Tag Archive | vacation

Detour

The plane was about to land and I was excited. I was meeting Aunty after about 15 years and I was damn excited.

The Tambes had been our neighbors for a long time. Till the time they decided to shift to a bigger house, they had been with us, through good times and bad; through thick and thin. As a child I remember whenever the food was not to my liking, I would run across to their home, to see what Aunty had prepared. When I was sure that I would be scolded for my mischief’s, i would run across. So many memories came to the mind and I chuckled and the person next to me was shocked. Yes, shocked. He must have thought that I was mad. 🙂

I was going back to the town I grew up for the alumni meet of our school. More than the meet I was charged up about meeting aunty. Her son Ajay lived in Mumbai.  Uncle having passed away, some years back, aunty lived alone.

After a hurried bath, I took a cab and rushed to meet her. Ajay bhaiyya and me were in touch via facebook and he had passed me her address. Uncle having passed away, she had moved into a one bedroom flat.

I had not informed her and had forbid bhaiyya too. I wanted to see if she would recognize me. And so I rang the bell and stepped back. After a full 7 minutes, I heard foot steps and after about a minute the door opened. I am sure she mist have peeped through the peep hole.

‘I don’t want anything, what are you selling?’, she said that in a single breathe. Though her voice cracked a bit now but it had the same vitality.

‘Aunty, don’t you recognize me?’, the vitality of childhood had returned in me too.

She opened the door a little more and then after some seconds, ‘Shamo…’

We spent the better half of a morning catching up on the news. She made me masala bhath, jhunka bhakar, which I gobbled up sitting on the kitchen platform, the same way that I used to do in the childhood.

But something puzzled me. She never mentioned about her son. It was absolutely visible that her arthritis was painful and yet she was living alone. Why?

In the evening I probed the matter.

‘Oh, that. You know sons change after marriage. It is only his wife now’, ignoring all my other questions.

The meet went well. Though scheduled to catch my flight from New Delhi, I changed my plans and instead went to meet Ajay bhaiyya and barged into his office.

He smiled and said, ‘I knew that you would be coming’. Having been raised together we knew each other’s psyche  well.

He left his office early and we went to his home.

‘Life is not always as you see, Shamo’,  he said.

‘Still fuming, I said,’ Meaning?’

‘You think I have thrown out Aayi from my life.’

‘Yes’, I said. I was so angry that I was in no mood to be diplomatic.

‘Do you have time? This may take some time’.

‘I have al the time for aunty,’ I said mockingly.

He let out a sigh and started.

‘You know aayi and baba had started everything from scratch. They formed their own lives. Which is good but when we were growing up, they forgot that I too had my aspirations. I tried to spread my wings in the limits set by them but when I got married it became worse. Baba had a heart attack  and expired. Aayi alone was lost for direction and instead became more overbearing. My wife Nisha had to dress the way she wanted, to behave the way she wanted , to eat what she wanted etc. Nisha understanding her mental state agreed but when our daughter was born; and Aayi continued with her ways, she put her foot down. What Nisha said was that she wanted her daughter to be raised not like a robot but as an individual. And I agreed with her’.

My anger by now had melted and I listed with rapt attention.

‘Aayi who had ruled her world for over 30 + years, just could not accept that. She just could not adjust. Do you remember Bhargav uncle?’

When I nodded a yes, he continued. ‘Bhargav uncle had come down to Mumbai and I told him the situation in our home. He said that as Aayi was not the person who would ever adjust or let go, wouldn’t it be better if he she went along with him to our old town. There was a flat vacant in their building, she could stay there and as there were a lot of ‘old friends’ living there, they could all spend time nicely and look out for their needs. Aayi,  jumped at this idea and returned.’

‘Tell me Shamo, was I wrong?’.

I was pensive in my return flight. The best of people ruin their lives just because they let their ego run their lives and do not adjust and accept.

* fictitious

Truant!! :)

I know I just disappeared; but we needed the break. The chicken pox had worn us out and we needed the change.

