• Six girls. One wedding. Goa. The perfect recipe for shenanigans right?
  • I’m not sure what I think about marriage anymore, but weddings are good for reunions. Our group has never managed one otherwise. Admittedly, it was an act of nature that foiled Bali, but still.
  • This time, the group that gathered had been whittled down to six, including the bride, who almost doesn’t count because how much can a bride hang out during her wedding? We were to be seven but one dropped out as she got pregnant, and Curly almost couldn’t make it as she fell ill. One of the group brought a boy and was pretty much on her own trip. When we took a photo of our feet on the beach, we were four. Still, we managed to make a lot of noise.
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  • The best part of the wedding was the music. It was like the DJ had the soundtrack to our youth. As ever, someone tried to jive with me, and failed. I am a disgrace to my Bandra roots.
  • This time, people brought partners. I was the only one who didn’t, partly because of logistical difficulty – V and I will both not leave Hong Kong without our kids even though we trust our helpers – partly because I get so little bonding time with these ladies, I’d rather not spend even a little bit of that babysitting V, as inevitably happens. This becomes a vicious circle because how does V ever integrate into the group, if I never push him in, but honestly, I’m too lazy to make the effort.
  • As a result, I did the wedding march with a priest.
  • I arrived in India with a tummy upset. I did my best to adult (unlike last time) and ate cautiously, and did not drink at all. I compensated my smoking. Ahem. Then on the wedding, I went all out and drank like crazy. I managed to hover on the edge with my stomach just about holding out. I’ll admit I ate chicken malai kebab (a melt in your mouth kind) instead of prawn curry rice for the final lunch, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Target goal of not landing up ill on the flight back achieved.


  • My most memorable meal in Goa was at Terry’s on the Mandovi. This is not a “cool” place but the food was excellent.
  • When in doubt drink whiskey. Do NOT top that off with a glass of urack and limca. Always specify when you want a small because being Goa they will bring you a large.
  • Eating sausage pulao with a plate on sausage chilli fry on the side might be pushing it.

  • I’ve never spent much time in Panjim. But this time we walked around, and went to a most beautiful cafe located in an old house that has been turned into an art gallery. I was tagging along with a friend who was meeting friends, and since I had just spoken to the kids over the phone (they spent 20 minutes telling me about how they dried their hair in the clubhouse because I had taken away the hairdryer), I took charge of the couple’s five-year-old daughter. The thought of me voluntarily babysitting is incongruous to anyone who knew me growing up. But there I was collecting sticks in a courtyard and throwing them down an edge and having a good time doing it.

  • Swimming pools do not have to be big because anyway we just bob about at one end exchanging confidences. For that matter, it would help if they are not deep either, because spilling the beans while balancing one tip toes is not ideal. Frankly, a jacuzzi would have served just as well.
  • Average time of sleeping was 2 am across one week. Average wake-up time was 7 am. For a person who needs 9 hours of sleep a night, this was not enough. Frustratingly, I was never able to nap.
  • To feel like I’m in Goa, I need to enter the ocean. One morning I woke up and 6 and since noone showed signs of waking up, I went to the beach on my own in my swimsuit taking nothing but a bottle of water. I walked for some time and then entered the ocean. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone into the sea myself, without anyone at least watching from the shore. It was choppy but I didn’t let myself go beyond the waves breaking point. After being bashed around for a bit, I set at the waters edge and contemplated the world. I recalled my childhood in Goa when were would dive through huge waves like fish. Or was it that the waves seemed bigger than they were because we were children?
  • All of us have quirks: one has FOMO (“fear of missing out” not “four more” as one of us thought), one keeps falling over, one drinks too much, and I cannot make a decision without going back and forth 500 times. These we have developed in our old age, except for Curly who has been falling over since college, and accepted them in each other in good humour.
  • I explained to the girls my Theory of the Strikes: I apply the three strikes rule to most people. You piss me off three times, and you’re out. By this I mean, I cease to make any effort with you, though I will remain cordial. For close friends, a five strike rule applies (close friends would have already been in the danger zone when the five strike rule begins to take effects). “What about your sister?” K asked. “She gets 100 strikes,” I replied off the cuff. “So bad. You’d think it would be unconditional for her.” Hmmm, I guess I’m not an unconditional type of girl. Also, my sister is never going to hit 100 strikes. “What about me?” V asked when I got back and told him about it. “You get 10,” I said. “So little,” he whined. “Yes,” I said. “And you exceeded them. That’s why I cut you off. You’re only just coming back.” Striking someone out does mean they are out forever. It just means that I need a break from them emotionally, because investing time and energy in them is not worth it anymore.
  • Of course, people started asking me about their strikes. I told Curly about a strike I had never voiced before. It was cathartic. She reminded me about another I had forgotten. It’s interesting the things that cut more than others are not always the expected ones.
  • I have not mastered the art of posing for photos. Because I’m scared to my wattle showing, I tilt my head up, which I’ve realised is a most unflattering angle. I end up looking fatter than I am. I am only satisfied with myself in the photos a
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