Thursday, December 27, 2012

Watching Dolphins Bathe!

It’s been one of my childhood dreams to go dolphin watching. Here in Dubai I live very close to a Dolphin park at the Atlantis hotel. For a princely sum, you could watch them up-close, swim with them and even get them to kiss you for a photo opportunity! Notwithstanding my inability to swim and unwillingness to pay, I somehow find the whole thing artificial. At least that was the excuse I gave myself for not venturing out to fulfill my childhood dream, all these years.

So I was overjoyed when we decided to go dolphin watching during our recent trip to Muscat. I would rather let you enjoy this 30 sec video than bore you with the details. Shot from the deck of the boat with a camera with no zoom – yeah it was that close, truly out of this world!

Oh before I forget, more than seeing the dolphins, Smera was fascinated at the white foam that formed around the boat as the powerful Honda engine ripped through the calm ocean. She kept leaping forward to touch the whitewater shouting ‘Mamma – Shampoo!’ Yeah it’s the dolphins bathing – said Mamma.

Video by Smera’s daddy and pictures by his brother

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Silly Saturdays: Yet another self-goal !

I speak three different languages – Hindi, English and Malayalam. It’s no secret that Malayalam is not my forte and Hindi is not my hubby’s favourite either! The trouble is, each time my mum (who is good at both, Hindi and Malayalam) is in town, there is a three-way verbal duel at home. Everything is jumbled up and some random sentences are formed with no logic.

I have one such instance for this week’s Silly Saturdays!

On a recent weekend, as we were driving back after picking mum, we instantly broke in to our monthly updates and catching up. Suddenly, the discussion took a different tangent, when I referred to the Hindi proverb “Ek anar sau bimar” when translated literately to English it reads “One pomegranate and 100 sick”. For the life of me, I can not remember the context now – anyway, to the best my knowledge; it meant one spoilt pomegranate seed and spoils the entire fruit.

Mum thought it meant one pomegranate is so priceless that it can cure 100 sick people. I was absolutely sure mum definitely wrong on this count.

However my Hubby, in his usual cerebral style, takes the discussion to a different level all together, telling us how the name originated. He further explained pomegranate derived its name from grenade. Just like when grenade blasts it breaks into small pieces, similar to the fruit once opened has many granules inside.

So I got really curious and asked Google what he thought of it. The proverb really meant “one woman and 100 suitors”.  I am however still not very happy with the explanation but I can live with it.

But what really overjoyed me is the fact the name pomegranate derives it’s origin from a Latin word 'pomum granatus' and not grenade as my husband thought! In really it is exactly the opposite. The grenade is indebted for it’s name to the fruit, because of its close resemblance to pomegranate.

Sporting a big grin on my face I went to declare victory and how he had missed the mark by a long mile. He calmly reminded the right version of events and the correct conversation syntax. It immediately hit me that I had recollected the events the wrong way around and to rub it in he asked if I needed my mum to testify as his witness.

In the hope of seeing that priceless defeated look his face, I successfully managed to fall flat on my face.

This is the edited version of the story, the original plot was to end in my favour. Just before this was to be published, as part of my victory march, I unfortunately showed the post to my hubby. He noticed the slight deviation from the actual storyline and suggested that I put the record straight. With Christmas gift at stake I didn’t want to be in his bad books! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rain, dear

I love rain! It’s one thing that I have always looked forward to every year, from the time my memory goes back.  I grew up in Delhi where temperatures in summer can soar up to an unbearable 48-49 degree Celsius. The rain comes as a saviour and also the perfect time to make paper boats walking and dancing in the rain. A true Delihite would welcome rain with chai and hot pakoras, while chai was never offered to us when we were growing up, we were compensated with a warm cup of bournvita.

Things remained same even as I grew up went to college, rain meant bunking class sitting at the canteen having coffee and hot samosas. Those were the best samosas I ever ate the, I am sure that’s in part clouded due to cherished memories from the college where I found great friends.

