Sunday, January 23, 2022

Traveling Kunbi (a Goan handloom saree) - so many stories in those folds.

The Kunbi sitting on my dresser is telling me many stories. It started it’s journey in Goa, has gone to various places and now it is a world across in Boston tonight. I am thinking about it’s journey and only if it could talk to me. So many stories ready to unfold. Was the suitcase stuffed with pickle and spices? Or was it accompanied by some fancy clothes, some indian sweets and snacks. Or perhaps other kinds of  sarees. Did it fly direct or was there a stop over in the Middle East or Europe ? 

The first home, did it find it an interesting household- lots of laughter, a busy household or of empty nesters? The home of a 

cute toddler or stubborn young adults or fussy teens? Newly weds or seasoned couple? Happy household or arguments about everything.

The women who adorned this Kunbi, were they happy, felt beautiful? Did someone praise her or did the kids make  faces that mom wore a saree? Did she feel powerful or did she feel old fashioned ? Did someone compliment her or did it go  unnoticed. Did she take a selfie or had a son or daughter, partner, friend or spouse as a willing photographer. Did she go out for a dinner or just wore at home. Was it a cold or warm day. Did she wear it for a special occasion? Did she spend the time alone or hung out with friends?

This saree is a symbol of sisterhood of its own kind. The Kunbi is a handloom saree from Goa and a couple of Kunbi Sarees are traveling around the world and within India. I got it a few days ago and wore it on a cold but sunny Saturday here in Boston. I wore  it to celebrate friendship and visited a saree sakhi. While chatting over chai I made the tassels on the edges. She was making fun of me saying the owner may not like it but I called it a “communal sisterhood Kunbi”.

An afternoon very well spent in a saree with a woman I met because of our mutual love for sarees who slowly became more than a saree sakhi. A chai with samosa and dhokla and a conversation about nothing and everything. By the time the sun set, the tea and snacks were over, edges were done and we both got the energy to go back to the real world.

What is your saree story?

 A pic of our flight from Cancun Mexico, who knows there might be a saree somewhere in those suitcases. Mine was in my carry on bags :) Did you read those stories?

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What does vacation bring into your life ? Love? Peace? Power? Fun? Reset?

Day -5 Cancun

Everyday was just perfect while we were there, low humidity, no heat wave and just perfect temperatures, sun and sea breeze.

Only the last morning it rained for a short time and Victor, my favorite bartender said the sky is sad because I was leaving. I promised to return soon and soon enough the sun came out shining. I could sit on the beach again before we started our journey .

This saree is a tribute to everyone who became such an integral part of my life in those 5 days. The house keeping staff who rushed to clean the room after a Jacuzzi mishap, another one gave me extra sheets and pillows to sleep on the lounge bed in the balcony, brought me iron table and iron so I could iron my sarees (the resort has steamer for everyone), Victor the bar tender who would fill a shot of Don Julio tequila with two slice of oranges with sprinkle of salt every time I passed by. Raul, the host in those 2 restaurants gave me my favorite corner and quiet seat, Fredrico the bartender in the center bar who would make a new drink every time for me with less sugar and fresh fruit because he remembered I didn’t like sweet cocktails and also remembered whatever he had served me before. The server Daniel at breakfast place who assembled the best brunch because I had just 20 minutes to eat before our taxi arrived for airport. Today is a long day for you -eat and drink everything healthy he said and got me a plate with servings of many things and a cocktail made with a vitamin drink. The tequila in that sure was powerful.

Andrea, the guest relations manager and David the evening concierge who made sure I got my standby room service,  our Covid tests were booked on time and taxi was confirmed. 

I will come back to more of these stories but as a friend said vacation brings love and power back into life. And suggested when all else fails, take a vacation . I am smart enough to appreciate a good advice. 

A beautiful linen saree for the last night in Cancun. Mr Husband’s shirt matched too. The saree will be a reminder that I tried a Cuban Cigar in my life, I couldn’t make the rings, coughed and didn’t like the taste and won’t do it again. But I did enjoy the cigar lounge, watching Mr Husband trying something new.

The server served me Tequila cream and that was perfect for me.

These posts are my saree stories from a vacation in Cancun, Mexico. 

Mr. Husband and I needed a break from being parents and a friend suggested this Resort.

When all else fails, take a vacation - one of the best advice I received

 Day -4 Cancun

I forgot what we did the last few days  - oh wait, it was eat, drink, relax and  repeat.

