When I signed into WP yesterday, I accidentally clicked on “Random Post”, and I was led to this post, where I listed a few things I had decided to do something about, to avoid getting back into the rut of a monotonous life.
And I noticed that I had written “Vacations are life’s necessities”, and had sworn to go on one every month 😀 And then I again checked up my blog to see if I had stuck to my decision, and I realised I did it without fail from April – August, and had failed badly from September – November. [September was a month of break from the monthly travels 😀 and November, well, Pumbaa wobbled in].
No, not December, because I’m off on vacation now: from 24 Dec – 1 Jan 2011! 🙂 It’s a B’lore-Kerala-Goa-B’lore road trip, with Dad, Mom, Bro, the husband and Pumbaa! 🙂
Anyway, while checking the blog, I again noticed (!) that there was a trip in October, to Ooty, and I’d completely forgotten to update my blog with photographs and superlatives. Well, it wasn’t mere forgetfulness. It was also the fact that the trip wasn’t all that great and I had no superlatives to remind me of it with. 😦
I had high expectations of Ooty, and they all crumbled down all the way to the valley! I think Wayanad is the culprit—the root cause for this “hmmm…this place is nothing in comparison with Wayanad” attitude!
Anyways, let me not let the trip slip into the little wedges between the neat piles of good memories and travellogues! 😀
So, here it is: the Ooty travellogue.
Uncle, Aunt and the two brats were coming down from Delhi for their first ever Bangalore trip. Their usual agenda is Delhi-Trivandrum-Adoor-Delhi; and it’s been just that ever since my aunt got married way back sometime in the early 90s 😀 Anyway, this time, they broke the spell and decided to get off the train before it touched Kerala 😉
Now, this is an aunt who loves being crazy – and has raised two equally crazy brat-girls. The elder one is the embodiment of the word ‘tomboy’ and the younger, as feminine as any girl can get. And the Uncle, for as long as I’ve known, is as strict as anyone can get and has successfully completed 50 years, in spite of living half of that in a house with three crazy women 😀 So, while I was soo looking forward to have them all home, I was a bit anxious about what might and might not upset him. Turned out, he’s a new man 😀 He was the most fun to have, this time!!!
Yea, so they reached Bangalore on a Friday morning. After loads of hugs and laughs and leg-pulling, I came to work, dreaming of just a trip to Mysore on Saturday. At about 8pm, the husband turns up at office and says, “we’re going to Ooty tomorrow early morning, so come home early. I’m here to pick you.” Ooty!? Yippeeeee! The first and only time I’d been there was in Dec 1999. Over 10 years! I was super excited—and immediately wound up for the day 😀
We had planned a quick Bangalore-Ooty-Mysore-Bangalore trip for the weekend. and set off early Saturday morning. The four of us ‘kids’ in the Punto, and the four oldies in the Alto 😀
As is customary, we had a quick stop at Srirangapatna, to pay respect to Tipu and his ‘tharavaadu’ 😀 Well, with the senior brat around, respect was just NOT a possibility! 😀
After a quick tour of Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon, we stopped at Tipu’s favourite mosque, the Masjid-e-Ala built in 1784 (whoa! 200 years before I was born :D).
After a quick tour of the mosque (it was closed), we drove on towards Ooty. The weather was splendid, and we had a good drive—light drizzles, sunshines, rains, drizzles and more sunshine.
Anyway, on the way, we passed through Bandipur National Park and spotted a few animals (unlike the experience at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.Oh, but nothing “wild”, anyways 😀 😀 😀 😀
The brats were thrilled to see the animals, the various other animal safety signboards, the sexy, winding road and the greens on both sides. And of course, that was no python. It was just a piece of log, which did NOT cross the road 😀
And it was then that a trip plan for December was formulated and agreed up on. I was explaining to the brats how this National Park was spread across 3 states—Bandipur in Karnataka, Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Muthanga in Kerala—and the name Muthanga just COMPLETELY avoided me! We all kept wondering what the name was: one that starts with M, had a tribal case in Kerala long time back in the name of that place, a tribal female involved, etc. And finally, the husband said some name and was sooooo sure he was right. I was soooo sure he was wrong, knew it was a longer word, though I couldn’t quite get the right name. Finally, he agreed for a Delhi trip end-of-Dec if I could prove him wrong.
