I’ve ignored this space for months. The past few months have been eventful – we’ve had our share of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A few friends (R, M, and A) came together to form ‘Keetabi Keedas’, a book club that started on a very ambitious note. The plan was to read the Harvard Five Feet Shelf. It did not take us long to abandon the project, but we’ve continued to read together. We’ve created a whatsapp group and meet online once in a while to discuss everything under the sun, and sometimes the book. Our selections have been wide and varied. We’ve read the Reluctant Fundamentalist, Heart of Darkness, On the Road, I know why the caged bird sings, etc and are now wondering whether to read How to flirt with a naked werewolf!! While I was in Goa this weekend, A shared a quote she felt was ‘lovely’ – “We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” R felt it was “very nice” while I found it sad. A responded by saying that she didn’t it was sad as much as true and that “we all wear mask everyday and at some point start thinking of ourselves only with that mask or label”. I felt it was true and yet sad and expressed the thought that we all need to have at least one person in front of whom we don’t need to wear a mask or one who can see through it. It was absolutely weird when within minutes of sending this Mahesh shared an observation about me that someone shared with him. My veil had been pierced. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. I smiled and then proceeded to cry 🙂 Super weird!
This was my third trip to Goa. The first trip had some funny moments. The highlight of my third trip was hanging out with M who also happened to be holidaying in Goa. She was in South Goa while I was in North Goa. We met at Mapusa (pronounced maapsa) Market and explored the Friday market. We focused largely on the food. M did pick up some bangles too.
We came across these super tiny pineapples. The sweet limes on the right give you an indication of how small they are.
We were befriended by Anita, a lady from Gujarat, who spoke to us in English and insisted that we come to her shop. We told her that we wanted to explore food joints and would go to her shop after that. We walked into Luizinha’s where I picked up Goan sausages, fish curry masala, sorportel paste, and rechado paste. We were surprised to find Anita waiting for us outside Luizinha’s. We decided to check out her stall. She had a collection of pashmina shawls and cushion covers. We weren’t interested in either and she was quite upset about it.
While M was looking at seeds for her mom, I got distracted by these murrukus being sold by two men from Rajasthan. I tasted one and found it very unusual – it starts out sweet and then ends up being salty and spicy. We packed some for home.
It started to rain while we were in the market, but that didn’t deter us in any way. We sampled some local sweets prepared by a lady for Ganesh Chaturthi. We tried the coconut based barfi and guava jelly and packed some. We then headed to the hugely popular Simonia Bakery. Our requests for a sample of bebinca and baath cake were brutally turned down. We had no option but to buy them 😛 we bought 500gms of bebinca and asked them to cut a slice for us to taste. One bite and we were in heaven. It was the best bebinca I’d ever eaten. We packed some more.
M and I headed to Brittos (considered to be a ‘tourist trap’ by some) for lunch. We ordered Sausage Chilli Fry, Calamari Rechado, and Goan Fish Curry. The Calamari was outstanding – it was perfectly cooked and the masala was yum. The curry was also very nice. This was a lot of food for the two of us, but we managed to polish a fair amount. We ended the mail with a yum slice of a Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. We camped at Brittos for over 2 hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Here’s a picture of all the things I bought from Mapusa market.
The next afternoon, Mahesh and I headed to O’coqueiro for lunch. On reaching there we realised that Charles Sobhraj had been arrested while eating at the restaurant. Wonder what he was eating and who paid for the meal.
We couldn’t taste the clams at all and the cutlet was a letdown.
We enjoyed the sorpotel which had liver and meat in a curry.
And then I made the mistake of ordering a cucumber cake. I felt we should end with a traditional dessert, something we hadn’t eaten before. There was a look of surprise on the server’s face when I asked for it. We were served a huge slice of the cake. It tasted like a sweet cucumber raita. We couldn’t go past a few bites, though I tried telling myself that it was growing on me 🙂