Singles sizzle on the beach

THEY WERE just ambling in after a luxurious head massage to an open lawn, DJayed music, a buffet in-the-making and spirits.

And as the `cheers' clinked, they got down to figuring out who they were going to spend the evening with.

Overhearing, you could catch: ``We didn't see you earlier, what's your name?'', ``Hi, what do you do?'' or ``Let's go for a drink... uh... oops, your name's slipped.''

They had just met in the morning, checked into a nice beach-side cottage, went on a treasure hunt, a catamaran ride, beach volleyball, had a head massage, slept, hung about at the beach, and sometime in between had lunch.

The 18 of them were guests of the Fisherman's Cove at East Mammalapuram Road, now finding out who they had been having all the fun with since morning.

By now, they knew each other's names, well almost, but not the person.

The open-air Casuarina Grove was the place to unwind, relax, and get to know each other better. Tomorrow would be fun.

The `Singles Mingles' - Taj Singles Vacation - was for all those busy 30-plus executives, actually 28 to 40 years, to spot a friend. ``Luckily I am married, but there are so many out there who don't have the time to find their partners,'' said Gitesh Aggarwal, Asst. Sales Manager, Fisherman's Cove.

The Taj Group decided these people had to be helped, they had to be given a setting where they could meet other `interesting' people.

The first Single's vacation was at the Taj Exotica, Goa, in February with late Dewang Mehta and Neena Gupta adding to the pep (no celebs this time). But Gitesh wasn't sure if any of the ``singles'' at Goa became ``doubles''.

Sultry Chennai was second on Friday. Five of the guests were from the city, ``some expats included'', and the others mostly from Bangalore and Hyderabad with some foreigners thrown in for good measure.

About nine in the night, they were busy playing Barman, fixing up `The Taj Singles Exotica', `White Spider' and others as DJ Arjun played `Careless Whispers'.

Then came some shaking of legs and a professional dance number by John Brito and his group.

Day two, Saturday, would have yoga and Art of Living sessions, water sports, a barbecue at the beach, karaoke, a bonfire story session with Tharani and some more dancing.

At Rs.14,000, it was a nice beach-side cottage stay with open-air showers, posh luxuries, a whole two nights of pampering and letting go.

For instance, ``When they went back to their rooms after the head massage, they would have found their baths ready and scented, the music on, and champagnes to relax.''

They can also have ayurvedic massages by professionals from Kerala, have a steam bath, just relax at the pool or the beach.

``I came here for the experience and it's been lovely,'' a guest said. ``And who wouldn't want to be pampered?'' Certainly.

By Feroze Ahmed

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