Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just around the corner from Mumbai...

Ah so I stopped blogging for a while after my Mumbai halt!! And why not! It was such a pleasant halt. The actual days went by in such a dizzy that I let my posting linger a tad longer in Mumbai.

Time to move on now.. and It's Pune around the bend, just over the hills and not so far away. Pune is special and will always be. I conceived and gave birth in that city, I joined Talwalkars(a gym) and got back to shape in that city, I got my driver's license in that city, I moved to my first home in that city... well and then moved on from there to newer horizons, newer houses, leaving behind the city I love the most. The best part of the deal is that I still retain my home in Pune, and every year a week in Pune refreshes me unlike anything else. The colours that I chose with joy, the fittings from the lamps to the bathroom tiles, the collage of my children - being born, taking their first steps, their toys.. they take me back to my youth, to my initial dreamy days, to the unspoilt energy and vigour that only a young mom can have. The home and the city fill up my senses!!

This time along with us, from Mumbai, came a young girl. We have known her since she was 12years of age. now she is doing her Masters in Mumbai and working as well. Time flies, certainly, but thank goodness, relationships don't! When you see a kid with a lot of spunk graduate to a mature adult with practical views, and a go-getter attitude, you feel great that you kept in touch, that you saw her grow, that you were somehow connected to that growth. Every time I see Meetu, I feel all of these and more. This time like many times before, she came along for the weekend to Pune with us. We celebrated her job, her goals, her life and we cheered on as she took her very first sip of wine.

Late mornings, breezy afternoons, misty evenings, friends, gourmet cuisine and great wine, this summarizes the week long trip to the hilly city for me, and so does shrewsbury biscuits of kayani bakery, Pasteur on MG Road at midnight, ABC Farms in the late evenings Crosswords any time of the day and the Dagdu Seth Ganapati aarti.

Like always the 7 days waltzed past, and it was soon time to start for Calcutta. The windows were closed, the doors locked, the kids said bye to their rooms, my hands caressed the walls for another time, till I touch them again next year. life moves on and so does a traveler..but there are just a few moments and a few places that have the power to tug at you, to make you stop, to make you want to be part of a time that is now so out of reach.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Touch down..

Its a tedious route from Muscat to Calcutta, India. There was just one direct flight which got cancelled about a year back because of lack of year round traffic. So we have to change flights in the middle of the night either in Dubai or some other, luckier city of India and then after a cantankerous break of a couple of hours at that airport, board the flight to Calcutta. Every year we do that and finally reach my in laws house at the break of dawn. The only thing I desire the most at that point of time is a cup of tea and a bed to ease of the simmering headache. But that never happens, what happens is the in laws wanting to talk to all of us(which is understood as they have waited a year to see us), the kids wanting an immediate change of clothes, the husband opening the suitcases, me sitting on the floor trying to remember where I put what.. my simmering headache by this time is raging storm in my head and my eyes are a blur..I longingly look at the distant bed and heave a sigh and just get on with it...
But this time all this did not happen!! This time it was a pleasure, this time the flight took me to Mumbai, and I broke my journey there. The cab from the airport took me to my cousin's house!! yes, you got that right, I straight went to Aparna's home. there it was all ready for me, the tea, the bed, the no questions asked, the sleep, everything was just as I wanted it. The kids got busy with her kids and did not demand the change of clothes at all. It was bliss, it was joy!!
Though the trip was short, it was rejuvenating. Bloggers were discussed over cups of teas, we went down again the much trodden memory lane, we gossipped, we bitched, we compared our book lists, I got to see her fb friend list(hmmm!!). The husbands gave us time off as they took the kids to Juhu Chowpaty in the middle of the afternoon(I didnt get the reason why? so lets not worry about the timing!) it was great to have the house free so we could just sit and chat on the bed, unlike across countries and on opposite sides of a computer screen.
There are a few places where you can just be what you are. And those places make you unwind, they recharge you and relax you. For me Aparna's house is such a place. It was great being with you Aparna, lets do it again soon! (Get yourself and the family to Muscat, and then work on the Goa trip!!)
PS: I wish there were pictures that I could share.. but for now lets just leave it to my description and your imagination..

On second thoughts here are some snapshots of the Aparna and my kids at Juhu Chowpatty..

The last snap is not the effect of the golas they had..its just a power nap on their way back home!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Coming back...

A trip to India for NRIs is never quite satisfying. A month long sojourn seems like an appetiser to a full course meal. Yes, The NRI in me reached India, travelled to Mumbai, to Pune, to Calcutta, to Muzzafarpur(North Bihar) and then back via the same route to Muscat.

It was hectic, it was fun. There were set backs at time, road blocks at others. The street food was mouth watering, the cold was heart warming, lazy mornings, heavy breakfasts, things which we don't usually do when we stay away from the generation that has always sought to feed us, to take care of us, were all done lavishly. A month long sojourn where everyone wants to see how you have changed/grown over the last year - horizontally(for us), vertically(for the kids) finally came to an end.

Everytime I go to India, I try to cut down on my list of people to visit and add a few places to visit, every time I fail. However this time, I did take the kids to the Elephanta caves, to the sonet lumiere at The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. I wanted to take them to see a theatre or a play as it is called, but an elderly relative took sick suddenly and a visit to the hospital took precedence.. well, there's always a next time!

I am back now to my routine, to my work, to my early morning coffee and restless reading of books. PTAs will start soon enough, and so will my walks to lose the fat that I accumulated over bengali sweets and mutton curries. I am suddenly back to being an adult again. Going to a place where everybody is from your previous generation makes you a time traveller in a sense. You are called by innumerable nick names, you are pampered and scolded, your views are not taken, your hair colour is looked at with indulgence mixed with agony. You are served water before you ask for it, you are put to bed early and you have to eat fruits!!!

So lets just say that on one level I am glad to be back, to belong where I truly do. I am glad to be back to all my blogger friends, I have missed you all a lot. I am sure all of you had a great New Year's eve and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2010. Looking forward to sharing the details of a sometime mundane, somethime active, sometime poignant and sometime hilarious life with you once again.