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Writers International Edition

Dr Aparna Ajith, writer about Goa

Au revoir, Our Queen’s Kitchen

No parting in life is pleasing like shaking hands. When you have to bid adieu to someone and something best loved by you, how will you take it? Many a time, I put pen to paper to weave patterns for my random goodbye tale. I could not. I had to put it off for something or the other. I don’t know the reason behind this ridiculous procrastination. The resplendence of a New Year has given me the urge to pen my passionate goodbye story after a couple of months. “It’s not the days in life we remember, rather the moments” goes the saying. The plethora of pleasing experiences and the treasure trove of priceless moments take me back to the shadow lane of Goan memoirs. Yes, once there lived a mom and baby as Diasporas. Indeed, in the Portuguese city of Goa, I was fortunate to see, feel, hang out, and move around with my munchkin. His maiden flight journey to meet his dad began when he was 0.8 albeit he started travelling while in liquid form to have a glance at his dad in uniform. Oh, the story is getting lengthy. No more spoilers… Let me come straight to the Momos Queen.

No stories of our Goan days would be complete without the mention of the fleeting presence of the two smiling souls we came across at Porvorim, Goa. The much-awaited journey was delayed by the layover of the connecting flights from Goa to Trivandrum. I fondly cherish the Indigo team for offering assistance in carrying my baggage and all as I was juggling with my little human who was only a handful of months old then. The journey from 08:30 almost ended at 18:00 hinting at the landing sirens and conveyor belt rush of the Defence protected Airport of Goa. As usual, my prompt man was all set to carry and keep us safe on the Baleno. Of course, the baggage too. From the oft-heard stories of the Goan life, we have decided to head to Delfino’s from where Sujeeth, my man normally buys essentials and groceries. The occasional cook in Jeeth never fails to explore the nook and cranny of the supermarket. He waxed eloquent on the Malayali shop selling yummy Appam and stew. The mom and baby gave it a try. It was indeed relishing. No wonder! He introduced us to the juice shop as well.

We accidentally and incidentally came across a shop near Delfino’s. We were unsure as we didn’t know whether it was a separate shop or not. In the “Queen’s Kitchen”, lies a display of snacks – varieties of momos. “Eat delicious momos, fresh homemade momos available here”. My appetite craved for them be it veg or non-veg. I have been suppressing my hunger since morning. Lil Kunjapp aka Anvik who is in the phase of developing taste buds too munched a little. I could see a giggle in him. The little mind is mastering the art of exploring the wonders of the newfound land. Of course, he started putting himself in tune with the munching crunchy momos with time.

The first impression of Momos and the queen instilled a good impression. It did not take much time to develop a company with the Momos King and Queen. Kunjapp’s taste buds were favored by the fragrance of the Momos. He has fallen for momos from the land that has taught him to crawl and fall and walk like a homosapien. Kunjapp’s active vocabulary remains as a platter brimming with Malayalam, English, and Hindi coinages. The first City he learned to utter was ‘Govaa’. For him, Goa means ‘Accha’ (dad), beaches, shack, and the queenly momos. Whenever we got to grab two to three packets( one packet will make us go for two or three normally) of Momos, the Queen asks whether I have come on leave and how is everything. These pleasant exchanges make the Momos and Queen’s kitchen experience exceptional and memorable for us.

The days and months-long Goan stay came to an end all of a sudden. Kunjapp has made remarkable milestones in his life. Although we were mentally preparing to bid adieu to the quarters on the banks of river Mandovi, I never thought I had to rush home with the two-and-a-half-year-old kid due to hospital emergencies back home. The colourful days of Goa prompt us to remain crazy but we have to accept the harsh realities of life. Jeeth with a positive and unexpressive persona, booked the tickets and packed our baggage within no time after working hours. I tried to make up my mind that Kunjapp and I would not be Diasporas in Goa anymore but tourists for sure in the future.

I had a swan song for my glorious Goan galore of emotions. I just wanted to go to Delfino’s and assured that we won’t delay and miss the flight. My auspicious desire was materialized by my better half. Jeeth’s expertise in riding took us within no time. Kunjapp as always was curious to go for a ride and chill with us in his ways. I purchased a bag for myself and asked Jeeth to bring it home safely on his byroad journey. While getting down at the parking itself, I saw the queen, waved my hands, and went straight away to her. I ordered the momos. While exiting Delfino’s, I rushed to the Queen’s Kitchen. Jeeth was indirectly hinting at time with his facial gestures. I collected the order, paid the money, and expressed my deep sense of gratitude for making my baby’s Goan days singular and noteworthy with her Godly sent momos. She found it hard to digest that we are leaving Goa forever. I promised her that we would revisit Goa once our Anvik grows. She hugged me out of affection and said – “Wherever you are, God bless you. Take care, Ma’am”.

Her words mean a lot to me. My little globetrotter in his three years has marked his presence at Chennai, Bengaluru, Kodaikanal, Hyderabad, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kolkata and what not but he has never come across the flair and flavor of momos from the Queen’s kitchen. Even if I try to order and get from costly and high-rated shops, nothing can parallel the quality and reasonable rate of queenly momos. Thank you for making a few pages in the life story of Goan days truly astounding. Feeling a sense of riveria sublime. For the time being, let me say Au revoir to our Momos Queen team. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” The dictum exemplifies my love and longing for the Portuguese marvel of Goa. Accha’s Goa is always Accha for Kunjapp and his mom. We will come again someday nearby, someday far….. Countdown begins!!

PS: If you plan a trip to North Goa, never miss to slow down your vehicle for a while to munch some mouthwatering Momos! You won’t regret taking a short break near Porvorim. This small outlet at the Delfino’s Courtyard is a must-visit to try the delicate momos with the perfect mix of minced chicken, garlic and veggies served with scrumptious sauce and chutney. The Momos Queen’s delightful exchanges added a special touch, making each visit memorable for us. Kunjapp’s milestones mirrored the colorful days of Goa. The flavor of Goan momos remains unmatched as we venture into new destinations. To future travelers, a pit stop near Porvorim for delectable momos is a must. The appetizing aroma of the gorgeous filling is all set to entice you in the joyfulness of Goa.

Dedicated to Sujeeth and Anvik Sujeeth, the priceless possessions of my life who make me going with all my daily delirium and creative lunacies. Love and hugs to my warriors!

Column by 
Dr Aparna Ajith

About the Author

Dr Aparna Ajith writer and her travel experience in goaDr. Aparna Ajith serves as an Assistant Professor in the PG Department of English at Sree Narayana College for Women, Kollam affiliated with the University of Kerala. She is the author of Musings of Venus, An anthology of poems. She is the recipient of the Panorama Global Youth Literary Award 2020. She is one of the recipients of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Research Grant 2020. Being a freelance journalist, she writes and translates articles for the Information and Public Relations Department, Govt. of Kerala. She is an avid reader and blogger who dabbles in the world of prose and verse. Having lived in four Indian cities and a quaint hamlet, she soars high in the sky of artistic imagination wielding her realistic and diasporic impressions. Her academic and creative pursuits bestowed her the opportunity to travel to 18 states and 2 union territories in the country and get a glimpse of their varied cultures. Beyond her professional pursuits, she finds joy in navigating the highs and lows of life alongside her beloved baby, Anvik Sujeeth, whose presence often breathes life into her poetic expressions.

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Dinesh Daniel
Dinesh Daniel
4 months ago

Thank you so much Ma’am for this lovely article ☺️
We are overwhelmed by the words you pend, so grateful to you… Stay blessed 💖

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