Distraught with love and sorrow, Dona Paula could not bear a life without her young Goan lover and threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea. Left with nothing but his daughter’s memory, the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute to his stubbornness and forbidden romance & love.
The bay of Dona Paula in Goa lies at the sangam (or meeting point) of the Arabian Sea and the Goan rivers Mandovi and Zuari. Dona Paula located in the suburbs of the capital Panjim is also a very fashionable residence for the rich and famous . Originally a fishing village, Dona Paula attracts its fair share of visitors and tourists who come to marvel at its pristine beach, its natural beauty and the romantic legend associated with it.
After an hour in Dona Paula we left for the Miramar Residency another of GTDC Hotels in Panjim, located on Miramar Beach. It was a old nondescript property - a wee bit rickety & run down - a property that must have been quaint & charming once upon a time when it was newly built. The reception was a small ramshackle room and the lone receptionist appeared quite ruffled and inexperienced to handle large groups like ours. Finally after a great deal of conundrum and confusion rooms were allotted and keys handed over. After the initial shock we all reconciled to the fact that there is no alternative and hence we might as well set our minds at ease, relax and settle down. Even Shorty was completely distraught and devastated at the way Miramar panned out - this was not what he had envisaged and expected.
We trundled down for lunch to the only dinghy and derelict restaurant at Miramar Residency for some chilled beer,cashew nuts and lunch of dal rice & roti. We then retired to our respective cabins for some much needed and well deserved rest.
The evening finale was held on the Miramar lawns which were well illuminated to provide a dazzle & colour. The gents and ladies congregated on separate tables dressed in their finest attire and silks befitting the occasion.The usual disposition of alcohol had been arranged (including Gills single malt) and an array of snacks was served at frequent intervals. The involuntary chatter and gossip commenced and we were all soon engulfed in a sea of animated conversation. The evening entertainment with an MC at the helm was fun - some bravehearts took on the Karoake challenge. Shorty sang the popular evergreen number - Shame & Scandal and received a thunderous applause.Dinner followed. A vote of thanks by this evenings sponsor Rajat. There was talk about the next reunions in the summer in the US and winter in Australia. Rajat exhorted greater participation from India based colleagues in get-togethers abroad. Finally curtains were drawn on a wonderful week of fun & merriment, adventure & excursions, sun sea & sand, beach booze bridge & breeze,food & drink, of laziness & laid back relaxation, of conversations & camaraderie, of gambling gaming & gyrations,of enchantment and electrified atmosphere.
At the end of it all Shorty felt he had let everyone down with the stay arrangements in Miramar and apologized for the slip up. The rest of the group however assuaged his feelings and reassured Shorty that he had actually pulled off an amazing coup under most compelling circumstances,confined to his bedroom and recovering from a heart attack. The aberration at Miramar was unintentional and hence to be viewed as a minor blip on the radar. Goa actually turned out to be one of the most incredible Mech'71 reunions ever.
Madhu Gupta's parting gesture was most touching and heart warming. She had brought along a hand crafted Thank You card in which she obtained signatures of all Mech'71ers & wives during the eventful & entertaining evening and later she posted the same on whatsapp. A big thank you to Shorty & Srilekha Mukherjee !
|Dona Paula Harbour|
|The indefatigable Mech'71ers and their phenomenal spouses at Dona Paula|
|Three spouses captured at the Dona Paula Police Outpost|
|The men in deep contemplation hatching a plan to rescue the ladies|
|We love Kwality Walls chocosticks|
|Gill is propounding his philosophy while Pimp appears lost|
|Rajat with brother & brother in law - family conclave in progress|
|Renu & Shobha - aren't they sparkling ?|
|Indu & Vinay - If they are sparkling then we are scintillating|
|Livleen & Sunil look thrilled to become the winners of the numbers game|
|Together we bring color glamour and enlightenment to the glittering evening|
|The gents added their own shades of brilliant colors|