I have also seen the scarier side of the rains, the flash floods of 2005 in Mumbai. I was just a month old in the city, rain started to pour down heavily and I was stuck in the town with no chance of getting home to the suburbs. Life came to a standstill but even then the whole thing turned out to be a fun night with my favourite girl-friends by myside.

Divya a dear friend, who also happened to be my client working with the Tata group managed to get me and a friend a little place to sleep at Taj Palace that night. Most of the Tata group employees those got stuck were accommodated there, fun night with room of 10 or more girls chattering through the night.  After that, me and my bestie, Pinks were stuck at the company guest house for 2 nights and with no work!

Another night that same monsoon season me and Pinks walked 5 kms in the rain with no rain-gear on us to eat at a rustic restaurant Crystals in search of delicious  rajma and baigan bharta.  Drenched in rain and both of us shivering we ate like as if we had not seen food for  days, somehow the food that night made us feel as if we were home.

Cut to life post-marriage, l find myself in this desert land where thinking about rain is just being harebrained! It is not that it does not rain but maybe day or two in year. Last time we had big rains here in Dubai was maybe 4 years back!

There is another problem apart from this I am married to a guy who works for the insurance industry and the moments it starts raining his first thought would be, “there goes my bonus!”.

It’s been raining here in Dubai today and is predicted to rain over the next days too and I am secretly feeling happy. I wouldn't want to be seen hurting my husband’s feelings and so I have quietly stepped out to the nearest cafĂ© to write this post and enjoy some scrumptious food courtesy his credit card. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silly Saturdays: Earworm the home-wrecker !

It must have happened to you many times, you listen to a song and it keeps playing in your head throughout the day or if you are like me even for days. Being a mum now the song that usually runs in my head these days is “I love you, you love me, and we’re a happy family”.  This is currently my favourite, I sing this even when I am working out at the gym.  During my initial motherhood days “Wheels of the bus goes round and round” was so deeply wired that I think I could have even mumbled the song my sleep.

This is called earworm as described by the urban dictionary “A song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try”.

And just as I got dressed today to head out with my hubby here is the conversation we had:

Me: How do I look?
Hubby: He looks at me then goes back to doing what he was busy with and says “Auntyji Auntyji get up and dance!”
Me: Stare at him with a big questions mark look on my face.
Hubby: Oh you look lovely, love the salwar-kameez! Sorry I heard that song this morning and it’s been running non-stop in my head.

Now the big question is which part of the answer should I believe in first or the second one! 

P.S. – To be fair to him, it me who made him listen this song on MTV’s unplugged featuring Ash King!

Image courtesy: Getty Images 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Worth taking a closer look

Tribute to a great man who still continues to inspire us in many ways. This is a recycled artwork at the Change Initiative, Dubai.  Zoom in and take a closer look :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

ComforTable and ProfiTable

You may remember from one of my earlier post, in which I expressed my secret desire for a home makeover – first on the list being my microwave. I managed to convince my husband to go for a new one but I could not make up my mind after getting lost in the myriad of options at the store. So it looks like until I make up my mind, I am going to be stuck with it for some more time.

To force my hand, I took upon the Cash Converters Idea. First get rid of the stuff and then I’ll will have to buy something.

Cash Converters buys anything that you want but the goods have to be in mint condition.  So, that’s explains why the microwave didn't go, but I went ahead and sold my 6-seater dinner table and a reclining armchair.

One fine evening the cash converters guys arrived, with a truck and without the cash (that comes later, I am told), to take it all away. My little one was a wee upset but she let them once she heard mamma was going to get a new one, a smaller 4-seater dining table.

In comes the husband in the evening, after a tiring day from, I open the door with a big smile, “you look really happy today, what happened?” he asked as walked in. “Where’s our dining table ?”, “I sold it, just as we discussed”. My husband looked really shocked and then we went back to the day I formally had taken his permission to do so, but there was problem - he didn't remember any of that, very convenient!  

My next question was “should I ask them to bring it back?” and thankfully his answer was “No”. Even he found the prospect of asking back the table from a thrift shop, tad embarrassing.

