Wednesday 21 January 2015


Lately, I have been finding these kind of love notes everywhere in the house. Inside her school bag, my closet, on her table, and in my workspace.

Last weekend, I moved around systematically from room to room, gathering up these bits of paper to store them safely in one place. Later, I complained to S - "Gosh, there are sooo many notes Y has written for me...I had to find a folder to cram them into!"
My husband gave me a strange look. Part annoyance, part jealousy. He said - "Do you know I have only ONE such note. Even that has Amma crossed and replaced with Appa!"
So I am #1. This is exhilarating. Cheap, I know...but exhilarating :) Sanjay calls her "Jalra". Sour grapes, I say.
Though I will be the first to admit that I can take no credit. That's just the way my little girl is. Devoted and affectionate. Every single day, I fail in my own eyes as a mom. Everyday I go to sleep thinking I need to do better. But in her eyes, it seems I am already perfect. Thank you for keeping me up on that pedestal, Y! I won't grow all proud and haughty because your brother will always ensure I come down to earth with a big crash!
But sometimes, even I feel she can take it too far. One day, she asked me what the word "react" meant. I explained - "Suppose I annoy you and you get angry with me. That means your reaction was anger. " She looked horrified. "But amma, I can NEVER get angry with you!!"

Monday 5 January 2015

A lovely forest interlude

Some friends and I have been on calls and fb messenger for several months, figuring out options for a short holiday prior to our B-school reunion. One friend and her two daughters were travelling from Mumbai. Her criteria was someplace in the woods, with lots of birds! This narrowed down the field considerably and finally we fixed on Masinagudi with a brief one night stopover in Mysore.
The thing about travelling with old friends is that you can just be and do your own thing without worrying about offending anybody; though obviously since they are old friends, you want to hang around with them and don't want to do your own thing! Our reservation at Mysore was messed up and we got moved to the Lalitha Mahal Palace at the last minute, which turned out to be a good thing because it's a lovely property.

Exterior of Lalitha Mahal Palace Mysore
Next day, we drove to Masinagudi and Inn the Wild, which is a gem hidden in the lush forests around Bandipur/Mudumalai. The way to get there is by undergoing a bone-rattling 20 minute jeep ride over a kutcha, extremely rocky path which was quite thrilling due to the possibility of cracking your skull any minute!

The cottages
What did we do? We walked, we ate, we fished (for the first time- too exciting!), went on night safaris. Some of us did a lot of bird-watching. There was a lot of wildlife spotting- elephants, peacocks, langurs, spotted deer, gaur and wild dogs to name a few. It was quiet and immensely peaceful. Mobile connectivity was patchy (what a blessing).
One afternoon stands out. We had been taken to a small rocky stream after our Bandipur safari, and we spent lots of time splashing and playing with the kids there. We headed back for lunch soaked to the skin and extremely happy and exhausted. After lunch and a bath, while S and the kids napped, I elected to stay outside the cottage. It was the perfect temperature with the afternoon sun playing hide and seek behind some clouds. Every now and then, I had to move the chair to get the optimum combination of heat light and shadow :) I was reading a particularly appropriate book- Under the Tuscan sun, and alternately reading and dozing but what I remember vividly was the extraordinary feeling of contentment that I was experiencing. Happiness, well-being, peace all rolled into one made for a mix which I subliminally recognized as an all-too rare experience. 
Masinagudi wasn't the prettiest place I have visited, or the most interesting. But it was one of my best vacations. Raising a toast of a few more such in 2015!