Archive for April, 2010

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 :D. 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 :D). 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 :-

The Yellow Wasps......Tataiyya!!

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 😀 .

The snooze fairy visited finally 😀

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 😀 . 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 😀 ) :-

BFS and BFG with their design

BFC's sister's hand

The back of their palms

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 :D. There’s something awfully cute about a tiny, chubby palm coloured with henna, isn’t it??

(To be Contd…..).

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The train reached Nizamuddin Station at its destined time of 06:15 AM. Luckily, we all got up in time to get dressed and pack up before the kids woke up. Had to drag the twins out of their sleep to get off the train , and boy, were they ticked off or what??!! Placated them with water, since making their feed on the stinky platform and waiting for them to finish didn’t bode well with me !  

BFC had initially informed us that someone would come to pick us up, but I think they didn’t have a cab at their disposal that day, so she asked us to come half-way through to Gopinath bazaar where her father would receive us. The meeting point was a petrol pump in Gopinath Bazaar. So we took a taxi (the driver, who after a  LOT of haggling agreed on 350/- for the trip) , loaded our luggage and were off. One thing that we instantly noticed about Delhi, were the GOOD roads. They were smoooooth!!!! Didn’t suffer a single bump the entire way!! How I wish I could say the same about the other cities/towns I’ve visited 😦 . And yeah, the old, old monuments on the way ( single gateways which went God-knows-where, enclosed by a fence) were so, what do you call it, frail?! I could practically see some of them crumbling right in front of my eyes. Its a testimony to their strength that they survived this long!! 

After a drive of around 20 minutes, the driver informed us that we were at Gopinath Bazaar. We saw a Petrol pump there and asked him if this was the only pump in the vicinity. He grunted his reply in the affirmative and so we unloaded and waited at the pump. Some 10 minutes of waiting made us realize that maybe we weren’t at the right place after all. BFG and BFS were getting the jitters because the birds up there decided to favour these two with their blessings 😀 . A quick call to BFC and we found out that her father had been waiting for us at another petrol pump for the last 20 minutes!! That jerk of a driver!! Poor uncle!! We called him up immediately and he came to meet us in an auto. We loaded our luggage into it and Uncle got in, we crossed the road to hail another auto.  

It turned out, that the venue was barely 2 minutes drive from where we  were standing!! If only BFC had told us this before, we’d have asked the taxi driver to directly take us there!! Anyway, we lost track of uncle’s auto and took a wrong turn . Another call to him and we changed our route again. A small incident happened here……While our driver was busy trying to make a right turn, a lady on a bike came up to him and said , “Indicator naam ki koi cheez hoti hai ya nahin? Saare ke saare yahin baitth jaate the abhi!!” Apparently, unaware that the auto was going to make a turn, the lady was about to bang right into us. But seriously, we four were grinning away, not because of what she said, but how she said it!! The typical North Indian twang in place!! Simply LOVED the sound of it 😀  

Anyhow, we reached the right place finally to find that Uncle had already unloaded our luggage and put it in our rooms. Or rather, room. It was a dormitory with two sections where there were beds and a common hall area. I don’t have a snap of the whole thing , but there are some other snaps which will give you a better idea. And oh, Delhi-ites spell as they pronounce, which means, we actually stayed here :-  


Yup, thats right!! Brought a smile to my face every time I stepped in 🙂  

By the way, this was the building where we were put up :-  


The fountain played in the evening, and once or twice I took the kids down to feel the spray . Too bad, I never took the camera along and have no snaps to show for it 😦 .  

BFC came to meet us and we had a round of hugs and kisses , all glad to see each other! She sat with us for some time and then it was time to move for breakfast (the breakfast counter would close at 9 and we had to rush there before it closed down). We requested the canteen people to provide us with hot water for the kids and they were kind enough to oblige. Me and BFG quickly wrapped up breakfast and headed back to our room because the twins were getting naughty and playing with plug points in the breakfast hall!! 

I gave the two a good hot bath, which actually couldn’t be avoided, since the hot water came from the cold water tap (yup, it was that hot!). Dressed them up, fed them some milk and waited for the BF to return so that I could go for my bath. 

The twins on the sofa…after their bath!!


Suddenly, a couple of men barged into the room with a large table .Me and BFG looked at each other in surprise. Shortly, two more came in with another table. When we asked the guys what they were up to, they simply mumbled something and left. Now BFG and me were quite amused and wondered what was happening. And then we knew. Apparently, the canteen refused to cater to the large marriage crowd and hence, BFC’s parents had to arrange for an alternate caterer to look into the the regular meals for the guests. And since ours was the largest room, they decided to lay the tables there.  

