A tip for all new parents

“Ah it is a girl, no worries. This is your first anyways. You still can look forward to having a baby boy in a few years” said 65 year old Sarita to her flabbergasted daughter-in-law when she delivered a baby girl, who weighed 3.5 kg and is a healthy baby.

Sarita’s daughter-in-law, Disha was extremely tired after being in labour for more than 18 hours and was disgusted by the sexist comment. Disha and her husband, Jay have been married for almost 3 years now and are working in MNCs, both were concentrating on their careers, when slowly Sarita started nagging them about wanting a grandchild.

Initially it was all in good gesture and fun, but later it got serious and became a nag. Every other day she would bring in news about other relatives who had become grandparents. This went unnoticed by Jay, who took every news at face value and replied with a nod. However, Disha started realising that this was a hint to them, as the precious 3 years of their married life have been completed and now it was time for them to take it to the next step.

Disha pondered over this for a while and then one day discussed with Jay about expanding their family. At first Jay was surprised as he had no hurry to have a baby as recently they have invested in an apartment, who’s possession was due in 6 months. Balancing work, family life and visiting contruction site was already hectic, having a baby at this juncture was a big NO for Jay.

He replied back to his wife about with these realities and Disha realised that he is right. However, they both came to a conclusion that after moving to the new home, they will start with the family planning and let the case rest.

Even though the eligible couple had decided upon themselves to have a baby after a year, Jay’s mother, Sarita was persistent. She didn’t understand these hicccups about managing the finance and the possession of apartment were good enough reasons to push the family planning decision further into future. According to her, having a baby was the most important of it all and other things could wait.

The happy family of 4 lived together in harmony. Sarita and her retired husband took care of the household and the children(Jay and Disha) were able to put maximum efforts in their respective jobs without having to worry about household stuff.

Off lately, Sarita mentioned a couple of times about the blessings of having a boy baby born into the family; how important it was to have a boy in the family who would carry the name of the family into future generations. She also shed light on importance of having a girl child in the family, the light of the house who cann be dressed into beautiful frilly clothes and will be the incarnation of goddess ‘Lakshmi‘. Her opinions about raising a boy child and a girl child were vocal, not to mention that she was very opinionated about how boys play with toys and are notorious, while the girl babies are very silent and calm if handed a barbie.

These opinions shed a fair amount of understanding of the older lady and were analysied by Disha. She explained this to her husband, summarising the opinions of her mother-in-law and how different it is from their own views of equality of genders. Jay was taken aback with the accusation againts his mother. However, after a few days of conversation with his mother, he realised that the value system of his mother is set and cannot be changed by any way. He was caught in a dilemma.

He tried to maintain a cordial relationship between his mother and his wife, bridging opinions and views. He explained the gender equality to his mother. Though she was sceptical at first, slowly she realised how derogatory she had been to the unborn child. During her pregnancy, Disha was suggested to earn saffron, that would gurantee a fair baby. The company where she worked gave her the leniency to work from home at  necessary times, and a 6 month maternity leave was approved for her as per the policy. As days flew and 9 months passed, Disha was blessed with a beautiful girl but had to undergo a difficult labour, which tensed the whole family.

The comments made by the relatives didn’t go unnoticed, the new parents were still basking in the glory of their first child. Jay made all attempts to prioritize his new family and pamper his wife and baby with love, care and support.

In the mean time, Disha, in the past two years had carefully created a strong mindset about raising children and how to avoid gender discrimination and other superstition to seep into their minds from the elderly people by reading various books and listening to other people’s experiences. She often shared these details with her husband who judiciously listened with an open mind. The arrival of the new born was celebarted like a festival amongst family and friends, despite a few comments from relatives about why wasting hard-earned money for a small ceremony(that too for a baby girl). The generation gap between the 65-year old lady and the couple in their 30s was bridged by the arrival of a baby. Sarita realised that girls and boys are equal and deserve equal love. Disha realised that certain value systems and beliefs cannot be changed overnight.

