Saturday, 14 February
00.30 a.m. : Queenie surprises me with a T shirt for Valentine’s Day
09.30 : Leave home to participate in the final day of a 3-day conference on Commonwealth literature.
11.00 : SMS Queenie to ask if we have zeroed on any beach resort for the weekend. She SMS’s back saying yes. ‘Confmd with * beach resort.’ ‘Is this going to be a surprise?!’ I SMS.
02.30 p.m. : Conference lunch over. I head for home. Pick up fuel, cash and select two blouses for Queenie as gifts.
03.30 : Queenie calls enroute. Says it will be evening by the time we leave!
04.00 : On the road to Colva.
04.30 : Check-in at Star Beach Resort, near a fallow football ground.
05.00 : I teach Baba (4) how to walk in water in the kids pool, under Queenie’s watchful eye. I do a few laps in the regular pool.
06.00 : Back in the comfortable room. Order pakodas, sandwiches and tea. Ask for more sauce. Have tea in the balcao overlooking the mango trees. Laze around. Watch TV. Check out places in Colva on the internet on my laptop. Call up family.
08.15 . : Leave hotel for dinner. As we pass Colva church we inquire about the timing for English Mass on Sunday.
09.00. : Have home-cooked meal at Durigo, down the road from Colva church.
10.00 : Return to the hotel. Say the rosary. Retire. The night is young and vigorous.
SUNDAY, 15 February
07.00 a.m. : Arise. Hear the twitter of birds. Read pages from Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. Order breakfast.
09.30 : English Mass at Colva church. The priest says the Church is not supporting Carnival.
10.30 : Return to the hotel. Head for a swim in the pool. Still a nip in the air.
11.00: Baba walks in the kids pool again. Gains more confidence now.
11.30 : Return to the room. Pack up.
12.30 p.m. Check out. Move to Colva beach.
01.00 : Splurge on beachwear for all of us at Amit’s beach shack near Manisha’s restaurant.
01.30 : Stroll on the beach, complete with hats et al. Quite crowded with local tourists having a gala time in the water. Watch the breathtaking feats of parasailing and adventure sports. Sit on the sand and take in the action. Take pix and selfies. Head to Mickey’s restaurant, Colva.
02.30 : Park at Mickey’s. So want to step in to Bollywood Resort – just curious about its décor. But hunger calls . . .
04.15 : Satiated with lunch. The sea at Mickey’s shimmers. People leave only reluctantly. We realize it’s time to go only when the waiters come around to change the tablecloths for dinner! Leave for home.
05.00 : Back in our home town. Head to my newsagent to pick up my copies of Weekender on Sundays. Did not spot a single newspaper vendor in Colva! Of course there were better things to do!
Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on 22 February 2015. Pix taken by me at Colva beach on 15 February 2015.