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In Retro Mode!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Last Friday I logged on to my Face Book account and read "I broke 3 things--my Lunch Date,My car and a Fire Hydrant!!" posted on my grand daughter's Status!!!It was enough to send me into an anxious panicky flap---- as she just got her permanent Driving Licence this May.She has been driving under parental supervision for about a year now and is a very cautious and alert driver.However she was lucky enough not to get hurt--the MRI ruled out any damage---but the Camry lost it's front right wheel when it hit the Hydrant which sent a huge Fountain of Water shooting up into the Atmosphere and also flooded the Street!!
Once I settled down again I was reminded of a similar accident that occurred when I was just 14years old.Those days the Chandigarh Roads used to be mainly deserted---such huge roads totally devoid of Traffic of any kind!!I had just learnt to drive---and being blessed with loads of over confidence and pride I began driving Mummy around Town.Daddy wasn't really comfortable with this as it wasn't permitted---but those days these rules weren't implemented very strictly--definitely not in Chandigarh!!We owned an Ambassador Car---it was actually a Landmaster model with a few newer features---and an extremely heavy and sturdy Car---needing strength to steer it---no Power Steerings those days!!At the mouth of our lane was a little grassy Tussock---about 4 feet high.One day while driving back from Grocery shopping with Mummy I took too wide a turn----and climbed that Tussock awkwardly.The front wheels of the Car were suspended in Air and the Car itself tilted at a 65 degree angle---luckily our neighbours instantly came to our rescue---at that angle Car could so easily have turned turtle!!That put an end to my driving---won't go into the details of the lengthy barking I recieved from Daddy!!!Later I tried to learn how to drive in Bombay---but the cussedness of the Cabbies and their dirty looks got the better of me and I gave up the Ghost of being able to drive!!
Lotta wasn't keen on driving either---though now she's an excellent driver---those days she just went through the Motor Training School---and relaxed allowing Sayali to hog the Limelight!!Sayali--being as ambitious and competitive as she is--took to it like a Duck to Water--and thus began a new Episode in our lives!!My friends would tell me enviously that "Sayali drove like a Man"!!The first Car she began driving was our Maruti Suzuki 800---which she promptly named "Dhanno" after a Mare in a Bollywood blockbuster!!Both Sayali ,her best friend Lakshmi and Dhanno soon became inseparable----being spotted all over Town when actually they should've been in College!!There were many instances of the Car getting towed away for having been parked in the wrong place---and both Sayali and Lakshmi became experts at wheedling it back from Police Stations around Town----I'm sure most of the Traffic Police came to know them pretty well!!Unknown to us there were plenty of minor bumps and bangs as well---for right behind our Complex was Anil's Garage---and he'd get everything back into ship shape in a jiffy!!The first time I came to know about this arrangement was when Sayali,Lotta and 2 year old Meha had gone shopping---by now Meha could speak pretty well in proper sentences---and the moment she entered the house she exclaimed"Aaji do you know what Yaayee(she called Sayali that) did just now??She bumped the Car!!!There was such a big "Bhaam" noise---everybody came running!!" and the Cat was out of the Bag!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XXMILAXX 8/23/2011 3:01AM

    You're such a great writer! Glad your granddaughter is alright. Seems she takes after her grandmother..lol :-)

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PARM01 8/19/2011 6:22AM

  Wow!!! I guess the test of "children" makes parents strong!(In addition to heartburn)

Love your blogs!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 8/17/2011 1:11PM

    I remember the excitement of learning to drive, and the fear when my son started.

Great blog.

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RAIN454 8/17/2011 11:29AM

    Whoa! India let you drive at 14?!! Yet another reason, she's such an awesome country ;)
Yikes, again, on the fire hydrant collision. So glad you're granddaughter is safe and sound!

Comment edited on: 8/17/2011 11:30:07 AM

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ATMANI 8/17/2011 9:37AM

    emoticon very nice blog.