The common hall with a separate area for the BF, me and kids

The Common hall with a separate area for BFS and BFG

The twins were excited to see so many new people and refused to sleep. It didn’t help that the bedroom area did not have a door or even a curtain to block it from the hall view. Try as I might, the kids refused to sleep. They preferred jumping between the legs of the workers, getting in the way as they laid the tables, reaching out for glasses, plates and what not. Just holding the kids back was a tough task, something , which the BF and I ended up doing for our entire stay. Believe me, it was stressful, just making sure that they didn’t damage anything or hurt themself in any way.  

The BF, seeing that there was very limited, or no privacy for any of us (not to mention, no air conditioning in the sweltering heat), suggested that we move out and make our own arrangements. In a way, I agreed with him. But BFS and BFG refused to come with us. They said , it would be insulting our hosts hospitality to move out of the arrangements they made for us. So we stayed put ( A decision, I very much regretted later 😦  ).  

Anyhow, at lunch time, we met up with BFC’s relatives and other family members, the twins had their first taste of Dal-Makhani and boondi-raita and luckily, they didn’t trouble much. SS took an instant fancy to one of BFC’s aunts and refused to get off from her arms. Poor aunty was carrying him around the whole afternoon!!  

Post lunch, the caterers took their own sweet time to clear the tables. By now, we were all very tired and looking forward to catching up on some sleep. Now if only these people cleared up from here!! The coolers, though filled with water, were only spewing hot air into the room and we were getting a pretty good idea about how hot Delhi could really be!! I guess it was the heat that made the kids cranky and they simply refused to sleep!! And when they didn’t, we didn’t. The BF and I stayed up minding the twins while BFG and BFS caught up on some sleep. We had to leave for the Sagan ceremony in the evening and had to be ready by 7 PM.  

Did I mention that RS learnt how to open the tap of the water dispenser? No? Well, she did. And made sure that the entire hall was covered with water!! I was busy trying to put SS to sleep and RS was with the BF, who was guilty of snoozing on the sofa and missed out on his daughter’s antics. The twins were obviously delighted to see so much water in this heat and immediately started splashing around. SS even skidded badly and hurt his head. I was furious with RS was spilling the water, but seriously, who could blame her?? I just tried to mop up as much water as possible and then called in the housekeeping guys to clear up the rest. Believe me, I’d have given my right arm just to be able to catch a few minutes nap by this time. I was so so tired!!  

By 5 PM, woke up BFS and started another round of baths. Delhi can be miserably hot and you either bathe with water , or with sweat.  And when we were not bathing, we were busy running after the kids while groping our way through the curtain of sweat cascading down the eye-brows!!  

It took some time to get the twins ready (RS in a pink and white shalwar kameez and SS in a white and blue Kurta Pajama), who were getting crankier by the minute. I didn’t realize it then, but frankly,the heat was getting to them and there was nothing they could do about it. The BF got dressed in a jiffy and then took his turn to mind the kids while we got dressed. And we took a real long time. Seriously. So while the kids and the BF were ready by 6:30 PM, me and the other two girls moved out not before 8 PM!! We went down to find that all the other guests had left for the venue and the only people left were us and BFC’s father and nani(who by the way, is a gracious, darling granny 🙂 ) who were waiting for us to come down. We all were suitably abashed, except maybe the BF, who was shooting off dagger looks at us for taking so long to get dressed.  

We reached the venue after a short drive and had to walk a considerable distance from the parking to the event area, a journey, which made me realize that after more than two years of wearing flat shoes, I shouldn’t have selected this particular event to try out my heels. Sigh. Some people never learn. Count me as one of them!! To top it, The twins were now drowsy and irritable and begged to be carried. Tough indeed!!  

The event area was an open terrace, with nice round tables spread across it. Stand-fans did their best to dispel some of the heavy hot air hanging around like a curtain, but not making much progress in the bargain! BFC hadn’t returned from the parlour yet and we spent the time gulping down soft drinks (which, under any other circumstance, I wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole!) and running after the twins, who were once again captivated by the plug points and bulbs, even managing to switch off a few lights in the bargain. Aah….those killer gazes from the guests would have stung anyone with a thinner hide, but I guess by now, the BF and me were quite immune to it . We are made of much sterner stuff  😀  

As usual, in our hurry to leave, I forgot the camera and now I have to wait for BFS to send across her snaps. Somewhere after 40 minutes, the groom arrived. Mr.SK is a smart, suave guy at the first appearance and a cheerful, talkative , friendly guy at the second 🙂 . It was nice talking to him, which we did for quite some time until he was finally called away to meet some relatives. I had a warm feeling after meeting him. He seemed just the right person for BFC. And I’m seriously glad that this alliance came through. Almost made me think favourably about arranged marriages 😀 .  