The happy couple wouldn’t give any ear to these comments and learnt the art of ignorance while dealing with a baby at hand and all the responsibilities that came with a new born. Their child was named Samta meaning equality.

P.S: This is a fictional story revolving around fictional characters experiencing  real life issues pertaining to superstition and gender discrimination. A tip to all the new parents to take practical decisions despite the social and family pressures.

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Daily nuisance

via Daily Prompt: Funnel

Pouring oil into a bottle, pouring milkshake into a small-necked container, pouring unorganised thoughts into a passage, I feel is a daily nuisance. If only I would purchase a funnel and let these fluidy contents get some organisation to form a temporary shape.

Sigh!

I forget. Every time I am outside to buy other ‘necessary’ things, funnel and strainer are two important items, I often fail to buy. I do make a list of regular items required to carry daily chores.

Is there a funnel for my thoughts? Some tool that will help me get my irratic thoughts organised; or a strainer perhaps to help me filter out unnecessary residue and purify these electric signals.

Everyday I look for inspiration to write; to ponder over issues and provide a verbal solution. WordPress acts as a funnel, providing me daily promts, status updates and other facilities to organise my ideas and post it to the world.

Don’t wanna say thanks!

I don’t wanna say thanks to you

For your love or your care

For being here with me, all day, every day

I don’t wanna say thanks to you

For the fights or for the blissful nights

For the fun or the cries.

For making you and me, we

To the only person I don’t wanna say thanks

As it may negate everything you did and will be willing to do for me.

Every time you wiped my tears, I remember

Every time you brought a smile on my face, I remember

Every time you gave me the last peice of cake, I remember

Every time you came for my rescue, I remember

Every time you were there for me, without being near me, I remember.

Most importantly, I remember how you never made me say thanks to you by being your kind self.

Thank you!

 

New slangs and words added to English dictionary in 2017: Word of the year FEMINISM

For some of my friends out there, understanding American slangs or usage of certain words giving a different meaning other than its literal one, can be a daunting tasks.

Like, “Screw up”, “riding shotgun” or “giving a cold shoulder” don’t actually mean to put a screw up, but where? or putting ice on one’s shoulder to make it cold;

  • Screw up – to make a mistake
  • Riding shotgun – second in command, possibly the front seat next to the driver’s seat
  • Giving a cold shoulder – deliberately ignoring someone.

I have hand picked a few new words that caught my interest(and something I understood) in 2017: Twitterati: After the launch of Twitter on July 15, 2006, the users have multiplied at exponential rate. The users of Twitter are known as Twitterati.

  1. Shruggie: The emoticon ¯\(ツ)/¯ depicting a person shrugging. Isn’t that what you feel when somebody asks you “How can you not care” and you give them a shruggie.  Reminds me of Joey Tribbiani from F.R.I.E.N.D.S series: download
  2. Smober: the cessation of smoking or nicotine use; the condition of not being addicted to nicotine. Kinda like sober but for smoking.
  3. Abrosexual: an individual whose sexuality fluctuates. I have heard of heterosexual, homosexual, but for an abrosexual the sexuality is fluid and keeps changing.
  4. Narratitis: a condition causing incessant detailed personal storytelling regardless of audience interest.
  5. Dronographer: We know what drones are. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicle. A person who uses a drone to capture images and videos is called a dronographer.
  6. Hornschwaggle: Does it remind you of a certain girl who is mocked by Chandler Bing from F.R.I.E.N.D.S series. Apparently it is a verb and it means to take  advantage of or swindle and not Elizabeth Hornswoggle.download (1)
  7. Usie: In this era of selfies, let us understand that selfie is a picture of yourself taken by you. However, a Usie is a picture of a group of people and one from the group takes the picture.
  8. Blockchainify (verb) : to convert an existing application, concept, or protocol to incorporate blockchain technology, by enhancing it with decentralized ledgers distributed over the internet
  9. Nappetite: a strong craving or desire for a nap. I bet many are nappetite right now
  10. Complicit: helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way
  11. Friendzoner: a person who habitually rebukes any efforts to turn a platonic relationship into a romantic one
  12. bruh: bro: friend
  13. Thungry: Hungry and thirsty at the same time.
  14. Brazilian jiu jitsu : a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially hand-to-hand fighting
  15. Nibling: the child of one’s sibling : a nephew or niece

    E.g: “Do you have any niblings?” “Yes, I have one niece and two nephews.”