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Poona then--Pune now!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Thursday evening we recieved an Invitation to celebrate a 50th.Birthday in Pune---and it being a long Weekend thanks to Independence Day falling on a Monday--15th.August---we decided to go.Both Sudhir and I have always loved Pune or Poona---as it used to be.An ancient historical Town,during our childhood it used to be untouched by modernity.Old "Vaadaas" as those huge palatial homes were called, housed large joint families within their stone walls guarded by huge Brass studded wooden Doors---a testimony to the ancient Glory.As late as early 1800, it was the seat of Maratha Power---with the huge "Shaniwaar Vaadaa" of the Peshwas at it's centre.It's ancient name was "Punya Nagri" or Pune which the British converted to Poona after they took it over.
My maternal Grandparents had built a large Bungalow here in the in the late 50s with a huge rambling Garden at Erandawane,just off Prabhat Road.The Poona of those days was a quiet little Town----mainly populated by Pensioners and Intellectuals----with a very laid back attitude.Later after Aazoba's death in December 1964 Aaji continued to live there with my younger Aunts--Vidya Maushi and Vasanthi Maushi but sold it in 1971 because by then Vidya Maushi was married and Aaji along with Vasanthi Maushi had moved back to Bombay again. Poona also was a favourite Vacation retreat for Sudhir as well---our Aunt owned a huge Bungalow in Shivaji Nagar near the Station and this was a regular haunt for Atya and Baba every Summer.So they would descend there with their entire domestic Staff in tow.Since the Railway Station was a stone's throw away from "Sahyashram" as the Bungalow was named-- Baba could reach Bombay as and when needed and most times return the same day too!!
Poona to both of us in our childhood meant long walks every morning and evening,visits to "Kyani's" and "Dorabjee's" in the "Camp" area---the former's oven hot Buns and Mawa Cakes a must for Breakfast and the latter's Mutton Puffs and Chcken Patties an accompaniment for the afternoon Tea!!Besides it also meant drinking pure sweet "Neera" early in the morning daily--delivered fresh in "Matkas" or Earthern Pots to one's doorstep!!This "Neera" is the thin,milky sap of the Palmyra Tree which tastes sweet and heavenly fresh in the morning---by evening it ferments and turns into smelly, stinky "Toddy" the favourite Liquor of the masses!!!Evenings for me meant visits to either Erandawane or Sambhaji Parks and once there,eating the spicy "Bhel" a crunchy mix of raw finely chopped Onions,Chutneys and Lime Juice--tossed with crunchy crisp Puffed Rice,spicy Fried Parched Rice Mixture ,Peanuts and deep fried Chick Pea Vermicelli all together exploding with taste on the Tongue with each mouthful!!!This would be accompanied by glasses of sweet Green Mango Sherbet known as "Panhey"---an ideal combination.Poona in my childhood was a very quiet place---and since Mummy had loads of cousins----the Bungalow was always overflowing with people---more fun for me for that meant that I'd be pampered silly---my every wish being their command!!Those memories are full of tranquility and peace---soothing my heart each time I remember them!!
Later as my daughters grew up Sudhir and I continued our regular jaunts to Poona---gradually changing into a more alive place---and our daughters too grew addicted to "Kyani's" Breads,Buns,Biscuits,Cakes and Pastries and to "Dorabjee's" wider range of Non-Vegetarian Snacks--Chicken Rolls,Mutton Rolls,Pastries and such!!The very ambience was unhurried---and the simple Hotels of those days had all the basic amenities and great Vegetarian fare---specially "Shreyas" where we stayed at Deccan Gymkhana.The rooms were large and airy with large Balconies---when the entire joint family of all Sudhir's 4 siblings would descend there en masse in the month of May, the children would insist on sleeping in the Balconies of their rooms!!This was the nearest they could get to the open air and their giggling and whispering from adjoining Balconies would last late into the nights!!Poona had a lot of Green Cover and that kept it's climate pretty temperate even in the hot afternoons in Summer---today all that is gradually making way for more and more Construction!!
Till the year 2000 Poona remained a laid back,sleepy Town---and then the IT transformation began!!Today it is known as Pune---and grown into a huge crowded City---with very little of the familiar Landmarks left!!How vastly it has changed was rudely brought home to us this last Saturday night.
We left Mumbai at about 3.30 p.m. and got caught in Traffic snarls at Vashi just outside Mumbai and while climbing the Ghat towards Lonavla---taking quite a long time at both places.We drove into Pune around 8 p.m.---and found that the entire City had gone berserk with changes!!There were many "One ways" on arterial Roads like the Jungli Maharaj Road at, Deccan Gymkhana and the darkness as well as the light Rain added to the confusion!!However Cell phones are a boon---and thanks to these we rolled into the Hotel Porch by 8.30 p.m.!!The next day we began finding our way by searching for familiar Landmarks---many of which have just melted away---in their places stand shiny new Offices and Malls---so much so that only "Kyani's" at Camp still looks the same---"Dorabjee's" is now housed in a swanky new Building--the old arched structure has been rebuilt!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUHASHANGAL 8/29/2011 8:49AM

