Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Water Day!

(A report on SEQC's Road Trip by Tallulah D'Silva)

The nasty flu was still lurking in the dark corners of rainy August around our home and with the SEQC road trip looming its sexy head I was hoping I could finally make it on the designate Sunday, flu permitting or not! Lucky me, the morning looked promising and we rushed to the Panaji Church meeting point to get onto the bus and it was so pleasant to see old familiar faces. With hot ‘buns’ from Cafe Bhonsle to chew on we set off to pick up the few handful along the way at Verna and Margao enroute to Chandor or ancient Chandrapur, Goa’s capital of yore, our first pit stop. With the sonorous church music ringing in the background we packed ourselves like sardines into the usual village chai shop for some hot patal bhajee pao and meat chops! Our tummies taken care of, we then quickly walked up to the Menezes Brangaza Mansion, Goa’s longest heritage house built some 350 yrs ago. Our first round of quizzing was let loose at the 11th Century Kadamba Temple Ruins at Chandor, 1 kms from the main tinto.  The four teams  - Bahamanis, Rastrakutas, Kadambas and the Alemaos (all named after famous Goan dynasties) got down to business with Annie lighting the QM war torch with a trademark ‘Road trip’ debut question. Ashwin Mascarenhas followed with an interesting ‘lesser known facts’ series of questions. Having wrapped up 2 sets and Nitish desperately running amok to stock on beer, we then continued to Mollem via Sanvordem and strayed off the path to a disused mining pit inundated with water. Although tempted to stop over and quiz some more we retraced our steps and resumed our journey to Atreya’s Vedic Farm in Mollem. We were welcomed at the farm with garlands and lemon grass tea and after we had exchanged greetings with our gracious hosts Nirmala Tai and Tanvi Sawant, we hydrated ourselves with some juices, feni and rum and resumed with the next ‘theme of 3’ set conducted by Conrad Fernandes, Bollywood ‘flims’ et al. Salil Bijur and Mahima walked in during this set having travelled all the way from Delhi and Bangalore to join us on this road trip! Rajiv followed next with his round of tough ‘frame questions as you ask’ ones. Lunch was scrumptious and the silence bore witness to how hungry we all were after the boisterous quizzing rigour. Sharmila’s sound advice of not missing out on an opportunity had us all queuing down to the stream below for a dip in the fresh water and some more quizzing. This by far turned out to be the best part of the trip! We had a ball, dunking others trying to escape getting drenched and finally settling down to crack Salil’s set of questions. Having satiated our swimming and wading-in-pebbles jamboree we walked back to the restaurant for some chai and biscuits and Viola’s set of 12. We bid goodbye with medicinal saplings and instructions on how to set up a butterfly garden in tow. The return journey was enjoyable with Annie’s theme of 15 complexes and Srijit’s tail-ender ! 

Waiting for the bus to arrive.

Breakfast at Chandor.

In the heart of Chandrapur.

Last-minute mugging-up before the quiz, and listening to some tour guide talk.

Monkeying around, and quizzing. Nandi looks on approvingly.

The battle lines are drawn.

Quizzing under the influence.

SEQC's GenNext

Food, glorious food.

Now is this the best setting for a quiz ever? We think so!

Some calm, some storm.

Water wars.

Obligatory group picture.

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