So far we have learned 15 new words that were coined in 2017. For more such words check out Mariam Webster’s dictionary website citing many such words and slangs.

http://nws.merriam-webster.com/opendictionary/newword_display_recent.php?last=0

The word of the year is FEMINISM: Lookups for the word Feminism has been on a rage this year due to several sexual assault and harassment cases in the news.

The definition of feminism goes asthe theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”

Sources: Mariam Webster’s website, Google images and JPEGS. 

 

 

 

How real is URBAN POVERTY

“I have enough money for this month, am gonna buy this beautiful dress and get matching accessories alongside it for the party coming week” – said 24-year old Sana to her bestie Rahul.

Sana and Rahul are “friends”, as per Sana at least. While Rahul is still ecstatic about how his fingers grazed the back of Sana’s palm when they both reached for the red dress at the shopping mall, is unaware of his friend zone status. As Sana nudged Rahul, he came out of the reverie and said- “Come on Sana, let me buy it for you. Anyways it is your birthday next month, this can be your gift” mentally calculating how much money is left in his sad little bank account and realized that even if he does buy her the dress, he has got to buy her another present just to get that “Aww, you didn’t have to!” and a peck on his cheek by the girl on whom he has a crush from past 6 months.

Living in the city, I have analysed people; a lot. Everybody here between the age of 21-30 are living in what is called urban poverty- meaning living month-by-month. Except those who live with their parents from past 20 years in the city and are thoroughly taught about the value of money, even if they have commuted everywhere on a four-wheeler i.e., the richie rich kids.

That is how it is said, two-wheeler, four-wheeler, unless it is KTM, bullet, falling in the previous category or Audi  and BMW falling in the latter one. The other group of people who are not part of the urban poverty are those who are the offsprings of the poorest of the poor, living on daily wages; the truck loaders, the cobbler, cleaner, washer etc. These kids are happy with a bag of chips that they get from the nearby paan shop who pities the woman, mother of four children, who sweeps that road every morning.

The candidates belonging to Urban Poverty line were never really poor in essence. They just never had to go through money problems while living with their parents who were part of middle class families in the smaller towns. They had a beautiful childhood, loving housewife-mom(homemaker is an urban word for housewife), banker/teacher father, a good education and a dream to live in the city, as part of the urban populace, doing IT jobs.

Their dreams, no doubt have been achieved; they are part of the urban society; sipping overpriced coffees, savoring pizzas at the famous pizzerias, planning parties and hangouts with ‘friends’ whom they have met hardly a few months back and call each other stuff like BFFs and bro. Yet these people are struggling at the end of the month to even buy a pound of fresh bread, some eggs and petrol. They are used to spending on materials that will complete their urban look; shades, graphic tees, numerous hair spa sessions at the branded saloon which have air freshener sprayed every 10 mins and yet make a face when the local vegetable vendor denies them ‘extra’ coriander leaves.

The need to be part of the social media culture, the morning-look candid pic Instagram users,  the uber cab daily users who despite the cab facilities available from the company they work with, are too lazy to get up in the morning and miss the office shuttle; the ripped guy from the gym who always wears Nike clothes and Puma shoes and sprays deodorant every 10 mins during gym sessions, who also grazes his own washboard abs looking into the mirror, the cute look-a-like of Alia Bhat who has to wear red lipstick, carry a designer bag and never repeat clothes and feels the need to flick her hair every few minutes, needs to take a selfie and post it on Instagram, the tall guy with glasses who always has an eye for the ladies in his vicinity, shamelessly looks her from top to bottom, delivering a shady line to his friend and is thoroughly perverted, the cool, checkered t-shirt wearing-short-bespeckled-girl who has guy friends and talks about politics and the stand taken by the localites against the authorities for not clearing the garbage; these few are the people you get to see just about anywhere.

