The shopping and tiring lunch notwithstanding, we still had the party in the evening to think about. Besides, some of the older kids wanted to go parasailing again.
I walked down to the beach in the company of my older son and a friend. Both did not want to parasail. Neither had done it the first time. In my capacity of veteran parasailor I was giving them both the good advice. This was easier to do with my friend who is a mature grown up with nothing to prove to anyone. For my son who stood the risk of being teased by his friends for being chicken, it took courage and my best parenting judgement to assure him that he did not need to do something he didn’t want to just to fit in. He should decide what was best for himself and enjoy what he did. That was most important. If he thought he would enjoy parasailing and remember the experience, it made sense to face his fears and go for it. But that was the only good reason.
When we reached we were told that there would be no dips this time since there were jellyfish in the sea! Parenting judgement flew out the window so fast I barely had time to say goodbye. If my son went up, he would get the chance to see whole colonies of jellyfish! He has always loved marine life and could NOT be allowed to miss the chance! So my husband and I totally pushed him to go for it. I am not proud of this of course but he really enjoyed himself and counted 51 jellyfish!
Once he came down he began preaching to my friend to go for it too. Everyone else was pushing her as well but she remembered my sermons and stood her ground. Even as the harness was being strapped around her, she calmly and patiently explained why she thought it was not a good idea to be in a situation where panicking and losing her head might do her harm and how she was really not that comfortable. Everyone listened to her quietly and with full attention and said, ‘ok sit down’. As she sat down and began with her thanks, they pressed the button. I think she completed her speech mid air.
My sartorial misfortunes are by now familiar to all. I was still in my swishy dress which while appropriate for shopping is definitely not the thing to wear when planning to get into harness and float up in air for all to see. Everyone told me I’d missed a good thing and sailing in the pleasant evening breeze was way more fun than the same thing in the hot afternoon sun. With memories of seeing Raima Sen on the big screen however, I firmly refused.
The flip side of watersports in the evening soon became obvious to us though. The sea turned choppy and the waters fierce. We still needed to take two turns to return. The boat operators overloaded boat one, and the water came in. They had to drain the boat with buckets before they could take us so we sat in the big boat being tossed about, holding on to the children waiting for our turn to go back. It was a little scary but a lot exciting. When we finally got the boat back, the waves were really quite big and even after we had docked at the beach, continued to pound us, rocking the little boat alarmingly. My youngest was carried off as soon as boat hit beach. I felt instinctively that it was for his safety besides our friends from trip one were right there on the beach and it was still crowded but my husband was worried and raced after him. I came in after with the older one. There was more drama to follow since the younger one refused to leave the beach till every last piece of his newly purchased sand toy set had been traced and recovered from the boat docking site where he had left it. I think I have spoken before of the possessiveness of younger children?
So all in all it was one more drenching and nothing to wear in the evening. I needed tea to ponder over this and everyone needed tea anyway so we all walked down to Milonies in our drenched glory. The kids made one more sand castle and we had hot adrak chai and dried off in the setting Goan sun.
Back in the villa, it was the moment of truth for me. I had one last good dress left – for the nice, non shack, non dal-chawal meal we had planed for our last day. And one travel outfit. So it would have to be the hot shorts. The husband and kids had nice things to wear. Making a mental note to switch out of Nirupa Roy mode next time while packing I reluctantly got ready for the party.
Emerging on the scene I observed my former college roomie MCing the proceedings with much gusto. As she pulled me in to dance I whispered urgently in her ear that she might not have noticed but I couldn’t dance as I was wearing the hot shorts! She laughed merrily pushing me into the center of the melee. Having no choice I quickly identified the best dancer and began copying the moves to the best of my ability.
This was followed by the little ones putting up a sort of variety entertainment consisting of singing, dancing and a skit where sleeping beauty wakes up to reveal herself as a zombie. It was all creative, entertaining and remarkably original.
The kids were in bed and fast asleep long before the cake was cut and we wound the whole thing up by sitting around the pool singing old Hindi movie songs. I think some of us were a little tipsy, most of us felt sentimental and we were all very happy.