Somewhere around 8:10 AM on 20th morning, BFG woke me up. The caterers had started coming in and it didn’t seem appropriate for me to lie there anymore. It was such a painful task to drag myself out of bed!! Luckily, the kids were still sleeping and the BF had gone out to the canteen to get the hot water for the kids. I had a chance to have a warm shower (no cold water yet!!) and get dressed.
BFC came to our room shortly after I’d taken my bath. It was nice to catch up on all the updates regarding the wedding. Post breakfast (of the yummiest chhole-bature I’ve had after eons!) , we got back to chatting again. The kids were up and about and practically coming in everyone’s way. In fact, they were the youngest guests in that crowd. The next one after them was BFC’s cousin and she too was in her early twenties . Anyway, it felt good to relive the old times and look forward to the new . That day was reserved for the Mehendi and BFC reminded us once again to come down for the event in time. Once she left, I went back to the mundane task of washing the kid’s clothes. In fact , ALL of us were washing our own clothes and even ironing them (BFG was kind enough to lug her iron box along ). We had NO idea that there was a laundry facility available, and being the country bumpkins that we are, we never even bothered to ask anyone!!
I had felt a sting on my hip the previous night and by this time, it was quite a big bump. I wasn’t really sure what had caused it. But while drying the kid’s clothes in front of the cooler, I found this :-
There was a small hive of wasps over the cooler. BFS’s room had an even larger one with many more wasps in it!! These buggers were responsible for stinging me!! Grrr !! The only consolation being, that the poor unlucky one who stung me, would most probably be already dead!! But I wonder what made it attack me in the night !!
Sometime towards the afternoon, RS started behaving a little more cranky than usual. She was crying for no reason and it seemed that nothing I did could console her. After maybe half an hour of crying, she had a little watery motion. Must be because of the heat, I thought. Gave her plenty of water to drink, which she gladly grabbed out of my hands and gulped down! SS, as usual, was busy tugging at the lunch table covers and the BF was kept busy restraining him from doing any damage. At least, he looked ok. Unlike RS who wasn’t looking very good.
In fact, she didn’t even have lunch. Just simply took her bottle of milk and refused to let go of me. I could barely have lunch myself. Luckily, around 2:30 PM, the kids went off to sleep (Thank God!!) and I could take a breath of relief! The BF had left in the morning to buy water bottles for all of us ( We consumed a record of 12-13 bottles of Bisleri in those 2-3 days! And I’m not even counting the bottles we bought for the kids). Somehow, ground water just didn’t suit any of us. It’s not as if we fell ill or anything. It’s just that , somehow, the local water wasn’t able to quench our thirst!! So bottled water came to our rescue .
Lunch was a breezy affair…..with caterers and people coming and going at their own pace. By the time the last of the caterers left , it was close to 3:30 PM. Another half hour and we had to go down for the Mehendi. Ooohhh!! How I loved the thought of it!! But reality check struck and I realized that with two babies to handle, there was no way I could relinquish the use of my arms . Anyway, at least I could watch and learn . BFS and BFG took a short nap. I couldn’t (the story of my life *rolling eyes*). The BF had gone out for some work and RS was still crying inconsolably. She had woken up a short while ago and her crying had woken up SS too. He, luckily was in a good mood and so I left him to play in one area and tried to relieve RS of whatever was ailing her. A short while later, I heard a soft crashing sound and after that a series of crunching, grounding sounds. Rushed to where SS was and found him smashing a water glass on the floor. There were glass shards everywhere and my baby was just about to spread the glass dust with his palm.
Believe me, I practically dumped RS and grabbed SS’ hand in time. Picked him up from the floor (where he was sitting barefoot!) and made sure that he hadn’t nicked himself anywhere. I know that he’s too short to reach for the glasses on the table, so I guess he just claimed a glass someone left under a sofa. Rather scary, really.
RS, meanwhile, threw a royal tantrum. She wasn’t pleased at being treated this way and was making sure that everyone and everything within hearing vicinity was aware of her plight !! The Drama Queen!! Thankfully, the BF returned just in time and so did the housekeeping staff. Though I was polite in my request for them to clean up the shards, they were quite vocal about the extra work I was making them do. Pune or Delhi, I guess maids have no regional bounds. They are the same EVERYWHERE!!! Pests! Irritable, lazy and doing us the biggest favour ever!!
After the maids left, I told the BF that I’d be taking the kids down for the mehendi. Obviously, he was quite pleased at that. It being an all-women’s event, he wasn’t required to come and could catch up on some IPL :D . I quickly dressed the kids, packed their bags and got dressed myself (in the very expensive ready-made suit I’d bought in Pune. Too lazy to search in the archives for it !) . BFS was also ready by then and so we proceeded to the room below where the mehendi was to take place. Found BFG already there with BFC, who looked so radiant, waiting there for the mehendi to start. What is it about weddings that gives a girl that added glow, a blush that no amount of make-up can ever match?? She looked lovelier each time I saw her, and I could only wish her and SK the best in life, forever!!!
The twins were hungry and I gave them their milk bottles. The mehendi guy for the guests had finished doing the palms of BFS and BFG (Boy, was he fast or what??!!) and was already busy with the rest of the ladies. The bride’s mehendi hadn’t started yet. Another guy was coming in to do it for her.I whipped out my camera and took a few shots (you know, how I LOVE mehendi ) :-
It was fun taking snaps of all the hands. Some of the designs were really simple, yet elegant. And I must say, these guys were truly talented!! Their speed was amazing!! Their hands practically flew over the palms!!