There is one thing in common amongst all these urban children; lack of money. Whenever the topic of payment or money is made, they casually pull out their cards and make the said payment. They also share the fare amongst their friends and promise to get back together the next weekend and discuss more such topics. There is no question of bargaining; it is cheap.

The pattern goes like this; the first weekend of the month, the party place is a hip hop pub with ‘dhikchik dhikchik’ electronic and trance music; this is followed by dinner at the restaurant with the highest stars on a certain food blog website. The following weeks gradually dry down as everyone gets thrifty and the last weekend when they are waiting for their next salary, friends manage with a vada pav from a local barrow vendor who has questionable hygienic sense for the food he is selling.

Most of the money is spent on drinks, dinners at high-end restaurants, shopping spree, concert tickets, petrol, summer/winter/spring look, a vacation to the nearby beach or hill station. Young girls and boys coming from middle class families get independence from their so-called stingy parents who paid lakhs together money for their children’s education and had to deal with caring for more than one child, as the parents wanted Aarati Ge ondu magalu and Keerthi Ge ondu maga‘ translating to ‘A girl child to perform pooja and a boy child bring prosper‘ which was a family planning slogan. Back in their dayscouples wanted more than one kid even though there was only one breadwinner in the nuclear family. After decades, when the children have grown up and are asking for iphones and Macbooks, they are suddenly bad parents not giving their children what they deserve.

Once these power hungry, independence-craving teenagers step into adulthood and bag a job with a payscale adhering to normal city standards which is exuberant for the small town folks, want to live their life without having to worry about money(as their parents had to). All the packed frustration of teenage comes out in the form of vengeance, in the beginning of adulthood under the tag of “I want to live my life as I wish to’.

A few love stories are woven, between the constant struggle of living life to the max at on point and struggling for a piece of bread at other, many find their future partners too.

Good or bad, one thing for sure is, these are the best days of one’s life; carefree, energetic, packed with a fresh batch of hormones induced with independence and ambition. As one grows old and progresses in life, they fall again into different categories; married, in-a-relationship, struggling entrepreneur, stud NRI, team lead, freelance content writer, business owner, MBA graduate, Software Engineer the list goes on. As responsibilities fall upon them they move forward and start saving money or investing and the weekly hangouts turn to monthly hangouts with fewer friends or replaced by spouse or relatives; they are followed by freshers who are again carefree, party animals, Instagram hotties, gym studs and English series buffs, repeating the cycle of life and thus all is well in the city.

A trip to the capital city Delhi: The Wedding

Plans have been made for this trip since three months. The moment my friend Komal’s wedding date was fixed, she rushed to call up her friends, amongst whom I was one, to inform us about the upcoming trip that we are all going to take. She made us book flight tickets to Delhi from Bengaluru, 3 months before so that we don’t have to pay hefty prices for the tickets, if we decide at the last moment.

Since August this year, the wedding preparations are going on. Me and my husband planned to extend our stay in Delhi for 3 more days to do some sight seeing and shopping in the heart of the capital city.

After rigorous research and a lot of recommendations from friends and colleagues, we decided to visit the most famous monuments in Delhi and narrowed down our stay for a total of 5 days, from 22nd November, Wednesday till 26th November, Sunday.

The wedding ceremonies were scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday, So we had three more days for visiting monuments and other exotic indulgences in NCR and Gurugram aka Gurgaon. The locals there call it Gudgawan in their local accent.

After a two and a half hours flight, we landed in Delhi at 10 am and started our journey towards Gurgaon in a cab. Even though it was 10 am, there was a chill in the air. People were wrapped in mufflers, scarves and other woolen clothes to keep themselves warm. I brought out my flimsy shrug to cover my sleeveless arms and immediately regretted wearing the sleeveless cotton top.

