Category Archives: Travel

Lakheri Trip-2

Continued ..
So AuntyM and uncle R took me to the hospital and that’s where my reconnecting started.The hospital is where I went for the first 9 years of my life.This was the company hospital and if I am not wrong,the only hospital in LKE.As we drove into the hospital premises,i remembered walking there,holding my mom’s hand…seeing the doctor on one end of a semicircle and then walking upto the other end to the compounder’s room to get the medicine and meethi goli(peppermint).I don’t even remember there being any medical stores.Now,ofcourse the doctor’s office is right next to the compounder’s room.and next to it is the emergency ward.Which is where I was rushed too.
A bed was waiting for me..I got some oxygen,some heavy dose of nebuliser followed by a shot..and an hour later I was good to go!But Aadi got soo scared seeing me on the bed,like that..she kept touching me..asking me if I was OK,refusing to go outside.
And surprise ,surprise-the nurse turned out to be my class-mate’s brother.
Once the doctor said,OK,we left..but not to go home,but to show Aadi around.Aunty M agreed,on the condition that I will not get out of the car.I pomised and off we went to see- the house I grew up in,the colony,the gymkhana,the old school..everything. And I felt,everything looked so different.Our old house,which was sooooo big in my memories,suddenly looked soo small and the distance from our house to gymkhana which felt like a trek,now felt like a short walk!I think,everything is relative!
We went back home and word had spread that dad is in town..and old acquaintances had come visiting.Everyone was offered tea and invited to stay for dinner,which they declined,inviting us to their place instead.After everyone left,sis and I set up a small table on the terrace and had a lovely dinner,under the moonlit sky…Aaah bliss.
Next day,we went to visit the family temple and returned home with local treats.Then,we went out to the shops and said hello to the shopkeepers that we knew.One of them,had the only stationery shop,when we were kids.He was so touched that we remembered him.He called his neighbours,new shopkeepers to tell them,how we remembered him..I was almost in tears,looking at his excitement.
As we were walking back,thin man in late 50’s stopped me and said,”Namaste..Kaise ho?Mujhe toh pehchana nahi hoga?”[Hell.how are you?Surely,you don’t recognise me] I said,no..and he said,”Baby,I used to stitch your school uniforms..I am Bombay Tailor!” OMG!! I felt so happy,that he stopped me on the way.He saw Aadi and his eyes teared up..saying ki you were a baby when we first saw you and now you have a little girl..
This and so many other small gestures,made me soo happy and I was glad,that we made that trip.
One particular incident that touched me most was- There is an old lady,who runs a tea-stall,next to our house.Part of the house has been converted and rented out to a bank.So,she does alright business.A cup of tea is still Re.1,there. She had seen my dad and uncles as little boys.She was so happy to see us and when we touched her feet,she was in 7th heaven.The day that we were leaving,she came and gave us shagun(blessings in the form of money)- Rs.11 each for sis and me and Rs.10 for Aadi.I still have Aadi’s Rs.10 with me.Mine was in my sister’s purse,so its not with me.But I was so touched that she had it in her heart to give..when they can barely make ends meet. Everytime I think of her,my eyes well up.
P.S.-if you are still reading,thank you.I tried to edit and make it shorter..but this is the best that I could do!

Lakheri Trip-1

If home is where the heart is,I have left pieces of my heart,in all the places that I have lived at.My memories of this world,start in Lakheri,a small town in Rajasthan.My dad grew up there and joined the cement factory,as a chemist.Its the one place he considers home..and I spent the first 9 years of my life,there.
When I went to India,in October,2009..dad was really excited about taking Aadi to see his hometown and I agreed.I am in love with the place.This trip really was about reconnecting with the roots.
So on 3rd Dec,we left for Lakheri(LKE) by the night train.We got to the Bandra terminus at 10PM and guess what the train is running more than 3 hours late.Killing 3 hours at home or even in the train or at the airport is alright..but at a crowded railway platform with a toddler in tow..nightmare!
Fortunately,she didn’t think that way..she thought,it was just the place to run away and hide from mom and masi..giving them mini-panic attacks,every 5 minutes.My sister suggested,we go and get some munchies for her,to keep her occupied.But,my dad had disappeared..and we were stuck,gaurding the luggage.Oh and not to mention,bear all the lewd stares..It was sickening.

