I have a few green sarees and it was a bit of a battle between choosing my Nalli Silks saree from my wedding and a beautiful Godavari cotton and this. This is the first saree K and I bought together in Singapore for a puja. And it tickles me as I realise it is the last saree we bought together. I have bought sarees for myself after that but never with K. I think this is a good reminder to change that. So anyway, we picked this up in one of the shops in Little India. I had zero knowledge of sarees and weaves and K was just there because well, I had dragged him along though he did help me pick one. This has patchwork border and pallu and drapes so so easily. I have come to realise that draping takes 2 minutes or maybe 2 mins 50 seconds but getting a picture of yourself by yourself that does not just show your face takes eternity and I really had to squeeze it in my lunch hour as my tummy groaned for attention and it was quite gloomy outside. I wore my first necklace that my chitti gave me when I was in 3rd grade, it has stayed with me since and perhaps one can tell its age but for me, it will always be evergreen and the pun is not lost on me. Hope you are enjoying your Navratri, dearest people 🙂
Entering Navratri with one of my absolute favourite colours – yellow! 🙂
I decided I would wear a saree only if I don’t feel too hassled with all the work meetings today and am so glad I did, because if anything, it brought me out of a state of daze (slipping in and out of online meetings does that to you on some days) and took me to the time I stole this saree from ma the minute her cousin gave it to her. I don’t think ma has ever worn this saree as I have preciously carried it with me everywhere I went. It is so light that it threatens to fall off me and the silver thread work that is barely there and yet so pretty always makes captivates me. This saree has seen through an invocation, a compering, a dance at a wedding and every time I realise how what we may call as material objects are so much more than that. I have so much to say but I have such an endless day ahead of me but I will say this again – I am so glad I did this today even if it means sitting at a desk and attacking tasks. I am fairly certain, it will be with renewed vigour.
There is something about fall that makes me do these captures almost every year now. As someone with intense olfaction and an undiagnosed synaesthesia, my senses are heightened when I see the leaves that seem to spread a golden carpet in our garden everywhere. The aromatic apparitions are coupled by strong emotions of course but that has not been seasonal. I try to keep track of what triggers what and where the cycle begins (?) but it is a complex web. Some of these are pure associations of a yesterday and I can discern those in a sniff. Like the pumpkin body butter that takes me to the streets of Auckland, the hand cream that takes me on a trip to Shropshire and a particularly green road that housed a teeny Dominos. There was a time I would buy a small perfume for every trip I made but eventually stopped. I realised the place brings with it, its own sensorial mirage and it is more lasting than anything money can buy. But this Kama Ayurveda oil surprised me – it takes me to the wire basket that my grandfather would carry, with several many paraphernalia all neatly arranged. He was an Ayurvedic doctor but the bag smelt of a mix of incense, old papers, freshly laundered garment and perhaps an uncture? But when I think of the bag, this is the smell I smell. And it oddly is also the smell I associate when I think of an afternoon when we made kohl at home with hibiscus. It smelt nothing of bringadi but that is also perhaps why it is a mirage. They bring me an overwhelming sense of comfort, despite what may seem like a sensorial overload. Something I have been going back to and will write about is also this beautiful book by Charlie Mackesy that I first saw on @namrathakumar29 feed. It is filled with the comfort and warmth that I can only describe through some of the above smells. I rarely write about this because it is hard to describe abstraction. So I dig into my Lara bar (stories I will tell you another time!) and watch the fleeting shower of leaves from my window.
There is this lovely, almost hole-in-the-wall Goan restaurant in Hounslow called Casa de Goa that has been an absolute gem of a find. They have few vegetarian dishes but boy do they make them well! We sometimes pick up a side dish or two but I had been wanting to have breakfast there for so many months now and it finally happened. And I chose to make a beginning with the Goan style puri bhaji. It seemed the most exciting of vegetarian options offered to me and though I knew you cannot go wrong with a puri bhaji, I was a little skeptical of how different a Goan puri bhaji can be. Trust life to remind you to not judge and walk in with preconceived notions. This bhaji was different and splendid – it was a mix of Patal Bhaji made with dried peas soaked overnight in a paste of coconut and spices (I could smell and taste coriander and cumin and red chillies) and atop it was the Potato bhaji which also had a gravy consistency. I absolutely loved it. I am definitely going to try making this myself because God knows I can eat a couple of plates of this on a weekend. K ordered the ros omelette which is an omelette in a chicken xacuti curry served with pav and as tempting as it looked, I could not taste it but he loved his breakfast as well! The pav was just okay and not the kind of pav you would eat if in India.
The chai – what songs do I sing for the chai served in my favourite kind of glass? It was sweet and hot, just the kind of sip you want as you dip your poori in that hot gravy. It is so affordably priced and so easy to miss, it truly feels like a find. And you know what? It is, the kinds to keep.
Getting to the restaurant:
They don’t have the most updated website and calling them is your best bet. Website: https://casa-de-goa.business.site/?hl=en-GB Address: 113 High St, Hounslow TW3 1QT (they are located near Shri Krishna Vada Pav and opposite to Madras Flavours) Phone: 07808 197021 They do deliver through Ubereats, Just Eat and Deliveroo based on your location.