Monday, November 14, 2016

Happiness is time spent with Good Friends - Girls Night out in Ras al Khaimah

I am just back from our ladies night out trip and still reminiscing in its glory. Felt I should pen down our trip so that when we look back after a long time, we can still go through those same emotions and relive the moments. 

This is our batch of friends from Providence Women’s College, Calicut. Every year, we get together for some alumni meet or other in Dubai. However the get-together we really enjoy is the one that has only our batch mates and most of the time it happens whenever some of our friends from outside UAE visit us. 

Rajeesha/ Bibu/ Vinaya trip was one to start off with, followed by last year with Sajna flying down and we jammed up at Umm al Quwain chalet. And this time, we had postponed it due to various availability factors, kids’ exams, convenient dates etc. At last we finalized the dates to early November and the venue this time was Ras al Khaimah.
There are around 12-14 of us from the same batch in UAE. The more the merrier is our motto, so we make sure to invite all across UAE and also from other parts of the world who wish to join in at that time. This time, the group ultimately formed was 
Sajna – our admin (who makes it a point to fly down from Kuwait anytime we call 😊),
Jiji – who had lost her words in college but discovered them lately amongst us 😊
Shriranjini – who amazingly can be silly, mature and stupid at the same time
Hema  - our new entrepreneur  - can come up with the weirdest jokes ever.
Reshma – our selfie queen – the perfect lady 😊 and
Me – who discovered friendship very late in life, but trust me I’ am making up for it now 😊
The last minute drop out was Leena , who unfortunately had an aunt turn up unexpectedly with a truckload of family problems, which made her decide that , that load was better than this load of friends . 

Friday morning started early for me, getting ready to pick up the gang. Picked up Jiji and then Sajna from her hotel. Jiji’s customary annual hugging ceremony was carried out at the car parking, while I also got down for the same however forgot about it, fortunately or unfortunately didn’t end up hugging either Sajna or the valet person  😊.

Next stop was Mirdiff City centre for lunch, where the entire team landed up at the Food court. Leena joined us for lunch since she didn’t want to miss her darling Sajna, (the rest of us don’t fit in that category ;) Had a good lunch, tried to coerce Leena maximum to join us but then we failed and we let her leave lest we create more family problems for her 😊

The drive to RAK was uneventful and we reached around 4.30 to One to One Clover Suites. We checked in and made ourselves comfortable by having tea etc. This was a beautiful 3 BR Suites with a lovely pool view. We got ready to go to the beach since the private beach would close by 6.30pm. Except for Jiji & Sajna (the new found friends ;)) the rest of us had a great time splashing around in water. Hema with her full swimming gear was just short of the Olympic swimming race. By 6.30pm, we were given a warning signal by a lifeguard who was walking around as if he was one of those Baywatch lifeguards ready to pull us out of the sea if required.  We sat around for another half an hour chatting there and then moved back to the Hotel swimming pool. The Jacuzzi pool was really refreshing. This time Sajna too in her inspiring Fifty Hays T shirt (dedicated to Jiji of course) joined us in the pool. Photo sessions were always a must – whether in the pool, in the beach, near the well or in the room as long as we made sure Reshma’s best angles were always captured.
We strutted back to our rooms, and freshened up for dinner. The main past time and point of interest during that time was the new folks who had come to the pool. The gimmicks were not short of Gymnastics and were a shame it was wasted in the swimming pool rather than the Olympics. We got out to dinner at Nalukettu restaurant and had a stomach full of ravishing stuff. By the time we got out from there it was 11pm and most of the shops were closed. All of a sudden our guest of honour wanted to eat Falooda and we being the benevolent hosts couldn’t say No to her. RAK being a city full of life after 10pm (ironically), it was pretty easy for us to find a cafeteria which served faloodas at 11.30pm. Sajna & Reshma were happy with their Glory and Falooda Spl, though it looked the same to me. We reached back to the hotel by 12 and settled in, not to sleep mind you, but to chat peacefully. 