Dad just has to disappear everytime,we are on the railway station and everytime the train stops at a station,he has to get down and look around.No wonder,he doesn’t like travelling by local trains.Anyway,after 3-4 calls,from sis,and threats of abandoning the luggage,he came back,with water and VadaPav.We then,went and got some munchies for Aadi.Somehow the 3 hours passed and the train arrived.We got in,found our seats.Only 2 seats were confirmed and 1 was on wait-list.Dad spoke to the TC and we got the third berth after around 6 AM.This was Aadi’s first train journey..and my dad booked the tickets atleast one and half month in advance..and all the trains were packed..we managed to get this reservation in 2nd AC.

Ohh..in front of us,was a couple,who couldn’t keep their hands off each other and insisted on doing it on the lower berth.I am not a big fan of PDA,but I feel,to each its own..but it just got very embarassing..there was my dad,another old couple,my sis and aadi..and 1 more guy!And the funny thing is,they had a top berth..why not use that for your hanky-panky?Anyway,thank God they got off at 9 AM…I woke up to drink some water at 7 AM and they were ‘at it’ loudly! I almost gagged!

The rest of the journey was quiet uneventful..Only my sister,had to sleep on the floor,till 6 AM.That and Aadi insisted on using the toilet!This girl,refused to use the clean toilet at my ILs and wanted to use the dirty Central Railway toilets!My heart was running faster than the train,everytime I took her to the toilet,because the door of the compartment was always open!

We reached LKE at 3.30 pm and someone had come to pick us from the station.My dad and his family is very loved and respected in LKE.When we were younger,we used to call ourselves,’Princess’ of LKE.So,this ‘uncle R'(everybody is uncle,na) walked past my sister..ignored me,struggling with my bag and a clumpsy Aadi,insisting on pulling a bag,twice her size and went up to my dad,did the bent Namaste to him,and took the bag from him and walked off.Dad went with him,getting updates about everything under the sun..Sis rolled her eyes,and mouthed “Raja ji”..(My dad is like the uncrowned prince there!) .

While in the train,I felt an Asthma attack coming on,but,didn’t pay too much attention.We had to climb up the huge staircase on the platform and I had to stop twice..I climbed up and had to sit down on the bridge before going forward.We got home..and I couldn’t even go from one room to another without huffing and puffing.Uncle R was summoned again and he and aunty M took me to the hospital.Aunty M lives in and takes care of my dad’s ancestral home.Our family and hers have known each other for more than 3 generations and she is a very important part of our family now.

To be Continued

We are back…

and jet-lagged,happy, tired,home-sick,happy to be home…all at once. Our impulsive trip came to a end a little too soon but all in all we had a fun time.The only bummer was that DH was working,so he was there with us only on weekends.

First half of our vacation was spent at the ILs..some days were good,some days,the lesser spoken about,the better.But this time we had our very own energiser bunny to keep our spirits high-Princess Aadya. With her around,there was never a dull moment. And she also provided us with ample opportunities to get out of arguments. (Heehahahawhaw)

While at the ILs, we got a tour of the famous InOrbits mall.I had heard a lot about this one,primarily because a dear friend was involved in the architects team. And then ,the frequent mentions by the lovely lady, Kiran Heck I had plans of meeting her there..but no such luck..meeting someone with ILs in tow..so not-cool and travelling 3 hours alone with a baby,ugh..too tiresome.Sorry Kiran,I couldnt even call you..forgive me?please,pretty please?

Between meeting ILs friends and relatives and attending a cousin’s wedding and being jet-lagged and caring for a sick baby,by the time I reached my dad’s place,I was ready for some rest and relaxation. And thats exactly what I did.

As I mentioned in my previous post,my aunt and grandma arrived at my dad’s the same day that I reached there.And my sister had managed to line up a traditional maalish-wali( a masseuse) and she arrived everyday, not so promptly anywhere between 9.30 to 12.00!!! But we were not running on any schedule,so it was fine.Whenever she arrived, I would hand the baby over to my aunt and happily saunter over to my room to slathered with oil! The massage finished,I would enjoy a nice hot cuppa chai,made by someone else and play with Aadya. There were way too many eager pairs of arms to hold her, and while she enjoyed all the attention, her stranger anxiety suddenly was at its peak.She would play happily with anyone and everyone,as long as I was sitting in front of her! If I even got to get a drink of water or go to the loo,she would start crying. So,I would have 10 voices asking me to hurry up,as they didnt want to see Princess Aadya cry. And then as soon as I would pick her up,she would be all smiles,ready to play with the others!