SK’s mother, and BFC’s MIL is a smart lady, holding her own presence with grace and effervesence. That she liked BFC was apparent in the way she greeted her when BFC arrived. Oh, btw, BFC looked GORGEOUS!! I simply couldn’t recognise her, and when I hugged her, I’m sure the onlookers worried that I might just squeeze the breath out of her 😀 . She looked that good!! SK took one look at his fiancée and I’m sure I saw him puffing up with pride, or maybe his breath just got lodged in his throat! Whatever. Point is, he was as spell-bound as us and when he asked BFC how she was , my friend blushed in a manner that truly mirrored her name. Absolutely charming 🙂 . And when SK playfully squeezed her chin, she turned such a fiery red, the BF was sure she was going to faint 😀 . BFS took a few snaps of us all where I look as haggard as possible (blame it on the lack of sleep!) and the BF looked totally lost (blame it on running after the kids in a setting where he was the ONLY man running around. He didn’t find it funny in the least 😐 ) .  

I’d heard of well-off mommies in Delhi employing young girls as help for their kids and I was quite flummoxed to see a lady arrive with TWO maids for her two kids. One was around 4-5 years old and the other was as old as the twins. The lady relaxed with her drinks and snacks while the maids did the running around with the kids. I was envious for maybe a second. What the hell, who am I kidding?! At that particular time, I was envious for more than 10 minutes. OR maybe 15. No harm in being honest, is there? The BF agreed with my sentiments and said that we should have brought some maids along with us too. I hushed him into silence saying that this was his punishment for working long hours in office and not spending enough time with the kids. And I was seriously surprised to see the BF reasonably chastised!! He actually believed what I said. And me, being the clever girl that I am, didn’t bother to say that I was just kidding. Never disturb a man when he’s guilty. Even when he’s really not!! I’ll add this to my list of mottoes 😀  

The sagan ceremony by itself was a muted affair. BFC’s nani called to us to come and watch. I think the ritual mainly consisted of tilak to the groom and exchanging gifts between the families. I didn’t get to see much because RS was throwing a fit to be let down and when I did put her down, she was keen to grab at the jumbo ants crawling near a flower pot. I was busy just trying to make sure she didn’t get bitten!! SS, meanwhile, was besotted with the stand fans, and being the types who loves moving heavy stuff around, tried his best to push the stands , almost managing to topple one on a nearby table. The BF lunged at the fan and rescued it just in time. Whew!!  

Dinner was a delayed affair, what with the kids refusing to eat, rushing towards the stairs, running around like crazy, rolling on the floor and keeping me on my toes. Literally. I’d discarded the heels a long time back and was barefoot for the whole evening! While playing , one of the guest kids pushed SS a little too hard, who then fell back and bumped his head real hard. Obviously, he howled for all he was worth. The other kid was severely admonished by his grandfather and I had to assure the old man that things are not so bad and that SS would be fine. I then asked the BF and BFS and BFG to go ahead with their meal. Once they’re done, I thought I’ll grab a bite for myself. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. My friends and the BF took and awful long time to finish and by then, I was too dead to care about dinner. The BF persuaded me to at least gulp down one Gulab Jamun. Which I did with great difficulty . You can imagine how very tired I was!! Gulab Jamun being my MOST FAVOURITE sweet ever!! And I was actually forced to eat it!! There’s a stupid PJ which I thought of here (How do you send a rose to the moon in a second?? You just say, “Gulab, Ja Moon” . Don’t hit me please. A tired mind does some really wierd things!!).  

The catering service was good, the waiters didn’t even give us the opportunity to gulp down one snack before they presented us with the next. Highly efficient (Unlike the waiters in Pune, who have to be bribed to come and serve anything!! And even then, they might drop a miniscule amount on your plate or glare at you if you bother to ask for more!!). Yet, we did hear a few disgruntled people complaining about the “poor service”. I really should have invited them over to Pune 😀  

I want to make a special mention about a young girl I met here. A precocious little darling who went by the name Ira. She was around 6 years old, but chatty enough like an old dame 😀 . I guess she was born and brought up in UK, and had this adorable accent. She was instant friends with the twins and the twins, on their behalf , were quite smitten by her. SS, on the first look, rushed up to hug her and though she was nearly a foot taller than him, he tried to crane his neck as high as possible for a kiss. Aahh…my poor boy. He was disappointed by his first crush 😀 . While I was minding the twins, Ira kept me company and spoke about so many things about her home back in UK. For a 6-year-old,she had an amazing vocabulary and I was quite amazed at her range of knowledge. I met her once again on the wedding day and alas, never got a chance to say a proper good-bye to her before I left. 