The next 15-20 minutes, I was super silent. All I had in mind was a violent and sad tribal police case known by the name of this place, the letter M and this tribal lady’s face and her curly hair :D. It was almost a half hour later, while in the midst of photographing a group of hyper active monkeys, I dropped the camera, dug my nails into the husband’s shoulder and said “Muthangaaaaaa”!!! For a moment, he was so blank-faced, I felt like apologising! 😀
I won the bet. So, the plan was on for Destination Dilli in December 🙂 “Before that, where to, in November?”, I asked. To which he smiled slyly and said “That might not happen, and you might not even want to”. It was a mystery to me then. But when Pumbaa wobbled in, I knew! 🙂 Of course, Dilli plan changed the day Pumbaa came in—and just a week back, we finalised Goa plans:D
As we began the climb to Ooty, the beauty of the Western Ghats slowly unveiled. It was soothing and a prelude to better things to look forward to.
This is when, the teenage senior brat got into the ro-ro-romantic mood a love song and a backdrop of cloud capped hills can get one into. And she, in a most dreamy way, said “I think I’ll come to Ooty for my honeymoon…with a horse.” “You marrying a horse!?”, we asked, to which she said “Yea. Free horse ride all over the place.” “Hmmm…and horse power advantage too”, I said. She was shocked, and immediately regretted the horsey honeymoon idea. And we teased her no end about it.
We stopped at a view point a little further up to see these:
We reached Ooty by about 6pm and settled into a decent hotel.
Oh, in between, let me not forget to mention that Amma was feeling nauseous the previous night and feared dysentery—and her fears were met the next day! In spite of which, she was trip-ready! 😀 The poor thing threw up so many times, and was totally exhausted by the time we reached Ooty! 😦 After freshening up, we took Amma to the nearest hospital. Bad news greeted us: Amma was badly dehydrated and had to be put on a double-bottle-drip treatment! Poor thing 😦 We stayed with her at the hospital till about 11, leaving only to have dinner, that too, in shifts! Took her back, and we all had a good night’s sleep.
Amma was all healed and completely rejuvenated the next day morning, and we set out to see Ooty: which wasn’t much. We went to the Honeymoon Boat House, had a good round of boating (throughout which I, highly disappointed in the scenery, kept bragging about the boating we had at Pookkode Lake, Wayanad).
And that’s when the senior brat noticed a few horses nearby. “Horse ride next”, said she. In between peals of laughter and more leg-pulling, it was then rounds of horse rides for the two brats and the uncle! And me, the photographer, had to trot, gallop and out-race the horses to get pics from all angles. Phew! Was that tiring!
The boat house was maintained very well, and had some really beautiful flowers that adorned the place. The blue sky and the towering trees added their bit too 😉
We then headed for the toy train which we spotted from the lake and had a joy ride–yelling “chayey…chai”, “vadey vadaa vadey”, “meals meals meals”, etc. We created such a din that the folks in the other “bogies” were either laughing, or cursing us 😀 No one joined us, though. Kill-joys!
Then, we headed to Doddabetta, the highest peak in Tamil Nadu (2634 mts above msl) that lies near the meeting point of the Eastern and Western Ghats! The thing I loved the most there were the bisi bisi bhajjis and the cold cold ice creams 😀
The view tower, which promised a telescopic view of the Coimbatore city, was a complete scam. I even told the operator that much. Said “Anna, even without my glasses, I can see the city more clearly than through your silly, unfocused, scam telescope.” He soooo didn’t like it, and almost shooed me off the pedestal, to make way for the next! 😀 But seriously, such a waste of time and effort, I tell you! Why, there was even a long queue to be eligible to view. Bah! I even discouraged quite a few people joining the queue, much to the operator’s chagrin 😀
Ooty was done. We bought a couple of bunched from the dry-flower vendors outside the Botanical Garden, and were on our way to Mysore, stopping only for a quick lunch.
