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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Mornings start best with a lovely cup of tea. Being in India, the world’s largest tea drinking nation, the states of Darjeeling, Assam are not far away. Afternoons are complete with a delicious, refreshing masala chai, tea infused with aromatic spices, cardamom, cinnamon even black pepper.

In the run up to today’s important state election in Goa, the authorities have enforced very strict measures to avoid civil unrest and maintain local peace, as in Greece, the subject of politics can raise the blood. It feels like a curfew at night, shops, bars and restaurants have closed early at 10 and, wait for it….a total ban on alcohol started on Thursday.

Being totally oblivious to this, as the sun set we naively set off on our bikes to our favourite eaterie, Pedro’s for pre dinner drinks and a game of Scrabble. We find that whisky & soda is a perfect accompaniment to curry.

Ashok, a characterful Nepali, who is almost our personal waiter there, and in my opinion I see him as our protective Nepalese ghurka, saw us pull up on our trusty steeds. Like all good waiters he knows our ways and always serves our drinks quickly. This night, he came up to us and whispered the problem he faced regarding the alcohol ban. Naturally, we were somewhat thrown and rather dismayed. However, he said that he would try to find a solution and after speaking to the proprieter Thomas, Ashok then appeared with a heavy tray carrying china cups and saucers, sugar bowl, spoons and tea pot. Not quite sure what was going on initially, he lifted the tea pot lid to reveal what looked like iced tea, that ‘water of life’ iced tea! With my Scot’s Hebridean heritage and adoration of the old Ealing film “Whisky Galore”, I had to chuckle. “Oh Captain Waggett, there can’t be a ceilidh without whisky!” Oor proud ghurka would have made a “braw chookter”.

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Goan “country” style

During the times that we have been in Goa, we’ve noticed that they like a party or two. Catering and party equipment posters are everywhere, pinned to telegraph poles like death notices in Greece. The musical entertainment is, let’s say an acquired taste, a distinct melting pot of styles and eras.

Definitely a kinda hint of country with an evvvanggelllicaal twwwang, I can hear rumbles of Kumbayaaah my lord,…my lord indeed, possibly Rene and Renata stylie, tie a yella ribbon round the ol’ oak tree, even Vic Reeves and the pub singer, it’s not great in my opinion, however, they do take these celebrations seriously, setting up stage, decorating chairs and table and rehearsing etc. So, on hearing the described musical notes and vocals mid Saturday afternoon, I anticipated a nearby wedding reception or maybe even a birthday party that evening.

It was with genuine concern that I said to Nick that the singer’s embarrassing flat notes were almost too much to bear and rather made ones toes curl. Same time next day, the rehearsals continued, I thought OK, so it’s a Sunday event. Lovely. Now when it came to Wednesday, the proverbial penny dropped, what an utter eedjit I am, it was some twit on a karaoke machine. Ha! Complete fool, me, that is.

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Incredible India…

Our recent magical train journey from Mumbai to Margoa in Goa reminded me again, amongst many other things, of the colours of this incredible country.

My notion is that sometimes a country’s flag indicates its’ food & lifestyle, think: tomato, mozarella & basil; oranges & flamenco sangria red; ruby red port, vino verde green & maize yellow; turmeric, white basmati rice & bright coriander; blue white & red colours have, in my opinion & observations, more religious & political backgrounds, however, the Scots can refer to colour of skin before & after their holidays. As a fellow Scot, I can say that.

Incredible India, … in my eyes it has 3 main colours, hues of roasted peanuts, from the toasted charred fibrous shell to the earthy brown red shades of the paper skin & the pale sandy cream of the delicious nut.

Southern India is green, think shiny lime, unripe matt banana, deep & dense waxy mangrove, vibrant fresh chilli.

The accent colour is without a doubt, delightful pink, with a clash of marigold orange. Amongst a vibrant paddy field of emerald, suddenly a sari of shocking Schiaparelli astounds you, a candy pink temple suddenly appears ornate with it’s sweet baby pink Ganesh & pastel pink carvings. Brilliant sun shining through paper fine bouganvillea petals making them day glo magenta. Bowls of ripe pawpaw & watermelon, pomegranate & cut pineapple, drinks of falooda & mango juice, garlands of orange marigold & dusky pink roses…it’s a visual feast.

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Incredible India…

Namaste! It’s not long to go now, oh my, oh my, this memsaab is getting definitely excited.

Just the thought of getting the visa is making the flutters in the tummie. To enter the Gateway to India, you can experience a flavour here…

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Ohhhh for a game of Scrabble@Pedro’s in Benaulim, Goa. Probably my favourite place to play in India. We should be there watching the Cricket World Cup really.

Good luck India. Nick says Ingerrlandd, naturlich. But, we do love Sachin Tendulkar.

Nick and I are in need of a well deserved sojourn to Goa and a chance to challenge my current champion place of the Indian Test.

…Scrabble Test that is.  Maybe this coming winter, we will see.

I have realised even more so, since creating this blog, how much I enjoy putting my thoughts down and how powerful words can be. I’ve just chosen some quotes to share:

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. –Winston Churchill

The most precious things in speech are the pauses. –Sir Ralph Richardson

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. –William Penn

Never miss a good chance to shut up. –Will Rogers                      Understood!

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