On the 6th of March 2009, my team and I went out for a picnic to Manori (Palm Beach)
The planning was a mess, but I was determined to make it happen, we had rescheduled too many times.
Some people did not come for various reasons, but looking back... it did not matter. Everything that happened, happened for the best.
After work on Friday all our bags were packed and we were ready to go, we were not leaving on a jet plane, but something close, we were going to the Marve Jetty.
We set out at 5pm...All excited that this was finally happening...2 rickshaws 6 people.
Rick #1 Gaurav, Adrian, James, Rick #2 Tanya, Maria, Rajesh...we were on our way. Well almost!
Once you reach Malad Marve ( you come to a T junction and you need to take a right to go to the marve jetty)
I've been there many times so I should know....But for some inexplicable reason, I did not listen to "Gaurav" a guy in my team and took the left that goes towards the "Resort + Retreat" and 10mins into the journey. We got a call from Rajesh, who seemed concerned that we had not reached, because we had left before them.
We told them we would be there in 5mins....15mins later winding down some unfamiliar road, our Rickshaw driver was also concerned as he was as lost as I.
When you have 3 guys in a rick, asking for directions is out of the question. But better sense prevailed on the instance of out rickshaw driver, we asked a local where the "Manori Jetty" was....
In the opposite direction was his reply... Gaurav and Adrian did not look too pleased...They failed to find the humor initially.
I'm sure Rajesh and the girls had the "WTF" expression when we told them that I had made an error.
20mins later we reached "Marve Jetty" - Sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut...but since I'm always so honest.
I told them that I had made this same error last year when were going on a picnic to the same place...
Apparently I am a slow learner... so they forgave me, at least that's what I thought. If you see the initial pics on the way to Manori, they do not look happy. Courtesy James.
We reached "Palm Beach" the memories of my last trip came flooding back, peppered with whole gamut of emotions and images.
The Swimming pool, aka "Tabela" (correct spelling courtesy K) the unlimited servings of "French fries" and yummy Chicken tikka starters.
The lunch and dinner is not something I really look forward to.. It’s palatable. The breakfast menu is devoid of anything to "My Liking" The coffee, too milky, no cheese grilled sandwiches, bacon and eggs(made just the way I want them) ....but I'm too fussy.
I can be sure that normal people will not have a problem.
Looking back at this trip, we did not do anything out of the box, or play any of the standard picnic games.
It started off as a photo shoot, cause I love photography, my team was not as eager as I but it's ok. I know they will appreciate it.
We had a few quiet conversations, interspersed with overly accented echoes of my statements. My quirks (bringing a Bed sheet and a pillowcase invited some more comments)
We had people playing songs on their cell phones.. None of us had thought of bringing speakers or Music.
I can say it was a very relaxing picnic as most people were perpetually asleep.
In the morning, we decide to go out for a trek (going out clicking snaps on some of the rocks) It was nice.
I got to click a lot of snaps and I was happy. We got back and my team had breakfast and I watched.
A little bird seem to be really friendly and very hungry, not sure if it was a he or a she, because initially with was running after Imran and later on it was fascinated by Tanya.
It provided us with some entertainment, when it jumped on Tanya's plate... I did not have my camera at that point of time... But it was a hilarious sight.
The guys played water polo and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, I sat out and clicked snaps.
The women lazed around in hammocks till lunch time.
After lunch, we went back into the room and chatted for a while. Sam pestered me to sing and I told him I couldn’t and they would regret it ….their persistent paid off and I sang a song (more than words - 1 stanza) and then they did not ask me to sing again and I don’t think they will ever ask me to sing again.
Then Tanya sang a song, in Hindi – no idea what it meant but it was really nice. So the next time we go out, she will be summoned.
Then everyone went to sleep…. Yes again.
I decided to meet my ex team, they were down the road at Dominica’s, I met up with them for a while and then I went back to Palm Beach.
We had to check out by 6pm, so we packed and got everything organized and spoke about our next trip in July.
A few more group snaps and we headed back to our busy lives.
Every snap I clicked has a story and I’m sure our next trip will be more memorable and fun.
Till then…take care