Though the trip was short,we managed to eat at most of our favorite eateries and also shopped quiet a bit, attended a couple of parties and weddings too!
We even managed to pack in an adventure-packed trip to Shirdi-I say adventurous,because like everything else,this was also a last minute thing and somehow,about 10 of us piled into a Tavera and headed off to Shirdi. The driver decided to take us there by a scenic route, and ended up making most of us sick and not to mention,spoiling the rest of our plans.The plan was to go to Devlali,my grandma’s place- kind of like take Aadya visiting there,feast at our favorite chat-wallah and then head off to Shirdi. But,we got lost and finally ended up on the road to Shirdi and reached Shirdi a good 7 hours later.Luckily our darshan and pooja was wonderful and that itself made the whole trip worth it.

When we arrived in Shirdi,the evening Aarti had just started.Coincedently, two years back,when I had gone to Shirdi with my dad, even that time,we had arrived at the temple premises just when the afternoon aarti was starting.Just that co-incidence made me cheerful,after the long journey. We watched the entire aarti on television,while waited in the queue and then got to leisurely feast our eyes on BABA.Something strange happened while we were there. My aunt asked the priests to bless the baby and they did. Infact,they were giving an orange color scraf with “Om Sai Ram” written on it to all babies there. So, they gave one to Aadya too. And happy and satisfied with that, we were about to step away ,when one of the gaurds asked us to wait on the side for a moment. And then, as if in a dream,he came back with a garland and some Tulsi strands and handed it to us,without a word,just a smile on his lips. Why he chose us, in that big gathering,I do not know..but it just made me feel very happy and blessed. For that very reason,this impromptu trip to Shirdi,will always be special to me. Moreover it was our first trip there, together as a family.

On this happy note,I stop here.. lots more coming up soon.

Hello from the other side

YAyyyyy we are in India. DH had some official work and we tagged along..it was a very last minute plan,I hardly got a week to shop and pack.. but finally we are here. We arrived on Dec 28th and after spending the first half of the vacation at ILs place, we are finally at my dad’s. DH is working in Bangalore but we are getting spoilt rotten.
Aadya’s first plane ride was fine and thankfully, our whole journey went off smoothly. Knock on the wood..and now I hope the return journey is equally comfortable too. I was worried about her getting an ear-ache or her being fussy- she was a little bored by being confined and the bassinet was a good help when she was sleeping.But it was just right for her,then and as soon as she woke up she would sit up straight in the bassinet.She stayed up most of the journey though, cooing and babbling with co-passengers.
Our first leg of the journey ended at Frankfurt. And we were really excited to see the airport.But we were in a big disappointment. I mean,it didn’t look like an international airport at all! There were hardly any waiting lounges, people was sprawled on the floor,for lack of chairs. There were a few food carts here and there.. and a couple big restaurants and some duty-free stores. but overall the impression that I got was of chaos. everything was so disorganised.There was a nursing room.And it was nothing but a closet with a wash basin.. not even a chair.I rested my butt on the small ledge and tried to nursed Aadya.. Both of us ended up frustrated. Luckily I found a chair somewhere on the upper level and then, we nursed happily.
Soon it was time to board our next flight and the chaos that met us at the security point was crazy.. there was absolutely no queue in place and all that was there was a mob. Anyway, we arrived in Mumbai at around 1.30 am on 28th Dec.
Balancing the luggage and Aadya,we came out and were immediately engulfed in hugs and Aadya was promptly snatched away. Her Masi was the first to come and hold her.I was waiting for the familiar pout and tears to come. But instead I was pleasantly surprised when she rested her head on Masi’s shoulder and smiled. Then everyone- my masi, my cousin, all 3 of Aadya’s grandparents took turns holding her..and she happily enjoyed all the attention.My masi and Aadya’s two masi’s joked around and decided the distance for which each one would hold Aadya so as to share her time with them equally! Soon it was time to say bye to Masis and Nanu and Aani( my masi) and we got in the car with Dadu-dadi to head off to their place.
We attended a wedding, 2-3 parties, met so many people and most of the time,Aadya has been a happy camper except when she is really hungry or sleepy.
Now,we are my dad’s and I am getting my dose of pampering while Aani and Masi take care of Aadya. Today for the first since Aadya’s birth,I told my aunt- Please put Aadya to sleep,I want to chat with DH! It feels so weird being just a spectator when Aani is putting aadya to sleep or giving her a bath ..but this is what I was looking forward too na? Somehow,my arms feel empty when I am not holding Aadya..but then,it was so nice to chat with him like old days!LOL
For now,I am off to a 25th wedding anniversary party and Aadya has a bad cold..so we’ll probably make a quick exit,but its just so nice to be surrounded by loved ones.
Thanks for checking on us everyone..I wanted to post before leaving but was just too tied up!
OH and
Wish you all a very Happy New Year!

