Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Eating Out In Goa

Last sunday happened to be one of those nights we thought it would be a good idea to visit an old time haunt, Florentine, at Saligao for their chicken cafreal.
Ever since i turned vegetarian more than a decade and a half ago, i knew there would be a limited variety of food for me to choose from the menu.
However, it was one of those 3 against 1 situations and i didn't have much of a say besides turning into a 'spoil sport'... i was sure that i'd at least get some mix veg fried rice.
"Fortune favours the brave", it is said, and i was perhaps the only one smiling when we saw some 30 odd cars parked at the restaurant. There was no way we were going to get a table within an hour.
A quick vote and we decided to head for Satya Heera at Mapusa, which by and large serves a reasonably good fare besides the family favourite frothy French Onion Soup.
The restaurant is situated at the terrace level of the hotel and judging from the unusually long que of people waiting for the lift, we should have guessed the chances of getting a table was pretty slim. However being part of hotel, there was every chance that most of the people were house guests and only heading for their rooms. Unfortunately such ws not the case. Satya Heera as well was jam packed and no one was in the mood to hang around for 45 minutes, as informed by the management, before a table would be available for us.
As a nearby alternative, i thought we should try out a place reffered by a friend.... "Stomach" - yes, "Stomach"!!
This particular restaurant had eluded us on about 3 of our past attempts with a sign on their shut doors that either said "Shut for Ganesh Festivities", "Closed due to repairs" or something else.
This time around the shutters were just down. Period.
No sign, Nothing.
It was totally and unanimously agreed that this was it....... no more "Stomach", no matter how loud our stomachs would be growling.
I guess one was pretty much put off by these gatro musical chairs experiences that one did not think of 'Kamlabai's', which was also just about 2 minutes drive from where we were as also known for it's very good goan fare.
Instead we decided to go to Sher-e-Punjab, Panjim, as my brother-in-law Prince wanted to eat some 'masaledaar khaana' / spicy food.
While the carnivores lunged at various meats, i ate a humble mushroom masala, pretty sweetish for my palate and pretty avoidable the next time around. The very nicely vinegar marinated onions with mint chutney and the fresh green chillies were simply no match to the sweetness of the dish. Although the parotha and the karari (crisp) roti were well made and so was the fresh lime soda (salt & sweet), thank you.
No one said it out aloud but for dessert everyones mind was on the icecream counter that is attached to the restaurant and accessed from the sidewalk.
I was very clear about having a go at their very nice Gulab Jamun nestled in Rabdi.....yum yum!
But as usual, being fickle minded, i decided to try their Figs & Nuts ice cream.
Good, but a mistake. Its a bit too rich with the nuts and they over power the flavour of the ice cream - whatever it may have been.
Next time i'm just going to stick to the Rabddi.
On another note, since Prince now resides and works in Dubai, he was pretty shocked at the way the costs have escalated in Goan restaurants and said it was far cheaper to eat at a similar restaurant in Dubai.
Also, for me the crowning bummer was that i ended up with an upset stomach, the morning after and it so turned out the everyone seemed to have been a bit "uncomfortable", one wasy or the other, the morning after.
So, I guess, Shere - e - Punjab at Panjim may as well end up being a nice place to stop at for dessert.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Sleeping Pup & I

Sleeping pup & I

Since the past few months, I sometimes find myself waking up quite earlier than normal. One such morning was today.
When I woke up, I realized it was still quite dark and so I tried to go back to sleep but sleep, simply eluded me. About an hour or so later, I decided it would be best to drop this pursuit and sit up in dhyan, instead.
The weather was comfortable and the hour was silent and calm. Under the given conditions, it was not long before I managed to settle down into peaceful, calm and focused atman vichara.
Before I proceed any further, I must narrate an incident that happened a few days ago on a very busy city street.
As I was walking along this street, my eyes happened to fall upon a small stray dog that was blissfully fast asleep alongside the sidewalk in broad daylight, amidst the rubble, dust and chaotic noise of traffic, both human, as well as vehicular.
“Surely a remarkable sight!” I said to myself, as I walked on.
Coming back to my internally directed vichara during this morning’s dhyan, I found myself thinking about this animal, blissfully asleep amidst all the chaos and noise.
In a blink of an eye, it came to me that here was a lesson to learn from this experience. What I learnt from this was that all our thoughts, desires, emotions, difficulties etc. were nothing else but subtler forms of the gross noise, traffic, rubble, dust and chaos of the worldly streets. And the blissfully unaffected pup was the gross example of the subtle and highest One Truth that remains undisturbed, unperturbed, peaceful, eternal joy and consciousness within each one of us.
If I would only sincerely endevour to tap into and remain focused into this One Truth, I should then find it quite easy to be able to view all the dust, noise and chaos of our minds in the light of proper awareness and succeed in obtaining the state of Sat – Chit – Ananda.