How holiday shopping happened or rather, didn’t.

And here’s what good resort wear should look like.


The panic started when it was decided we were a)going to Goa and b)staying at a hotel where folks generally checked in with coordinated luggage. Yes, yes, yes. I am nothing if not shallow. So shallow in fact that I first threw out all the contents of my wardrobe on the bed. Decided that jeans and black tees in varying styles were so not resortwear and then got myself into a crisis situation at work resulting in the pulling out of individual hairs on my head as they stood on edge. The result of which crisis situation meant that save for a couple of strappy tops that covered chest expanse without objectionable display of cleavage, I had nothing to wear. Which in turn meant I needed to shop for my days on the beach. And given Goa, it has a dress code all its own. Read itty bitty strips of cloth that masquerade as swimwear which is to be worn by the very brave, especially those garguatan pink roasted firang ladies, whom I want so much to go up and shake their hand in awe and admiration of their total lack of self consciousness and hope that some spills off on me and I can rustle up the courage to wear a pair of shorts without wondering whether someone will approach me with an offer for lymphatic drainage treatment for cellulite from the in house spa.

This is the point the spouse comes in to add his two bits of pertinent pointing out that since I have nothing to wear could I kindly remove the nothings overspilling from my cupboard and occupying two entire shelves in his, causing his tshirts to teeter in precariously high stacks that fight with the trousers hung on hangers for growing space.

Therefore, I ran to the stores for appropriate beachwear. I was not willing to go short and strappy. I was beyond the legal permissable age for shift dresses and sundresses. And I have thighs that roll to their own drummer when I walk. Therefore, I ended up with a couple of vests and capris. Packed in the man’s shorts which reach my knee and a vest. Let it not be said that I am not a devoted wife. If Katie Holmes can wear her husband’s trews, no matter if she has to have them end around her calves given their height difference, I can definitely wear my man’s shorts. Of course, these are shorts that are tiny for him. The only time he tried them on, he worried he had squeezed himself into a herniated situation in delicate places. And yes, it was a gift therefore a smart pair which I was determined he didn’t hand out with his usual generosity to all and sundry. I have had quite enough of seeing the housekeeping staff in the building complex we live in walking around with his old tees. Another combination was strappy camisoles worn with capris.

I realized all I have in my cupboard are fullsleeved tees and full length jeans. According to this issue of the Indian Vogue, my style sense is Classic Cool or Cool Chic or something that involves all three words. Another kind friend called it a buttoned down look. Predictable colours, predictable combinations and veering towards Albert Einstein’s penchant for infinite black suits of the same style to save him the stress of daily dithering and dathering about what to wear and give him the mindspace to postulate ground breaking theories. Now that Ive converted threefourths of my wardrobe into black and denim, I think I should set up a lab too.

I thought I would pick up more appropriate beach/resort wear in Goa itself. Goa, I must add is on off season. Therefore the entire stretch of beach road which is normally covered from inch to inch by stalls selling everything from swimwear to original fakes was painfully bare. As we approached and passed down the road to the resort I took in the horrific sight of no stalls, shops closed and no activity happening on the street which in normal course of times had people walking into each other leaving no space for vehicular traffic. The spouse seeing my woebegone face soothed me with the probability that this was afternoon. Things would be back to normal by evening. Yes, I cheered up. I would head out and shop in the evening.

Therefore, we went shopping. I must define we here. Bumped into the spouse’s BFF and his wife and kid, who had on an offchance landed up at the same hotel. Therefore we cruel fashion crazy women dumped the kids on the unwilling hubbies, who reacted with expressions more suited to them Africon explorers while they were being trussed up and roasted over the spit by cannibals who chanced on them in the undergrowth. Got ourselves the hotel car, and told the driver to hit the shops. We stopped at every halfway decent looking shop in the limited stretch from Fort Aguada to Baga. Yes, limited is the word. We barely made three shops.

The previous day, we had gone into Panjim to hit the Casino at Cidade de Goa, but since we were at the mercy of the husbands who were driving and had our respective brats hanging onto our legs, we made sad noises about not getting a chance to get ourselves to Wendell Rodricks. Though I would be the first to confess that I would dither and dather before daring to try out said designer’s work which is primarily designed for perfect figures and perfect collarbones and no jiggle arms.

