Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weekend Getaway

I spent last weekend in Matheran. I had no clue I'd be anywhere near there. In fact I'd happily made plans with Smithy to be her date at a Halloween Bash (three whole hours with no Baby or Hubby! wheee!). Then come friday, Hubby lands me with the Matheran Plan. On asking why it's taken him this long to bother informing me, he say in all earnestness, 'but honey, it wouldn't be a surprise then, would it?' Bah. Sorry Smithy, I can't argue with that!

So, off we went, with Pickwick in tow. Here are a few excerpts from the weekend:

Cottage No.13

Yeah, that's right, that was our home for the weekend. A British-era Cottage with the number 13. And nothing remotely eerie to report! (damn!)

It's a tree...it's a stump... it's...it's a dustbin!

Male Bonding

One of my favourite father-son moments during the trip
(that and Pickwick swinging his undies in the air a la Saurav).

Here Comes the Son!

I know! Corny! still, that's what i feel like singing everytime i see this picture.

NO Clue what existed below the vines.

Cool Pool
No, Really. the water was Frigid! Hubby bravely strolled out of the cottage in a towel and swimming trunks, only to return 3 minutes later, after having dipped his toe into the pool and retracting it with a howl!
P.S. By the way, i strongly recommend 'Sakville's' for all your foody needs- he may be no gourmet, but he's given us better service than I've seen at star restaurants. besides, you also get to catch all the hubub of the market place from his place!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back Room Business

I have seen the backs of more restaurants and pubs than I care to remember. Now I know what you’re thinking… get your mind out of the gutter- that’s NOT how Pickwick was conceived. In fact it is precisely because of Pickwick that I have the … er… privilege of visiting these places. Well, it’s either visiting the back room, or flashing unsuspecting customers, making them swallow their soup the wrong way. Very unsettling. And totally bad for business. So in the interest of his regulars, the owners/ managers of these places generally give me a guided tour of their back rooms.

The back rooms Or in some cases glorified broom closets) of these restaurants are mighty interesting places. Not only do you find the occasional odd creatures all limbs intertwined (which makes you immediately want to separate them with a water hose and yell at them while holding Pickwick aloft ‘Exhibit A’) but also the friendly neighborhood spider (who’s NEVER as delectable as the movies), the inquisitive rodent and despicable stars of ‘Joe’s apartment’ (why aren’t they on the endangered list?)

What is interesting to note is you learn a lot about the place and the people who work there from the back rooms. For example, you see a neatly folded trouser and shirt all nicely tucked into a plastic bag, and you KNOW you want that man serving you at the table. You see the carelessly tossed jeans along with the body hugging t-shirt and you can safely surmise that this man is here to fulfill his tinsel town dreams. You see the worn half shirt neatly pressed, and you can imagine the wife faithfully ironing out this chap’s shirts and he trudges off to work. Once you head back to your table it then becomes an interesting game- to put a face to the clothes in the back room. Naturally these are often met with very strange looks- since this is probably the first time any patron will be looking so hard at the waiters and Maitre D’- with a knowing smirk on her face, no less…

You can also hazard a guess if the water’s safe to drink at this place, from the back rooms- I mean one look at where they store their tipple and as Wodehouse would put it- All Is Revealed. You may well wonder where all this is leading to- and I don’t blame you- in this post I have rambled on more than usual (which is like saying that the Mahabharata was just a tad long-ish). At the risk of sounding repetitive, All, as they say, will be Reveled- I’m dabbling with the idea of starting off a restaurant critique from a ‘back-room’ point of view. Just wanted to know if it would pique anyone’s interest or am I the only odd-ball restaurant voyeur in blogdom.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

True Vacation

Last week, we were in Goa doing what you should truly do in Goa- no, not living it up. You have Mumbai for that, for crying out loud. We were there to hibernate. Relax. Pig out. And not move a muscle. Well, we did all of the above. Almost all. There only so much inaction your six-month old will permit you.

The weather was crap. It was raining all night- and most days. Which suited us just fine. All we needed was a bit of sunshine so we could hit the pool (which was just outside out room) and the beach (which was just beyond the pool). Pickwick loved both. The beach had him a tad confused, with what the waves and the ground beneath his feet literally slipping away. He didn’t like that. No one does, I guess. The pool was more his scene. He was basking. In the sunshine and the mini admiration society which seemed to have formed around him as soon as he stepped into the pool. So naturally he wants to show off for his fans and tried to float. To our utter amazement he actually succeeded! He even got so bold as to venture a few Kicks. Sigh! The things one has to do to please people!

The food was especially good. I pigged out on sea food while poor hubby stoically held back his urge to puke. I guess he thought it’s the least he could do for the woman who’s bravely decided to spawn his offspring (Yes, I’m going to hold that over his poor head for another eighteen years!). Having this scandalized three generations of the iyer khaandaan, I decided to reserve my second tattoo plans for another day. We don’t want to kill the poor fellow, do we?

Our return journey was another adventure altogether. After having raced to the station to narrowly make the train (thanks to a forgotten jacket in the lobby of the hotel whose pockets held a mobile phone and tickets to the very train we were about to board…), we board the one compartment in the train that is bursting at the seams with kids. You should have seen the night sleeping routine. 35 mums trying to put 40-odd hyperactive kids to bed. Sometimes, even now, when I let my guard down, I hear “Shhh! Look at that nice boy. He’s not troubling his mummy.”

So, it’s no wonder I took so long to write this post. I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation!