Go GOA goneeee....

Photo of Go GOA goneeee.... 1/1 by Rasika Tamhane

So it's been a while since I actually wrote anything at all. Thanks to 4 months of being without a job after completing a post graduate degree, I was much tensed and anxious of a career, leave alone a bright one! What would otherwise have been a guilt trip to Goa with friends, changed for the better just the same week I was headed there. I now work as a project manager with a renowned architectural firm in Pune. Alongside came other happy reasons to celebrate and party harder. M, a close friend, got engaged and is headed to Australia late this year, R, another close friend, also got a job offer around the same time as I.

So, on that happy note began the Goa trip, which was well pre-planned since February. The last time I visited Goa was wayyyy back in 2011. Hard to believe, but that's how frequent my Goa plans have been. Needless to say, I was much excited about the plan. Never have I done this before, but I packed for the holiday a night earlier although my train was scheduled for the next afternoon.

No trip begins as excitedly as someone of the lot showing up last minute before the scheduled departure, and since I mention this, it's not hard to guess that it happened. M and R were commuting to the station together, and were running late. They reached the station and we literally sprinted to our platform. I haven't even travelled with Indian Railways since my last Goa trip, I was much sceptical of the whole experience. We soon managed to settle down in our 2-tier AC compartment, which were 4 berths opposite each other complete with curtains to cut us off from the rest of the world. The next thing we do is get ourselves some tea, omelette-bread and veg cutlets and stuff our mouths even before the train moved an inch. With endless trying-to-keep-it-low laughter and gossip, piping hot tomato soup, some pretty bland biryani and an early alarm I was in GOA! ????

Another 2 local bus changes, 3 hours of travel and a 20 minute walk because of the bus driver, we finally checked into our hotel at Baga. Heading out for lunch, we hit Baga beach for a seafood lunch at the shacks. The smell of the cool sea breeze, the sand in my toes, the humid climate, a chilled mojito in my hand and butter garlic prawns on my platter...is this what they call HEAVEN? ???? Although amazing, the tiny portion of prawns and fish tikka did us hungry souls no good, and we ordered ourselves a large portion of chicken noodles, prawns biryani and some pretty good desserts. I also tried some local dessert called bebinca on someone's recommendation, although I would not recommend it further! ???? There is always a sense of calm around the beach that makes you want to return to the shacks every time when in Goa! The lazy lunch ended with numerous pictures and a walk along the super crowded beach at Baga. A beach walk is mandatory in Goa, no matter what time of the day, no matter how humid the weather, no matter how crowded the beach.

A walk through the busy evening markets at Baga, I picked up some lose fitted Goa ganjis perfect for home-wear, a black one which says Jack Daniel's and a deep pink one which has an owl on it. I love them both, I am in fact wearing the pink one as I write this. The next to-do thing on our agenda for this time in Goa was to get a tattoo, a temporary one to begin with. I got inked on my wrist with a star, doesn't really have much of a meaning to it, except that I like it and looks quite good. A permanent tattoo would not be a bad idea after all! ???? The night ended late with some more fish tikka and complimentary ice-cream in an AC restaurant for dinner and cards and gossip.

The morning was quite rushed as we were already late for breakfast which was supposed to end by 10am. When on holiday, any time in the 'morning' is still early! The lazy people that we are, we ended up in our hotel room till lunch time chilling, doing almost nothing before finally heading out for a traditional home made Goan fish thali lunch. The hotel manager suggested us a pretty nice place about 2 minutes away, and the person served us amazing kingfish with curry, prawns masala and as much rice we couldn't even finish.

Having rented bikes for the day, we then headed to Anjuna Beach as the sky was cloudy and it was perfect for a ride in Goa. M and T being fond of ice creams enjoyed some at Anjuna, while R and I headed straight for the water. There is something mysteriously magical about the sea with a grey overcast sky and cool breeze hitting your face while you wet your feet in the shallow waves.

The final evening was planned for at Brittos, and it was a perfect candle-lit dinner by the sea with my girls. An assorted dinner with a seafood platter, some pasta, and an Indian main course, we had some out-of-the-world tiramisu and blueberry cheesecake. As we were walking out of Brittos for a walk along the beach, karaoke at Brittos did not let us walk past. After some intense discussion on whether or not we should attempt karaoke with our bathroom singing skills, we decided to go for it. Picking up 'Do Dil Mil Rahe Hai' for our first ever group karaoke, we requested the anchor-singer to join us to better hide our bathroom-singer voices. It was so much fun to sing along, and I am so glad we did it - a first-ever memory it is! ???? Coincidently, just as we finished our song, the table right in front of us had a birthday celebration and the cake was cut. Our karaoke got us some applause as well! ???? ???? P.S. this was supposed to be a secret, but it is quite not convincing that our bathroom-singing skills would have gotten us any applause! Never mind! Goa also surprised us right then with some pre-monsoon showers, making the moment just so perfect for with the girls.

I headed home the next day with a perfect before-I-begin-work holiday. It was a much-deserved break coz I now have only 3 paid holidays till about December. I reached home at 4am and joined work starting 10am. Goa....only until we meet again! ????