BFC,SK,Ira and SS. Unfortunately, this is the ONLY snap of SS in the Sagan 😦

RS in her salwar-kameez. That's me holding her!


Anyhow, we were one of the first ones to leave the venue and were back at our room by around 11 or 11:30 PM. Luckily, the kids crashed out pretty soon, though not without a fight, and by the time I could set my head on a pillow, it was 12.  

BTW, I didn’t get to sleep the night either. There were quite a few mosquitoes about and the twins were bitten real bad. RS kept screaming intermittently and would sleep only in my arms with me walking to and fro in the hall. SS woke up a couple of times too, but went back to sleep when the BF put him on his lap.  

Day one in Delhi was exceedingly tiring. More than I’d ever imagined. I don’t remember the last time I was so bone-weary and craving some rest. RS finally slept around 5:30 AM and that’s when I finally crashed out.  

(To be Contd……)

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Woke up around 9 AM on 18th morning, brushed and freshened up. RS was still sleeping, so I took the liberty of having a cup of tea in leisure (yeah yeah, I know all about how tea is prepared in trains, but I consoled myself with the thought that since this particular train had a pantry car, maybe, just maybe, the water was boiled in a different manner!!).

We all had bread-omelette for breakfast and placed the order for lunch. The twins surprised me by showing interest in the omelette and having quite a few bites from it. I think they liked the bland, no-salt, no spice kind of eggs. Mentally made a reminder to feed them eggs made like this once the monsoons set in. The BF wanted  to play cards, but the kids made sure that we dis’card’ed the thought of even opening the pack in their presence 😀 . Moreover, since we were right next to the door, and SS was quite keen on exploring the other side, the BF had his hands full just making sure that people didn’t just bang the door on SS’s face. Once or twice they came close, and we got a few admonishing glares, but I guess people are generally sympathetic towards parents travelling with kids. In our case, we had two master brats and the only reason they were forgiven was because the twins turned on their sweetest, brightest smiles for those strangers!

A wierd thing happens on trains, you know, specially on long distance trains…..people get up early, have tea, have breakfast and somewhere around 10 AM, they hop back on their berths and take a snooze. They get up again around 12 or 1 PM, have lunch, chat a little, wrap up with a cup of tea or coffee and somewhere around 3 or 4 PM, they hop back to sleep, only to get up around 7 PM for another cup of tea/coffee or snacks, wait till 8 PM for dinner and then hit the sack again.

The reason I mentioned the schedule above, is that , though I’ve been guilty of the same behavior in the past, this particular time, I didn’t sleep a wink 😐 . The kids kept me awake ALL the time!! If RS was asleep, then SS would howl for my attention. When he went off to sleep, RS would wake up and scream for me. The BF took turns handling the kids, at least allowing me time to have tea or my meals. BFG and BFS, though tried their best, could do very little other than sympathise with us and make sure we didn’t have to look into other issues like managing the luggage, handling trash, making the berths, etc. God bless these two. Without them, I’d have left the kids with the BF and jumped out of the moving train 😦

Anyhow, time went by at a snail’s pace and I must have pestered everyone loads by asking for the time every 10 minutes. As evening drew closer, I was seriously  looking forward to finally reaching Delhi, taking a bath and taking a nap 🙂 . In fact, ALL of us were planning the same thing ! Obviously. Except the kids, of course. They couldn’t care less!!

By the way, the lunch sucked BIG time!! It was awful!! A watery dal, potato sabji which made me swear off potatoes forever and half-cooked rice. And tell me, who really likes to have a chapatti that is barely 3 inches in diameter but an inch thick?? The very first bite almost made me Moo my discontent!! Dinner, we decided , would have to be anything other than the regular ‘meals’ being served. We had some Veg-pulao or Veg-biryani kind of dish which was surprisingly good. Even the twins had a few bites of it and were clamouring for more. Of course I didn’t feed them much of it, since it was steeped in loads of garam masala!

Post dinner, within minutes, all the lights in our bogie were out, except ours. We switched off, believing that the kids would sleep if it got sufficiently dark all around.

Ha Ha…..how naive we were!!