After winding up with the shoot, I went to sit next to RS, who eagerly crawled on my lap and promptly threw up her milk on me. All of it. The poor baby was spouting it from her mouth as well as her nose. Needless to say, she was awfully upset. And I realized, a little too late, that my baby was indeed , very very ill. She threw up twice after that and had motions 4-5 times. BFC’s uncle is a doctor and he prescribed some medicine for RS. He also said that she was having symptoms of a heat stroke and was to be fed only banana or curd , but definitely NO milk. And I was in a quandary. We hadn’t initiated the kids to curd and the banana was also a dicey choice. We didn’t have favourable results when trying to feed them banana in the past. My most reliable food source for these two picky eaters, was their milk. And now, I couldn’t give her any!! How do I feed her then??
I went back to my room to change, and also change RS. Gave her plenty of water to drink, told the BF that we need to get some more water for the twins, as well as get some bananas for them. Leaving them behind wasn’t an option (since they were too cranky with other people), we decided to take them along. Maybe it would help distract them for a bit. BFC’s mother met us downstairs and requested us to get some lemons on our way back (lemon juice in sugar , when applied on mehendi, guarantees a good colour). So we left with the twins and walked till the market area (which was a considerable distance, more so because we were carrying the kids!). We quickly made our purchases when the BF suggested that we take a quick ride on the cycle rickshaws. I don’t remember the last time I sat on one, maybe once when I was in Tambram, Chennai, a long time back. The BF had never sat in one before and was quite keen . But before we could execute our plan, we got a call from BFG that people were waiting for the lemons!! Oh well, maybe another time, we said, and made our way back (this time , in an auto). I handed the lemons to BFC’s aunt and made my way back to the room. On the way, we stopped by the water fountain, where the kids had a nice time getting sprayed. In that heat, the sprays were a welcome relief . I daresay, me and the BF enjoyed the sprays as much as the kids !! I put my hand out and directed the sprays on the kids. SS yelled with shock, and for the first time that day, RS squealed with delight .What a wonderful sound…..it was like music to my ears!!
Once back, I tried to feed RS a little banana and miracle of miracles, she actually had half a banana without any fuss or without throwing up (which was her favourite pastime back home!!). And to top it all, even SS took a liking to the fruit. There is a God up there after all!!! (When I later called the MIL to narrate that the kids were actually devouring bananas, she was as stunned as I was!!) . While I was trying to administer her the medicines, the caterers came back to lay the dinner table. Earlier that day, after the glass incident, I had requested BFC’s mother to ask the caterers to clear up as soon as possible after the guests left. She spoke to those guys, but for some reason, those men didn’t bother complying to this request. Alas, in such cases, there is no option but to simply grin and bear it . The kids, usually naughty, were sullen and listless that evening. SS simply had his milk and went off to sleep. RS, though sleepy , couldn’t sleep. I guess one of the reasons was that she needs complete darkness and no sound when she tries to sleep. We couldn’t provide that, because dinner was in progress and it would be another hour till the last of the guests left and the caterers cleared up the tables. We could neither switch off the lights , nor cut down on the sound. So I took her outside and strolled on the terrace for a while. Somehow, it’s never a good feeling to find your child lying like a limp rag in your arms…..and I couldn’t help but blame myself for RS’s state . I’ve known all along that she has low tolerance for heat, and yet, I didn’t back up BF’s decision to move to another place, at least for the twin’s sake.I caved in because I thought BFC’s parents would feel insulted. But on hindsight, I can’t help but think that if they were in my place, they would have done what was best for their kids! So in my attempt to appease them, I compromised on the health of my children. The BF, though awfully worried about RS, was kind enough not to say “I told you so”. Though, I could make out that even he regretted not sticking to his decision himself!!
We didn’t sleep that night either. RS had loose motions and though we tried to feed her ORS (as the kind doctor uncle had advised us), she refused to take even one sip, throwing the bottle away with all her limited strength. We then just had to make sure she drank plenty of normal water. She would appear to doze off for a few minutes, and then suddenly get up wailing loudly. I guess her tummy was hurting too. I just prayed that since the next day was the wedding, RS should be fine enough for me to attend. Else, this entire trip to Delhi would be one big failure : ( . I’d already missed out on most of the ceremonies and I didn’t get the chance to sit and chat with BFC as I’d planned to do before coming. The only thing we ended up doing was trying to prevent the kids from smashing plates and glasses, preventing them from putting their fingers into power sockets, preventing them from pouring water all over the floor,preventing them from invading the bathroom and splashing about, in a nutshell, just being parents and minding them
Oh well, we just had another day to spend here before we could bid adieu and move on to the next place where we had our bookings. Consoling each other thus, with each holding a baby in their arms, me and the BF strolled the hall through most of the night.
This was my fourth night without sleep………….
Edited to add :
Somewhere around 1AM or maybe 2, when RS was in deep sleep, I sneaked out to apply some mehendi on my hands. BFC’s mom had saved a cone specially for me (bless her!!) . The design was nowhere close to being as good as the others, though I did try and concentrate on the flow. But I guess lack of sleep was a major reason why the final outcome looked like a mesh of wiggles, totally unworthy of a snap!!
And oh, I managed to dab a little circle of mehendi on RS’s palm too . There’s something awfully cute about a tiny, chubby palm coloured with henna, isn’t it??
(To be Contd…..).