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Yikes!!!!I got Lost!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Yesterday I set off after an early Lunch for a Stroll--my aim was to spend some time at the local Mall---a place that I'd been with Sayali earlier in the Week.I needed some Undies----besides wanting to browse for some sensible Shoes--specially the wide toed variety which I'd noticed were available there at Marks and Spencers.So very confidently I set off at a brisk pace--enjoying the mild afternoon Sunshine and the crisp light Breeze---at about 2.15 p.m.
Lost in my thoughts I registered the usual Landmarks and once I turned the Corner--it was easy just following the straight road---only turning right once to reach the Mall.But that didn't happen---for lost in my thoughts---just musing about Life and Fate--I kept trudging on and on---till I reached unfamiliar territory!!The unfamiliarity of my surroundings brought me up sharp--and mustering up my courage entered an imposing building--entering into a beautiful enclosed Space with huge Glass windows letting in lots of Light and a beautiful ambience furnished with sparkling Steel and Chrome Furniture and Crystal Vases with fresh Flowers----my first thought was that it was a very spiffy Restaurant!!!It turned out to be an Office and on asking directions to the Mall I was very courteously supplied the same---and walked out through the huge Glass doors back into the Street---I'd actually reached Paddington!!
As I retraced my steps I walked along at a brisker pace than before--the need to reach familiar territory adding urgency to my speed!!This time I was definitely attentive---and took in my surroundings---the old and new Buildings mingled a wee bit uncomfortably---newly built Residential Blocks jostling the tall thin Town Houses--and the old Mews--now converted from the original Stables into beautiful fancy Homes!!!The Mews on the way truly fascinated me----for they were built into a Cul-de-Sac-----with a crescent shaped area acting as a Car Park for visitors---beautiful to behold in their Georgian/Victorian glory!!This part of London is definitely lovely despite being in the middle of the City---the main Roads are still narrow and it still bears a lot of resemblance that my father told me about.
In fact on one of our earlier trips I visited an old Pub Daddy used to mention pretty often near Bond Street .Sudhir,Sayali and I ate a beautiful Lunch at the Pub there--typical and delicious British Fare.We had a yummy Mixed Grill shared between Sayali and me as well as Sudhir's favourite Fish and Chips--smothered in Malt Vinegar and a touch of Worcestershire Sauce all of this accompanied by crusty fresh baked Bread and glasses of tall Lemonade!!!!Had I been more adventurous I'd have ventured to have a pint of Ale or Bitters--but somehow that doesn't really appeal to me!!!This time I'm eating only home cooked Food--for since I stay alone at home during the day I'd rather avoid complications!!
The raw Ingredients here are supeb--specially the Vegetables--the freshness of the Produce is truly unparalleled!!!The 2% Milk is creamy and yummy,the Meats to have a great taste and the Fruits are to die for!!!My personal favourites are the various types of Bread--specially the crisp Country Loaves which exude a wonderful aroma--certified to make one droooool!!!Sayali's Jane Friday--Baljit--will be arriving shortly and one of her jobs is to cook--she hails from Bhatinda in the State of Punjab and cooks wonderfully finger licking authentic Punjabi Food--using Olive Oil instead of Butter or Ghee---but awesome just the same!!!Today she'll be making my favourite "Aloo Gobhi" or Cauliflower-Potato Vegetable with some hot crisp Rotis--a sure indication that I going to overeat!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 3/30/2012 12:46AM

    Getting lost is the ONLY way you find new places and new streets plus towns! Good to hear you had the courage to ask around for right directions even from an employee of an office building. Keep it up, Komal! You are doing great. emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 3/27/2012 5:08AM

    OH MY! You go to England and I'm thinking mutton and shepherds pie and now you've got me wishing for vegetable korma and a naan that a local place has, peshwari naan more like desert than accompaniment.
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SOULTHIN 3/25/2012 8:04PM

    alas, I am homesick !!!!

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BOVEY63 3/23/2012 3:45PM

    Sounds like a beautiful office. Nice when you come across places you may have never seen had you not got lost. Glad you got back on the right track again.