  i lived in Pune from 91-95 and the laid-back lifestyle (compared to Mumbai) was what i liked the most. No local trains was also a plus :) , and i had planned to settle in Pune if and when i went back from US. But, things have changed so much, i find it hard to imagine living there...it is the same story in every metro i guess.

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PARM01 8/19/2011 6:29AM

  Thank you for sharing "Poona" ---planned to visit Poona when I lived in Bombay, but as it was so close, kept putting it off---Now I shall have to visit Mumbai and Pune!!! You have triggered the desire to visit this beautiful city!

Wonder whether Dr.D.B Shirole is still around. He was my examiner for DCH (long time ago---1n the early seventies) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAIN454 8/17/2011 11:37AM

    There's a Gujarati cop that works in my building. She reminds me a little bit of you because she has the BEST stories and I can just get caught up in them that an hour will have past and I wouldn't even know it :) Anyhow, she tells me a lot of Pune stories because she was an actress back in her time and studied at the film institute there. Enjoyed going back in time with you on this particular one :) Thanks for sharing!

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ANU_20 8/17/2011 5:21AM

    Thankyou for showing the "good old Poona" from your eyes and sharing your wonderful experience in this city. You are right about the crowd n the traffic n all the irritating one-ways!!! Wish I had come here earlier ...
Well... Thankfully Kayani's and Dorabjees are still there and our regular weekly haunts! emoticon emoticon