We’re back!

Heyyy Everyone,
We are back..Finally settled in our cozy new home….in Plano,TX. Aadya loves this new place..We were really worried how she would react to change.. but she took it all in her stride..
So many things to share..so many posts to write.so many to read and comment on..Hope you all missed us..coz we sure as hell missed you all! Looking forward to catching up with everyone..Sooooooooon!
Lots and lots of love
Aadya n Aadya’s Mumma!

Bye-Bye Phoenix


This is our last week in Phoenix.We are busy packing.Its just a crazy crazy time. The movers will be here on thursday and we will leave on Friday.We’ll be driving down.And Aadya is sick.She has a bad bad throat infection.Poor baby her voice is so hoarse.First time we heard her cry like that,it was so hard,really broke our heart. Both of us got all teary-eyed. This is the first time I have seen DH like that.A baby does that to you I think.
Last two weeks here have been so much fun.We met some people that we really are getting along with..like a house on fire and so it was just fun fun.And now that Aadya is sick,just makes me feel so guilty for having had so much fun.
As for Phoenix,despite everything,I am going to miss this place.After all its the birth place of my firstborn.This place kind of grows on to you,slowly accepting you,and even before you know it,you are a part of this large hearted city.The people at the grocery stores that you frequent start recognising you,gush over your baby,your neighbours greet you happily,doesnt matter that you see them only once in a few weeks.Its just that kind of place.
Today we took Aadya for a last visit with her Pediatrician,Aunty D.All the nurses and everyone in the office had to come and hold her..everyone wagged their fingers at us and told us, not to go!It was just so sweet.
And as I was sitting there,waiting for our turn,I found myself getting nostalgic.I was reminded of the day,when we first went there.I was 8 months pregnant and were interviewing Pediatricians.The office had such a warm welcoming atmosphere .The first thing I noticed was the chairs.They made me feel like I was “Alice” in Wonderland.They are just so beautiful and to add to the atmosphere,a kiddie sized tea-set was laid out on a kiddie-sized table. I could picture my little girl playing there.There was beautiful Aquarium set on a table,with beautiful golden and glittery multicolored fishes.It was all so perfect. But the best part was our meeting with Dr.D.She was just so nice and patient.She answered all our questions, asked us questions about our families and our interests etc. and at the end of the “meet-and- greet” session when I looked at my watch a good 1 hour had passed.Whereas all the other docs that we met before that would just meet us as a formality,not really intereested. Now, dont get me wrong here,its not as if Dr.D is not busy..She is extremely busy,very meticulous and extremeeeeeeeely wonderful with the kids.. but she is also interested in knowing the parents! and thats why she keeps such sessions at the end of the day!I am never going to find anyone else like her.ANd she is all the more special to us,because she saw our baby within the first 8-10 hours of birth.
God! just the thought that I have to find a new peditrician for my baby.. gives me the creeps.Will I be able to find someone good..?Ohh we’ll have to see.
So anyway,We are moving, we will be on the road starting friday and then finding a new apartment,unpacking, settling down,getting comfortable…starting another phase of life.
Though,I was so lonely here for most part of my stay,this place has given me some great memories,which I will always treasure 🙂 most important one being the Aadya’s birth.Everytime there is a mention of Phoenix,I am sure there will be a smile on my lips.And as I say good bye to this urban desert,I am leaving behind a part of my heart… with all those lovely people who made this last 1 year here special for us,with all those lovely people who made these last two weeks so much fun for us..I am also leaving behind a part of my heart in a certain labour and delivery room of a certain hospital and also in this beautiful apartment,from where I type this last post.
And when you folks read this post,dont forget to send up two prayers to the Big Man up there..One that we have a safe trip and two,that we have a longer stay at the new location.( the packing and unpacking tires me)
On this note,I say..Bye Bye Phoenix…

