Sunday, June 07, 2009

A trip to Cal...and Aila....yeh kya hua??

This summer I was determined to visit Cal and take Joy to meet his aunts and uncles and granduncles and grandaunts and great grand moms from his Baba's side...
This was our first trip to Cal after two years and Joy had grown and his grandparents who had visited regularly over the past couple of years were dying to show him off and I had a long list of shopping to do......so.... not much persuasion was required.... LOL!
We decided to take the train so that Joy could experience something different.... so off we went ... Joy, My mom ( who was going shopping for my brother's wedding), the maid and I.



Joy watching the luggage at the station


The train journey was t-r-a-u-m-a-t-i-c!!!!! Joy did not sit down for even a minute....he was either hanging upside down, or dangling from the railing or switching the lights on and off....or doing his favourite... JUMP JUMP!!!!...
I understand ... he was enjoying himself.. and curious that he is .... was eager to discover all he could....BUT..... there is a limit to all of that as well!!!

I had gone all prepared with things to keep him occupied..... it was great to see him wanting to play a little memory card game and playing it the proper way and not just... his own way....
We had taken a number of his books for him to read and also some new ones...so we also did a lot of story time...but soon my mom and I had parched throats reading and re reading his books....

We took his food along but ...ahem... all he wanted was chips and milk.... so naturally...just when we had all settled down to sleep... he sat up...as he was sharing my berth ...and announced... "Mama... Bomi...!!!" ( Mama... puke!!)
So there I was cleaning him and everything around us... the railway staff by this time were drunk and incoherent.... and this was the Rajdhani,.... ( remind me never to have these bright ideas of travelling by train again with a toddler)

Anyway, after 17 hours of my wanting to throw Joy out at each of the stations and also contemplating jumping out at Dhanbad,.. we finally reached Cal..and were greeted by Joy excited Dadu....
It was great to see Joy recognise him and hug him and then hold his hand and walk towards the car.... ( without even once looking back at his hassled and traumatised entourage)

Joy had a blast in Kolkata... he did what ever he wished and my mother- in-law and Joy's Abudi ensured that his routine , which I am very particular about was also followed.



Joy relaxing and watching TV at 'Dadi House'

He met all his Dadus and Dadis and Kakus and Pishis in Kolkata and also his favourite 'Shomaana' ( The husband's grandmother- she is my favourite too)
Joy was kept occupied with visits to relatives houses, playing in the park, being taken to all the parks near by and also some TV . In the evenings his Dadu and Dadi would take him to the club where he would freak out in the play area....



Joy at Saturday Club



What was I doing ....while he did all this ??...LOL...
I was out shopping ...
And did I shop!!!! From going sari shopping and picking up some fabulous ad unique saris to wear for my brother's wedding, to going jewellery shopping, to scouting Gariahat market for reasonable and everyday wear saris and stuff.... to taking the maid out shopping ..I did everything.....!!
I also sampled rolls , biryani to my hearts content.....
Then something happened.....
Aila.... yes the cyclone that hit Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal happened.... and We were right there....



Monkey Joy...watching the rain.... and the Aila


I was flooded by smses and phone calls from friends and family to ask if we were ok.... well we were ..just about I should say.... but the poor city wasn't..
Over 600 trees were uprooted....and these trees were old trees with neverending roots....trees so old that I am sure each of them had a story to tell...
All the billboards and hoardings on top of buildings came crashing down..... there was chaos on the streets and traffic jams.....windows crashing.....oh god!! it was bad....
what was I doing during the cyclone....???
This is an sms I got from my brother at 12pm on the day of the cyclone:
"Aila... sis!!! the news says the govt. has everyone to stay indoors... let me guess... you are out shopping!!!!????"

ahem...!!! He knows me too well.. I was out alone collecting all my saris from the different shops......The poor driver who had been bullied into taking me was the one who suffered the most... the car was rattling due to the wind.... he had to weave his way around the narrow and some unknown streets of Kolkata.... in my father-in-law's expensive car....to make me get to my aunts house where I had been invited for lunch.....avoiding hundreds of fallen trees and also some that missed us very narrowly.....

Anyways I finally reached my aunt's house and spent a few hours eating fingerlicking good Bong food... with the windows rattling and wind gushing in the back ground.....then again at around 3pm, when there was a lull in the cyclone, my aunts, my mum and I went out shopping again... ( yes... we are crazy)....out to the jewellers and to a bag shop... where we went berserk.....!!!!



Joy at his Paka didu's ( my aunt's place..) having a swingin time

On the whole.. we had a great trip and the return journey on the Rajdhani wasn't so bad... Joy was a little mellow since he had satiated his curiosity on the way to Kolkata....but that didn't stop him from running up and down the compartment with the maid...at his heels....

When we reached New Delhi station we were quite happy to be back again..... specially since we were all happy...after a good trip, good food, lots of pampering, truck loads of shopping ......oh! and a rockin.. cyclone...

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