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Monsoon Magic!!!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I just simply adore the Monsoons---always have since baby hood.This for me holds a lot of Magic---the newly washed various shades of Greenery contrasting so beautifully with the deep Steel Grey of the Sky---everything shining like new after the hot,dusty Summer!!During my childhood the pre-Monsoon Showers and later the Monsoon itself was a beautiful experience---and I have spent many nights sitting on my Bedroom windowsill watching the play of the Lightning forking and flashing through the dark,velvety Clouds----drumming away in harmony!!
The Monsoon in my childhood used to arrive with a lot of Fanfare---strong gusty Rain scented Winds would herald it's arrival--the very Nature surrounding us would dance on their tune in joyous abandon!!The cool Atmmosphere would bring instant relief from the dry,hot, dusty Summer in the Indian Plains and the Earth would welcome the first large Rain Pellets by releasing it's beautiful Fragrance---till today that Scent still intoxicates me!!!The first Rains would turn the Air chill---setting the Mood for the Season to follow--and then there'd be innumerable cups of hot,spicy, Ginger Tea with sizzling Platters of straight out of the Wok hot "Pakodas/Bhajiyaas" eaten with a Green Chutney made with Fresh Mint & Cilantro Leaves,dried Pomegranate Seeds,Hot Green Chillies,Black Rock Salt and fresh Ginger Root.For us children the Tea would be a different concoction---made with plenty of Milk and spiced with crushed Ginger Root ,Cinnamon,Cloves Carraway Seeds and Lemongrass---boiled with a sprinkling of Tea Leaves---- our Nanny---Amma----used to call it "Children's " Tea!!!Those days we'd also be regularly fed a Concoction called"Kaadhaa" at bedtime all through this Season.Made by Amma using certain Herbs which were boiled in Water and then the resulting Brew reduced to half of the original quantity---it was supposed to protect us from catching Chills and Colds---and most of the time--it worked!!
Monsoons in Bombay showed me a different aspect of this Season.Since Sudhir and I both love Rains---we've driven out many times at midnight----just to catch a glimpse of the wild Dance of the Elements----the heaving, crashing dull Grey Sea,darkly ominous Steel Grey Clouds overhead and the Lightning dancing like Silver Threads in their midst----sometimes lighting up the entire Sea Scape with Silvery Light whenever it flashed in Sheets!!!There is something primal in the savage beauty of such scenes---and these are incredibly rivetting to watch!!When the Girls were young we'd often drive into the Sahyadri Hills--- for day Trips to Lonavala and Khandala---making trips to the Bhushi Dam on the way. The rugged Sahyadris would be covered with a thick Green Cloak in myriad shades---punctuated with crystal clear or frothy White Waterfalls cascading down their steep,rocky slopes---the fields on both sides of the Road a lush deep Emerald Green!!The "Adivaasees" or Aborigines would stand by the roadside hawking their Wares--tiny containers fashioned out of large Tree Leave filled to the brim with Fruits of the Forest--- Cranberries,Mulberries,"Jamun/Jaambhul" and hand woven Bamboo baskets overflowing with the the lush green prickly "Kantolaas" a seasonal Vegetable that grows in the thick Forests lining the slopes of the Sahyadris.There used to be boiled,salted Peanuts,Cucumbers,ears of Corn---with options of getting it roasted over hot Coal and then to be rubbed with a Mixture of Salt,Red Chilli Powder sprinkled on Lemon Wedges----just heavenly---all this from the Farms flanking the Road---a real Feast for both the Eyes and the Stomach!!
The cool Monsoon Air would whip up our appetites---and the lure of eating sizzling hot "Batata Wadaas"---balls of spicy dry Potato Curry dipped in Chick Pea Batter and deep fried---were a MUST HAVE at "Ramakant's" in Khopoli at the foot of the steep climb of the "Khandala Ghaat" ---just the thought of eating these would drive us mad with craving!!Unfortunately today similar "Wadaas" aren't available anywhere --- the original Shack of "Ramakant" became an overcrowded Restaurant---and later when the Route changed from the original almost vertically steep Slopes to gentler levels---it too got left behind----it's not there anymore!!Anothe place we loved to frequent was "Pooranmall's" in Lonavla Market.Here for a song we'd be served Bowls of rich,spicy thin Potato Curry and Lentils(Dal) and piping hot crisp "Puries"---a puffed deep fried Indian Bread.The portions used to be generous and the cool,fresh Atmosphere would help us to tuck into platefuls of these with gusto!!Today most of the old haunts at these places have given way to new Restaurants---but these lack both the taste and the homeliness of their earlier counterparts!!
Today we have the Expressway with all the amenities---a boon for regular Travellers on the Road.The Expressway meanders through a lot of "Adivaasee" areas---their simple dwellings made from wooden branches and coated with layers of thick Mud very picturesque against the Monsoon Skies----surrounded by a Carpet of Greens in various Shades----despite rapid Progress a timelessness still preserves the Beauty of the Landscape!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 8/16/2011 10:39PM

    Seriously, Komal! next time you come to the US, find a ghost writer and hand over your blogs to organize, edit and put in a book....you will make a lot of $$$$ I could picture the rains, despite no rains here and left me craving for bhajiyas or any kurkure (munchies), as we Gowda Saraswat Konkanis say! ;-) emoticon

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RAIN454 8/9/2011 10:16AM

    Another great blog!! You never seize to leave me hungry at the end of it though..hehe.
Luv you! TC.

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BOVEY63 8/5/2011 11:52AM

    I would love to watch the Dancing of the Elements by the sea with you - it sounds so amazing.

Love reading your stories!

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PARM01 8/5/2011 9:58AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAASHA17 8/4/2011 12:02PM

    oh man everytime I went to bombay to visit dad, we wud go during the rains..man so beautiful. i remember going to Lonavala and all..pretty..


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LUVLHASA 8/4/2011 11:50AM

    You write really well KomalJi. Enjoyed the blog.

