Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Travel Diaries - Sri Lanka Day 2

At Negombo on Day 2 we were confined to the hotel. A quick look at the beach and the sea confirmed that we were in a good place - and we promptly ignored the beach. There's something about knowing that you have something in your grasp that makes it lose its charm. I peeped out of the room and saw Satish. Milind and Neelima were with us, Suhita, Gauri, Kalpak, Jyo, Medha were around already.
We caught up at 11 in Suhita's room and found that the views from the top were better - not that it helped any because I hardly looked out of the room. We found ourselves surrounded by a group of Miskil's friends and fellow revellers who decided to do an impromptu flash mob dance at the baraat and worse - decided to include us in the flash mob. There were a few steps that they made up on the song 'Kabiraa' (a song for Kabir the groom) and we were asked to kind of make up the bodies and swing along while the able bodied did something more attractive. It ended with Kalpak going down on his knees and winding off after which we had to melt into the crowd (which basically consisted of us). After a few rounds of this we got tired and slipped away in search of lunch.
The flash mob conspiracy
Right across the road was this inviting little restaurant that advertised fish and chips and beer. Kalpak, Shobha, Anjali and I slipped in and thirstily ordered some beer - Lion beer was recommended - when we hit a road block. It was a full moon day!

So? In Sri Lanka every full moon day is a public holiday and no liquor is served on those days. That set our plans back a mile. The young manager however said he would slip in some rum or vodka in a glass if we wanted but we refused. No point breaking the law on day 1 right? So we ordered some local rice and fish thali which unlike the Goan rice and fish plates that stick to what is promised (fish and rice) serve an assortment of vegetables alongside. Its a proper thali with the fish being a part of it. Good stuff. While we ate, we caught up with Kalpak on his life and its many interesting aspects - and it did get pretty interesting. He is an interesting lad who has explored many paths and is always fun to be with. The lack of sleep got to Anjali and she dozed off on the table - her fish and chips left untouched. We headed back to the room for a siesta and it was a well earned one for me.
Jyo, Suhita and Anjali at the beach
I woke up to find a lot of action going on - the preparations for the sangeet were on. It was in one of the halls at 8 pm. We quickly saw the sea from close quarters - and stepped back to get dressed. By now I sensed there were some 100 guests from the groom's side and some 40 from the bride's. I was impressed with the number of clothes they kept changing in and out of. They had one dress for every small occasion - go down to lobby, go to pool side, go for tea, go to sangeet - dress for every occasion.
Jetwing Blue from the beach
The sangeet began with a busy bar. In a while the family and friends of the bride and groom came dancing in to some songs on which they had rehearsed and in the very end came Miskil and Kabir dancing into the hall. It was very nice to see.
The crowd around the bar at the sangeet
After some socialising the attention shifted to the stage where a couple of able comperes took over and set the evening off. Medha sang a song and also added a fine bit of performance to it. She was having a ball. Then followed a whole bunch of performances to Bollywood songs, a recitation of a poem by an old aunt. Anjali went off to rehearse her steps with a friend of hers that she found - and then came back and danced to her number pretty well.
The grand performance
A number by Suhita and another by all the grand parents and aunts and uncles of Kabir were nice. Of course the younger lot were lovely to watch as they danced gaily.The bride and groom joined in every now and then. After the performances the action turned to the floor and everyone went to shake a leg. Anjali spent a lot of time there and sometime close to midnight
The floor 
I decided to call it a night, ate some dinner and slipped away to la la land. The next day, is the day of the shaadi.

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