By day 3 I had my routine set. Room service at 6.30 am with eggs and orange juice and two guavas, then get ready and go to the beach by 7:15 am for sunrise. The sun needed to see me dressed up too so wore a saree on a perfect Saturday morning on my day 4.  

After the sunrise we came for breakfast. Past 3 days we had had breakfast in the ocean view restaurant. Saturday we came to the buffet and I am so glad we did.

Few years ago we had gone to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace,Las Vegas and I was in awe. I cook really well (If I say so myself ;) )but that experience really made me very creative in the kitchen. The breakfast buffet here was close to that experience. Well I was served only Mimosa in Vegas with that breakfast. Here the server made it with fresh orange juice and yes a shot of Don Julio Tequila too. The perks of looking pretty in a saree :)

By the 4th day people got used to seeing a brown woman in a saree, a compliment here and there never hurt anyone, I couldn’t be the exception right? We were often earlier than most vacationers so we never had to wait and got our choice of seating. 

I noticed how hard working everyone was, the cleaning was never ending and was very detailed and attention focused. The employees who worked on the grounds could hardly speak English but smiled and wished without fail. My very second day, the first morning, I decided to leave the room earlier than Mr Husband, asked for directions and the gardener didn’t know and neither did the other helper. But I used sign language said sun and made the action of rising and he exactly knew what I was looking for. He walked with me to show the beach. 

This simple saree is a tribute to those behind the scenes people who made our stay memorable, who took the empty cups from my hand, brought me a towel when I took a plunge in the ocean, brought me drinks and water without asking, kept checking for refills and rushed to pull out the chair for me said hola with a smile, brought a floor hanger to keep my purse.

I am back home and longing to go back again. Not sure if it was the weather, ocean, sun, food, drinks or the people and their vibe. I miss those little tiny gestures and the smile in their eyes even with the masked face. 

These posts are my saree stories from a vacation in Cancun, Mexico. 

Mr. Husband and I needed a break from being parents and a friend suggested this Resort.

While Mr Husband was watching Patriots loosing big time in the sports bar I enjoy the Burlesque show and then walked on the beach. The resort have " a musical dine out on the beach" while couples enjoyed their romantic dinner this musician played some beautiful tunes. I am not sure if they could hear or enjoy I sure did. He made my evening memorable. I didn't feel like bothering him so didn't say a word, now I think I should have stopped and thanked him.

My last pic - left this saree with Gerardo - the manager of that shift, So they can add to the decoration the Indian restaurant - "Basmati".

Monday, January 17, 2022

What do you remember about Vacation? Do you regret the Vacations you didn’t take?

Day -3 Cancun Saga 

It was not easy planning for this vacation. Actually I didn’t plan it, just followed a recommendation so it was easy to book. But additional planning  for what to do once there and packing was not easy because I didn’t know what to expect. I am not much of a cocktail woman and also had no idea what will I do in “all inclusive” place. The “recommending” friend said she doesn’t leave the resort and hangs out in the pool most of the time. That has never been my idea of a vacation but decided to follow along. Well I didn’t hang out in the pool, that was Mr Husband’s choice, I went straight to the ocean. The waves were very stimulating and calming at the same time. It turned out to be a wonderful vacation, I could rest and relax after all without rushing with a must see or todo list in hand.

I took two magazines, 2 books and one notebook - nothing came out of the bag. 

 But yes I dealt with my own share of struggle, what to pack :) Sarees sure were in the list, I have decided all those fancy places deserved the Saree tribute. Bathing suits and PJ’s were okay, I wasn’t even sure what is needed for the day time. Well when you are freezing in north east you cannot imagine hanging out in shorts. Dresses made their way too , in the end I over packed. I think I have to write another post about things I would have done better. :) 

The third night we were booked for Agave, a Mexican restaurant, we were there by 6. When the host checked us in she asked us to wait. When we walked in I realized they were setting the table for us with candles and rose petals and fancy table mats.

Soon Nelson, the food manager walked in and I realized the mix up . He had booked our table for 7 PM as I had mentioned our dinner time a night before. He introduced us to the manager and the chef and the 3 of them figured out our meal. We were stuffed in our heart and soul and bellies to say the least. 

The care, attention to details, conversation, stories from their life and familes and insistence on eating some more everything made our evening memorable. I will write about that conversations some time soon.

Another blue Taant for the dinner. The dinnerwares were so colorful, my saree became part of the theme.