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BAYSIDE07 8/4/2011 6:25AM


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Married Life---Learning to Live Together!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Manasa's Blog set me off on a mental journey into my youth---and again brought alive a lot of Memories of the time during my courtship---and the first few years of my marriage!!!Experience taught me that Relationships like Plants have to be carefully and lovingly tended and nurtured to grow into strong Bonds---only Love is never enough!!It requires lots of Commitment,Tolerance,Adjustment and Co-operation from both Parties to make a Relationship grow into a Lifelong Bond!!!
Sudhir and I were two cussedly stubborn Mules---terribly in Love with each other but totally opposite in Nature!!While Sudhir was a cautious,deliberate and logical person I was the complete opposite!!Impetously impulsive and completely illogical, the main focus in every argument I got involved in was to win it---even to the extent of making foolishly idiotic statements!!I was very optimistic,naive,trusting and not open to be told to be careful---while Sudhir on the other hand being born and bred in Bombay learnt to be wary and suspicious from a young age---and being hopelessly pessimistic, never taking anything at face value!!On the other hand my over confidence in everything was backed by my theoretical knowledge---and use of this along with bombastic Words was my greatest fault!!!I talked nineteen to the dozen while Sudhir spoke very little---so he'd listen mostly while I'd talk!!There was one place where however I scored---being the eldest I was used to looking after my siblings and Sudhir being the youngest was used to being taken care of by his siblings!!So the two of us started our married life with a lot to do to keep our marriage alive!!
Since childhood I'd seen my parents--terribly in love with each other but both possessing volatile tempers----fighting like Cats and Dogs together but once their tempers subsided--which was pretty quick---they'd cool down and things would revert to normal mode.Not so my darling husband!!Each time he got upset he'd clam up tight---keep pacing up and down the room restlessly---literally driving me up the wall!!No amount of pleading,cajoling or requesting would get me an answer---and this would reduce me to a mass of tears!!I on the other hand when annoyed would yell and shout till everything was out of my system and then forget about the topic that had upset me so totally!!Besides Sudhir was pretty moody those days and I was stupid enough not to read the signs!!I'd go and irritate him by making Plans for the Future---while he prefers living day to day---irritating him till he flew into a Temper and clammed up!!After that I'd first cry copiously and then sulk all day or days till his black mood lifted!!These were the initial hiccups--however as I'm otherwise pretty amenable,tolerant and thoroughly practical---this helps me to adjust to changes in my immediate Environment!!!It helps to know how to let the Negatives loose enough to pass by---and grasping the Positives in one's hands tightly move forward into the Future!!
As we got along together over the first few years I learnt first to read the danger signals---and secondly to avoid topics that caused fights----one needs a congenial Atmosphere to live in!!The early years taught me to tread delicately--not barge in like a bull in a China Shop---for though being first cousins our respective upbringing had been vastly different!!Atya and Baba given their period were far more emancipated than both their sons---both extremely conservative in their outlook----- though Milind beat Sudhir in this hands down!!I was asked to start wearing only Saries---my Blouses had to have elbow length sleeves and high necks and both Sudhir and I struck a bargain---the area below my neck was his---the one above mine!!The dressing part was the least of my problems---because Daddy too had his idiosyncrasies---and if I wore a tight dress I had to cover my legs by wearing either a "Salwar" or a "Churidaar" along with a "Dupatta" or Veil---how that made any difference is beyond me!!Those days I used to apply a small Red Dot---just to please Sudhir because he liked it that way---the huge one that I loved was too rustic for these urban people!!I learnt to be smartly uncomfortable where dressing was concerned---one absolutely had to look "Band Box" fresh at all times!!So I taught myself to tolerate stiffly starched clothes----Sudhir's Kurta-Pyjama Night Suits would be so stiff that I swear they could stand up just by themselves!!Even the Bed Sheets were starched---and often I'd wake up with scratches on my arms and legs---chafed wherever they'd rubbed against the Sheets in my sleep!!
Besides there were traditional outlooks about being a wife.A good wife moulded herself to being a shadow of her husband---and I was traditional enough to do that.Being extremely possessive about him I was completely obsessed by him--- setting my parameters towards looking after him like a baby!!This forced Atya to remark that my daughters too could do with a little more of my attention!!All this was voluntarily done-----and for him I made myself his necessity--one he couldn't do without!!The drawbacks in this began manifesting themselves after my first stay in the Hospital thanks to Dengue in December 2002---Sudhir just came apart!!Never having bothered with anything concerning the running of the home he was completely at Sea and had Mummy and Ritu not been there as well as Sayali who had come down for a Vacation then there would have been total chaos in our house!!However within six months I was back in harness with my usual resilience till December 2006 and my Cancer Operation,Chemo and Radiation Treatments.This time too Mummy and Ritu stepped into the breach and stayed with us for 6 months---offering great support!!My determination to land on my feet again pulled me through but my Nemesis was yet to come!!February 2009 saw me back in ICU after a massive Heart Attack---and this time Sudhir had to go it all alone!! By now Mummy was a semi invalid suffering from an Enlarged Heart as well as PAH---and Ritu was busy looking after her so apart from providing emotional support and Tiffins of Food there was little more that they could do!!Sudhir lost a lot of weight in that period---and all the 15 days I was in hospital he barely ate enough to keep body and soul together!!
Coming home I was determined to fall on my feet like the proverbial Cat---and started working aqt getting back my Stamina---but it was an uphill Task!!!It also led to my being under total "House Arrest" for one year with Sudhir and both Chhaaya Bai and Vanita ensuring that I was not left alone for any part of the 24 hours during the Day!!My Friends in the Compound would take turns to walk around the Complex with me----thus everyone cossetted me tremendously for a year1!!!Exactly a year later I rebelled and declared my Independence!!Everyone was asked to back off and I began living as normally as possible.Things however changed gradually since then.Sudhir has begun to take care of his own Closet--look after his own packing when we visit the Girls---and generally trying to be self sufficient!!!However he needs to be aware of my whereabouts at all times---and that still gets my Goat!!I am as mobile as I can be---Pradeep, our Chauffeur ferries me around Town--a Taxi is totally out of bounds!!All the Attendants at my Grocery Store as well as my regular Fruit and Vegetable Vendors too take care to not let me lift any weight---watching me like hawks till Pradeep drives me home after my weekly shopping!!Sounds like royalty---but actually is very claustrophobic and annoying in fact!!But then "Beggars can't be Choosers" so I swallow my Ire and lump it---and am slowly getting used to being looked after rather than being the one looking after others!!Besides how much can one rebel???After all throwing Tantrums all the time too can be very tiresomely boring and extremely draining in terms of Vitality!!!
Today all the Negatives of living together have become obscured by with Time---all I remember are the wonderful Positives we went through---and our Bond has grown stronger through the years!!In all the forty odd years we've been together we've lived apart for barely 6 months during that entire period!!Today we are content to be with each other speaking unspoken words in our silences---our Telepathic togetherness needs no vocal expressions any more---as we're quite well attuned to each other's needs and thoughts!!Sudhir the proverbial "Couch Potato" and me with my varied Interests---we're like a comfortable pair of old Bedroom Slippers for each other ---content to live in each other's Pockets!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABHISHIL 9/9/2011 1:58AM

