26 September 2016

Today in Photo


It was only after watching that modern classic Clueless yesterday that I realised I didn't remember whether or not I'd read Emma. It seems like a pretty obvious answer: have you read Emma? Duh, of course I have. But I couldn't recall anything from the book except for Mr Woodhouse's love of gruel. So I'm counting it as a "new" book and enjoying myself thoroughly. Funner still because in my head Alicia Silverstone IS Emma and I'm all "way harsh, Tai" #bookstagram #mrmbookclub #nowreading #200in2016 #monthingoa

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25 September 2016

Today in Photo


Sunday night dinner made even better with one of Eldou's kittens sleeping on my lap. Soon to be evicted once my fish thali comes along though. #catsagram #monthingoa #traveldiary

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24 September 2016

Today in Photo


Oh hey long time no selfie. Here we are at Viva Panjim because we are adventurous and also because we're good friends and Shrayana could only meet us halfway. Ignore my facial expression, everything else made me look like a nerd. #monthingoa #traveldiary

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23 September 2016

Today in Photo


I don't read a lot of non fiction unless it's memoir or nature writing and this absolutely brilliant book combines both. Charles Foster asked himself what it was like to be an animal and studies them, not from a distance but by lying in a hole and crawling around on his hands and knees (as a badger), spending hours in a river (as an otter) and so on. In between his experiments are meditations on the creatures themselves and it all sounds so fun (despite being so arduous) that I'm tempted to do a cat's eye view of the world myself. #nowreading #mrmbookclub #200in2016 #bookstagram #monthingoa #traveldiary

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20 September 2016

Today in Photo


Early dinner at The Burger Factory, Anjuna, home to some of the best burgers I've ever eaten. That's our "usual" (our second time eating it) avocado, bacon, Blue cheese and delicious beef. Plus an olive oil and cookie milkshake, two books on the go. #monthingoa #traveldiary

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19 September 2016

Newsletter: eM's Quick Guide To The Goa Life (part one)

(This was mailed out to newsletter subscribers two weeks ago. Want to stay ahead of the curve? Get me in your inbox!) 

(Other eM's Quick Guides: Jaipur, Delhi nightlife, womankind, recessions, and fighting loneliness.)   

If you're even mildly tuned in to my life on other platforms, you know I'm in lovely Goa right now. Originally a dog-sitting gig, but said dogs have been parceled off to a more capable caretaker so it's just us and the cats. (And various wild animals. The other day there was this ominous thumping sound from my cupboard. I was all alone, because my friends had left and K hadn't yet joined me, and the cat looked sleepy and not at all like he was going to jump to my defense. With great courage, I flicked on the bedside lamp and looked around to see... this giant black blob by the floor of my cupboard. I couldn't tell what it was from where I sat, so I took a photo and it was this ginormous TOAD just sitting there. Later in the night, after I fell into a fitful sleep, I heard it jumping around the bedroom and the cat getting excited and the next day it was just... gone. I don't know where it went, and even if the cat ate it, as is the most possible theory, where is the corpse and the blood and so on?) 

Obviously each time I come to Goa, I'm all like, "I should live here" but general resistance to change keeps me in this in-between place where I'm like, "It's so lovely! But my cats! And my flat!" (Obvious solution: rent out flat for short term, bring cats, but have you tried to persuade three felines that transporting them is a great idea? Jesus would've wept.)

But, here's what I've checked out so far. We're staying in Assagao, which, if you're not familiar, is a nice residential village-y bit close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. It's a global village with all sorts of cool stuff, which I have been steadily exploring.

* A friend of mine, for example, is baking her own sourdough bread in batches and delivering it to a select group on WhatsApp, which is pretty amazing. She says if I listen carefully at around four or five pm, I'll hear the parp-parp of an old-fashioned bicycle hooter, and that'll be the poi guy, making his rounds with fresh baked Goan bread.

* For fish thaalis, our friends whose house we're in (just going to call them M and R, since I suspect they'll come up a lot in this newsletter in the coming weeks) have a favourite place called Vinayak. Sadly, they're closed till the end of Ganpati, but the memory of their kingfish rawa fry is keeping me going. There's another place that comes recommended by others called Anand, but it was closed when we drove past yesterday at around 2.30 pm, so will try at an earlier hour and see.

* A food truck parked at a crossroads called Noronha's Corner has what they describe as "home made Goan food." We only ate a chorizo-pao, but are definitely going back for a roast beef sandwich or a beef cutlet or chilly beef. BEEF. ALL. THE. BEEF. AND COW LOVING FASCISTS CAN SUCK IT.

* We were sent off to Dali Bar, as a "really cool dive with Bira on tap." That famous Dali self-portrait was everywhere, the drinks were cheap-ish, and the food, while not spectacular, was plentiful. We even packed up the wedges (described as potatoes bravas) to take home and had a disgustingly greasy brunch of those with Goan sausage on top the next day. Dali Bar is nice because it's chill and open till 5 am, which is good to know.

* Driving around in search of that fish thaali, we found ourselves at Ruta's Roadhouse ("open rain or shine!"), which is a lovely large Portuguese house with a garden and the most interesting food. I had a plate of pork carnitas, served with a light lovely salsa, K had some shrimps and greens, tossed in an amazing dressing. I liked it a lot, marking as repeat visit. Plus, the whole place seems to be run by one family, so you see them all, grandmum, mum, dad, two daughters, all waiting tables and talking to guests, except for the smallest, who seemed about ten or eleven.

* There's always that old favourite Gunpowder, but at the risk of making all of you gasp, I've gotta say, I prefer my own Malayali delivery place in Delhi--Mahabelly. After months of eating Mahabelly, Gunpowder seems like a tamer version of their spices. Still v nice though, just not as spicy.

Basically, all my news is food news. Are you surprised? I am not.

On to other things! Here's what I wrote this week: In my relationship column, are you in love with your best friend? I think everyone is, a little bit, especially when you're young. ** In my column for the Financial Chronicle, the critic as the harem and not the eunuch and our relationship with criticism.**

Reading list: Spot Lutyen's rich/famous/powerful while eating out in Delhi. ** Irritating mandatory email signup, but fascinating story about Facebook harassment in India and how it affected one poor couple. ** Everything about this article about homes and how they're reflections of you made me nod ** I'm quoted in this story by Rosalyn on Palika Bazaar (ah, memories) ** Weekend time-suck: 100 and a few exceptional pieces of journalism in 2015. **

Today in Photo


An extremely big gap in my reading history is the legendary female essayists, ie Didion and Sontag. So I'm correcting that with Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, a collection of her assorted musings on life in the 60s and 70s. A few pages in and I'm already swooning with love. #monthingoa #traveldiary #nowreading #mrmbookclub #200in2016

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18 September 2016

Today in Photo


Went to the Museum of Goa today for a discussion on sex and pleasure with The Pleasure Project. We all had to draw a vagina. There's mine in the middle wearing a party wig and waving because obvs. #monthingoa #traveldiary

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16 September 2016

Today in Photo


Come my lady, come my pretty baby... Read somewhere that butterflies are a sign of a healthy environment, Goa must (still) be healthy because they're everywhere. #monthingoa #traveldiary

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