We are unplanned holiday makers because so many things have to be factored in , least of all not the able Tupu. Therefore , we again land up in Puri in the summer . And this time it is hot- extremely so . Like every year we move around looking for something new amidst all that 's familiar and assured .
The suite they give us is a change . It has a four poster bed in the master bedroom as well as a window seat where Tupu spends most of her time , curled up in a blanket and a chaise longue where Tani lolls and watches TV .
We chance upon a nugget of a bookshop in the backpack tourist quarter where we happily steam away in a sauna of a room , picking out books - about nine for under a thousand , after much nimble bargaining by yours truly. The owner has the books listed under categories A to K , starting from Rs 100 - luckily we arm wrestle him down within C.
The treasures include Tracy Chevalier's The Virgin Blue , Paul Theroux' The Old Patagonian Express and Doris Lessing's A Proper Marriage .
The rest of the time we eat lobsters , fresh from the market behind Swargodwar and cooked to perfection , crabs in a fiery peppery Orissi curry , lobsters yet again encased in a crisp golden batter , grilled chicken with golden crackling skin , soft idlis , chicken steak and wonder of wonders whisky and Bloody Marys .
Oh and the treadmill - we work out on the treadmill each morning so that we do not feel guilty about all that gourmandising
And between all this ,we wander over and take a look Z's Hotel where we plan to stay next summer . The hotel , a pristine white bungalow , sits serenely overlooking a sweep of beach , surrounded by a copse of jhau trees , huge jamun , jackfruit and mango trees . A swathe of purple - magenta bougainvillea snakes up one wall , white curtains flap in the breeze and a young European girl framed by one window , bites her pencil as she stares out - possibly in the middle of her journal .
The moon is also out - full and loud and golden, casting long golden shadows on the rippling waters, so much so that we sit captive all evening watching it.
And what delights us one evening , the Taj Mahal in all her sandcrafted glory, resplendent on the beach , only to be washed away by the high tide at night .