Part 3: Girl Gangs and Photo Shoots

Photo by Anu Anniah

With Part 1 and Part 2, you are familiar with the unruly gang of 40+ year old ‘girls’ out to have the time of their lives. So what happened next?

Before we went to bed, we had broken up the group into 2 batches. Batch 1 would have their photo shoot first. Then batch 2. I was the official photo shooter. With no credentials other than the fact that I possessed a Google Pixel 3 XL. I set them up for this because I wanted to feel like an ace photographer. I have watched too many episodes of Making of the Kingfisher Calendar, I guess.

The Great Photo Shoot

Batch 1 rose early in the morning. The 5 girls in that batch could not contain their enthusiasm about being part of a photo shoot, regardless of the fact that the photographer was a rank amateur. And my cheap thrill moments were many. When else would I have 5 perfectly intelligent girls lapping up my every command and doing whatever I asked them to do? Sit, stand, smile, walk, turn this way, tilt your head, all instructions followed without a murmur. Did I mention I had fun?

We walked all over the place looking for photo opportunities. One of the girls had also saved some Instagram pictures to serve as ideas. One of the ideas was to use a hat as a prop. We did attempt that. But bad lighting and wrong hat size resulted in rather sad-looking photos. The girl was crestfallen. She was really looking forward to showing off that hat photo to all her other friends. (Don’t fret though, Part 4 will talk more about the hat photo!)

Overall, the photo shoot was a bit dull because clouds played spoilsport. The Sun was gloomy and he didn’t appear as bright as we needed him to be.

Bye-Bye Water Villa

By the time we wound up and headed to breakfast, the other batch was done with breakfast and were having fun in the water outside the water villa. We had 2 more hours left to vacate the water villa and go to the other room. They wanted to make the most of it.

We gobbled our breakfast, donned our swimsuits, and threw ourselves into the water. We had such a glorious time. Floating, forming a circle in the water while all of us were floating, chasing after tiny fish, aah…bliss. And of course, clicking lots of pictures.

Soon, it was time to shift to the ‘other’ room, the one without the Jacuzzi. We bade our amazing water villas goodbye and left.

The new rooms were not so bad either. In fact, I loved them equally. The back of the rooms opened into a strip of white sand and a delicious ribbon of backwater, and it was really, really pretty.

Photo by Anu Anniah

What is our Agenda?

While we waited for our new rooms to be readied, someone had the presence of mind to suggest that we decide and fix the rest of the activities. All we had done so far was clicked pictures and played in the Jacuzzi!

We contacted the person at the travel desk and she needs to be given an award for patience. After explaining all the available activities individually and collectively to all of us several times, we finally had a program. Almost.

At least the evening plan was decided. We were going on a sunset cruise and dolphin watching.

The next day’s program was still a bit of a muddle. With submarine rides, scuba diving, and parasailing to be done, the group was in danger of being split into several parts.

Candy Cane Mafia!

We had a quick lunch at the Indian restaurant. Fancy that! We rushed back to our rooms to get dressed for the cruise. Actually, we never managed to rush back to our rooms. The rooms are so far away from the lobby that we had to wait for golf carts to drive us to and fro.

When we reached the rooms, we were in a quandary. What do we wear for the cruise? Short dresses? Shorts? Trousers? Skirts? So confusing!

Finally, someone suggested we wear the dress! The one that we had all bought together and that I have talked about in Part 1. We would look good as a group on the cruise boat. Perfect!

Photo by Anu Anniah

We dressed and headed to the boat. The jetty was a 5-minute walk from the lobby. A few of us were so busy getting dressed that we ran late. A boat-load of folks waiting to embark on the sunset cruise might have missed the sunset due to us. When the late group reached the lobby, there was a golf cart waiting for us. No wasting time walking to the jetty. We were celebrities. We were fashionably late and had to arrive in style in a golf cart. I think I saw some of the other travelers in the boat swearing at us when we reached.

When you are such a huge group, you lose sense of who is around and what is going on. We took over the boat. I pity the other travelers in the boat that day. Not sure they saw the glorious sunset or the beautiful dolphins.

I think they only saw a bunch of hysterical candy cane women clicking selfies and more selfies!

Photo by Anu Anniah

We had a wonderful time. The sunset was spectacular. The dolphins were having a jolly game.

It was breathtaking to watch the dolphins emerge unexpectedly and treat us to beautiful jumps and pirouettes in the air.

The cruise was amazing. Except…

Sea Sick but Always Ready for Selfies

When we got off the boat, we found a few among us tottering about and trying to find taps and other sources of water. They had to throw up. What was a gentle rocking of the boat to some of us was a serious upheaval of the entire stomach for some others.

The view between the jetty and the resort lobby was lovely. So more pictures were clicked. The seasickness was soon forgotten, and photos once again came to the rescue to rally around and shift the mood.

Quite an Evening

After the drama on the high seas, all of us wanted a quiet evening. So we changed into our best evening wear, and headed to the party hall.

The party hall was filled with guests and some activities were being conducted. We stood on the sidelines and watched. The first activity involved 4 men from different countries volunteering to do whatever the event host asked them to do. 4 brave men showed up.

They were asked to do strange things like scream like Tarzan, show off their biceps while balancing on a chair, wiggle their bottoms, perform their sexiest dance moves and so on. Again, safety in numbers. We felt perfectly at home hooting and whistling from the sidelines at all those moves 🙂

Finally, it was time for the audience to vote for the best man. All of us were taken in by the groovy moves of one European guy. We voted heartily for him. Darn! He didn’t win. We spent the rest of the evening talking about him.

Dinner, Shots, and Some Quiet Time

Quick dinner at the Indian restaurant and we headed off to the bar. Only 4 out of the 10 girls drink. But we all got on the bar stools anyway. And ordered Tequila shots. Rather, we ordered 4 Tequila shots and 6 identical glasses filled with water. The bartender watched the drama with eyes popped out. We all counted to 3 and downed the Tequila/water and clapped heartily at our achievement. How little it takes to make us happy!

Some out of the 6 who do not drink sent off videos of the ‘shots’ to their homes. This resulted in a flurry of calls demanding to know what was in the glass. There was some hasty explaining and a lot of giggling all over.

All in all, it was an exciting and action-packed day, and everyone was tired. Most folks drifted back to the rooms because tomorrow promised to be even more action-packed.

Some hung around, walked down the jetty, soaked in the night skies, sat on the jetty with their feet hanging over the water, and watched the catfish darting about underneath. Bliss!

Photo by Anu Anniah

Part 2 – A Girl Gang Trip to Maldives

Part 1 – A Girl Gang Trip to Maldives

 


This story is published in Writers on the Run. If you’re interested in submitting your travel stories please visit our submission guidelines.

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