Mysore was brilliantly decked up: all lit up and crowded. It was the 10-day Dussehra period. And to add to it, this year it was specially special. It was the 400th Dussehra being celebrated!Thanks to a stupid camera and a milling crowd, all pics taken were blurred!
But honestly, the palace stands like a real jewel when the surrounding areas are dark! It seemed to lose some of its splendid beauty in all the light! But beautiful it was, nonetheless. The crowd was overwhelming, and we decided not to go into the palace, after the disappointment a couple of months back! I recently got this by mail…a 360 degree view of the Mysore Palace—interiors and exterior. Probably filmed ages back, or maybe as a means of getting people to visit, in spite of all the missing artifacts!
So, after more pics , by about 7.30pm, we decided to head to the Vrindavan Gardens which was slated to be open till 9pm, thanks to the festive season. But well, like last time we tried to reach the Palace from Chamundi Hill to catch it lit up, we went around in circles for almost an hour, with every single of the 12 people we asked directions for, sending us in opposite directions! That all the roads were blocked up at different parts because of the festival, traffic and finding the route became a chaotic nightmare! Finally, by the time we were given the right directions, it was just too late and we’d have no way reached the Garden before closing time 😦 We gave up! And by about 8.45, took the road back to Bangalore. We reached home tired, exhausted and unbelievably sleepy by about 12.45am!
The trip was not just disappointing, it was hectic as well. Our mistake. We should’ve either taken an extra day, or left Mysore for another day. But well, even the time at Ooty wasn’t all that exciting. Sigh.
and I said it all yesterday: my last day at work! 😀
I’ve never seen anyone being made to work so much in their notice period! Bah! I used to be real tired on all days…too tired to even blog! Why, even weekends were spent brainstorming (alone!!) and coming up with new ideas. But yes, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
It was a nice job, the work was super, the team was (mostly) great. But somehow, I reached that point of exasperation real soon. And I decided to quit. Two of my best buddies at work also decided the same thing. So, there was no feeling of ‘leaving good things back’ 😉 But within two days of giving in the resignation, some real cool people joined the team…and the last three weeks were SUPER FUN!
Sometimes, I regret having quit when things were turning to look good. But well, the not-so-good elements will always remain – high and strong – and that will eventually bring the fun down. For sure. So, maybe it wasn’t that bad at all…this decision. And it’s a small world. We’ll cross paths again.
We were a gang of four. Now one person’s left behind. Will always try for his best too 🙂
It was an unexpectedly good ‘last day’. Unexpected gift, a team lunch, a ‘token of appreciation’, lousy speech, photo sessions, formalities, signatures, handing over, farewell, party, hugs, goodbyes, laughs, work, yummy food, sad songs, last-minute proofing, chilling out, catching up, cribbing, LOLs, whining, winding up, coming home. And then, it was over.