    Enjoyed reading the blog. Went through yoru pictures too and saw that you are finally applying the "rustic " large bindi....:) :) :)

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PRACHI17 8/4/2011 1:10PM

    Your blog made me go through series of emotions , i almost teared up .. thank you for sharing

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NITAINMN 8/1/2011 3:37PM

    hey Komal, I just realized missed reading your blogs not being on SP! Both your life and mine are so parallel and similar in the sense that even our personalities and those of our DH's are the same, exept that you are way ahead in everything to the enth degree with your sense of humor and emotions, including that of expression!
However, things changed a lot between us, thanks to counseling and dear hubby willing to change to include romance in our love, and of course, no starched sheets. I do identify with you in having been robbed of my independence from my illness, which made my DH go into shock.....for a few months, not talking or being able to concentrate - no idea how he drove and went to work. Boy, was I independent!!! Doing every thing I wanted to do - shows,plays,museums, trips with kids and friends. Having driven over 8 hours to show my MIL the temple in Pittsburgh, gone to celebrate my friend's grandma's 100th birthday in Maine, followed by Nova Scotia visit, leaving children with DH - unheard of in Indian homes those days! Later on, annual trips of visiting my family and to get blessings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in India alone since nobody wanted to accompnay me (Indian again?)after the children grew up - 18 and 13).

