After a gap of nearly ten years , we sisters decided to get together once again before the Old Man , in his heaven, decides to play His game of dominoes and knock off one more . My eldest sister and her husband had passed on while, sister no 3 Indira’s husband and mine(no 6) had also passed on, totally out of turn. Brother-in-law no 2 breathed his last in December ’19.Sister no 2, Archana was asked very tentatively if she would like to join us. We were pleasantly surprised but more than glad that she chose to get away from Bhopal for a few days. She had been taking care of her husband for five straight years
Benu from Windsor had never been to Goa and she wanted to spend some time there. She got all of us going and we decided to make that extra effort and meet up in Goa. The arrangements were done courtesy Kaarthik, the youngest nephew of the clan who is based in Goa. He fixed us up for a week at Beira Mar Beach Resort in Benaulim
So there we were , seven of us sisters, without husbands and children, being shepherded by brother in law no5,Barunda (of Windsor fame!) and young Kaarthik and his beautiful wife Himadri. Jaydee , my youngest sis’ husband was relegated to his sons’ place , babysitting his granddaughter Rihanshi, who is all of two years old!
Goa has a way of relaxing you and then the company was fabulous—we sisters have shared not just our childhood , but our adult woes and anxieties. Now we were here to laugh and giggle like kids once again. That is something you can only do with sisters. And when you do not have to worry about what to cook and when to cook etc, you can relax and enjoy the time.
The Beira Mar has a dinky little kidney shaped pool—only 4 feet deep. I got into the pool and urged the sisters also to get in. Barunda was happily swimming and our presence in the pool finally encouraged everyone to get in . Of course it was a photo op moment!
Swim suits were scarce so T shirts and shorts were put into service with a lot of guffaws and giggles. Needless to say the other guests stayed away from the pool when we had our noisy plunge!
We had to celebrate sis no 3, Indira’s, 80th birthday. She came on the condition that we would do so!And we did – she got gifts and she opened them all with great glee. She got into the long kurta I had got for her from Hyderabad and was happily parading up and down. Then Karthik and Himadri brought a cake for her. There was also the surprise that had been planned for her on the lawns of the Exotica Goa—a fancy five course meal which all of us were to share the cost!
Sis no 2 Archana, grew emotional and said that her (late )husband would have loved this. She then announced that that dinner party was from her. These two sisters were married to two brothers and now both had passed on. It was a delicate moment.
But then little Rihanshi had us all in splits with her antics.
We would start the day with a very heavy breakfast, walk down to the beach and watch all the activities – there was para gliding and some youngsters were testing the waters to see if they could ride the waves. When the sun rose too high, we would gather in Benu’s room and gorge on the lovely crunchy apples she had brought from her trees in Windsor, teamed with savories and sweets from different parts of the country . Instead of looking for dal chawal, this made an interesting lunch, rounded off with coffee.
The day before we were to wind up, we had an unfortunate incident. Indira and Benu are early risers and like every other day, they were out walking within the perimeter of the resort. I had just woken up and opened the door to say hello to the others , when I saw Benu running towards her room.
I called out ‘What happened?’
“Indira has fallen down, go to her. Run’
I walked real fast to see what had happened. I found Indira on the path stretched out on her stomach with her face raised. There was a pool of blood around her face. That scared me. By then Benu was back along with two security guards, loads of cotton, a small towel and some Dettol. The guards helped Indira up and we made her sit on a chair while Benu cleaned her up, very gently because her nose kept bleeding.
Meanwhile Jaydee and Karthik came to take her to a doctor. We rang up Indira’s daughter who is also a doctor. Since we were all flying out the next day, we did not want Indira to go alone. Her granddaughter came in to escort her back to Delhi.
Thus ended our grand holiday. Benu and Barunda along with Archana came in two days after I got back to spend a few more days with me in my house. It was good having them at home. The youngest of the clan, Tinu, was coming in another two days later when Benu and Barunda would move to her place. Archana meanwhile had already left for Bhopal as she felt she had a lot to go through when she got back.
Meanwhile I had to get ready for my next upcoming tour—Egypt, here I come!