Jiji who would never see after 10 pm on normal days was straining to keep her eyes open , more on lines with the Tom & Jerry images where Tom puts a matchstick in the eyes to keep it wide open. Hema tired after Olympic swimming stunts, Reshma tired from the selfies and the remaining 3 of us wide awake. People often ask me after the trip, what did you girls do, did you go to some pub, did you have drinking party, adventure sports etc. etc. . . . And when I reply that all that we did do was talk, talk and talk …. They would never believe it. But that’s exactly what we do…we are never short of topics. This time, we started with Reshma running us through her totally ideal routine of managing home, work, kids, social life which left us in awe. We being the idle friends, we are tried our best to deviate her from her picture perfect life lest we be inspired to inculcate her pattern and turn over a new leaf which would leave our partners and kids in shock  😊

Jiji shocked us with her revelations on her friendships and interests during college life (college, tuitions, movies, friendships etc.). Sajna is yet to revive from the shock of these revelations. The normal topics of conversation range from school life, college, teachers, Mrs. Annie’s antics, bunking classes by jumping the backside wall, Commissioner’s bungalow, the various groups in class, rivalries and friendships, gossips of long forgotten boyfriends of self and others, tuition time stories, Senior gals gossips, movies seen after bunking, B-Zone and D-Zone competitions, the hidden talents among us, debate over whose Mother Teresa Collage won the prize, clay modelling stars etc. By 2.30pm, we decided to call it a day and moved to respective bedrooms. But after 10 mins ended up again altogether on 1 bed again. The stories continued with Hema and Reshma half asleep. Once again the stories continued. We didn’t leave a single person in our class or neighboring classes untouched when it came to old stories- warm gratitude for Justina who used to make sure that bags queue to the bus was perfect, Bhuvana / Rhena who used to shout out answers before Ms. Rosa completed the questions, blinking toms like Justina and me who were half way through the question, the remaining 15-20 people who were the least bothered since they had tuition, the new comers in class and the veterans of Provi., funny anecdotes related to marriages of our friends, Apollo 13 stories , WhatsApp group stories and the list was endless.

Once we made sure Hema & Reshma slept soundly, we moved out to the next room wherein Sajna and Jiji (the new found friends 😊) had settled in .Once again the yapping continued and the icing on the cake was to call Leena by 5am to remind here that we missed her 😊 and she should feel jealous that we were still up and talking. The most striking part was that when you look back , so many things, which we carried in our hearts back in school or college days , things we gave undue importance to – be it friendships / rivalries , issues or difficult situations were looking so silly now. And today looking back, all those put together is what makes our memories of the good old times worth remembering.

Around 5.30am we literally called it a day and slept for 2 hours. Once again we dragged everyone out of bed before 8am and went off to the bright and sunny beach for more selfies. The morning sun shining brightly down upon us, Reshma gave us classes on the various poses for photography, the jumping pics etc. which soon made us tired which was compensated by a relishing continental breakfast. We got back to the room and sat around planning when and where the next meet would be 😊and soon got ready to checkout. We checked out by 12.30pm and the drive back, this is one part of the whole trip that I despise. From all the talking, all the fun and noise, going back to reality is the most difficult part for me. Bidding goodbyes was never my forte. Dropped all the girls in their respective places and Sajna to the Airport and then headed back straight home. These trips always leave a special feeling of closeness and warmth in our friendships. WhatsApp group flooded with selfies and videos of the trip, calls to make sure all reached safely etc. leave a feel good factor about the whole trip. These friendships are special in every sense and often I regret that I never made the effort to know it way back but yes, going ahead, I am not going to lose them 😊 for whatever it may be... The hubby and kids of all of them definitely need a word of appreciation for ensuring that we have a good time always. I hope we can keep doing this again at least once a year and that we can have more like minded friends joining in as well. Dedicated to all my friends once again and thank you all for always being there and being special in your own sweet ways!!