The engagement of the two happy couples was scheduled around 2 pm; however as they say, a Punjabi wedding is never on time, it commenced around 4 pm at Nirvana patio, a pool side club available for various occasions with lush green landscapes and swathed in comfort and class. Drinks were served at one end of the pool and snack bar at the other end.

Traditional favorites paneer barbecue, aloo patties, gobi manchurian and many more delicacies were served by the servers to the people lounging around the pool. A small marquee made of gold and white silk was erected and had seating arrangements for the two couples to exchange rings. Two brothers were getting married on the same day. Elder brother Puneet with his lovely fiance Kaanan and younger brother Sahil with Komal, exchanged rings amongst family and friends.

Lunch ensued around 5 pm and had varieties of north Indian delicasies including mutter paneer, vegetable fried rice, various soups, noodles, vegetable biryani, manchurian gravy and for dessert there was gulab jamun, kheer and gajar ka halwa. After filling our bellies with all the delicious food, we moved to the bride’s room for a break. A guy was hired by the family to apply henna for all the ladies present. I got both my palms smeared in colorful henna with earthy smell in beautiful patterns. meanwhile traditional Sindhi songs were sung by the ladies around who danced around who were later joined by all children and elders too. We retired back to our hotel where the groom’s family had organised a cocktail party in the basement where the DJ was playing.

What is a Punjabi wedding without a DJ and a cocktail party. The two grooms were performing Bhangda for every song the DJ played. Bhangda turned into hip-hop dance in a while as crowd gathered around, amongst which the mother of the grooms swayed along with other women folk in her family. We were impressed by the enthusiasm this elderly lady showed. She went to every group dancing and moved and danced around to make the guests welcome. After 2 hours of dancing, when our feet couldn’t move an inch off the floor, we retired back to our room and collapsed with the beats of DJ still drumming in our ears and entered a blissful sleep in a matter of few moments.

On the second day, the wedding was scheduled around 2 pm, but commenced around 4 pm. The wedding of the younger couple was scheduled around 7 pm. Two beautiful marquee were erected for the wedding of two brothers. The garden was decorated in gold and white silk tied end to end creating a lavish hue on the guests below creating a magical retreat; balloons emitting light were hung on the bushes; a group of people holding dholak which are traditional drums entered and on que started music that got us all tapping our feet.

As per tradition, no two people should be married in the same marquee. Komal, my friend, the second bride was wearing a red lehenga, embelllished with gold laces and tinkering jewels, red bangles called as choodha and gold hangings tied on her wrists are called Kalire. She was the most beautiful bride, complete with a red chunni covering her head which was lined  with bindi and other shining jewels. The overall weight of the lehenga was over 10 kgs, complete with a net and a ring sewn from the inside, to hold the lehenga in place.

A bright, colorful, embroidered chunni was held on top of the bride by her brothers as she walked down the aisle towards the groom. Many traditional songs were sung as the bride walked holding her lehenga with one hand and the helm of her chunni with the other. The beautiful bride looked pretty with a blush on her cheek and big bright eyes looking forward to be wedded to the love of her life.

The wedding rituals commenced; the seven pheras completed; the pandit explained the seven vows that the bride as a wife promises to her husband and also the expectations that both bride and groom have towards each other and their families. The sun was already down and there was a nip in the air. We got a few party poppers that we blasted as the mangalsutra was tied across the bride’s neck which completed the wedding ceremony.

Both set of parents blessed the happy couple and the photographer was in a frenzy to capture all the best moments of the wedding ceremony. Reception was organised in the adjacent hall where both newly wedded couples welcomed the guests and received token of gifts and bouquets. DJ was playing on the other end of the hall where young kids were dancing to the throes of hipster beats.

 

Saturday Life of an IT girl!

This Saturday I woke up with a start as I could hear some rattling noise. I checked my phone and it was showing 5:15 am.

My husband was getting ready for his morning session of Badminton coaching. I am so happy seeing all the hard work he is putting into his newly established Badminton facility. It’s been only few months and he is working all 7 days a week; 16 hours per day. I am actually jealous of him for he is getting to follow his passion and make a living out of it along with achieving his dream of nurturing young children’s sports interests.