The kids, for some unknown reason, were super-charged. Their yelling got louder, their antics got wilder and my chances at sanity got leaner. The BF, unused to all this noise, almost gave up and moved out of the bogie. He preferred the noise and stench of the vestibule to the loud racket of the kids. I personally think he was embarrassed with all the angry glares and comments passed by people who were trying their best to sleep. Anyhow, somewhere around late night, maybe 11 or 12, the kids dropped off to sleep. We let out a sigh of relief and lowered our tired self carefully on the berth.

Around 2AM, SS howled out for his milk. I practically fell off the edge of my berth and rushed to the BF’s berth. Poor guy…..he was so tired, he didn’t even notice SS trying to climb over him!! I picked up my baby, made his feed , made one for RS too and put both of them on my berth. I stood there for nearly 10 minutes before I realized that I needed to sleep too, and uncomfortable though it may be, there was no other space than on the berth. So I climbed in again, ever so gingerly so as not to disturb the kids, turned on my side and tried to sleep in that uncomfortable position.

Needless to say, by the next morning,  one hip was completely paralysed and the other suffered a severe muscle pull 😦

Ahhh…the joys of parenting!!

The BF didn’t leave an opportunity to mention throughout that he should have booked flight tickets as he had initially planned. But we, me and BFG and BFS had scrapped his plan, reasons being many. By night-time, I could have kicked myself real hard for not listening to him and taking sides with my friends.Anyhow, that all is past. The BF has sworn not to ever go anywhere where he might be required to drag the kids along, at least till they are 10 years old!!

The journey, till now , was one big nightmare…and the only consolation was that the next day would be better.

Or would it??

(To be contd……)

Edited to add :

Updating the post with the snap taken on the train :-

Abba minding the twins while their mom has her dinner 🙂

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……for the many orphans on a railway platform in Orissa.

We need more people like Rajesh Singh in our midst, who, at a young age, decided that it was better to make engineers out of orphans than become an engineer himself. How selfless is that?!! Do read the article on how he overcame personal obstacles to do what he thought was right.

It makes me feel cheap and small in comparison. I have a good household, children, luxury of a job and income. I give khairat and zakat as per the tenets of Islam.

Yet, there is something lacking majorly. I do not take out time like my maternal grandmother to visit each house in her neighbourhood asking for old used clothes, washing them and then visiting the slums and distributing them (I did pursue this activity a couple of years back. The reason I stopped doing it was when I found out that the clothes were being sold by those slum dwellers in the local chor-bazaar!). I don’t take out time like my mother to do little things like buy grains, clothes and fruits for many impoverished families and personally deliver it at their doorstep, making sure she hands over some cash too. I don’t sponsor the education of orphan girls like my MIL  and the BF do, making sure that apart from the fees, they also support the girl’s lodging, boarding and clothing requirements.

The only thing I do nowadays is give away money. But I have no idea if it is put to good use. Is it charity? Is it worthwhile?

I guess not.

The biggest charity or helping a social cause would mean donating my time. To take out some time to visit orphanages, to visit old-age homes, to call upon old, far off relatives just to check up on their health and well-being, to take out time to actually do something. My friend Srihari speaks Marathi as much as I do, yet, he actively participates in many social causes for children in and around Pune. The language barrier does not hinder him. But it hinders me. For me, if I cannot communicate with words, I’m handicapped 😦 . I clam up and recede into my shell. Just standing like a statue and smiling politely is not going to get me anywhere.  And that is my one excuse for not actively going out and participating as much as I’d like to 😦

And when I read articles like the one above, I feel an emptiness, a hollow sensation somewhere deep within, you may call it guilt.

Guilt , for being blessed with all material comforts and yet, unable to give equally in return . Guilt, because there are people out there, much more underprivileged and yet, doing their bit. How clear is their conscience…..and how murky is mine 😦

I know it is not lack of initiative from my side. I’ve taken plenty of them. Conducted clothes drive in office (ever heard of Goonj by Anshu Gupta ?? He guided me on the process of the collection and donation ) , collecting old clothes from colleagues and distributing them among the poor. The poor, ironically, didn’t need the clothes, they just wanted the money…..and I felt all my efforts going down the drain. Post marriage and kids, I seem to have even lesser time for myself, let alone for the needy. I keep consoling myself that when the kids grow a little older, when they start school and are not so dependent on me all the time, I’ll start with baby steps once again. Target an area and help as much as I can.

Till then, its best to read about people like Rajesh Singh and Thank Allah that there exist people who have their priorities set right 🙂

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Delhi Diary 1 : Chalo Dilli

Our tickets were booked for the Goa-Nizamuddin Express from Pune on the 18th of April at an ungodly hour of *gasp* 04:15. 

