1.1# A LESSON ABOUT SURPRISES

I recently turned a two digit something; the run up to "Yayyy! its my birthday'' moment was pretty eventful I'd say. One of the prime characters of my life 'Mr Bling' decided to surprise me. Hats off to his news anchor like grit that fed ideas and warnings in my head, he managed to keep me off the 'Birthday Round Table Conference' between him and my other peeps for weeks. Seriously not days, but weeks! Even though highly trying for me, he gained some success; 99percent victorious. The guy got ways, I say! On the pot, in the kitchen, in a meeting and even during my life changing threading session at the salon; he ambushed me using different techniques. Each time sounding the same bugle, "Hey Bakk, your birthday is XY days away and I'm planning it! Remember 'I' AM planning it!".The expert in me speculated it was to claim 100 percent ownership of the plan, which was under threat. A day before it was all to unfold, him and I were on the table re-planning my birthday 'SURPRISE'. Moral of the story: Never announce surprises to us girls in advance. Just explode it on our faces when the time comes. Of course, I'm still talking about the surprise plan. Whhhyyyyyy would you give out such information weeks before, which can cause turbulence inside me that no digestive chooran cures!! It ain't a surprise what I could foresee (much to my secret delight). I would like to declare obnoxiously here: We women don't follow the astrological planets, We make the planets follow us (it's that one ridiculous line I refuse to delete). 24 hours before the B-Day, we sat down discussing which country or city to explore. Doesn't planning for birthdays carry an additional pressure? I mean, any other day, I would've come up with the place and the budget together in lesser time I take to get an answer out of Siri (of course without being stupidly cross questioned by it)! Options ranged from Mauritius, shot down since am a telescopic distance from my beach body) to Dubai, which I don't want to go to unless my bank account is several gold biscuits friendly to Kashmir, which is too therapeutically picturesque to be wrapped up in a short trip. Finally, Goa was where rolling the 'travel dice' stopped. 

The last few years Goa has ceased to excite me. Even though most people I know get pseudo drunk just talking about it. As if the alcohol from their last trip still drips into their system from a secret tank somewhere inside. For me, the Hotel we booked was the top-ranking temptation for this trip. I love Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada hotel in North Goa. But, the struggle to reach my home for the next few days surpassed the birthday dress shopping frenzy. Since it was a last minute booking, we ended up packing our bags by 5am, slept till 7am and would have had to celebrate my big day in dreams had the 'flight god' (if any) not been with me that day. Oh, I forgot to mention the flight was at 8:30am and we had to reach an hour before. But, hey, it ain't my fault ,that I'm programmed to not step out without a shower and without adhering to my three steps of moisturising. These are life essentials. Period. The trip almost seemed doomed and I didn't even have any 'car racing with the plane, waving and jumping in the seat kind of Bollywood plan' to stop the flight either! Going off the tangent: I wonder if anyone from that era of such logic defying scenes ever replicated them in real. It looked so convincing when the actress would drive the car parallel to the plane on the runway, to stop her lover from going away and the police never came in on her! Instead, the Pilot miraculously spotted true love for the boy in her eyes (through some hidden side view mirror is it?) and always stopped the plane for the union of the decade. Clearly, a case of growing up days of watching Star Gold and Zee Cinema drama versus the real grown up life which I'm living currently. This takes me back to my early morning flight horror story.

Guys, I've never ever missed a flight in my life and birthday for storytelling might sound like a good occasion for that to happen, but..nahhh ..its a pooper in reality! No matter how close I've gotten to miss my morning flights, I refuse to learn a lesson and book a later one in the first place. The funda being, saving half a day of my vacation day count (even if that means not saving the risk). I really like to start my horsing around the holidaying spot in the morning itself. Now, for that to happen, I need to reach there first, right? So, I switch on my 'Dhoom Dhoom' mode and pump up the driver. 20 minutes long distance to be covered in 10. The situation was tense; my nerves about to burst; stress induced teeth grinding making the background score. 2 ways here : either ridicule the cabbie's driving so he gets offended and literally rockets to the airport (its dangerous but I've been unscathed so far) or just appear really distraught and in a life depending kind of situation look for this flight (here no sleep look helps). Disclaimer: These methods can backfire and get you a one star rating from the Ola cabbie and zero intent of making you reach on time. Thankfully, Shyamlal the cabbie turned out to be a Nico Rosberg clone and I made it to the airport. 

Wheeling my bags to the gate like a posessed woman, I think to myself "now only if, either of the genders' charm works at the counter inside (depends on the gender at the counter you see) and we are allowed to board'. For the first time in that hour magic happened, when no struggle was involved and the counter was still open..35mins prior! Anyone would know that is a miracle. My Birthday Santa at play !Wohooooooo! Goa, here we come! But, of course, there is a 1 hour long flight too and how can that go without a piece to be told.

You see folks, harassing cabbies to superman-ing the car on the road, makes me doubly hungry. Hellooo,  don't judge. It does take up a lot of energy. Pheww! And it definitely doesn't help that I left home empty stomach. Warning: I am lethal when starving. Mr Bling chose to pretend asleep. This is when I pass on creepy-hynoptic-wide eyed stares to the air hostess, till she served me my food. But, the doomsday it was for my stomach, that it got its flight poison only 5 minutes before landing. Just as I was about to get on the shuttle bus after landing, I realised Mr Bling was missing. There are definitely no jungles on the way from the plane to the bus. So, I look around and catch him looking at the plane with hope. Ummm... is that somebody else's bag he was holding? Oh yeah! The captain's. "Dear Mr. Bling's bag, the flight experience wasn't that great, so kindly come out and show us your face soon. And also am getting tanned"! After craning our necks towards the big bird for good 10 minutes (No permission to go back in. Huh), the bag was returned to its daddy. Finally, we set off on our little adventure. Mr Bling's 1st to this famed party place and my 4th. Hence, began a trip to Goa, filled with surprises and info-taining episodes. Tell you all about it in the next one :) 

(CONTD...)

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