The way it works at cash converters is that every week they try their best to sell the wares. If they are successful, we split the spoils 65-35. If they are not able to sell in a week, they would slash the price by 10% and repeat it until they find a buyer.  The list price is currently Dirham 1500 – or according to my in-house financial analyst, if you are really patient and wait for a year you’ll able get it under Dirham 10!

The new dining table has arrived today. Still no word from Cash Convertors – my guess is someone has already spotted the table and is eyeing that as a Christmas present.  I hope they are not thinking of the next Christmas waiting for that elusive under-10 Dirham deal!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Silly Saturdays: A fruitful conversation

Me: Good morning Smera!
Smera: Morning mamma!
Me: Did you sleep well?
Smera: Hmm
Me: Smera you are the apple of my eyes. I love you!
Smera: Mamma banana
Me: And what about your daddy?
Smera: Daddy orange-juice!

Even she knows the family joke that I hate banana and daddy’s obsession with orange-juice!

Image courtesy:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thumbs-up to thumb-sucking?

Lot of the toddlers in Smera’s generation within my family have thumb-sucking habit. Statistically speaking, three out of the four kids in the family have or had this problem.  To be fair I am only using statistics from Smera’s paternal side of cousins.

I was not startled when Smera too found relief with this habit, whilst I was not a fan, atleast she was taking care of herself when she started teething. When relatives and others started noticing we felt the pressure of helping her to get rid of this problem. Typical sign of a parental peer pressure! We refused to bow down to it for a while – a year to be precise, but things must change now or so I thought.

I turned to internet for solution to get rid of this problem. Armed with all the google-guided knowledge, I have used multiple techniques to kick her habit – threatening, scolding, checking with her doctors, consulting other parents. Most of them tend to point to a bitter nail polish. However I was not very keen on it, as wherever I checked, the pharmacist mentioned that the child has to be at least 3 years to conduct that experiment.

During the latest of my thumb sucking anxiety bout, I walked in to a pharmacy to meet my savior. The lovely pharmacist gave me the bitter nail polish and the confidence to try it out on my little one.  I re-checked with her to make sure but was convinced with her reassuring tone ‘No problem Ma’am, this will work!’

And one day last week, I finally laid my hands on the perfect potion to cure this problem. So all excited I discussed my plans with the hubby to apply it on her thumb next morning before sending her to school. The day started on a good note, without much fuss she had her breakfast and even finished her milk, then I applied the medicine on her explaining to how it would help her.

All set we get into the car to drop her first at her school and then to meet up my friends for a coffee morning. As soon as she was buckled up in went her finger, this was the first time Smera realised what bitter taste is. A few meters into the drive everything that she ate came out, forcing me to go back to square one – home!

The problem didn’t end there, it wasn’t going to be so easy-peasy for me. God had made the prefect plan to punish me, I washed her with soap and water but the medicine did not go – it was water-resistant! Next I wanted to try the nail-polish remover but the crying child won’t even let me touch her, then I turn to but all that didn’t help either or maybe I was too hassled to even browse through the pages.

Finally I filled the bath-tub with bubbles and got her to play in the water, thankfully this trick has never failed me so far and it worked when I really wanted. While she was playing I try to scrub of her thumb with some soap and water and after good 7-8 attempts the medicine was finally gone, leaving me grounded for the day and with no coffee.

This episode left a bitter taste but gave me a chance to reflect upon things and a lesson to let go of things a little – as my wiser half says ‘Have you seen any grown ups sucking thumb ?, take it easy !’ 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Silly Saturdays - Daddy's pet, mother's envy !!

Smera always puts in me tough situations, where I am left to wonder about her innocence and also the fact that if it really exists. What really triggered this thought is that, for the last few months the little one been demonstrating her favoritism towards her father more than me. 

It’s a known fact that girls are daddy’s pet, I had sort of accepted this and tried to get along with life feeling a little rejected. Nonetheless I had her kisses and hugs as a consolation prize for being the mum, that was the most precious reward that any parent can ask for.