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink! 

Somehow, travelling with kids always keeps me on tenterhooks, dreading all the while that I’ve surely missed out some important thing to take along. And I wasn’t wrong. SS developed a cold and cough and RS got the loosies. And I had every other medicine except for these two. Beat that! 

Anyhow, let me start from the beginning. 

The week before, was a whirlwind of activities at work and at home. I needed to wrap up work so that there were no issues in my absence. And I needed to pack everything at home, shop for a few things, put them all together as per the need to pull them out , and overall, just struggling to make sure that I didn’t hop on the train and leave the kids behind (which , since I’m back, seemed like the BEST thing to do!). 

The BF hates packing. Period. So no help on that front. But he needs his roller brush, his hair oil, his shaving kit, in other words , ALL his stuff right at the top of the bag, so that the minute he opens it, he can find what he wants. Following this condition, I had to pack all my stuff at the base of the suitcase, along with the pack of diapers and sterilizer. All his stuff went on top. A smaller strolley was packed with the kid’s clothings and other knick-knacks. And then, I had not one, but TWO baby bags filled to the brim with a change of clothes, diapers, napkins, wet-tissues, three thermos flasks, tin of powdered milk, tin of Cerelac, and most important, 6 feeding bottles. Whew!! I definitely wasn’t travelling light! 

On 17th night, I checked up the stuff once more and finally locked everything. We fed the babies and put them to sleep. I cleaned up the room , stacked stuff into place and then mulled over the week to come. Remembered to grab the camera at the last-minute (though I really shouldn’t have bothered!! It was more of a hindrance, and rarely used 😦 ) . Anyway, I couldn’t sleep, so I read up on the Pale Horse by Agatha Christie. It was quite gripping and I didn’t realize when it was 2 AM. Time to get up and change the kids, call up BFG and BFS to confirm that they were ready too. The gets readily allowed me to change them in their sleep, which was good. But they definitely threw a tantrum when we picked them off the bed and disturbed their sleep. Protest, they did. And as wildly and loudly as possible 😐 . 

GMIL was in tears at the thought of being parted from the kids. She was genuinely moved. The MIL and FIL were still doubtful about us taking the kids along. But it was too late to change our decision. The kids cannot stay without me yet (not to mention that I’d cry myself to sleep if I was parted from them!) and there was no possibility of canceling our trip. So there, in spite of their stern disapproval, we lugged the bags downstairs and loaded the car. The kids were pretty up by this time and luckily, didn’t bother us as much. 

At the station, found BFS and BFG waiting at the entrance along with BFG’s father. We all counted our baggage (which were THREE each , making me direct killer looks at the BF who had warned me not to exceed 4 bags for all the four of us) and trooped inside . Had a cup of tea while waiting for the train to arrive and arrive it did, right when I was busy gulping down the BF’s cup (since he wasn’t keen on it, but uncle had bought it anyway!).  The bogie was a little way further than where the indicator was and we all cursed the driver unanimously was making us run till our compartment with luggage and two kids! Once we all piled in, counted the luggage and bid goodbye to uncle, the train started once more and we were off!! 

BFS was excited enough to pull out her camera and start clicking snaps immediately. I couldn’t really be bothered because the kids were acting up, not keen on being confined to the limited space and were also hungry. Fed them their milk and tried to put them to sleep. But no luck 😦 . They were up and bright and in no mood to be put back to sleep. 

On an aside, here’s a brief layout of our seats :- 

AC-2 Tier Berth layout


Our seats were in a wierd L-shape and the kids didn’t like the limited space for movement. But in a way, it was good, because at least we were all together in a separate area. The only major disturbance factor was the door which was practically open the whole time since people kept coming in and out, specially the guys from the pantry serving tea/coffee. SS tried his best to sneak out when the doors opened and the BF had a tough time keeping him in check. 

Somewhere around early morning, I think, maybe 6 AM, RS went off to sleep, SS went to sleep with his Abba a little before that. I plunked down myself, only to get up to the wails of RS who did not approve of me infringing on her space. This girls needs a LOT of space to roll about in her sleep and she certainly wasn’t pleased with the narrow berth. I had no option, but to wait till she went deeper into her sleep before thankfully slinking in beside her, half of me dangling precariously off the edge. Only I know how I managed to sleep that night!! I won’t put up BF’s side of the story about how he managed to squeeze his nearly six feet muscular frame in that side berth, because frankly, this is my blog and I expect you all to sympathise with me!! 