We passed Kingfisher Villa with its imposing gates. The husband always gives it a once over with the kind of hangdog look I reserve for the latest limited edition roses LV series by Stephen Sprouse. You know, thinking I-want-it-now with a pain in the chest that comes from wanting the unattainable.

First stop Acron Plaza where friend picked up a red printed Ritu Kumar Label sundress styled like a halterneck with a fab turquoise stone brooch down the front and a Gurlz grey silk sleeveless number. It also helps that she is one level better than a stick insect and looked all sleek and groomed and long limbed in it. I slunk around in her presence feeling like the clumsy, awkward overweight teen I used to be and dared not pour my lard into any such slinky numbers at the risk of setting off an entire shopful of assistants into hysterics. I settled for a black and grey Canary Blue tee I could wear back in Mumbai and some La Senza innerwear which is so precious that I don’t know when I would gather sufficient courage to allow my underbust sweat stains to defile it. Maybe it would stay in my drawer as a holy relic to be taken out, looked at and kept back till the purpose they were bought for become eggs on nails and can only be contained by adhesive tape and a straitjacket.

That was all I bought from Goa. Cross my heart. Malini Ramani was closed. Masquerade was filled with stuff I get at export reject shops in Mumbai so didn’t see any reason to buy for the sake of buying. Bought lot of cashew nut packages as handouts to friends and family, which I will inevitably finish singlehandedly before I get round to distributing said packages. And no feni. And no bebinca. That’s fattening you know. And that wouldn’t get handed out too.

Next time I am so going armed with a map of the best shopping to be done in Goa. I feel rather bristly and shortchanged at not returning with even one item of clothing that I can swoon over myself and convince myself I had to buy it or die then and there. Perhaps, first things first, I really need to buy myself a swimsuit and some shorts for my next trip there. Maybe I should start right here in Mumbai, before landing in Goa. Knowing the husband, I think we will be back before this tan wears off. And yes, I need to stock up on that sunscreen too.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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8 Responses to How holiday shopping happened or rather, didn’t.

  1. Bhavna says:

    Thats so cool. All the shopping that will happen for a holiday before and then u realize that everything you bought is hopelessly out of tune. Of course, I end up with my faithful black spaghetti and some hastily bought shorts there, which are on arrival back home, pushed to the back of the cupboard..and then they are too ‘not with it’ the next time I need them.
    Ha ha..u have a fantastic sense of humour!!



  2. aniruddhapathak says:

    “This is the point the spouse comes in to add his two bits of pertinent pointing out that since I have nothing to wear could I kindly remove the nothings overspilling from my cupboard and occupying two entire shelves in his, causing his tshirts to teeter in precariously high stacks that fight with the trousers hung on hangers for growing space” I simply loved the description haha…too good


  3. Kiran Manral says:

    Bhavna: Soul Sistah!!!

    Aniruddhapathak: Well, dont think the man finds it funny given he has no cupboard space left…


  4. Aathira says:

    I so need to head to Goa… and buy a sun dress prior to tht


  5. jaya says:

    You are very funny. I was reading your blog while waiting for the bus and was LOL literally and people gave me looks. What is the deal with a vacation shopping, everytime I have to go out, have to go shopping.


  6. Anamika says:

    This was a completely-in-your-element post. Paisa vasool types….except, we lucky people read for free 😀

    ROFL at “Now that Ive converted threefourths of my wardrobe into black and denim, I think I should set up a lab too.”


  7. Pepper says:

    Really? There are no shops in the lanes outside Baga anymore? I am dismayed!

    And yea, just grab those shorts and wear them!


  8. Kiran Manral says:

    Aathira: Yup, the buying of the sun dress is the moot action here.

    Jaya: I tell you. The spouse once took me to some forest sanctuary and I was so miffed there was no shopping to be done….

    Anamika: *bows deeply* I exist for your entertainment.

    Pepper: Come december and they will be back. Its off season now thasswhy.


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