One mutton curry, one fish pickle and two gifts pending. I haven’t forgotten, guys and girl 🙂 I’ll be back 😉
And now, I’m moving on. To IBM. To be an IBMer 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Till we actually set off for Kochi on Friday evening, I was dreading it’d be called off any minute. The couple from
Dufaai Dubai might drop out, the couple from Kochi might want to stay back with the baby, the couple from Bangalore (me n the husband ;)) might miss our bus and not reach…etc. But we did reach Kochi at 5.30 am on Saturday. And it was raining like the skies had gone crazy! 😀 Anyways, the tempo traveller came to pick us up by about 10.30 am, and off we went. The tempo traveller had seats that were swaying like a boat. And a whacko for a driver 😉 So, when we started the climb towards Munnar, it was almost a 4D experience 😉 Well, we were moving in all 4Directions 😉 and even moved from within, by the pathetic PJs of the driver 😀
Of the initial 10 enthusiasts, 2 had dropped off. Well, it was 4 couples plus 2 single guys. So, when one of the guys dropped out, the other declared he’d be too left out 🙂 So, it was the 8 of us: (pic of us all) And of us 8, five were classmates. So, we were a bit anxious about how the other three would feel. We had back-up plans for everything else, but not if these 3 felt left out 😉 But well, it was all like the proverbial eggs of the same basket 😉 Probably why, the trip turned out to be as great as it was! Oh my. How much we laughed. All that laughing plus the boat-like motion in the bus finally made us all sick! 😀 Well, maybe it was also because of the 60 Ferrero Rocher chocolates that vanished in less than 10 minutes…mainly gobbled down by Gulfu, Jaya and me 😉
We reached Elysium Garden Resort by 3.30 or so, because of the heavy and constant rains. We all trooped into all the 4 rooms and made all of them equally untidy 😀 And almost instantly, the cameras were taken out and the posing and clicking began 😉
When I clicked a pic of the three girls, Merlin said “Priya, you don’t even know how to take photos. Give me the camera. I’ll take.” And she clicked this one 😀
Every time we went out on to the balcony to click a group pic, it’d start raining and the winds would drive it in, right into the room. It was like the rain had signed a pact against us…and would make sure we stay indoors all the time 😉 Well, we weren’t complaining. It was quality time we spent, getting to know each other, having limitless fun. And, we had packed playing cards and Pictionary and Ludo and all. So, finally, we settled for Pictionary. And my god, the fun we had. There was just so much cheating and screams and finger pointing and red cards and yellow cards and everything! Hehe…here are a few snaps of what the words were…and how they were sketched. (For those who do not know the rules of the game, CLICK HERE! You should play it sometime…if possible, with a big group. It can be the best fun ever! High scope for cheating and calling names :D)
Well, it was fun! Prashant saying “oh…ithenikkariyaam…Aamayalle? Frog Frog Frog!”; and for “surfing the net:, drawing a cloud to indicate “foam…surf detergent…and surfing…” 😀 :D; and Leena slyly pushing their token two blocks ahead every chance she gets; and Jaya slowly writing the word itself next to her sketch (but me the dimwit still not getting it right ;)) 😀 😀 We had about 2-3 hours of pure fun!!!
There were times when we all laughed out so loud, it was deafening. Like when Prasanth ordered “naalu chappathiyum oru chakan curryum”; when Jaya kept asking “adimaly ethaaraayo” too many times, that Prasanth finally said “Ho! Enthonnithu. Ethumbo ariyikkam :D”; when Ragesh kept making the weirdest statements which we kept connecting with the gay community, like “Da, nee kaalukal ingane veche…njaan kaanichu tharaam” 😀 :D; when Merlin said, in a most serious tone “…Why do you all keep calling him Rakesh? It’s Ragesh…as in RaGEYsh”; when Leena asked “Pavaroor kalava ethiyo?”; I can’t think of anything I, Gulfu or Suraj said…but am sure there were enough and more 😀 Especially from me 😀
And then, after another round of photo shoots and everything, we all went off to sleep. Planned to wake up at 6 the next morn and go for sightseeing. We all slept through right till 8 o clock and woke up to constant rains again. Went back to the fun thing: photo shoots.
Leena had planned to have a black-n-blue and white-n-blue themes and everything….so we got all that done 🙂 Gulfu, or professional photographer, was driven to madness by me and Jaya, making him click pic after pic of us both, till we finally got a snap we both liked 😉
Gosh! We were having so much fun that we forgot to do the one thing girl-friends supposedly do the most: gossip! So, on the way back, when we stopped for lunch, we had a proper gossiping session as well. It was a laughing riot at the Maria International Hotel, Kothamangalam. But we got bored of it in less than 5 minutes. So we went back to what we were best at: making stupidly funny statements, one after the other. 😉
Like Suraj kept telling me before we left Bangalore, the day we were doing countdowns for and waiting ever so excitedly, just slipped through our laugh riots…and we were back in Cochin before we even realised it 😦 But not before we planned out next trip: Malaysia in May 2011. Yes, it’s a doubtful month (one that sounds skeptic), but we WILL go 😀 And then, little Ananya would be with us too! Yeyyyy!