I closed my eyes and after a few minutes as I am drifting back to sleep, I feel a light peck on my cheeks as my husband kissed me bye! I smiled and drifted back into deep sleep.

I woke up around 8; brushed my teeth wandering lazily across the house. The day wore on as usual. I had some cornflakes with milk and an apple; started cleaning the big house. Even though it was only the two of us staying, I had forseen that we would need an extra room for either one’s parent’s or any guest’s visit. However, we used only one room and the other one was filled with clothes and other unopened boxes.

It was a perfect day; the sun was shining bright and the birds were chirping; still I felt kind of bleak. I slaved off for 9 hours from Monday to Friday and the weekends were supposed to be filled with happy occurences like brunch with my loving husband followed by an afternoon nap and late evenings partying around the city or shopping at our favourite destinations.

Since when the academy had started, he was hardly available on weekends. Every breakfast/lunch/dinner we had together was a bonus and I cherished every minute of it; talking about various topics ranging from the rise of entrepreneurship in Bangalore to the recent girl gossips among my colleagues.

I myself was a state-level Badminton player; hot headed; morning person and the enthusiastic, happy, organised kinda girl. But something had changed since marriage. I took things slow and kept things to be done for later on. My day used to start with a glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice and honey, followed by a run and a healthy breakfast; follwed by classes during college and later on by office work. A year after the marriage, everything seemed an utter waste. What was the point of following your passion, meeting friends and laughing about the nostalgic childhood days when I can actually sleep and rest for the whole weekend.

I had stopped pestering my husband for taking me out. I had put on weight and it didn’t bother me at times but otherwise I would sit alone and feel sad for myself. Soemtimes I just want to bake things or make sweets and please my husband; atleast let one of us be happy. I also wanted to start playing badminton but that would mean getting other household things done; cleaning, cooking, laundry and doing the dirty dishes to align the timings with that of my husband’s; and it is tideous. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to move on the court as I used to. All the earlier excitement and happiness would rush through my mind and I was not prepared to let me go through that stuff. So I avoided playing.

The phone rang and brought me out of my reverie. It was my husband.

Me: Hello

Him: Hey Baby. Whats up?

Me: Nothing much. I am done with all the work. What time are you coming for lunch? I have prepared something special for you.

Him: Wow! I am leaving now. Do you want me to pick something for you?

Me: Yeah. Can some yogurt while you are on your way?

Him. Sure. Hey, you wanna join me for the evening session at 4 p.m?

Me: hmmmmm…..

Him: You can play for an hour today as there is only one session and I’ ll be free afterward. Get your sporting gear out. We shall have lunch and then leave around 3 p.m.

Me: Are you sure? I kinda feel tired.

Him: Come on Babe. Be ready. We ‘ll go together and later we can shop for a while in Orion mall and get you all the stuff that you have been wanting to buy from a long time.

Me: Oh alright. Come soon then. Se you at home. Bye

Him: Bye bye.

I could feel the excitement oozing out from a corner in my mind and filling me, an making me anxious. I checked for the stuff I would be needing and packed an extra pair of regular clothes; searched for lost hairclips and socks.

After lunch, we watched T.V for a while. He took a nap while I continued watching movie.

As we rode through the cities of Bangalore, I grew silent; watching the buildings pass by; watching the two-wheelers overtaking the four-wheelers; there was a lady taking her kid for tennis coaching; fruit vendors pushing his barrow slowly. It was a dull day.

By 5 p.m, I had my shoes on; pony high on top with lose strands of hair tucked tighly underneath hairclips. I stretched a bit; ran across the court and warmed up. The academy was silent with only the sound of feet scratching the green mat on the other side of the premium courts where a woman was practicing her footwork. I remembered my teenage days when I would stay back after everyone left and practiced my footwork.

Gone where the days of hard work; excitement; Now, the days stretched before me with nothing more than texting, watching T.V or movies in theatre. This is what we wanted right? A comfortable job with a big house and a loving husband; a regular paycheck; weekends empty enough to relax and enjoy life?

