Wild yet ‘S’usegad

Susegad is a Portuguese term used for ‘a contented state of being’. A state of being that most of us city dwellers do not indulge in quite often. We take pride in our crammy, no-time-ya-what to-do lifestyles and flaunt this pitiful state in conversations at luncheons and weekend dos. The good old goofier days (goofier ‘coz goofy still happens ;)) are fondly recalled by me and the girlfriends on our Whatsapp chit chats. Finally, after insistent demands for a reunion and entering boss cages to get leaves, we took off from our concrete dwellings to the land of susegad – Goa!

Goa – the name has such a zingy ring to it. I cannot fathom any person not liking the place. The beaches, booze and nuste (fish) come together into a celestial combination and attract people who share chemistry with this heady mix. I was excited about visiting Goa after three whole years and being there with the girls. So here we were – 4 girls: 2N/3D: infinite fun. (We are 5 but one couldn’t travel as she is having a baby. Had to mention this ‘coz she is going to strangle me otherwise!)

Goa is a very appropriate place to have these little reunions on shoestring budgets. We had splurged on our last reunion and wanted to make this one more conservative on the wallet. One of the girlies knew of this amazing place to stay – Martin’s Guest Rooms. It helped that she had put up there on many occasions so we were assured it wasn’t some riff raff place. It was close to the beach and extremely tidy.

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Our stay was on the Baga-Calungute stretch – a shore in North Goa that witnesses a good party scene and crowd. From the time of landing, food seemed to be our primary obsession which was only superseded by our obsession for each other. All I can say is – we pelted. The diets were also sent on a holiday and we binged till the last moment. I am more of a chicken eater but you can’t be in Goa and not have nuste. I particularly enjoyed the crisp rava (semolina) fried calamari served at one of the beach shacks. Fish fried in rava gives it a crisp texture and makes a crunch-yummy snack. Those of us hailing from the coastal Karnataka belt love our fish prepared in this style especially when fried in clear coconut oil.

We found ourselves getting upset about the Fries served with most platters. It isn’t an over-reaction – Fries are quintessential! They were either like wedges or weren’t crisp enough. The only place that got it right was Lucky Star – a shack on the beach again.

While at the Arpora Night Market, we also chanced upon some good Greek rolls and wood fired Pizza. No doubt they were tasty, but tastier as we were famished after wandering up and down the market!

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Brunch on second day was at Infantaria – a place with which I was a tad bit disappointed. The meat of the crumb fried chicken and batter fried prawns didn’t seem clean enough and had that distinct stench. But the salad that came along with both was particularly good. It had smack-on tanginess with perfect proportions of the Vinaigrette dressing and pickles. The chicken burger was baaaad. I was expecting something to the lines of Hearsche & Co. in Bandra which serves some brilliant burgers. Not only did this one not match up, it didn’t even have mayo in it! The only solace came from the steal deal on beer.

One of the best parts of the trip was getting our hands on King’s beer. Beer = King’s in Goa but news is they shut shop a few months ago. However, they were magically available at a wine shop next to where our rider girls went to get the bikes and they managed to grab a few pints. It is a smooth brew and of course, best when served super chilled.

Coming to the desserts – most were orgasmic. At Britto’s – the Alpine Chocolate cake, the Molten (spelt Moltan on the menu) Chocolate cake and Chocolate Walnut pie made it to the top ranks, at Mambo’s it had to be the Éclairs and Chocolate tart. Éclairs almost tasted like the ones at the Birdy’s outlets in Mumbai.

The real dessert of the trip was our moments together. Since we stay in different cities, us girlies look forward to these precious occasions to get together, behave like morons and giggle silly. Every reunion is – crazy, spicy, wild. More details? Sorry patrão, mouth is zipped. The secrets will stay with us and the susegad winds of Goa.

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