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SAASHA17 3/23/2012 7:51AM

    hahaha..getting lost is the whole point of the trip;-)...Im the queen of losing imp turns and all..but then thats how u get to know ur city:) Today is is Ugadi..our new year..so planning to make some traditional stuff for dinner and go to the temple at night...

take care and love ya
Manasa

PS: yum aloo ghobi..



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PUDLECRAZY 3/23/2012 6:30AM

    LOL! Well, you got a good walk in! I'm glad you didn't end up in a bad neighborhood. I like to explore and always worry about getting off track, especially in beautiful weather and absorbed in my thoughts.

The Aloo Gobhi sounds delicious! We are celebrating my son's birthday with Indian food tonight. Can't wait!


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Nostalgia!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Central London is very much still Charles Dickensesque----with a touch of Jane Austen,Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland thrown in!!!Looking around the area where Sayali lives----- it's full of tall straight Townhouses--split up and converted into Flats-----their tall Brick Chimneys bringing the Movie "Mary Poppins" very much to mind.For Sudhir and me this would be our ideal environment--provided we were together!!!Perhaps that is why I'm missing him so much---it's like a physical ache!!
Being Indians we both grew up on a steady diet of British Literature---in Sudhir's case it was more of G.K. Chesterton,Henry Cecil and Somerset Maugham besides the Brontes,Jane Austen,Arthur Conan Doyle---and yes Agatha Christie too---that shaped his perception of London.In mine it was also History and the novels of Jean Plaidy,Victoria Holt and G.A. Henty that brought alive various periods of British History.Here I'm forgetting that beautifully romantic book"The Scarlet Pimpernel"----one book that would catch our imagination completely--no matter how often we read it!!!Suffice to say that this part of London retains it's "Olde Worlde"charm beautifully!!!
What is really surprising is the number of multi cuisine Restaurants and Gastro Pubs around---you name it--they have it!!!The Streets are cheek to jowl with Italian,Greek,Mexican,Lebanese,Moroccan,Pe
rsian as well as Pan Asian Food and Shops---there even being an Organic Greek Farm Produce outlet!!There's a wonderful Argentinian "Churascaria" a hop,skip and jump across the Road---and an Indian Restaurant nearby---there's also a famous Pub on the corner--a London landmark ---no less!! The only hazards are the Stairs--but with each passing day these are becoming more negotiable----my fat old legs are adjusting to them!!!
Sudhir is my invisible companion on all the jaunts I take on my own---silently talking to him and surprisingly hearing his views as well---he gives me the encouragement to venture out on my own!!!My awkwardness at being alone is slowly diminishing as it is gradually sinking in that I'm not an oddity---hence no one looks at me in curiosity just because I'm unescorted!!!The other day I gathered up my courage to step into the neighbourhood Pub---only to be told that the Kitchens were closed till 6 p.m.!!!I've been browsing through the various Kitchen Shops---with Sudhir asking me in my head--as to what I'm actually doing there???The answer is that I'm addicted to a lot of things---the worst being Tupperware,followed by Kitchen Ware and Perfumes/Handbags in that order!!!Hence now I'm teaching myself to look---not buy--for my daughters will gift me anything I lay my finger on---like Sayali bought me a combination of Jo Malone Perfumes on Mother's Day last Sunday---that being the British Mother's Day falling in mid March---not May!!
That day was really special--for we took a Bus ride to Hyde Park to dine in this wonderful Restaurant for a special Champagne Brunch--a waste on me I'm afraid---for I refused the Champagne included in the Menu--and nibbled at the excellent Food they'd laid out!!!My heart was crying at the waste--but couldn't do Justice to the excellent Roasts and the rest of of the Stuff laid out---pacing myself through the Courses--till finally stuffed to the Gills I finally crawled home to sleep off the effects of the Beautiful Food---slumbering away throughout Monday---in a combination of over eating and Jet Lag!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 3/30/2012 12:37AM

    Wish I could fly......Wish I could fly to London with you as my guide! Some day soon, I hope!
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Yes, Happy belated Mothers day to you, Komal. It was Egyptian mothers day celebrated globally, though, not in the USA, no idea why - we are the most ignorant, I suppose! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/30/2012 12:42:17 AM

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OVERWORKEDJANET 3/23/2012 5:20AM

    Don't forget to eat sensibly!
Please ccontinue to tell us about your adventures and enjoy you walks. emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/22/2012 1:03PM

    Sure sounds like a wonderful adventure.

