With a Mojito in hand, I casually inquired at the hotel reception about other Indibloggers who checked in before me. Thankfully, I was allotted a room next to another blogger. The receptionist however, mentioned that she was out with another blogger who stays in a room three floors above mine. I knew by now that my stay buddy wasn’t going to turn up tonight as she had to stay at her cousin’s. Disappointed that I was for sure, because I was so looking forward to having some great time with her. She was the reason I applied for the BNLF and didn’t cancel even though I had a thousand reasons to.
But I put on a brave face and headed towards my room. As the autowaala had hinted, this was one hell of a lodging. I was smitten by the comfort and extravagance of the room and I simply had to click some pics before anything else.
I rushed to the washroom and looked under the curtains and the air conditioner….for hidden cameras. Dramatic? No!! Now that I was alone, even the silence was bothering me. I switched on the TV to relax and made calls to Dad and husband to let them know that I reached Mumbai safe and sound. I couldn’t let my voice stutter because that would mean I am packing my bags and heading back to Pune then and there! My Dad and husband are both protective that way! Lol!
I had my Kindle to idle away time but I was in no mood for reading. My heart was in the mouth and I just had to be distracted. What else than skimming through the Menu. I was famished and then I heard the door bell. It was the hotel boy returning the only ID card I had. Yeah, I had left it at the reception! I am cool that way! I know.
I decided not to ponder over why and how I forgot to take it back from the reception desk and then there was another door bell. This time it was the blogger who was staying next to mine.
“Shalini, right? I am Ankita. Is your stay buddy with you?”
“Hi. No, she would meet me at the Lalit tomorrow. What about yours?”
“Mine as well.”
“Are you in Indicrew?”
“No, are you?”
“No, I am not. I thought you had gone to attend their meeting for the Crew members”.
“Arey no, no. I met another blogger. She stays in the 7th floor. We went to Juhu beach”.
“Cool. Listen, what are your plans for dinner?” (Yeah, the menu was still lingering at the back of my head and Juhu beach didn’t excite me as much as the Prawn Balchao and Chicken Kalimiri!)
“If you don’t mind, we will go out together. Say 8.30?”
“Okay, sounds good!”
Thus we three (met Polomi, the third blogger) along with a friend of theirs walked in search of a decent hotel for dinner. We talked and talked and talked and the stories always revolved around me who somehow wasn’t looking married in their eyes and especially as an Army wife! Should I say, I was embarrassed? It was much more than that.
And guess what, I stumbled and sprained my leg as well. What a cool start to the journey!
But I loved the company of the girls. After dinner, we headed to the dine at the hotel and I settled down with a yummy sizzling brownie.
While Polomi decided to call it a day, Ankita and I continued chitchatting. It was a high when she said that she loved my article written for Mardaani contest, the subtle way in which I described the whole scene where we caught a guy red-handed touching and pleasing himself. A passionate blogger, she has won many awards and accolades. I guess we talked about most of the things under the sun- blogging, Army, Marriage, Love, Food, Career, OROP, Nirbhaya, ‘The Nation wants to Know’, Porn/Maggi/Beef Ban… you name it, we had it all covered! We had to end our conversation by 1am just because we were expected to be at the venue by 8.
I wasn’t a least bit sleepy. Now that I was alone in my room, I was scared like a lil’ puppy.
“What if I order two shots of Tequila?”, my inner voice called out.
“….just so that I needn’t think of staying in a hotel room alone and all the evils in the world ready to pounce on me tonight?”, she declared.
Yeah, I always assume the worst.
What if…somebody knocks at the door? What if..there are cameras hidden? What if……what if… what if…..and I dozed off to sleep!
P.S: Tequila? May be next time!!
Hotel Oriental Aster
Housekeeping : 5
Food @ 99-East Kitchen + Bar (restaurant): 4