Then why was this all empty?

Just then, my husband/coach poked me and asked me to step on the court.

He threw the shuttle in the air and serviced it towards me. I put ll my strength and hit it right back at him.

The rally went on for a while and before no time, I was gushing for air. My feet were throbbing with pain and I was perspiring all the way from head to foot. But it was exciting; fun and endearing. I welcomed the pain and rushed forward to lift the shittle before it hit the ground and jumped backwards and attempted for a smash. It hit the net and dropped on my court.

My coach saw me gasping for air, came forward and motioned me for dropping the shuttle near to the net. It was an easy job where I could take air to my lungs while attempting to drop the shuttle as close as possible to the net.

I was done by 30 minutes.

Following a quick stretch and a bath, I rejoned my husband at the cafeteria, conversing with a prospective client. It was a family of two and the wife was slightly over-weight. The husband wanted his wife to engage in some kind of physical activity and chose badminton as it was near to their home. I watched as my now husband/businessman was giving the details of the course with hand motions beckoning to the various know-hows of the famous sport. I watched him in wonder and realised that I have such a great coach/fitness trainer at home and I am not making the most of him while there are people parting from their money to get a few minutes of coaching from my skilled husband.

I was ecstatic; refreshed. That feeling you have after sweating on the court playing your favourite sport.

We went for shopping followed by a lovely dinner watching the stars and talking about love, life, career and future.

All was happy and well that weekend.

 

Day 2: Ooty

The sun shone brightly on the hill tops. I woke up groggily to NO ALARM. That was the point of vacation. To be up at your own time without the sound of alarm ringing in your ears. It was 8:30 in the morning.

I slowly dragged my lazy back across the hall and opened the windows;

Huge mountains lined up next to each other with the sun shining brightly over them. There was no fog today; the sky was clear blue with puffy white clouds drifting above. The view was absolutely breath-taking; I could just stand there and watch the green mountains kissing the blue skies forever.

A warm hand touched my shoulders. My husband stood behind me and we both watched the morning beauty for what felt like forever.

We had a oil massage scheduled in a while; the lethargy body was transformed into a supple and charged one after an hour long body massage and a shower. It was already 12 pm and we were due to check out.

After our check out, we were moving to a home stay named ‘Two seas’. As usual we googled the place. However due to some inconsistencies due to mountainous region, we ended up doing down the hill through a very bumpy road. After getting directions from the local people we headed back to the city and found that our destination was just 3 kms away! Us techies….. *rolling eyes*

It started pouring down like crazy. All of us were cozy in our seats when we reached ‘Two Seas‘ and none of them were ready to let a drop of cold water fall on our body. A small man with big mustache came to our rescue. He tiptoed through the gate towards our car under a huge rainbow umbrella; My friend who was driving slightly lowered the  glass and told about our reservations.

Rain water spilled inside the car and there were mild shrieks rising from us girls as the cold water touched our skin. The caretaker went back to the cottage and after a minute brought 2 more rainbow umbrellas for us. He handed us the umbrella and moved back to the safety of the cottage roof.

All 6 of us debated whether we should go out or wait in the car. Mixed responses came about but truly none of us wanted to even lower the window glass. Realizing that no one will move out of the car, my friend started the engine and finally we decided to at least have lunch.

Hijacking the rainbow umbrellas we again went inside the city and found a place for lunch.

Ponmari‘ is a Kerala cuisine restaurant and it was bustling with people savoring food. We reserved a table for 6 people and rushed to the restrooms. It had been a while we had been out of the car and it was raining outside!

The botanical garden was just about the corner from the restaurant. After a scrumptious meal, energized we went to the Botanical garden. It was huge; the garden was spread across 55 hectares. Varieties of colorful flowers bloomed throughout the view and there was a lawn so large, it met at the foothills of the mountains.

We clicked many pictures with flowers and human faces mingled throughout.

Outside the gates of the garden we found boiled corn, boiled groundnuts, cotton candy and other delicacies. All of us bought our own favorites and savored the tangy flavors of raw mango.

