Thursday, 29 March 2018

Monday, 26 March 2018

K Birthday Week: Meeting the man who keeps on giving

Going to a place I once called home | Feb 26 - Mar 06 2018

After almost 15 years, the stars aligned themselves to help me experience my old home with my old folks in my old town, decades after I left them for good. And the biggest joy was to experience this with K!
My uncle and aunt who now live in Bangalore visited their old apartment in Jamshedpur after a gap of seven years to do long pending renovations and put the house on rent. Their apartment was right opposite our old one, which we sold over a decade ago. So when they invited us to come stay with them, it was too tempting to resist. Of course another draw was that unlike my previous vacations, this one had the 'village' travelling with K and me. Amma and her neighbour accompanied us, and we spent a fun two days with my brother's family in Kolkata on our way to Jamshedpur.
Nephew and niece were very pampering and attentive towards K, giving me time to shop and enjoy street food. In Jamshedpur, my uncle and aunt are K's favorites, so my life got easier. The only downside was the Amma fell the evening before we left Bangalore and her face was badly bruised, her teeth were broken and her head was swimming, so she couldn't join us in many of our outings. But my elder brother took her for a tour inside the TISCO factory, and she visited her old department and sat on her old chair, and also met up with some of her old friends - so she was pretty content too.
K enjoyed herself immensely, and it was uncanny how she did a lot of stuff I enjoyed when I was young - from spending hours looking out of the window at the paddy fields outside (the biggest attraction was the cow), watering the lawns at my brother's place, taking auto rides and enjoying walks in Bistupur. We also visited Jubilee Park on Founders Day (March 3) and enjoyed the fountains and the lighting. Overall, a nostalgia tinged holiday that I am glad it happened.

At the Jamshedpur Railway Station
Auto rides
Chasing pigeons in Ram Mandir in Bistupur
Outside our Sidhgora home where I spent my childhood. Sweet memories :)

Amma posing near our old house in Sidhgora. Incidentally, she grew up in the same neighbourhood as a child.
Room with a view
Founders Day lighting in Jubilee Park
Full moon night on holi
Watering the lawns with Dodamma, just like I used to with her as a child
Riding an elephant at the Kagalnagar Ganesha temple
All of us in Kolkata
All of us in the Adarshnagar flat in Jamshedpur
In other Feb updates:
Dressed up for Shivaratri

Bonding with pink teddy (Gosh, she actually loves that fellow!)

A baba baby moment

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Goa once more

So it was Goa once more after what felt like years and years - it was only two - and though the venue stayed the same (the good old Marbella Guest House close to Fort Aguada) and so did the company (Harini, Priya, Vivek, Parthi and Anu) - the addition of an almost two year old added a different kind of adventure to the outing.
The adventure was kickstarted by a stranger though. K and I reached Goa a few hours before Conscience Keeper, with plans of enjoying a laidback afternoon at Harini's friend's seaside bungalow in the quieter Benaulim beach. But at the chaotic Goa airport, someone mistook our suitcase for his and walked off with it. Indigo could not locate the passenger since it was a group booking, and I had to spend three hours at the airport, waiting for his call - that only happened much later. Mercifully, Harini had surprised us by coming to pick us up at the airport and she took great care of K while I pranced about hungry and unhappy and praying fervently for rescue. Finally we were reunited with our luggage at 11 pm, a whole day out of our three day vacation ruined. 
The next morning we walked in the beach, swam in the pool, explored old forts and dressed Kavya in cute and colourful Goa-appropriate clothing that totally underestimated Goa's winter chills. The poor thing landed up with fever and a bad stomach and as we moved to Marbella that afternoon, I carried my frowns and bad mood as well. Somehow we made it to dinner at Himalaya which served us some really nice momos and lifted up my spirits.
Our third day turned out the way I wanted - a trek to Fort Aguada, a visit to the Chapora Fort in Vagator, gossip sessions with friends, a lovely dinner at some posh restaurant and a refreshing walk along the beach in the moonlight. Note the I - Conscience Keeper was mostly at the guest house in charge of K for the day and we both looked relieved, for our own reasons, when we finally met in the evening. 
The morning of our last day, hours before leaving, was spent on a wild goose chase looking for a nasal spray for K that I never did find, and resulted in enough angst that all I wanted to do was take the flight and get home. Bought a very expensive pashmina stole at the airport since we didn't have anything warm for K, which was used to clean K after she puked. As usual, I was happy to have gotten back to Bangalore at last!
Some quick lessons:
- Mark your luggage with some prominent sticker so that no one confuses your bag with theirs
- Carry essentials with you. Thankfully I had diapers and a change of clothes for K, that saved us on our first day.
- Carry warm clothes, even if you are visiting a sunny beach town
- Avoid travelling with friends, or at least be conscious of the fact that no matter how much you wish, the trip will not be about them. It helps if they know this too.
- Do not trust advice from other mommies who are not currently bringing up an infant. They get forgetful and worse, nostalgic, and misinform you about the trials and tribulations they suffered when their children were young. Just saying.
- Carry medicines. Yours, hers and everyone else's!

On our way from the Goa airport, sans our luggage. We still smiled.
Baba and baby
Quiet time

Mama and baby

Reluctant swimmer

Fooling around in the pool

The house with a pool
Marbella Guest House

Gossip Centre at Marbella's

Ganging up
Random fort

Fort Aguada
My sister P's sketch of us

Morning walk



At Chapora
K at Marbella
With her friend, the dog

Other updates this January
Feeling warm, in the lovely shawl gifted by Tulip and Manu

K meets Arpita, my old school friend visiting from Australia, who I met after a decade

New hairband (love this pic because K is looking so composed and grown up)

'Thamma' granny love

Hathe Khori - a big day for K who got formally got ready to read and write. The ceremony didn't work out too well, because she thought the priest would run away with her slate and chalk and so refused to cooperate. Glad she didn't bite him.

And so we did a quiet one of our own at home

Colour coordinated with Rami

Republic Day picnic with Deepti in some random govt school premises in some random village near Chennapatnam


New friends

Sunday, 31 December 2017


She calls me booba
She calls sudha dusha
She calls Rami Vaani
She calls biscuit bisci
She calls butterfly butti
First thing in the morning, at random 4 am, she does  a roll call on the whereabouts of every one in the family, right from chintu to amrish mama. Whoever is not in front of her is in office.
She responds to the Who's my moggu/ kutti/ beti etc with a prompt naanu
She sleeps to multiplication tables that run up to a billion
She says thank ooo in all the right places
She says Aiyyoo Rama at all eeks situations
She demands to see parti and pallu pics on the mobile phone everytime she meets Jaya avva and uppa tata
She identifies all that thathas and avvas but still struggles with getting the gender of akka and anna right
When I sprinkled water on her face, she said, "naughty"
She is learning new lessons: Push No No. Bite No No. Baby, Fall! 

Super fascinating my toddler is!

Friday, 1 December 2017

South Indian-ness

K at 20 months is turning out to be a consummate south Indian. I know this because:
- She checks out what's for prasad even before praying at the temple
- She stuffs cash notes into my blouse (even in public, much to my embarrassment)
- She calls me Booba

Meanwhile, its been a fun month with birthdays, meetups and much needed downtime.

Picking up the ABCs of ABC

Loves her 'ding ding'

Cool shades

With Harish