Of late the girl has been shying to give me a kiss or a hug or even saying I love you mamma. So again the mum in me consoled myself that maybe she is growing up feels conscious now. However that didn’t seem to be a problem when it came to showering her affection on the father. What angered me even more was if I asked her at the same instance to give me a kiss as well, her reply would be “FINISH”.

Can someone please explain to me how a daughter’s kiss can ever finish for a mum? Something as precious as that is easily given away to the father even without being asked for, while I have beg, plead, threaten and what not! Feeling jealous I wonder what is that her father does that I do not do. I cook, clean, bathe, feed, take her to school, bring her back, buy nice clothes, and entertain her. The dad just has to come back from work pick her and there he gets the prize.

This brings me back to the question I started with how innocent is Smera? This one question has been troubling for over a week, and the answer to the question lies with Mr Sahir Ludhianvi. But he is dead now. Long before my vocabulary skills were even developed he left earth for a place in heaven. I wish if I am somehow granted just 5 minutes of interaction with him to get answer to my question from the man himself who wrote the song, “Bacche mann ke sacche” means kids are pure at heart.

Really? I think not. Atleast mine is not that innocent, she is an extremely clever child who knows that if she pleases her dad she would be rewarded with the iPad to play with. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two much

This month started with a quick trip back home, just what I needed to get into the year-end festive mode. November is really special for me with most of my loved ones celebrating their birthdays and also not to forget the festivities of the Hindu calendar that gives us copious reasons to eat sumptuous sinful food.

Oh actually festivities really start end of October for me with my little sister Kukku who her celebrates her birthday on the 27th October.

Here’s wishing a very warm happy birthday to Vishakha (kukku), Nivia, Mum, Hubby, Smera, Kristina, Veda and Simi. Let the god lord fill your lives with happiness, good health and peace. Each and every one of you make my life really extra special.

The month has now become all the more special with the arrival of my two lovely nephews born to my sister-in-law Simi. The boys have turned up unusually 9 weeks early and I am yet to meet them, but I am sure they will definitely out do the notorious feats their sisters have achieved so far.

With the change in the weather my little one had taken ill for most part of this month. That hasn’t dampened her festive spirit at all. Actually I think the 5% alcohol in her medicine must have played a big role in making her so cheerful. Turning 2 this year Smera has mastered the Happy Birthday song and so when on Diwali, the day after her birthday as we lit candles and did a little pooja she started singing happy birthday ammboti (that is what she fondly calls God).

Before I sign out I want to leave a little message for you Smera to read when you grow up.

Happy birthday my little angel, may god bless and grant all your wishes. Even though I never get tired of complaining about you to everyone I meet. You make us so proud and give us numerous reasons to smile each day. I am sure this third year is going to be even more exciting, challenging and thrilling as the past two years have been. Keep living upto your name which of course means smile. Keep smiling!


Image courtesy: 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Silly Saturdays – The Revenge of the birds !!

After posting my opening post to start the Silly Saturdays feature, I was little uncertain if I would have enough ludicrous stories to publish every week about myself. I am back yet again with another post and this time it is all about my love-hate relationship with the Angry Birds! So it’s no secret that Sangry Words originated at a time when I became conscious of my addiction to the game.  

Coming back to the incident, this weekend my nieces from Muscat are visiting us to celebrate their Eid break with Smera. To make everyone comfortable I decided to take the couch at night while the rest were tucked away. A few hours into my sleep I suddenly woke up to some noise. The first thing I see upon opening my eyes is photographed below.

It’s the scariest thing to be seen in a pitch dark room in the middle of your sleep! After I recovered from the initial shock, I consoled myself it could have been worse.  At last, Angry Birds have their revenge… 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yogathon 2012 - My update !!

I am ecstatic as I write this post updating about my big day – Yogathon 2012. This is officially my first attempt at anything that involves a long-drawn-out training.

The task was 108 surya namaskar or sun salutations in an event organized by Fitness First Middle East to raise funds for Dubai Autism Centre. My guess was that I could comfortably do 50 sun salutations, but I was determined to give it my all.