Thanks for sharing Komal, you got my blog here....hehehehe!! emoticon

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PARM01 7/28/2011 4:16AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Inspiring and wonderful ----- Thanks for sharing!!!


Comment edited on: 7/28/2011 9:11:37 PM

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XXMILAXX 7/28/2011 2:23AM

    What a great story! It's going through all the trying times that makes the bond stronger. And after 40 odd years..I guess it never ends, but becomes easier. Wishing you many more wonderfull years :-)

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BOVEY63 7/27/2011 1:46PM

    A wonderful love story to read!

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SAASHA17 7/27/2011 10:12AM

    Sounds awesome...u r getting me excited....hehehhehe...4months....l

Yeah I think every relationship needs commitment from both sides...and compromise and adjustment....

I can imagine u fighting with him...lol....

Thanks again for a wonderful read,

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EACHDAYAGIFT 7/27/2011 9:22AM

    Oh, the lessons one has to learn to get from young bride to seasoned married lady! It'll be 35 years for us next month, 39 if you count the 4 year courtship. The biggest lesson: choose your battles and speak up about what really matters, let the rest roll off your back with a sense of humor, remembering all your own faults and quirks your husband has to live with. We were pathetically slow learners, but finally got it about 10 years ago and now I consider Lloyd my best friend.

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MISSFARCHROX 7/27/2011 5:33AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you the best!

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RAPUNZEL53 7/27/2011 3:54AM

  I enjoyed reading your blog! I wish you both a long life together! End of next month I will also be married for 34 years and we both have changed in many ways over the years.

