The mail asking for participants for a 25th BM reunion would have just remained just another mail if my husband had not read it and encouraged me to go.
For the first time in my life I was travelling by myself not to attend some training but to meet my friends, okay I agree I did not know them so well, I had spoken to Vaishali , written to Valli, the BM brains, not being a regular participant of BM the rest were all new friends!
Vaishali the gracious hostess had organised a beautiful programme for our stay at ‘The Nest’ our home away from home for the 3 days that followed…. Followed no tumbled for they just tumbled out of our lives so very joyously!!
As the day to go to Ahmadabad came closer I was both excited and scared. Yes scared what a school girlish idea! But I was, and had all the what ifs questions that my younger daughter asks when she begins on a new adventure! What if the plane crashes, what if the plane is hijacked…! Again back to being a schoolgirl hum?
The flights were rescheduled and added one more what if to my endless list. The bright side Vaishali told me was that if my flight on 7th Feb is rescheduled then my flight back on 10th which was at 14:00 hours will also be rescheduled! Now I was thrilled for the planning committee namely Vaishali, Valli and Pradnya had planned toooooooooo many exciting things on the 10th and leaving it all behind just disappointing!!
Finally I left Goa my flight on the 7th Feb scheduled at 14:00 hours finally left Goa at 21:40 hours. Being night I saw the twinkling lights of Ahmadabad just guessed that the long strip of light along what appeared to be a road had to be the Sabarmati River. I was so engrossed in trying to guess the landmarks that I had read about that it seemed all too soon we reached the Ahmadabad. The taxi drive that Vaishali had arranged was done in 20 minutes flat. The wide roads had me enthralled!! I finally crashed in “The Nest” bed at around 1:15 am, too exhausted to appreciate the beauty of what I had just been through.
In the rooms Vaishali had kept hampers with savories and fruits, not just dumped in a basket no sir with Vaishali at the helm they were beautifully done up (I just wish I had taken pictures)and programme schedule. If that was not enough we also had the names and the telephone numbers of all of us who were participating in the BM 25 Meet! Well it would have never have thought of this.
On the 8th Feb. I was excited finally the day had come where I would be giving faces to the names.
Vaishali being the first one!
After a delicious breakfast at the restaurant and set off to receive the Chennai group consisting of Valli, Kamalika, Rajani, Padma,Nandani and her baby! The colour for the day being red, orange and pink or hot pink I guess it will be a breeze to pick them out.
How wrong we were! All at the airport had elected to wear red so Vaishali and I waved to a group of girls 5 in numbers then were wondering where on earth was the baby? Shhh! Wrong group! What a laugh Vaishali and I had!! Finally when I waved out I made certain they had the baby and such a cute baby he was… I do agree he was the Baby Bink of the Baby’s day out.
A quick drive back to the restaurant and Valli was invited to light the lamp. (My mistake I had seen the lamp and the beautiful rangoli made out of flowers but assumed that it was for some other reason that it was there). Finally all of us were lighting the lamp!!
As we were getting to one another Lunch was to be served. And the invite to visit the restaurant kitchen!! Naki aur pooch pooch? We were all trooping in the restaurant kitchen and well we did get in the staffs way but they were very very gracious and accepted us clicking and questioning them about the ingredients and the way things are made. Food was not the only subject under discussion. Kamalika and Rajini gave me some tips to improve on my pictures. you can see the difference in this collage below.
What a spread … baby Choo had his khichidi! But we had a king’s feast. Schezwan lollipops with garlic sauce, pepper chilli, tandoori salad, papad!
This was followed by Fried rice, paneer schezwan, Corn palak Stuffed capsicum and tomato, assorted rotis and Chas. Dessert anyone? Nooooooooooo Thanks!
As we were just finishing up someone walked in, had to be Pradnya and her son, !! The cutie pie who was just now shy!
Then it was time for the BM Chef contest! We were to get some precooked food item!
The judges were Vaishali’s son, husband, Bharkha Vaishali’s beautiful daughter, and Barkha’s MIL and Barkha’s Children!!!
The competition was to be on Taste, Presentation and Innovation!!!!
The judges complained that it was a tough competition!!
Good to hear that! 😉 We love to hear appreciation!
Vaishali was there with her Pani puris with 6 different panis lets see if I get them right, regular, jeera(Cumin), hajma, hing(asafoetida), lasun(garlic), and Khajoor Imli pani (dates and tamarind water)and the dal filling was mind-blowing.
Next we had Pradnya who served us Bombay bites. A delicious platter of tarts with different fillings cream cheese, one delicious pudina flavoured and Paneer cigars.
Rajani came with her cookies, 7 different cookies, the most beautiful ones being the stained glass ones. Now she ladies she did not want to take part in contest but she finally succumbed to our persuasion and did present her cookies. They were so beautifully packed too!
Padma got Sunnundalu, the authentic Andhra sweet, a ladoo. It was a delight to watch Barkha’s kids asking for this sweet. Padma demonstrated this sweet and made a made a batch for them on the final day! Padma made use of the muffin liners to present the sweet! Are they not beautiful!!!! Drool! Padma can you hear me?
Nandini with Choo baby she had made this beautiful and a very innovative Chocolate Bruschetta. How she managed making it with the naughty baby Choo I do not know! And let me tell you it was amazingly delicious.
Kamalika had brought Palkova and rich and delicious cake of milk and beautifully decorated with nuts!! I went nuts over the Palkova!!
Valli had brought Kajas! They were so deliciously made that and arranged that I could not stop stuffing myself!!
I had made Churma for the competition. It’s a traditional Goan dish that is made for Ganesh and Diwali. It’s not just sweet but a little pungent too with a hint of ginger and hing/asafetida!!(I will post the recipe soon.)
With this you think after all the gorging we will not eat in the evening!!!! Too wrong!! We are foodies and live to eat… and eat king size… we hit the streets in the evening for the Famous Street Food throw in a bit of shopping and what more so you need!!!
Here is what we ate… Why am I telling you all this? Well I want to make you guys Jealous!!! Green!!
But wait I am jumping the gun we exchanged gifts and these are all the gifts! The paper bags with the tag of red chillies re what Vaishali gifted us. She has put in so much thought and effort and time in her gifts. This is just a sample, a booklet she put together for us. In fact each one had put in a lot of effort and carried gifts for each other. It was like Christmas come too soon!
We had a photography session. The inputs that Alok Brahamabhat gave us were amazing. I mean I hope you guys can see a difference in my pictures now! Not only did he address our basic question but also showed us the techniques and shared the presentations that he had brought for us. I must thank him for there were features in my camera that I never knew and learnt to use them to my advantage.
Now Street Food!!
I will not say much but let the pictures do the talking
I have to mention here that the Ragda pani puri was awesome, so was the jussuben pizza, so was the chana chor, so was the tawa pulao, so was the pav bahjji and the bhajias and kulfi and I wish I had one more stomach!!
Back to the hotel I crashed out but Valli and Rajani went the airport to pick-up PJ and Siddhu baby!!
I do not know any of this for I was dead to the world!!
Happy that I had really really enjoyed myself in a long time!!
OOOOOOOOOOOOO! What a beautiful day it had been!
This is Day 1! Come back tomorrow for more on day 2!!
Soem picture are mine but most of them are from others, mostly Kamalika our Official Photographer and Valli! There are few more pics but those I will upload later.
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