As it turns out I managed 95.5 of those successfully and 0.5% of the routine I skipped in tying up my hair. Just 5 months of irregular yoga training have helped me supersede my expectations and that too for a good cause! 

 Even more pleasing was how little my inflexible husband managed to do and that towards the end he resorted to something that he always does when I am winning – running away! I meant literally around the park.

I am signing out with some pictures from today’s event.

The venue - Burj Park behind Dubai mall fountains
The team leading the Yogathon

The organiser and founder of Yogathon - Peewee Sanchez and my instructor too!! 

The very-kind and my favourite - Marcellene!

And toughest my toughest instructor - Bhama 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A bug's life

It only happens to me. All the weirdest things have to happen to me. For the last few weeks, I would get up in the morning with a terrible rash from an insect bite. A rash from insect bite is weird and to get it 4 times in 3 weeks is even weirder. To add to my annoyance I am the only with this at home and I didn't even know what that insect was. 

So last night it again attacked me and I am carefully choosing the word attack. What else would explain biting someone in the middle of night, 2 am to be precise and causing severe itching and rash? So I switched on the lights to hunt for that nasty creature, with no luck, I woke up my husband to join in.

In deep sleep he says “go off to sleep, its ok that must have gone by now” and that made me more furious. “If I can’t sleep then nobody can sleep I threatened”. He suggested to change sides if that would help and then I asked him what if it still comes to bite me on the other side.  

In his most reassuring voice he says, “nokatte eaid patti kadikkyan varum?” – That in English can be translated to – “let me see which dog will come to bite you?”. We were back to square one I thought myself. “It’s not a dog that is biting me! And think about it if was the dog biting me I would have thrown your Ipad on it and not bother you”. This remark finally got the sleepy husband to get up but only to express his amusement at my tribulations in the middle of the night.

At last seeing me suffer with the rash he offered to get me an antihistamine pill and some water only to realize that the medicine had expired a year back.

Whilst I survived an attempt on my life, poor bug wasn't so lucky.

As soon as I found it, I smacked it hard using my footwear and gave it another squish and turn to make sure it had its day - due to apologies to PETA. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yoga anyone ?

It’s done and now there is no looking. In a moment of enthusiasm I went ahead and registered myself for the Yogathon happening next week here in Dubai. For the last three months I have been thoroughly enjoying the yoga classes at the gym. So when I learned about the yogathon I was extremely excited to put my months of hard work to test.

Now here is the catch – 108 sun salutations are what I have registered for and any money raised from this would be donated to the Dubai Autism Centre. Now my trouble is I am not even sure if I can even reach the half-way mark in the challenge.

However I landed myself with yet another brilliant idea. If I am going to pass away doing this, then I am going to take my husband down too. I wonder if my very athletic hubby and his non-existent flexibility might not even get him 10 rounds.

Just as I was registering his name for the yogathon, I was reminded of our wedding vows, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in bakasana and in surya namaskar.

In case if your in Dubai and have a little spare time for a good cause, do join us at on 12 October 2012. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Funny money

I have to confess I do not understand currency conversion business. I’ve never understood how to profitably exchange currency nor do I intend to do anytime in future.  Well who needs to know all that if you have a personal financial analyst at home for all that purpose. 

Last week, I was assigned the very important task of transferring money back to India for some urgent work. I received a detailed instruction along with the price at which I was supposed to convert and transfer the money.

Until this point everything looked under straightforward, or maybe I was wishing it to be. Just as I got out, I get a call from the husband, “have you transferred money?” he asked. I was not sure if my no was going to get me into trouble, however hesitantly I said “I am just on my way”. “Hold on let me call you back, think the prices have gone up”.

Upon reaching my destination I get another call, this time hubby says forget all the instructions I gave you earlier. Really? Forget all that and head back home I wondered. Ha Ha !! It wasn’t going to be that easy for me. His next instructions were to get rates anything better than 69.50. Very naively I asked “69.55 or 69.60?”. Technically 55 is bigger than 50 isn’t it? “Sangi no 69.45 is better”, “really?” I asked, surely somebody got his numbers wrong.

