Once You Go Goa, You Don’t Go Back.

It’s been 2 months since my last post. I have a list of excuses for not posting. BORING. Instead let me tell you about the last one week that actually inspired me to write again.

I spent all of last week in Goa – my most favorite place in the whole wide world. My frequency of visiting this wonderful place has gone down; from at least twice a year to maybe once in 2 years. But I still love the place and I am always amazed at how wonderfully salubrious it is to my body, my mind and my soul.

I stayed at the most beautiful and serene Turiya Hotels and Spa in South Goa near the amazing Patnem Beach (check out the picture below of the sun setting on my last day in Goa). The Hotel is not walking distance from any of the beaches but that’s just a quibble.

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The Hotel itself is an old bungalow that has been converted into a sort of home-stay. There are 5 rooms and an attic with common bathrooms and dining areas and a small bar. Since I traveled there with family, we took over the entire Hotel and my husband and I got to share the delightfully cute attic room (the 3rd picture in the reel below). All the baths (last picture in the reel below) are open to air which is absolutely delightful. One can bathe / shower under the open skies listening to the birds in the day time and to the crickets under the stars at night.

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We spent our days in Goa starting with a ginormous breakfast, waddling to the beach and drinking, swimming and sleeping under the glorious winter sun, coming back to the Hotel to change and party the night away. I was suffering from an acute attack of food poisoning but I braved on and did pack in lots of fun during my stay.

We visited Palolem Beach, Patnem Beach and Agoda Beach nearby and Patnem was unanimously our favorite. So we spent New Years Eve there as well. 15 of us, a nice long table by the sea, lots of good sea food, drinks, fire works and beautiful Chinese lanterns kept us in high spirits as we welcomed the 2015 amongst loved ones. Definitely a night to remember and the most fantastic start to the New Year.

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Happy New Year everyone…hope your year is joyful and rich with wonderful experiences.

P.S.

Meet Suzie the Queen of Patnem Beach!

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TLC for Hair

Last weekend, I experienced the Moroccan Hair Spa at Bounce Style Lounge on Vittal Mallya Road in Bangalore. It is an hour long experience from hair wash to styling. And while it is not very relaxing (Bounce insists on playing ‘bouncey’ dance and house music) it is most definitely a treat for the hair.

They have a number of hair spa treatments but I chose the Moroccan treatment as it uses all my favorite Moroccan hair products and also because it was highly recommended by a friend. The treatment starts at INR 1800 + taxes and the final price one pays depends on the length and thickness of ones hair. I paid 1900 + taxes (approx. INR 2200). Well, actually my husband paid as it was his treat to me for Diwali 🙂

The treatment starts with the therapist washing ones hair with Moroccan Shampoo, conditioning with Moroccan conditioner and rinsing. This is followed by the application of a Moroccan Hair Mask mixed with Moroccan Oil which she massages into the scalp and hair for approx. 15 mins. Next she steams the scalp for approx. 5 mins so that the nourishing ingredients of the mask are absorbed into the hair. This is followed by a cold water rinse, some Moroccan oil, and drying + styling.

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Like I said, the spa treatment is certainly not very relaxing as Bounce is not a Spa but a hair salon. The environment is busy and noisy. That said, the treatment is definitely a treat for ones hair. My hair felt like silk at the end of the treatment. And it smelt like heaven. I would definitely recommend this treatment, especially if you have dry / damaged hair caused by excessive chemical treatments or hair color. The treatment is recommended to be had monthly or every 3 weeks if you have really dry hair.

Ask for Tanya to do your treatment. She is a magician. Enjoy!

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Body Shaming

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I have been reading a lot about body shaming lately. I haven’t really given it much thought till I found myself a victim! Not that I am an angel myself. I do take the occasional jab at celebrities who seem over-weight / unhealthy but mostly, as far as ‘real people’ / people I know are concerned I am usually of the opinion – Live and Let Live. For example, I would look at Mariah Carey’s latest picture and lament her loss of figure as compared to her nubile nymphet self in ‘Dream Lover’, prancing around in Daisy Duke shorts in lush green meadows. But I would never, ever look at a friend who just had a baby and tell her she looks like a deflated balloon.
So I was unpleasantly taken aback when someone remarked that I looked chubby! Well, thanks for the information. Maybe I should have told those people that they look uglier than usual and perhaps they should consider getting a new face! I can lose weight but can they grow better looks?! Hell no! People in glass houses…blah blah!
So big, HUGE lesson learnt – it hurts to have ones appearance made fun of. Will I stop after being a victim? Perhaps not. But I have learnt to take these comments in my stride, grow stronger as a consequence and even let these comments motivate me to lose weight.
The next time someone makes fun of my chubbiness or of my thick 8.5 power eye glasses; they are certainly not getting a reaction from me. But they are definitely getting a dose of their own medicine when the time is right.
Score chubby girl with glasses.

Down the Rabbit Hole. Well, Not Really.

The Black Rabbit is a newest Gastro-Pub in Bangalore, one among many that have sprung up all over the city. I went there for dinner and drinks last Saturday and had a pretty decent time, overall.