Remember this post? well it was sonny’s fifth birthday this year and the last time when we would be doing his aarathi. All the elders in the family wanted to be a part of the celebration and so we decided to celebrate his birthday in Mangalore. While I flew down in the third week of March to India, hubby followed just before the celebration. And so all the organizing fell onto my shoulders which scared me initially but all went smoothly.

Each successive visit to Mangalore/India surprises me with the escalating costs (and exhibitionism). The previously simple aarathi ceremony had included games for kids (which I think is necessary for kids to be engaged or to be happy whatever you agree with) some years back but now there is an MC too. I met a few MCs but their attitudes (and their price tags) completely disgusted me. I searched for alternatives and then two enthusiastic teens of our family came forward to do the needful and were so innovative and charming that their exuberance charged the event. The end result the invitees had fun!! And the Host was pleased. Which makes my life easier. 😀

Although I miss family I am glad to be back home. The heat was unbearable this time and with no rains in sight; there is already water shortage in Mangalore.

So right now enjoying the luxury of power, water and……my own bed !!

Travel Tales IV

We were going on for our Annual Vacation in the summer of 2005. The trip originally planned for August had been rescheduled for June end. That year was the first time post surgery and we were apprehensive. I was due for a complete overhaul 😀

The only tickets that were available to Hyderabad were in the Air India Express.  And we took it. I don’t remember much about the happenings at the Bahrain Airport; we were that tense. The flight reached Mumbai around 11.30 p.m. and our connecting flight was at 2a.m By 4 we were supposed to reach Hyderabad. Around 1.30 a.m we boarded the flight to Hyd. and waited and waited. It was raining outside and freezing inside.. Because fo the difference in temperatures, tiny droplets of moisture started forming on the ‘walls’ and eventually started falling on us. The crew was busy with themselves. Neither the heater was put on nor any blankets were given.

We waited like that till 6 am.

The flight was like a pick up. The passengers of Air India who were coming from different parts of the world and traveling to Hyderabad were hauled into our flight. The flight eventually was full and then it took off.

My neurosurgeon had kept the day free for me. You know how busy these super-specialists are. I had to meet him that day itself and already our flight had been delayed. My brother had come for the day from Vizag to tide things over for us. He was waiting for us at the airport..

The flight eventually reached at 8a.m. By the time we cleared customs and immigration, we expected our baggage to arrive. The baggage had indeed arrived but it was the baggage of travelers bound for Chennai. (Our flight had proceeded to Chennai) Yes. our baggage was bound for Chennai.

I just had my handbag and another small bag containing magazines, sweater etc. The bag containing my lab reports, medical file, MRI had all left for Chennai. We did not even have a change of clothes.

My brother called up the Doctor and explained our predicament. He asked us to report to the hospital immediately, make a new file and proceed for MRI, as the Lab had been kept free for me. So I went ahead for my check ups.

We had given our contact details to Air India and they were supposed to call us as soon as the luggage arrived. But when there was no call till 2p.m, we proceeded to the Airport. We came to know that the baggage had arrived but the guard would not allow us to go inside. We pleaded, we showed him our tickets, the baggage claim form  but no, he would not allow us inside.Obviously he needed some ‘chai paani’.

That was it; we went to the Officer In-charge of the Airport Authority of India, (barged actually) and told him about what all happened. Other passengers too came and stood with us. Observing the crowd he got up and escorted us to the Carousel where our baggage was thrown. Our bags were wet and dirty but at-least we had got back our bags.

From that moment on, I always carry my valuables with me.

After two days of check ups and being told that allz well,we boarded the tain to Vizag. My brother had already left the previous night. That night we slept peacefully, without bothering for food or comforts.

I was awakened by a phone call by my brother the next morning, ‘I can see your train’, he said. We were supposed to get down at a station called Duvvada, a small station where the train stops for just 2 minutes, a stop which is quite close to the Steel township of Vizag.

I shook my husband awake, removed the chain. As soon as the train chugged in to the station, He threw the bags onto the platform, pushed me out and then jumped out himself. My father standing some steps away could not understand what had actually happened 😛