“45, are you sure?” I re-checked, “yes” was his prompt reply, thinking to myself that I shouldn’t doubt his knowledge and I got into the exchange. I ask the first person what is the best rate I could get and the smiling lady tells 69.50. I asked if I could get better rate than 69.50 and then I was directed to another gentleman. So he first tells me 69.80 and that confused me once again “is that the best you can give?” I asked. So he then decided to put in plain words for me, which definitely didn’t help.

Panicking I quickly call my husband, while I was dialing I explained to him how didn’t understand any of this. Jokingly I told him, if you don’t give me a good rate, my husband would pack me off to India without the money. The two had some conversation and then decided on 69.45. That made some sense for me now. Happily I then gave him the bank details and got the receipt from to handover the cash to the cashier.

And while I was counting the money, he interrupts to ask, “now I am sure he will not send you to India, right?”. To which I replied, “No he won’t be sending me, while he said is going to strave me for 3 days for not getting 69.40”, and everyone on the floor started laughing. With the jokes exchanged on numeric capabilities I headed for the cashier’s desk and handed over the money I said “here you go doctor”. Everyone laughed again.

Feeling embarrassed on my silliness I got out, thanking the god lord for almost teaching me something new.  

Image credit:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mother's misery, grandmother's joy

It was my decision to go off Sri Lanka leaving our little one with her Ammamma (my mum).  I still don’t know what made me take this decision. As it turned out I was almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown staying away from Smera for 6 days.

My mum is almost fanatical about her granddaughter – who also happens to be the first one in my family. It is the first time she is experiencing the joy of being a grandmum and she absolutely loves it.  And this is just reason why I wanted to leave Smera with her, so they could spend uninterrupted 6 days of pure happiness.

I planned out everything – flights, hotels, rent-a-car, and places to visit except for one thing – my misery. A complete oversight, I just didn’t realise how much I would miss her, so much that I almost annoyed my mother with my constant phone calls. Smera has been deeply wired into my system and even a few hours of separation makes me go crazy.

So first task upon arrival was to get a mobile connection and make that first call to check on my munchkin. Just as expected the child was cheerful, not at all stressed about her missing mother. Should this make me happy or sad I wondered? I was undoubtedly pleased to see how emotionally independent the little one is.

Mum and Smera spent the next couple of days in Trivandrum and then went off to Kumarakon to savor their remaining days together. The duo went fishing, boating, swimming and gorging on scrumptious Karimeen Polichattu among other things.

While they were having a good time, I was constantly on the phone eager to know what is going on. 100 minute free talk time from Mobitel seemed like a good deal when we bought it from the Colombo airport, but by the next morning it had all but turned to a negative balance.

I could sense that my mom was getting tired of taking my calls. It was after that I retorted resorted to a tactic that can only be described as beyond silly – I coaxed my husband to call mom and put on the speaker phone hoping to catch Smera’s voice in the background. Call me a desperate mummy.

Amid the self-inflicted psychological torture, I managed to do a bit of sightseeing, a lot of tea gardens and a great deal of shopping.  We had to buy another bag to fit it all in even after expanding the big suitcase that we carried on our way in. I really went berserk shopping clothes for our toddler. 

The last day of the trip had to be the longest – airport delays, weather, even the traffic police seemed to be scheming against me – how else would you explain a 2 hour delay to a normal 45 minute drive.

It was about Smera’s sleep time when we reached home. Taking her in my arms from my mom, I realised that that had to be one of the most priceless moments for me in a long-long time.

Photo credit: 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sensing a “wave” of change

After my chopper fiasco, I am thinking of settling of scores with husband. In case you are wondering what I am talking about, then you must read my previous post. I have been plotting and scheming the last month (on my vacation!!) and have finally landed with a brilliant idea. 

