Sometimes a destination can be so amazing that even a few hiccups in the trip can be easily overlooked. Sometimes a hotel experience can be absolutely brilliant, making a trip worthwhile, even if the destination did not live up to its expectations. But, if both destination and hotel stay knock your socks off, then it would make the trip the highlight of the year.
Such was my stay two years ago at The Tamarind Anjuna in north Goa, a wonderful boutique hotel just 2 km from Calungate. The property with its striking stone built façade and pops of white, plenty of verdure canopies and a sizeable swimming pool, had my heart the day I clapped my eyes on it. Located at the bend opposite St Michael’s Church, this is one hotel that will be difficult to miss. The 32-year-old property has certainly stood the test of time and doesn’t seem like its aged a bit.
Most of us have our own set of comfort food, be it homemade khichri with a large dollop of ghee, pasta topped with extra cheese or maybe a big bowl of soupy Maggi noodles. Whether you’re cranky cause you’re on your period, or just need that solid pick-me-up after a tough day at work, each of us crave for certain things that bring back good memories, keep the tummy and soul happy.
I, for one, do not have one specific comfort food item. It’s a variety, ranging from spicy masala rice (also known as tehri) to maggi or even fried egg and maida parantha. And even when it comes to restaurants, I have a few pet favourites. And Zambar, with its heavenly southern fare, has soon become one of them.
Ever since I started my Spanish classes I have taken an insane interest in the language and the Spanish-speaking world. And since I knew I wouldn’t be travelling to any of these countries in the near future, I decided to bring this world closer to me. And so started my crazy research on the topic that led me to pick up at least twenty-five books during the course of three months. Insane, right? I’m not even calculating all the money I spent for fear I would make myself feel guiltier than I already am.
This year was interesting, yet disappointing for me in terms of reading. I started the year with the intention to give the Hindustan Times’ Brunch Book Challenge to read fifty books a go, but sadly, due to unexpected circumstances I had to suspend active reading for the greater part of the year. But I did manage to read at least a dozen books comfortably, without having to race through them or be compelled to pick up short stories or slimmer books. Here’s my top five for this year in no particular order, followed by the complete list.
If you’re reading this, chances are I stayed up late Saturday night furiously typing on my laptop when actually I should have been studying for my Spanish finals. Or better yet, sleeping. But I cannot put myself to sleep easily since the minute I close my eyes, I see flashes of pages and words and images jumping out at me. It’s been a while since I’ve given examinations, and at least seven years since I last found myself in a classroom. But it’s also been seven years since I’ve really wanted to learn Spanish, since I’ve wanted to read one of my favourite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the original and Federico Garcia Lorca’s poems. Why Spanish you ask? Cause it sounds sexy (we’ve all heard Shakira and Enrique in their native language) and it is one of the easier languages to pick up. Relatively, at least.