I was told by the manager(?) (he was wearing a suit while the other service staff wasn’t, so I am assuming he was the manager or equivalent) that The Black Rabbit hasn’t officially opened so they didn’t have a drinks menu; but who cares because they do have a full bar 🙂 We had lots of Kingfisher draught beer (Rs 200 a mug) – the best kind and Whiskey Sours. We ordered 4 Whiskey Sours and each of the 4 tasted different. The first Whiskey Sour was a Long Island 🙂 – they messed up the order. The second one was just about ok. The third one hit the spot and the 4th was too sour. Inconsistency perhaps attributable to the fact that the place is still new.

The food menu isn’t expansive but it is sufficient and reasonably priced. We tried a few dishes –

Crispy Potato Skins with Cheese: Looks blah and tastes blah. 

– Blossoming Onions: Tastes better than it looks.

Baked Filo with Spinach, mushrooms and Cheddar cheese: Looks burnt but tastes good. Was recommended by who I think is the manager as a replacement for Grilled Tofu Teriyaki as they had run out of Tofu.

Vegetarian Lasagna: Tasted worse than it looked. We found a stone in the Lasagna – yummy!

TBRs Nasty Double Beef burger: Tasted better than it looked. We were told that they use marrow in their burgers to make them softer, juicier and yummier.

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The location of The Black Rabbit is awesome, on 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar (same premises as were Sunny’s used to be). I loved the interiors especially the light installation on the ceiling. The crowd was very mixed, spanning ages 21 to 60+. But the vibe of the decor will definitely appeal more to the 30+ age group. Probably too early to comment on the crowd as the place is very new and still to settle down.The DJ sucked. I wished I had my iPod to drown out the terrible music he insisted on playing.

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So, did I like the place? I would definitely give it a second chance, maybe in a month after it has had time to settle down. The Black Rabbit does have potential to be a really nice place for some dinner and a couple of drinks before heading out to more hopping places for more drinks; it is after all located on 100 Feet Road just off 12th main – the new Mecca of nightlife in Bangalore city. Hopefully it will get over it’s teething issues soon. Fingers crossed.

EDIT:
In my eagerness to have a really good time at The Black Rabbit, I returned 3 days later, when they had officially opened. I had a colossally bad evening – very bad food, slow and cloyingly over-attentive service and the most terrible music I have ever heard. I am certainly not going back and definitely sticking to my favorite Gastro-Pub Monkey Bar in Indiranagar. Amen.

Dubai – I Have Mixed Feelings Towards You.

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Last month, I spent 4 days in Dubai as I accompanied my husband for his Muay Thai fight at the State of Origin 2014 presented by White Collar Bouts (WCB).

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WCB comprises fighters who have ‘day jobs’ but also indulge in amateur / semi-pro level fights in Muay Thai, boxing, kick-boxing, etc. A team of 7 fighters went to Dubai through the Fitness Fight Club in Bangalore (India) and my husband was one of them. All the fighters from India lost, except one. It was a deeply crushing experience and since it was my husband’s first time losing a fight, I immediately started to harbor not very good feelings towards Dubai. When things go wrong, one looks for something to blame. I blamed the city – an easy target.

As the disappointment settled, I grudgingly allowed myself to actually ‘see’ and experience Dubai. We stayed in the center of the rather imposing city, at Dusit Thani, and got to experience some of the best in Dubai in terms of shopping and entertainment – hopping nightlife (Q43), awesome restaurants (Ygjli Zaroob, Texas Roadhouse) and very nice people.

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I must admit that it was the people that I liked best. I got to meet my husband’s cousin, Leanne who came all the way from Qatar to see his fight and her parents too. I also met her friend, Radhika. But the creatures I was truly enamored by are two beautiful birds that Leanne’s parents keep as pets in their lovely home, in Dubai – Stanley, a pretty green Budgie and Jack, a beautiful African Grey Parrot.

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Did I love Dubai as a city? No. It’s too big, impersonal and glassy for my small-town mind. Did I love my experiences in Dubai. Yes! I learnt a huge lesson from my husband on how to lose with dignity, keep your head held high and how to use loss to fuel the hunger for future wins. And I learnt the importance of just being nice – being able to accept people for who they are and at a more basic level the importance of just being nice to people; even if one doesn’t really like them. This trip is hardly going to make a saint of me. But it has at the very least given me lots of food for thought.

Nice trip Dubai. Next time, make it a happier one.

 

Half Moon Mani

Last weekend I tried a deceptively simple nail art design – the half moon mani. It’s a challenging mani design especially when one does not have appropriate tools to make this design. Here is how I made it.

Tools: Essie Ballet Slippers, Chanel Black Satin, a strip of relatively stiff card paper, a thin painting brush

Step 1: Use Essie’s Ballet Slippers as a base. I painted 2 costs. Let it dry completely.
Step 2: Use card paper to mask the upper part of your nail.
Step 3: Use the thin painting brush to paint Chanel’s Black Satin on the nail that is left exposed / unmasked by the card paper. One coat is enough but if your black polish isn’t as opaque as Black Satin you may need to apply 2 costs. Let it dry completely.
Step 4: Seal with top coat.

Here is a picture of the finished mani. Not as perfect as I have seen on Pinterest but it’s a start for me 😊

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