A new microwave, yes that is what is going please my soul! Alright maybe I sound a bit too melodramatic, but that’s what’s going to get me a new microwave. My husband bought our existing microwave 6 years ago at a sale. There is no major problem with it apart from the fact that it gives little zings when you touch it when it is not in a good mood. It’s just that I don’t like the look of it!

This alone was not a good reason for him to change; he would say “I will fix it for you”. However those promises were also never met. 

My cunning plan is borrowed from a hilarious book with dangerously silly stunts explained for beginners like myself. The book explains how to blow up a microwave among other things.  All I need to do is keep an unopened can of beans and turn it on for 5 mins. The book promises that this would surely blow off the entire microwave.

As I write this post I am also very hopeful that I would not have to take such a drastic step. I am sure this hint would prove very helpful.

Then there are a couple of more things that I would love change in the house but for now I will be contented with a brand new microwave.

Note to hubby – I have found a new place where could sell that silly microwave and still get some money to buy peanuts! Check it out:

Photo credits:

Monday, September 10, 2012

As a tourist in my home-town

The little one was chuffed right from the time she saw the bags out. She knew in her heart we were going to do something really exciting. We were going back to Vadakencherry (hubby’s home) and she was going to meet her paternal grandparents after a 6 months long interval. 

Smera had been undergoing a week-long rigorous training to learn saying Ammachi (Grand Mother) and Appachha (Grand Dad). But that ended up as Ammeis and Appais. While saying Ammu and Chinnu (Smera’s cousins) was a piece of cake for her.

Smera loves going back to India. Vadakencherry or Delhi she just loves to be with her grandparents. She has met Ammeis Appais only a couple of times this year but when they re-unite it just feels like yesterday. This vacation was even more special with Ammu and Chinnu at home.

Day 1 was overwhelming for Smera feeling wary of her elder sisters’ affection towards us. Observant child turns then herself into a human magnet in my arms. Bursting with emotions of jealousy, anger and insecurity little Smera also wanted to play with her sisters. Things got better between as days passed and Smera felt more comfortable. For the first time she spent some quality time sisters and sometimes it became really difficult for her to keep enthusiasm within limits.

After a lot of wheedling and buttering-up I managed to get Appais to take time off to come down to Trivandrum. The grandparents, parents and the three kids then catch a midnight train that was part of my pre-planned break. Travelling in a train was a first time for all the three kids. The euphoric Smera had to be eventually reprimanded to lower her decibel levels.

We arranged for my mum too joined us at Trivandrum. This time we wanted to do what tourists would do in Kerala, headed straight to Kovalam and unloaded ourselves at the Taj Vivanta. Spent the next few days gorging on gourmet food, splashing into the pool, early jogs on the beach, boat rides on the backwaters, watching kalaripayattu, to making chocolates at hotel– we had an exceptional time.

Boat ride on the backwaters

To be honest we have never ever done the touristy things back home in Kerala and this was a first time for all us including our parents.

Jogging track next to the Kovalam beach

I never knew of this beautiful place called Pomudi which is about 60 kms from Trivandrum city. If you were off to Ponmudi you would typically take your first stop at the Meenmutty falls. The forest department would assist you with a guide, to take you on a 2 km trek through the dense forests to reach the falls. I reached the falls with great difficulty, I have to admit trekking is not something I really enjoy but the falls were spectacular. While my father-in-law aged 68 and my mum carrying Smera managed to trek with great ease than me and my athletic husband.

Meenmutty Falls

After the falls we drove though the narrow winding road on the way to Ponmudi, a scenic green hill-station with pleasant weather year-round. If you have motion sickness then you might want to skip this part by taking a nap, as there are 22 hairpin curves on the way.


And to finish off our stay at Taj we decided to get our parents a little surprise - the must-try ayurvedic spa treatment at the Jiva Spa. My mother-in-law though got a little shock as she signed of the bill but it was definitely all worth it, while my father-in-law slept off half-way through the massage.

Few days break came to end with grand-parents and nieces taking the train back to Vadakencherry, while I and my husband quietly escaped to Sri-Lanka depositing our angel with my mum.

More on that in my next post.

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