Texasssssssss,here we come!!!

Grand Canyon Trip

We went to Grand Canyon on Saturday.It was a great trip.One of those last minute trips. DH called up on Friday around lunch time,asking me if I want to go that night or the next morning. We decided on next morning because on the weather. We woke up,got dressed ,just in time for Aadya to wake up for her morning feed. After her breakfast and shower,we were ready to hit the road.We grabbed some food from the nearest Burger King drive thru to save time..They made us wait 15 minutes at the window! some DRIVE-THRU!And the food was horrible.
Note to self-Never go to through the drive-thru during busy hours!
Anyway,we were on our way and had a tiff..both of us sulked for more than half an hour. Well,I sulked-he drove in silence. What was the tiff about?I cant remember it,no matter how hard I try! Then Aadya woke up and needed a diaper change.One major change in our life since Aadya came along is the end of never-ending sulking sessions.We cant be mad at each other for too long-either we start talking because she needs something or because she gets upset looking at our contorted angry faces and so we have to stop arguing!
Anyway,not to digress..we reached Flagstaff around lunch time and still had about 70 miles to go.Flagstaff is a cute,cozy historic town and there was just this warm welcome feeling in the air there.We stopped and had lunch at this little cafe called “Late for the train” They serve the most amazing hot chocolate and beautiful Caesar wraps.I say beautiful,because they looked as good as they tasted.
After lunch we continued towards Grand Canyon National Park.Reached around 3-3.30 and then parked the car and walked along the south RIM of the Grand canyon for around 3 hours.The view was magnificent.



When we got that tired but happy feeling,we stopped,got into the car and drove around in the park for some more time,stopping in between to look at different stops.Finally we drove off to the east rim and I liked the view there even better than the much talked about south rim. We couldn’t linger around much because we wanted to get back the same day.
So, just before sunset,we started on our way back.And LO! It started thundering and there was lightning.Arizona is notoriously famous for lightning,and now we know why. This was scary. For 3 straight hours,we saw flashes of lightning in the desert.There was no street light and so the lightning had an even spookier effect.We stopped at a gas station,to fill up the tank..S didn’t want to stop in between,unless we had for Aadya.Just as we were pulling out of the gas station,the sign for low tyre pressure started flashing.After a frantic search for the air pump,we finally remembered seeing a Garage at one of the pumps a little distance away.We went back there.And the guy there was nice enough to check all our tyres after DH filled air,said he couldn’t let us go out in that weather,without double-checking.I thought that was very sweet.We were on our way again..Well almost..Aadya started crying..diaper change.I was changing her diaper and she peed all over herself.LOL! change of clothes was in order,followed by another nursing session.By then it was almost 3 hours since we started.It was already 9.30 and we had a 3 and a half hour drive ahead of us. Finally, we were on our way. We would have probably driven less than 10 minutes and Aadya started crying again.May be she was scared of the constant light flashes or she was just tired.By then it had started to rain along with thunder and lightning and it was a single lane drive,no place to pull over! I tried to calm her..but to no avail.I gave up,and pulled her out of the car seat.She clung to me as if her life depended on it. OH my God! There was no way I could put this child back in that car seat! she cried,complained,talked,cooed,cried some more and finally drifted off to sleep. but since I was holding her DH had to drive real slow.So,I tried to put her back in the car seat..and succeeded after 3 attempts.Rest of the journey was uneventful and Aadya slept peacefully through out the drive.We managed to reach back in a record time of 3 and a half hours .And here’s some Sunshine for you from Grand Canyon