We reached the same rainy Kochi that we left behind the previous day, at about 5.00 pm on Sunday; hugged, kissed and separated and went our ways—everyone back to where we belonged. And, on Monday, back to work. I couldn’t stop giggling now and then, even at work, thinking of the many funny incidents. I still am giggling! 🙂 Next time, we’ll make sure we carry a tape recorder along, so that the funnies can be recorded for later laughs 😉 😉 😉
A few good outcomes:
- Got to know Lee n Gulfu are finally getting married. Yeyyyy.
- Jaya quit her job, when she went back home and realised her baby had not missed her one bit the past two days! 😀 Between me and Jaya, we know why I say it’s a good outcome 😀 😀 😀 Sad though, that it wasn’t accepted 😀
- The 8 of us have become closer, and know each other much better (so much so that we’re actually sooo looking forward to the next trip)
- We’ve definitely decided to make this a yearly thing. Next trip: Malaysia, Truly Asia 😉
- Each one of us knows there are at least 7 people who’ll be there for us, at any point of time 🙂
- We’ve realised that one does not need to be constantly in touch to maintain the friendship/or to have limitless fun when one meets up. What matters is just the mental wavelength… 🙂
Oh that was one true-blue vacation. A real fun ‘meet-up’. The best fun trip ever. I can’t justify the fun with words. The rest of the gang who missed it: you guys missed a lot. And we missed you too! 🙂
Were they your dreams or mine?
Were they your wishes or mine?
Were they your smiles or mine?
Were they your hopes or mine?
Were they your moments or mine?
I wonder if you remember these words…they were on a birthday card you sent me all the way from Mumbai on my 16th birthday. Guess that was my first birthday following your departure to Mumbai (well, b4 that, I had had only one birthday after we became friends…but still). That was one card I really really loved… and I could only smile, thinking to myself “I wonder how we manage to find a card that says just what we both feel.” 😉
Years have passed since; dozens of cards, letters and phone calls have travelled to-and-fro…then we upgraded from “writing” to e-mailing. And then, just as suddenly as your dad got transferred to Mumbai, he was transferred back. But alas! you never came; instead, you called me over — and i gleefully agreed. We again set off on a train together…having decided to stay together, study together…and never separate again.
Years have passed. You’re married, I’m married. We’re living our separate lives. So much of our time’s taken away by life: that we seldom talk to, write to or think of one another. A chat yesterday, a call today, a mail tomorrow… That’s all that remains of our relation now. We had some of the best times of our lives: discussing crushes and loves and heartbreakes; exchanging books, movies and songs; terrorising a certain math teacher and walking out of her class; getting cursed by another and succeeding, in spite of everything; driving a few people mad and some others up trees…
Years have passed, situations have changed…our lives have turned on its own different wheels…but i guess the one thing that’s never changed over the past 12 years is our relationship…a certain feeling of ‘being there’, no matter the gaps in talks and memories.
I hope you have a sexy birthday, get drowned amidst gifts, happiness and love…and write a totally moving piece for (and about) me on my special day 😀 😀
HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY WOMAN!
They say time and tide waits for none; but girl, time always stands still for a woman of thirty! (Ooops, did I just say it out loud? :D)
It isn’t often you feel like a potential murderer. Well, today seems to be one of those strangely different, out-of-the-ordinary days!
When I read murder stories, I always marvel (in the most negative way) at the ease with which people plan to and successfully murder someone; similarly with movies. But in those cases, there’s always the consolation that it’s not for real. The shock is when such reports come in the news! And I just sit around wondering “How can a person ‘kill’ someone!?” And for someone like me who refuses to kill even an ant, it’s the biggest mystery. So, when today, I was the one scheming and planning, the shock knew no boundaries!