Our only worry was about the caretaker who might be cursing us with the harshest Tamil slang for stealing his umbrellas. We headed back to our humble abode which seemed like a normal teeny tiny building one would find in Bangalore suburbs.

It was nothing like that. The cottage was huge and had three big bedrooms, complete with a living room facing a fireplace, a kitchen with a bar counter and green lamps hung from the ceiling spreading a green hue across the living room. The living room had a  balcony which looked up to a carrot farm, bordered with meandering roadways connecting the mountains to the city.

As my friend mentioned that it is a carrot farm, I retorted back asking ‘then where are the damn carrots?‘ One of my many lame jokes! Yet people find it funny.

Ginger teas arrived after a while; we all sat around the unlit fireplace. It would be nice to have a fire crackling during night but alas the wood were drenched in water and wouldn’t light up.

Evening moved to night fall and we were introduced to the card game ‘UNO‘. UNO is a card game look very similar to normal cards but instead of signs it has colors and the rules are very different. The otherwise calm and serene people turned into absolute savages and tricksters playing UNO and wouldn’t look right or left, husband or wife, friend or partner while trapping others; people were drawing +4s and planning espionage on their neighbors.

The day ended when one of us realized that it is mid night and all of us slowly retired for the day. We have had a schedule to wake up early for the next day’s itinerary-Coonoor.

A detour from the work life: Ooty

Finally the day arrived when we planned to visit Ooty with our friends. We were commemorating our third wedding anniversary and also going for a weekend getaway from the hurry-bury city life.

I was up before the alarm rang 4 and danced around while brushing my teeth. Bags were packed, phones charged and the car was loaded with fuel. I brewed some coffee for the road trip; also my friends were coffee-lovers.

We set on to our friends house and we were out of the city before Bangaloreans were up and running about their chores! We were 6 friends, 3 couples married with a gap of almost 6 months; Talk about romance in Ooty!

After breakfast and a few coffee stops we entered the hilly region which were surrounded by huge Nilgiri trees. It was drizzling and filled with fog. We couldn’t see the tip of the mountains as they were hidden behind thick fog. Sun rays didn’t reach the ground since they were blurred by the tree tops covering the surface like a huge, wide umbrella. Sweaters, shawls and beanies  popped out of our bags and all of us were cozy inside the car; all girls shivered slightly when the wind blew and were rescued by our respective husband’s hugs.

Ooty is a small town sitting on top of the Nilgiri mountains and surrounded by lakes, forests and water bodies. As we reached the main city, it was drizzling heavily. The whole town was silent. You could feel the silence pressing upon us; as if there was a thick blanket spread upon the city. But we were the unusual outsiders creating havoc and disturbing the serenity of Ooty.

After a heavy lunch, we moved to our hotel. We had a hotel booking for the first day and a home stay booking for the rest of the trip. The hotel was not a typical arrangement of rooms across various floors. Rather, this hotel ‘Lovedale‘ was built on a mountain and as we know mountains slant down from the top.

We checked in to the reception area; while one of them was filling out the necessary forms, we girls moved towards the glass wall on the opposite side and found a breathtaking view of the city spread across the landscape amidst a green carpet. There was a garden area after the reception and then the top of the rooms started pooping into view one below the other!

A long stair case came into view which ran down after the garden and there were hut like rooms on either side of the staircase. Looking sideways, I saw 5 more such stairways and innumerable huts spread across, one below the other. Every room had a balcony facing the fog covered mountains.

We made our way through the garden which was brimming with huge colorful flowers; taking in the fresh aroma which filled our nostrils and our hearts too. Our minds were empty; unlike the quick, worrying workaholic Bangaloreans, we adapted ourselves to Ooty’s pace and settled inside our rooms. After the long journey, we were tired and the tiny room with a queen sized bed was very welcoming.

After what felt like a long nap, we woke to a windy nightfall. All us friends gathered in our room and danced and sang like there was no tomorrow.

Day 2 in Ooty will be continued….