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XXMILAXX 3/22/2012 8:36AM

    Sound like you're having a great time! Good for you.

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SAASHA17 3/22/2012 7:47AM

    wow u described the London I imagine:) I read Agatha Christie and Mougham and austen while growing up...brings back memories...im glad u are having fun...Happy pubbing emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 3/22/2012 6:16AM

    Somehow, I got unsubscribed to your blogs and have missed the news of this upcoming trip. I need to go back and catch up!

I am glad to hear there are great places to eat in London. I have actually avoided travel to England because British food sounded horrible and pasty, I have to admit, I love to eat great food when I travel. I am glad there is more of an international 'flavor' in London. I would love to travel there for the history and architecture.

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On my own!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sayali has finally gone to work in The City today-----after working from home yesterday.I am now contemplating going out on my own-----once I overcome my lethargy!!!This turning out to be a bittersweet experience------for I miss Sudhir terribly here.Sayali's new Flat is bang in Central London and is very conveniently located near plenty of Shops and Restaurants-----most of which Sudhir would have simply loved-----being mainly Indian and Asian!!!!Right next door sa famous old Pub which is actually a London landmark----a place he'd have love to visit fr Soup and Sandwiches during Lunchtime!!!There is one drawback though-----we're up on the second(USA third) floor-----which means traipsing up ad down four fights of Stairs each time one goes out!!!For the past Weeend I was given a pretty detailed Tour of the area by Sayali as well as being introduced to using my Oyster Card on the Bus----when she took meto the Mall on Saturday and to a really great Brunch on Sunday near Hyde Park----we sat at a Table overlooking the Park!!!!I am slowly getting the hang of finding out the various Bus Stops near us------and shall hopefully soon become confidentally self sufficient soon.However I'm thinking of walking out to the corner on my own----armed with my new Cellphone ,Oyster Card and Sudhir beside me------taking a shot at finding my own feet------in London!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 3/20/2012 12:10PM

    Have a wonderful time exploring your surroundings!
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SAASHA17 3/20/2012 8:03AM

    well now no bahaanas...once u get down those stairs, u have to explore on ur own..coz otherwise u will end up having to go up the stairs all very soon...hehehe..ok that was a stupid reason...but Im glad u plan to venture out..take care...I wish most people were like u and appreciate a new place or country...My parents love exploring and enjoy their trips here...cant wait for thanksgiving for them to visit...

