I am born and brought up in Goa. I really love the climate there. Specially the summer vacations. Yes I love the summer's in Goa. I sweat in the hot sun, but I love the summers.
Since my childhood I used to wait for the summer vacations. The final exams would get over and on the last day we would spray ink from our ink pen's on our friend's school uniform and run home.
We were a gang of friends. All girls, since we were studying in a convent school which was run by the Missionaries of Charity. We always learnt good values from our school. Our school motto was " Through Duty to Glory".
As soon as the summer started we girls would hang out.
On one of the hot summer days we would gather at one place with our bicycles and go to a hill located 2 kms away from our homes. We would park our bicycles at the foot of the hill and climb the hill to reach near the shrine of the holy cross located on top. We would go there and light candles and pray for getting good results in the final exams. I would always pray to lord that I should stand first in my class...
On the way back we would wait in someones mango garden and throw stones aiming at the mangoes. When the mangoes fell, we would pick them up and run home with our bicycles before the owner could catch us.
After the mango garden, we would stop under a tamarind tree which is besides the water canal and eat some fallen tamarind's.
Before 6.00 PM we would return home. After returning home my mom always scolded me for going out in the hot sun in the afternoon. She always said that I got tanned and that I will loose my beautiful colour. So for the next few days I would not go with my friends and we would enjoy at home. I had a CD player and my friends used to come home and we would put on music and get indulged in some hobby of our interest. During that time mom used to serve chilled Aam Panna.
Gone are those days...
Recently I found a new friend Elena. I met her in the Goan fish market clicking photos of fisher women selling some fish. She wanted to buy some fresh cashew nuts from the Goa's Margao market. We were complete strangers. She just bumped into me and casually asked me if I know any good place where they sell good quality cashew nuts. I took her to one shop located in Margao market and she was very much impressed with the quality. Very soon we exchanged numbers. She told me that she stayed near the Colva Beach in a resort and asked me to meet her.
She told me that she would love to see the village side of Goa which any tourist guide will not show. I don't know what made me like her, despite the fact that we were complete strangers.
She is adventurous, sun loving and loves music and travelling. Maybe this is the quality in her which I liked. "Like poles attract..." . I told Elena about the fun I had with my friends in childhood. Elena was a game and wanted to see the beautiful Benaulim Beach. Quickly I took out my The Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion with SPF 50
and dabbed it all over my arms and face. Elena too did the same. I took out my Honda Activa with me as the rider and Elena a pillion rider. We started with our adventure. We played in the silver sands at the Benaulim beach. We even did some para sailing and paragliding. Wow, it was so much fun that too in the hot sun. Whenever we felt thirsty we drank the packaged drinking water which I took from my home. We also ate the ice-creams which we got on the beach to beat the heat.
We spent around 4 hours at the beach. On the way back home, I took Elena to Mahalakshmi Temple at Benaulim. In the vicinity of the temple there were some Cashew trees. I picked some Cashews and offered some to my friend. I told her how to suck the juice out of cashews and that is the best way to eat a raw cashew fruit. She enjoyed the taste. I packed some cashews to take home for mom to prepare "cashew shaak". A tasty Goan Subzi done with the cashew fruit.
Later I took her to a nearby lake. We sat besides the lake and did some fishing. I did not catch a single fish. But Elena caught a tiger prawn. Yeah, she was excited...
At the end of the day I took her to my home to visit my mom. My mom told me to go and have bath. I told her not to worry as I have covered my beautiful skin with Lakme Sun Expert
UV Lotion. Mom smiled and served us with the refreshing Aam Panna which is made out of raw mangoes.
Elena and myself had the best day of our life. She got a call from Singapore Airlines that her flight for the next day was confirmed. I felt a bit sad that my friend was leaving. But yes, Elena has promised me that she will visit me every summer.
Below is the recipe of Aam Panna which Elena had requested.Ingredients:
4 raw mangoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp roasted jeera/cumin powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of salt to tasteProcedure:
Peel the raw mangoes and cut them into small pieces.
Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles by adding 1 cup water.
When it cools down, make a puree out of it in a mixer.
Add the sugar, black pepper and jeera powder and mix well.
Now keep this mixture on the gas and let it boil.
Switch off the gas after 5 Min's.
Add salt to taste.
Garnish with cardamom powder and mint leaves.
To serve take 2 tablespoon's of this mixture and add to one glass of chilled water.