken, fish, pork etc. The time after lunch was torture… I had a headache and wanted to sleep but there was the damn ppt to work on. At around 6 pm the meeting ended. The plan was to go to Brittos at Baga beach for dinner and drinks. We headed to St Anthony beach shack instead since they have karaoke and seating on the beach. It is a good place but I did not drink. I was exhausted and knew liquor wouldnt agree with me.

Day 2 was similar except we left early for the same beach shack. I managed to get some shopping done. Everyone was making plans for day 3 which was free. I knew nobody would wake up before 9 am and that also ‘coz b’fast is served till 10 am only.
On day 3 we drove on Activa to Anjuna beach. There were mostly foreigners there and we had a good time. In the evening we got on the train and it is back to the pavilion.
Some thoughts:
  • I have done the whole resort thingy at Goa… stay in a good resort, go sight seeing, rent bikes, enjoy at the private beach but never done the partying at the beach shacks and road shopping. Enjoyed it a lot and want to go there once again. Maybe, next month?
  • Drinking is not my thing anymore. Don’t know why
  • On the way back there was a family on the train- husband, wife, 2 kids. I groaned on the inside. Kids around means constant noise and chatter. The wife started feeding the younger kid Maggi from a tiffin and I was shocked. The kid could barely talk and instead of being fed something nutritional she was eating Maggi. I know kids love it… but it is not healthy and the later they start on junk the better it is. Anyway, the husband was completely useless. He didn’t help her anything. Even when we had to get off the train..he picked up 2 bags and stood by the door. The wife removed other 2 bags, woke the elder kid, made him wear shoes and sent him to the husband, took the younger kid in her lap and with a last look left. What an ass of a husband who thinks he is a guest in his own family
  • Why is Uncle Chips not available in Mumbai?

Diwali Trip

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KC and I headed to Goa this Diwali. Diwali can get pretty boring if you are not religious and do not burst crackers. A colleague who has recently shifted from Kolkata was also complaining about the deafening noise of crackers. KC was travelling from Mangalore and I headed from Thane. The journey was uneventful and was not uncomfortable at all.
We had booked ourselves into Cida de goa which is 10 km from Panaji. It greeted us with a beautiful view of the sea. Thankfully, we could check earlier into our sea facing room.

The food at the resort was amazing… the buffet had everything- chicken, fish, mutton/lamb, pasta, Indian, range of desserts, sausages at b’fast. Day 1 was spent relaxing. I generally like to start on the activities- be it water sports, sight seeing, going to the beach. KC is the more relaxed (lazy) kinds. During every trip the 1st day has to be spent sleeping. Even if we check into a hotel in Mumbai I am sure he will want to sleep first since he would have travelled from Mulund to ABC. (With all due respect to his hectic travelling sales job).
The beach was a disappointment. It was dirty and the tides were low. I missed having a good time on the private beach. Well, atleast the swimming pool was overlooking the sea. The beaches at Dona Silva (have been there twice- once with parents and another time with KC on Diwali 2008) and Kenilworth Resort were heaven compared to this one.
We rented a bike on day 2 and headed to Fort Aguada which is 20 km from Panaji. We have done the usual sightseeing earlier- the church, the temple, the cruise and had no interest in it. We picked the Fort since it has a nice view. Beautiful!!!

Unfortunately, the Fort and lighthouse close at 5.30 pm and we had to leave soon. There are very cute restaurants along the way. The resort had organized a Diwali Gala dinner for which they had charged us 1200 bucks. I tried to negotiate out of it but was unsuccessful. Anyway, arrangements were made on the beach… there was a dance troupe and dinner under the skies. It started raining and the venue was moved indoors. It was 9 pm by then… people were hungry and we ended up eating whatever was available. It was an absolute waste of our money and I did complain while checking out. The manager was courteous enough to apologize. When we refused his offer for a free lunch he sent a wine bottle after us- too bad it is red.
Day 3 we checked out and headed to Panaji for lunch. The rest of the day was spent lazing around in the resort since neither of us wanted to shop.
Here are some tips if you are planning a trip to Goa:
  • Pick a resort with a good clean private beach. It doubles the fun
  • During Diwali and New Year’s you will be charged anywhere from 500- 1000 bucks per head for the Gala dinner in most resorts
  • Skip the regular sight seeing… it is boring. Rent a bike and explore Goa’s lanes. It is beautiful. You don’t need to visit any other beach if there is a private beach
  • There is a good market in Panaji behind Inox where you can shop. We came across it on the 3rd day and it was too late by then
  • Relax… laze around in the sun… have some fun
  • Check out timings of sight seeing places… you do not want be late and miss the view like we did
  • Skip the cruise which resorts will book you into. They are total crap
I hated to go to work today… no matter how many times we part there is still the heavy feeling in my heart. I could not drop to the bus today since I had a lot of work in office and was in no mood to drive all the way to Vashi and back.