Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gulmohurs in Goa...

Blame it on the heat, but I am in no mood to discuss the Kasab judgement. In fact, I was almost relieved not to have been in Mumbai and on all those talk shows yesterday. What is there to say? Let the courts say it all, now...
I was in Goa.... Glorious Goa for some, and Gritty Goa for others. This time we were staying in Panaji - the heart of Goa - at a new Taj property called Vivanta ( it's the biz hotel brand - smart and unfussy). Panaji has been spruced up and all the heritage buildings along the beautiful Mandovi river had a fresh coat of paint and were looking just lovely. The swimming pool on the roof of the hotel provided a panoramic view of the urban sprawl across the river, but at least a few brave gulmohurs in hesitant bloom, had managed to raise their orange heads above the buildings and catch my eye. Mumbai gulmohurs have still to catch up. I also spotted the most dazzling laburnums and jacarandas in full bloom en route. And as for the frangipani - every single tree was heavy with fragrant blossoms. My daughter Arundhati also managed to grab the last string of jasmines at the newly renovated Mangeshi temple. I was back to meet my beloved deity after a shortish break, and was enchanted to see the entire complex has been redone in the most aesthetic way. It is neatly paved, scrupulously clean and at that hour ( 8 p.m.) mercifully free of tourists who come there for picnics. I got the most wonderful darshan of my 'Kuldevata' and prayed uninterruptedly without the usual dhakka-bukki. The new lighting is also supremely well designed to highlight the architectural details of this ancient temple, where my ancestors have prayed for generations.
While on architecture, we loved the latest resort called Alila ( a Singapore brand), which has created a fabulous property in South Goa, close to Sacin Tendulkar's favourite eating place - Martin's Corner. Alila ,designed by the talented Kerala based architect Tony Joseph is a stunning addition to Goa's many luxury resorts, with hints of Bali.... and Kerala , of course. We were treated to finger licking good Goan fish curry by Chef Amit Bhardwaj, who also insisted on thrusting what he described as a 'debauched' dessert on us. Frankly, his chocolate fondant is truly wicked and obscene - go for it!
From Mangeshi and Alila to 'Fiesta' - my all time favourite restaurant in India, was but an hour's drive away. There was Yellow, the co-owner ( along with her husband Maneck Contractor) of this divine place, waiting to greet and feed us. We were a smallish group, and the entire evening under the stars was spent in the mellow glow of a waning moon. As we sipped chilled Pinot, and waited for our red snapper, followed by a trio of the most slurpy sorbets, it was possible to briefly forget the ugliness of the world beyond 'Fiesta's' fence.
For a change, it did seem like the best option...

24 comments:

Anshul Pandey said...

oh no! Shobhaa de's travel blog? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Readers Dais said...

wow! u had a gr8 time right..
thaks for sharing

Chanz said...

my my... u too went to Goa.. whats wrong with people... i keep seeing people updating their status on facebook, uploading their pictures and writing about their trip to Goa...

aaaaaarrrggggghhhh....

its making me all the more jealous.. :x

anamika said...

Visiting Goa at this time is not my idea but the way you desrcibed it,it sounds fun to me..

As far as Kasab is concerned who will bother to remember him in Goa yaa but if it would have been Shiney Ahuja or Sania Mirza you wouldn't have left the cake:D

http://www.wiseshe.com

Vivek Nanda said...

No doubt Goa is an amazing place and as soon as you land there, I'm sure you will forget all the worries of the world, a perfect place to take break !!
Check out my photography in GOA.

http://paragonist.blogspot.com/2010/04/gateway-to-goa-photography.html

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

(Blame it on the heat)
Goa weather???

*Aham* said...

O! i have a diff opinion. Mereko lagta hai... Goa is over-rated... put a few white skinned people in Kerala or Alibag and it will become another goa.

ShemaleJasmin said...

Indian cities, school, streets everywhere, it is dirty! ? whats about the Indian government?
IPL money-laundering scandal threatens Indian government ??
http://merabharatmahanindia.blogspot.com/

Ria Mathew said...

Tony Joseph was the architect for our house in Kerala :)

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