They eight together at Atithi bamboo

Trip Start Dec 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 27, 2010

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Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The last critter (Geedha) joins and the critter composition is complete. The goofiness index got compounded (factorial-ed!) with the latest addition.

 *<Geetha, added on 20.1.11>*

Q: what is rough, vibrates and does not let u sleep?

 A: A ride on the Mysore-Panjim Highway in the night, u perverts!

And to top it all, it was supposed to be a Volvo, the epitome of luxury by some vague KSRTC standards. So anyway, after a long and confused deliberation over where I should head (Malwan or Sawantwadi) from Panjim, I finally screeched to a halt at Sawantwadi in a Goa bus (which my MH bus had miraculously changed into, don't ask me how). And my first memory of this trip is seven psycho faces grinning from ear to ear, outside the Goa bus door, and one particular creature called JB screaming 'geeda, geeda, geeda'. I knew from then on that this trip would be a memory to beat all memories!
The good thing about reaching any place in the morning is that you can have breakfast there. Unlike lunches and dinners, those heavy, calories-rich affairs, breakfasts are special, like lightly toasted and buttered bread. You can have them over and over and still want to have them again the next day. And each brilliant state in our brilliant country happens to have its own brilliant breakfast menu that leaves you longing for more. At Sawantwadi, we pigged on thalipeeth, upawaas thalipeeth, sabudana khichadi and that thing that is almost a dosai but not quite (name? I forgot) and special chai. And then we bought a few truckloads of snacks, including Karvanda mawa, which I'm sure, you'll not find in any other place except in western Maharashtra! 

Our first stop for the day was the lake at Dhamapur. A quaint water-body which we reached after crossing the Karli river a few times. On the lake front was a quaint temple with quaint shops selling a strange substance called Pepsicola (which I imagined to be a fizzy drink concocted from pepsi and cola) but which eventually turned out to be frozen sticks of psychedelically coloured flavoured milk. We then proceeded towards the lake itself and plonked ourselves in the water and got ourselves free pisci-pedicures (I'm told that they cost a lot in city malls). Shrek and Kedar tried to educate us about all the fish, but I don't remember their names at all anymore :P. In the meanwhile, Yashada was playing her own personal game of how-many-weird-poses-i-can-strike-while-taking-photographs (ref. pic for details). But she did get some brilliant pics  of a pied wagtail and some scratchy poochi (Regd. Tm. Snegha Vijayakumar). With great difficulty we finally dislodged our neatly esconced bums from the stone steps, tore our eyes away from the panorama of the lake bordered with palms and headed towards Malwan.

 We reached Malvan conveniently at lunch time.We headed straight to Atithi Bamboo, where delectable aromas tickled our nasal trichomes and made us look yearningly at other peoples' plates! The most memorable part of the Konkan thali is the sol kadhi. A ladleful of coconut milk tempered to a soul-touching tang by that venerable tamarind substitute - Kokum. I am all for officially changing the name of this drink to soul-curry, because in the food world, thats what sol kadhi is. 
*<Geetha, added on 20.1.11>*

*Sandhya, 23.01.11*

The non-gastronomic aspect of Athithi Bamboo also deserves mention: a very pretty restaraunt with rustic decor, a pandal situated in an open space abutting a small building, with those characteristic, super colorful, but very artistic Diwali lanterns hanging all around. As we entered, a group of eight individuals salivating to various extents responding to various stimuli, we generated mild interest from three very different quarters: 1) a fat cat feeding off the (fish) remnants at one of the un-cleared tables; 2) a fat cow that came up from behind, almost till the pandal, and looked meditatively at the spectacle in front of it; 3) last but not the least, one of the super busy waiters who looked at us, with the thoughts Them? Here? Now?, wrought large on a befuddled face. Afternoons are a bad time for universal consciousness, it seems. I mean the non-sleep awake consciousness - that and than wonnly!!

Malwan market also needs to go in here, especially because two 'items' were added most ceremoniously to our entertainment kit here. A Beach Ball (stop dropping your jaw in amazement, they are fun) and a Frisbee (again, jaws together, please!). Beach Ball, I must mention, had a miraculous change in destiny because it came across a certain bunch of 8 people once it changed hands {mournful music, image of Beach Ball's family wringing their hands (?) in agony}. Well, you see, it could be used in the beach for only one morning; until the rest of the trip Beach Ball had to cavort around amidst six demented folks at the back of Green Omni {collective group sigh}. Frisbee was unfortunately too edgy to be of much use at the back of Green Omni, and hence had to be wedged under a seat most of the time. But I guess it had more than what it had bargained for on the beach, with certain people (guess who?) engaging in all kindsa acrobatics in order to prevent it from <gasp> falling!!

Sorry for the diversion, but that fateful sale had to be documented with care.

Back to the market, it was a typical quaint small town market still in terms of layout, but I am sure the things on sale are very different from what they used to be fifty years ago: plastic toys and not wooden; bakery stuff and not local goodies; fancy medical shops and not small dingy vaidyashalas; pickles and masalas in fancy ziplocs and not colorfully painted jars... Sad...

 *Sandhya, 23.01.11*
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