Anyhow, I crashed out shortly after my head hit the pillow and woke up a few hours later…..to the combined wail of the you-know-who!! 

Ahh…another day to go………. (to be continued)

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I’m BACK!!!

Hiya folks, am back, finally 😀

Practically dying to put down everything about the Delhi trip, but give me some time. Need to check up on mails and work in office.

Will settle down and give you all the inside dope on the wedding and the time afterwards….

Till then, have fun …..

PS: Am planning to call the series Delhi Diaries. Like it??

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Hello peeps…..

I’ll be unavailable for the whole of next week.

Am off to Delhi, for BFC’s wedding.

Pretty excited about the trip 😀

I may or may not have access to internet , but I do know for sure that I won’t have time off from the kids (who, for the FIRST time since their birth, will be with their Momma 24/7)

Its gonna be FUN!! Its gonna be exciting 🙂

(Its gonna be scary 😐 !! Help me GOD!!!)

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….and by that , I meant TIME.

Seriously running short of time in which to complete my tasks as well as prepare for the trip ahead.

Am still in double mind about taking the kids along, but I know I won’t be able to stay a week without them 😦 . And I’d also like to believe that they can’t live without me 😀

Anyhow, Delhi at present is at 42-43 degrees celsius. Which is just short of cooking an egg on a car bonnet. So as long as I don’t try to dump any of the kids on a car bonnet, I guess we’ll be good!! BF, I’ve never needed your strong arms as much before !! Err…in fact, I did…but lets not get into that now 😀 .

There’s oodles of work to wrap up before I go and for some unknown reason, since morning I’ve been caught up with other tasks, like updating the colour scheme of the program dashboard sheet. Now don’t ask me what it means. I’m yet to figure it out myself.

But yeah, the colour scheme needs to be changed and since everyone in the meeting was busy tying their laces or picking up dropped cellphones from the floor, the manager found me to be the only person paying attention and consecutively, the right person for this job. Drat!! Remind me to wear sport shoes next time we meet (even if I’m wearing a suit!!) . Or at least carry my cell to the conference room!

Anyhow, colour-coding’s mostly done. And I’m now working on a issue brought forward by a new guy on the team. I just can’t refuse freshers, you know!! There’s something so raw and vulnerable about them. And I seriously don’t believe in the theory of just dumping new people into work and letting them find their method of survival themselves. Survive, they will…but not without bitterness. And a little kindness goes a long way. I was lucky to have such kind people when I’d newly started working…and I can never forget them. I’ve learnt that as one climbs higher , it is more imperative to lend out your hand to the people  below…they will be the ones to cushion your fall (when you won’t have any higher to go!!).

Another tangent there!! Seriously, I MUST learn to stick to ONE  topic at a time!!

About the kids, well, things aren’t as rosy. SS developed a heat boil on his arm this morning. It’s as wide as a rupee coin and I dread to think of him coming up with any more! Will be taking him to a doctor this evening. Hope its nothing serious 😐 .

RS is getting crankier by the day, its got to do with the heat, of course. We’ve been postponing it for some time , but now I guess an AC and an  inverter is a must! At least if we wish to survive this summer. Surprising, isn’t it?? I mean , we’ve been through worse summers before…but as soon as the kids come into picture, it all becomes unbearable. Are we making our kids soft by not letting them toughen up with the weather? I just don’t know. There was this instance when my eldest nephew was just a few days old. Since he was born in Jan, dad was pretty particular about making sure that the baby’s head was always covered with a cap. Mom once chided him on being over-sensitive , and reminded Dad that when his kids were in places like Srinagar, he wouldn’t ever fuss over us this way. Dad retorted back then that “Mere bachche Aulad nahin, Faulad banenge“. Thanks dad, we’re pretty tough now. But what about our kids?

Don’t they need to be tough too?

I know I’m a fussy mom and I hover over my kids a tad too much. But then, I also let them stumble and fall and learn to walk/run on their own (hoping that it does them some good in the long run 🙂 ).

But most times, my mind goes blank and I just don’t know if I have it in me to make the right decisions for them. To make sure that they don’t grow up resenting me and the choices I made.

At times like these, I take solace in my work.

Like the most interesting task of deciding which colour background should be assigned to which project in the program dashboard sheet!

Fuschia for the project by not-a-very-amicable-tech-lead? Hmm….maybe. God knows he deserves it. Being the hussy that he is!!!

Aaarghh…another tangent!!

I better sign off before I start getting into details of  totally irrelevant information, like how Huggies XL diapers are smaller in size than the Caremate XL diapers!!