It’s been sometime now, that I have been contemplating on a murder. And every passing day makes me more and more determined to commit this one. I know it takes one hell of a stone-heart to even think of something like this — but I’m sure I want to do it — yes, you read it right: I want to do it.
So, now you must be wondering why the hell I’m writing about in a public forum. I do not intent to murder and act like a saint. I am totally willing to accept the consequences. I’m doing this only because my object of ‘affection’ here does not deserve to live. If I allow it to, I’ll be responsible for the wreck of two other lives. The love that existed all along will be forgotten: slowly, but steadily. And a day will come when these two lives will be totally dispensable for the other. I cannot allow for that. Better that this one dies.
I opened a Google window and started typing “how to murder a” and immediately the following options popped up:
- how to murder a man (it’s not a man I want to murder)
- how to murder and get away with it (not my intention; you wouldn’t be reading this if it were!)
- how to murder a millionaire (why’d anyone wanna kill a millionaire unless you are due to receive all he’s got!?)
- how to murder a rich uncle (if he has no kids and loves you the most, fine; else, isn’t it more sensible to be his fav nephew/niece?)
- how to murder a and not get caught (again, i repeat, not my intention!)
Well, the option I was looking for was clearly not available. I discussed with a few close friends
— and finally decided that it should be a death-by-water! After all, most people wish to have a sip of water before they die!
Now I know how easy it is to kill. All it takes is some amount of hatred, some amount of despair and a huge amount of determination and reckless disregard for all value — monetary, moral and emotional! In my case, I’ll need just one more thing: a tumbler of water.
Once I’m done, and this post is crawled over by the search engine, Google will add one more item to its current list of “how to murder a”. It’ll have an option for “how to murder a television”!
August 14: The day I almost thought my last thought! The day I thought about a lot of things in such a rush, for fear of never being able to think about anything, anymore! The day I thought I was dying. Gosh, I guess I’ll never forget this day! 😀
August 13: Went out with my brother to Garuda Mall, Bangalore. Walked around for a looong time…in and out of shops, without buying anything, driving the sales-people crazy, until I got myself a sprained muscle on my left shoulder. The pain kept bothering me, but I gave no heed. Cooked dinner, made idly batter for the next day (one helluva job, I tell you!), saw part of some incorrigible movie, quarreled with the husband for some silly reason (I blame the pain for the irritation) and went off to sleep.
August 14 (again!?): Woke up with the pain again. Made breakfast, by the end of which I realised I couldn’t adjust myself to a lot of positions, thanks to the pain that sent me buckling every now and then! Had loads of office work, which I managed to (grossly uncomfortably) complete by 4.30. Meanwhile, I checked the Internet for symptoms of appendicitis, kidney stone, tumor and what not. The only disease I didn’t check for was swine flu, thanks to the half dozen mails that keep pouring in everyday on the subject.
I was in pain — breathing in and out, sneezing (mere thoughts of sneezing, even), burping, laughing, walking, lying, sitting, standing, crying, yawning…just about everything I’ve learnt to do in life hurt like hell!! Till about 5.00, I managed to sit around with my brother, trying to laugh at myself and my antics, without moving my belly. Then I retreated to my room, decided to lie down. And oh God…in the next 10 minutes, the pain shot up so bad, I hardly had any voice. My brother, right in the next room, couldn’t hear me whimpering, crying out in pain, calling out for mom!
In the next hour, the husband, back from office, came in with my brother to see me in tears, writhing on the bed. And of all the things in the world, he asks to no one in particular “Is she really in pain or is she just trying to pull my leg?” I’d been pitying myself for almost an hour, taking in the sad fact that I would be alone and in pain when I die…with no one to even share my will and last wishes…when he asks if I were pulling his leg! Bah! (Well, in his defense, I must admit that when I called him up, asking him to come home fast, I was laughing and trying to keep the pain at bay.)
