We are back from a nice vacation to India. It was heavily raining the first two weeks making it virtually impossible to go out. Hence we stayed inside and ate really good food prepared by my mother- in-law (amma) and sister’s –in law. Little princess got her first visit to India and she became adorable to everyone in the family and to even outsiders. My nieces wanted to carry her all the time, but as they were afraid of her slipping out of their hands, they held her tight as much as possible while carrying her. She loves them at the same time but was afraid of their friendly squeeze. This time we stayed at home most of the time in Mumbai and three days in Delhi, no Kerala trip and no movies in the theater.
My niece introduced me to lot of sas bahu (mother-in-law and daughter – in-law) serials and to Facebook, she types everything very fast, at the speed of lightening. I was also amazed to see how my mother-in- law cooks very fast. She always get a big menu list and completes everything according to everybody‘s taste and wishes. Elder sister-in-law cooks very nicely and made Aloo matter paneer and Pani Poori for us. She gave a box of Churma laddoo ( Wheat jaggery balls). Younger sister-in-law who visited Kerala for Onam bought back mold for acchappam , chakka varatti and beautiful frock for little princess. Our aunt in Kerala sent us some home grown tamarind.
Appa gave some gifts to little princess and did some special pooja for little princess in the temple. We got to stay with him only for 3 days.
My sister gave some gifts to little princess and we were able to see my only nephew for the first time. He is cute naughty little guy who is always active with something.
My little princess got dresses and other gifts from her two aunties and our friend Vineetha.
I and amma went out a lot for shopping without informing my dear husband who hates to carry anything in his luggage as well as anything to do in the crowd. We bought a manchatti (earthen pot), motor and pestle made with stone, roller for making chapathi (flat bread), and mold for making samosa, modak and a boondi laddle.
She gave us box of Rava ladoo and made puran poli (Sweetened chana dal stuffed flat bread) aloo paratha along with lot of Kerala dishes. I will try to recreate each and every dish as much as possible. She has a wonderful gravy recipe, which goes well with any vegetables and grains. She also did special poojas for little one in all the temples near the house.
This time watching TV became a difficult task, I thought I am going to watch lot of movies and serials while there. It didn’t happen. Not because I didn’t have interest, it was killed by innumerable number channels and advertisement after every 10 min lasting up to 2 – 3 minutes. I understood that I need special degree of patience to watch anything in the TV whether it is movie or even news. At the end of the day you get a hand ache from changing channels and head ache from watching all kinds of ads. Another disappointment we got was from eating out. We did eat out only a few times and we were perhaps looking for magical authentic taste about lot dishes like Kadai paneer, mutter paneer, dal makhani , pav bahji, vada pav, bhel poori and malai kofta . All we got was heavily masala ridden spicy tasteless stuff.
However the taste and flavor of dahi (Yogurt) and ice cream, fresh fruit is amazing and wonderful. Cost of living in Mumbai and Delhi is every expensive, everything from milk to fruits cost almost same as here.
|High rise building in Indrapuram, Uttar Pradesh|
|Adakka(Arecanut)plant in Mumbai|
While we were in Mumbai, we got to participate in two festivals, Krishna Janmashtami( festival of God Krishna’s birth) read more about here. and Vinayaka chathurthi( Birthday of lord Ganapathi) read more about from here. In Maharashtra Janmashtami celebrated as Dahi Handi. I was also able to see that for the first time.
|Dahi Handi in our building|
In Maharashtra, Vinayaka chathurthi is celebrated with great pomp and festivities for 10 – 12 days and it is a famous regional festival there. I was happy to be part of it this time and as he is my favorite God. We were able take some pictures of idols.
|Ganapathi at Gaurv garden|
|Ganapathi outside blue ocean|
|Ganapathi at Blue ocean|
One bad incident happened while coming back; a taxi driver whom we booked to the airport did not show up, he kept telling us he was just five minutes away from 9.30 to 10.30 PM when he was quite far away. I just hated the unprofessionalism of some business.
In the eleventh hour we had to search out for new taxi, luckily we got two taxis that sped through the busy Mumbai traffic on account of Ganapathi immersion, and was able to catch the flight. In hurry burry we forgot the bag containing my princess milk and diapers, however we were able adjust with a sippy cup in hand luggage, the guy at the coffee shop at the Mumbai International airport who gave milk for the baby and refused to take any money and the amazing crew of Air France flight who came up with two baby bottles and provided every assistance including warm milk.
On a earlier trip to Mahalaxmi temple and Siddhivinayak temple we had a cabbie who had a simple outlook towards life. He worked in Mumbai for 8 months at a time and then quit his job to be with family for 3 – 4 months until his savings ran out. They had a farm and lived off the land with simple needs, unlike our constant needs for latest gadgets’. With his meager saving he was also building a temple to Lord Ram, a promise to his dad. He had a B.A in Hindi but had to drive cab in Mumbai as his family in Allahabad had no money to bribe to get good jobs.
All in all a great trip.