God Help me!!

*Running away while tugging at hair with both hands!*

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Pope Caught for Speeding

Got this in the mail today.

Funny, huh??


After getting all of Pope Benedict’s luggage loaded into the limo, (and he doesn’t travel light), the driver notices the Pope is still standing on the curb.

‘Excuse me, Your Holiness,’ says the driver, ‘Would you please take your seat so we can leave?’

‘Well, to tell you the truth,’ says the Pope, ‘they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal, and I’d really like to drive today.’

‘I’m sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I’d lose my job!
What if something should happen?’ protests the driver, wishing he’d never gone to work that morning..

‘Who’s going to tell?’ says the Pope with a smile.

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 205 kms.. (Remember, the Pope is German..)

‘Please slow down, Your Holiness!’ pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.

‘Oh, dear God, I’m going to lose my license — and my job!’ moans the driver. The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio.

‘I need to talk to the Chief,’ he says to the dispatcher.

The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he’s stopped a limo going 205 kph..

‘So bust him,’ says the Chief.

‘I don’t think we want to do that, he’s really important,’ said the cop. The Chief exclaimed,’ All the more reason!’

‘No, I mean really important,’ said the cop with a bit of persistence. The Chief then asked, ‘Who do you have there, the mayor?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

Chief: ‘ A senator?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

Chief: ‘The Prime Minister?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

‘Well,’ said the Chief, ‘who is it?’

Cop: ‘I think it’s God!’

The Chief is even more puzzled and curious, ‘What makes you think it’s God?’

Cop: ‘His chauffeur is the Pope!’



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I’ve added another one to my collection. Bought “Sister of My Heart” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni !!

(This one’s for you Shail….I wouldn’t have bought it if you hadn’t convinced me to 🙂 )

I’m totally smitten by this author’s style of narration. Absolutely, totally, hook, line and sinker!!

It started when I picked her book “Vine of Desire” on a lark. Was looking for something new to read and came across this one in Big Bazaar. It was for half the price, so I thought,why not?!  Am glad that I did, coz once I started reading it, it was so difficult to put down! Totally engrossing, the words spinning their own magic….and later when I tried to recollect, I realized, there was very little action happening. The only actions narrated , were those of the mind, the thoughts that conflict each other, the thoughts that make people do what they do, the thoughts that bring the ultimate downfall, or the ones that act as the savior. Spellbinding!!

And then recently, I bought the Palace of Illusions.

And my respect for Ms.Divakaruni increased fourfold ( Please read the book if you haven’t already!!).

Anyhow, Shail wrote in one of her comments that I must read Sister of My Heart and so, while browsing through Big Bazaar yesterday (again!) I came across this one, again, at half-price.

“Pouncing” is the only word that can describe how I  reached for it 😀

Believe me, I didn’t even bother to check if all the pages were in place, whether the last page was there or not, I just grabbed it before anyone else could come anywhere close to it and directly got it billed. Haven’t started reading it yet, because I’m on the Agatha Christie right now….but am so glad I have something to read when the current one gets over.

The BF, can’t understand my obsession with books.  He himself cannot be made to go through even 2 pages of any book. Which gives me serious doubts as to how he managed to study all these years!! But then, he goes through a 100 page FSD  easily!! I guess work comes to him more easily than leisure. Weird!!

Anyway, he has relented enough to agree that we need to buy a book shelf as soon as possible (maybe to prevent the room from flooding with books 😀 ).

And oh, while at Big Bazaar I also bought an adorable pair of denim shorts for SS. They were super cute and I just couldn’t drag myself away from it (the 300/- tag  notwithstanding!!).

Kids clothings, I say!!!

Wanted to get a pair for RS too, but with her, I need to be careful about the size. For some unknown reason, all the clothes that I’ve bought for her till date have fallen short 😦 . Which reminds me, I had stitched a one-piece frock for her before she was born. It was hand stitched and by that I mean, I put thread and needle together to stitch it together. It had a satin ribbon at the waist and red thread used as hemming around the neck and sleeves. And yeah, I’d given the dress a slit at the thigh 😉

Totally Sexy!!!

Dunno whom I gave that outfit to!! I have a couple of good cloth pieces which I plan to stitch for her…..but for that, I need

1) time

2) skill

3) patience

4) above three at the SAME time!!

Anyhow, I better get back to work now…

This just turned into a random post where as I’d meant it specifically for the book 😦

That reminds me…I still have to do those posts on the books I’ve recently read.


(* walking off in deep thought…*)

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