Anyway, the next 2 hours flew by. I was almost carried to the car, taken to a hospital (where I managed to crawl up the stairs and settle myself, screaming and moaning and whimpering) which turned out to be just for preganant women, turned out, again carried to the car, rushed to another hospital, given an injection and sent for an ultrasound abdomen scanning. Turns out, it was just a plain old muscle spasm. Anyway, the doctors doubted a possible infection in the kidney and prescribed a urine test. After 4 full glasses of water, hopeless PJs, incessant laughter (which still hurt, by the way) and relief over being “alive”, we left the hospital, leaving the receptionist and her colleague laughing over my adamant bladder that refused to refill itself. 😀
There’s slight pain, still. A deep breath / or a sharp one before a sneeze, still hurts. But it feels great to be alive! 🙂 It feels great to not be in pain! It feels great to be able to blog about it…and laugh about the pathetic condition I had been in yesterday! The husband says I’m like a car with perpetual ‘patch work’ — it’s either backpain, or memory loss, or headache, or some sort of problem! Health seems to be the only blessing I was never endowed with in abundance by God! 😀
But whatever! Yey! I am alive 🙂
P.S.: My idea of adopting a child has been reinforced since yesterday’s incident 😀 😀 I just cannot take any pain. 😀
No no… I did not disappear again. Had made an impromptu trip to Trivandrum, my hometowncity.
The trip turned out to be one of those “totally unplanned, outright fun” ones! All the cousins and second cousins and uncles and aunts were cooped up under the same roof — and we all had so much fun there! Apart from marriages, Onam, and a once-in-a-while first-birthday party, we don’t get together like this: and I can’t really remember the last time we all were together like this…the last time we all had such fun. About 40-odd people — adults and us ‘kids’. Everyone forming tiny little groups in every single space available and chattering, laughing (and even singing), merry-making…
Occasionally, when our laughter crossed the allowed decibel level, aunts and uncles came barging in, admonishing and ordering us to behave ourselves. Yet, at the same time, we could see the ‘elders’ in the family sitting around and sharing old-time stories…their childhood and their pranks — and laughing their hearts out!
But it was all very strange throughout — this merrymaking in the family; the neighbours must all think we’re a bunch of sadistic, barbaric tribals! Well, can’t really blame them: because it was not really one of those “planned get-togethers”; and I was not really on an “unplanned, fun” trip. I had hurried off to Trivandrum to attend my grandmother’s funeral…
Grandma’s death was much anticipated…and entirely “prayed-for”, I might say. She was slowly entering a phase of immense suffering…and everyone was hoping she’d be called away before too long. So, in a way, we could defend ourselves, saying we were celebrating her ‘escape from sufferings’ or such crap.
There! She was the last member of that generation’s lot. Now, apparently, “we all” will never ever get-together like this anymore. Grandma had perhaps been a unifying factor: the reason why everyone got together under that roof occasionally. Now, each to one’s own.
Guess it’s true; four of my cousins are in the middle east; one’s in Delhi; one’s in Cochin; one’s planning to go off soon to Australia; two of us are here in Bangalore; one is off to UK…and God knows when we’ll all see each other again. Unlike those good old days, none of us seem to be really pulled home by force, excitement and urge to attend to weddings and childbirths in the family any longer. We all have our excuses: projects to be completed; horrid bosses who grant no leave; new job, so no leave; exams, so can’t skip school/college; low attendance, will get into the professor’s black list ; out of the country, can’t be bothered to make a presence…and so on. Somehow, a death seem to bring a jolt to each one of us (and to the bosses, teachers and professors as well, God-knows-how!) and everyone turns up somehow or the other.
So, maybe sub-consciously, we all knew it was one of those “this-wont-last-too-long-and-may-very-well-be-the-last-time” times together…and must’ve taken full advantage of it. Bonded with each other asap…sang, danced, wrestled, fooled around, had palmistry sessions, had PJ-sessions…had “tonne kanakkinu fun, fun” (like the tagline of a local radio station goes)!
Now, its all over. Everyone’s gone back to whatever they were up to before 3.00 a.m. on July 16th!