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Monsoon Showers---and Getting Wet!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Memories are great Stuff!!Many of them can lighten one's mood and bring a smile to one's lips---in my case--my favourite Occupation!!The other day while cleaning up my Closet I chanced upon a stack of Old Photographs and one pile in particular was riffled through eagerly--the Matheran Photos!!This was an impromptu trip to a tiny Hill Station near Mumbai called Matheran.Though not at a great height it still has retained most of it's thick Green Cover---and since Cars can be taken to a Carpark about 3 miles from the tiny settlement it still has an old world quaintness---and that is very picturesque!!The best way of getting around is Walking,Riding or taking a "Rickshaw" a two wheeled contraption with two long bars protruding on either side---that's where the Rickshaw puller stations himself!!
This trip took place way back in the 1980s---all our children were still very young then!!Milind--Sudhir's elder brother--proposed a day Trip to Matheran and instead of taking the Toy Train from Neral as usual he proposed driving there!!So early in the morning on a clear Summer's day in May we all crammed ourselves into 2 Cars---9 children and 7 adults--and we were on our way!!Milind was known as both---the proverbial Wet Blanket as well as a Practical Joker---so all of us were sceptical about actually reaching Matheran---he was known to drive around Sion Circle on way to the Highway asking all our poor kids to declare where they wanted to go??Out of Town or home?And believe you me 80% of the time we managed to come back home----much to the children' chagrin!!Despite that, to be on the safer side Sudhir asked me to pack a change of Clothes for the four of us---just in case we reached Pune instead!!
Well it was a clear sunny day---the Sun overhead pouring his molten Gold Sunshine over the landscape and as usual we stopped at Mysore Cafe at King's Circle to eat Breakfast and stock up on munchies----we used to be one gluttonous family!!All that done we hit the road--for once passing Sion Circle without going round and round it---onto the Highway!!All of us were in great spirits and there was plenty of discordant cacophony going on---the kids were all ecstatic!!Finally we turned off the Highway onto a tarred Dirt Track bumping all the way past Karjat to Neral.At Neral the track started rising sharply making it difficult to drive beyond the lowest Speed----the bad Road contributing to add to Milind's irascability!!Not known for his patience he began getting restless but since we were nearer Matheran than Mumbai we pressed on!!Finally we reached the Car Park at the outer edge of Matheran by Lunch time and proceeded on foot---trudging away over uneven Ground till we reached the Girdle Path---then the going became much faster!!
Reaching Diwadkar's Hotel we heaved a sigh of relief---sinking down to eat a well deserved Lunch!!Diwadkars were related to us---Atya's and my father's neice was married into that family and this ensured us gracious service and a warm welcome!!About a half hour walk away there is a beautiful Temple dedicated too the Forest Deity of Pissaarnaath---set amongst sylvan surroundings near a beautiful Lake.When Wishes expressed to him are fulfilled, Devotees offer him Bronze Bells as a "Thank You" for His Grace.Sudhir's sisters--Kunda and Suhas--- were in the habit of asking for certain favours and when these were fulfilled religiously showing their gratitude.That day it was Kunda and after Lunch we set off to the Temple.We paid Homage to the Deity,the Bell was duly offered and as we began our return journey to the Hotel---a sudden Cloud Burst overhead almost drowned us all!!The Rain was pelting down along with Hail Stones and the only place to take shelter was under the thick Tree cover---but in such inclement Weather Snakes were known to show up unexpectedly---so we all kept trudging on in the heavy downpour getting totally soaked to the skin by the time we reached the Hotel!!By now it had started to settle into a steady downpour and thus we had no option but to spend the night there!!The Staff quickly opened up the bedrooms and supplied us with hot Water to bathe---best way of combating the chill---and then gave us mugs of hot,sweet Tea and hot,spicy "Bhajiyas" or Fritters with spicy Chutney to eat.Sudhir and Sayali went into the Bazaar to buy Clothes for most of us.They returned with shapeless Gowns with frills called "Nighties" in India for the Girls/Women and Cotton Pyjamas and Shirts for the Boys/Men.Atya refused to wear a gown---so I gave her my set of clothes-- as expected too large for her petite frame!!
Luckily the Dhobi stayed on the premises and was good enough to work late into the night drying out our Rain soaked clothes with his Coal powered heavy Iron---while all the Women and Girls wandered about in shapeless Gowns and poor Atya rattled around in my too large blouse---but she had no choice!!This was one of our most enjoyable Trips together---everyone was in a "devil may care" mood and Milind didn't grumble even once!!We spent the entire evening and most of the night listening to Sudhir singing---with Kunda and Suhas chipping in---Sayali and Suhas's daughter Sonal dancing ---while the other four Girls put on Comic Acts!!Then there was lots of mimicry by Milind and his son Babu(Nikhil)---this being their forte--and so the entertainment continued late into the night!!
Today these Memories still ring a chord in my heart----the sense of warmth and camaraderie of belonging to a Joint Family has to experienced first hand!!Those really were the good old days---when we still had all our children around us!!Today we all have moved on---with 10 grandchildren between us--in fact two of my Grand Daughters(actually Neices) are above 22 years of age and the rest are fast catching up---but each time our children celebrate their respective birthdays we are still astounded at their ages!!To us they've remained children still--but their children are surprised at our reactions---Time never does stand still!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAGGARWALAX 7/26/2011 10:00PM

    Sounds like a truly memorable time. It never ceases to amaze me how your descriptive writing makes me feel like I'm there with you watching it unfold :-)

Thank you!

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MAGIK0731 7/25/2011 9:17AM

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful memory!

I have a hard time believing one of my 2nd cousins is staring college in the Fall. It doesn't seem that long ago she was just born! Time really does fly and that's why we need to cherish each and every day, esp those days spent with family!

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PARM01 7/21/2011 10:02PM

Matheran does bring back memories for us ----Shortly after we were married,
we drove down to Matheran without planning ahead-- and as we had not booked
a hotel in advance, the manager at one of the hotels(do not recall which one) refused to provide us a room as he felt that we were not married and were --- u know what!!! After that episode we carried our marriage certificate with us on our travels!!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/21/2011 10:03:13 PM

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SAASHA17 7/21/2011 12:58PM

    hehehe..I can imagine u all wearing those gowns...sounds like an amazing trip..:)

Good old days...


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BOVEY63 7/21/2011 10:37AM

    What a wonderful memory!

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ATMANI 7/21/2011 9:16AM


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