take care
Manasa emoticon

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Travelling Alone!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This was the first time I took a trip--completely alone in my entire Life!!!The last time I flew back from L.A. doesn't really qualify---for at that time I had this desperate all consuming urge to get home---where I felt Sudhir was waiting for me---as usual impatiently!!!This time was different---and many things sank in--specially the fact that for the first time in my life--I was completely on my own!!!
From my early childhood my worst nightmare was the fear of being left alone--stranded at some God forsaken Station--for we travelled by Train those days.Both my parents would be busy loading or unloading the numerous pieces of Luggage in the bare 5 minutes that the Train stopped at the Station either to or from Bombay.The same applied whenever we went anywhere--this was one paranoia I carried into my adult life---and one that gave Sudhir plenty of laughs--till he one day really almost got left behind---and the state I was in when he finally reached me brought home to him exactly how much I suffered each time he played that particular Prank!!!Hence though I did not show it ----for it would have unsettled everyone--specially Sayali---I was exceedingly apprehensive about travelling alone!!!!So here follows an account of the entire Journey as it happened.
I was handed over by Ritu at the CST Mumbai International Airport into the capable hands of an affable young fellow named Joseph---he was to be my "Meet and Assist" Manager.He loaded all my Luggage on to a Trolley,took charge of both my Passport and me---and the Experience began--a thoroughly enjoyable one for me!!!Whenever Sudhir and I travelled I'd be the Manager---from packing and getting the Bags weighed to filling in the Immigration Forms,finding the right Gate etc.---Sudhir just wouldn't remember the very last Flight we'd taken earlier--even though it was never more than 8-9 months apart!!!He always used to say that if I wasn't there with him he'd never be fit to travel anywhere----- a compliment that I didn't much appreciate for that meant that it was my responsibility to deliver him in one piece to his daughters!!!l Hence it was a real pleasure to rely on someone who did the basic requirements for me--while I sat and twiddled my thumbs instead!!!After going in for Immigration however I was on my own-----but the greatest number of the requirements had been dealt with!!!Finding my Gate was my next priority--and once done I sat down at the first available seat---to get my bearings.
Looking around I spied an empty Lounger--right next to a large group of women who seemed as if they were travelling to Mecca for their "Haj" orthe Muslim Pilgrimage.I immediately snapped up the lounger--moving with the agility of a Cat--albeit a Fat one---and heaved a huge sigh of relief as I sank down on it--and put my feet up!!!In my paranoia to avoid the Traffic I'd reached the Airport early--making completing the formalities easier--but leaving me with a lot of time on my hands--I had 4 hours to kill!!!Since I was not hungry and the distance of the Lounge was considerable from the Gate--I felt that it would be better for me to be near the Departure area----ensuring that I was amongst the first to board!!!So after a glance at my watch I decided to snooze---which I did so well that I'm sure I must've snored---hopefully along with my neighbour---must have been some Snoring Concert!!!I was finally jolted out of my slumber when my stomach started rumbling--almost 1 hour 45 minutes before my Flight--and I walked into the Cafe just opposite the Gate for some Soup and Bread--enough to keep me going till Lunch!!After the Soup I took a Stroll through all the Duty free Shops nearby--browsing through lots of Stuff--Toys,Make-Up,Perfumes ever Liquor for want of better Entertainment!!!Finally I saw the Wheel Chairs boarding and I hurried back---and within minutes boarded the Aircraft.That is when I took over Sudhir's job--standing on tip toe I hoisted my case into the overhead Bin and pushed myHandbag under the Seat---and finally settled down into my Seat with a sigh--I was aboard the 'Plane at last---there was no way I'd be left behind!!!
There was however a new developement this time-----I watched four Movies on the 'Plane!!!With Sudhir next to me I'd sleep all the way--waking up only for Food-----but this time I didn't get sleepy at all---and had a great time watching Alvin,Puss in Boots,Bambi and UP!! one by one---with a little T.V. thrown in in!!!!By the time we landed at London I'd psyched myself up to go through the Immigration--and yes--hoist my Bags off the Belt!!!So walking fast I cleared Immigration and Customs--and reached the Luggage Belt to reclaim my Baggage.Luckily it was amongst the first few pieces of Luggage to be loaded on the Belt--and thinking of Sudhir I grabbed the heavier one hoisted it off the Belt in a single attempt---can't tell you how great that felt---the second and smaller one was then just a little pull--and with all my Bags loaded onto the Trolley--All By Myself---I walked out through the Green Channel to where Sayali was waiting for me!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULTHIN 3/25/2012 7:58PM

    Happy to know you are in London

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BOVEY63 3/20/2012 12:08PM

    So glad all went well for you!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 3/20/2012 5:37AM

    And so the strong woman emerges and begins her new adventures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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Tomorrow I Leave---for 4 Months!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maybe the Number is playing on my mind---for that will be the longest period I'll have stayed away from home--with or without Sudhir.This will be my first trip abroad without him and to say that I'm a bit nervous would be an understatement!!!Sudhir and I were literally living in each other's pockets---and he was such an integral part of my Life---that there are no words to describe the intensity!!!My entire day revolved around him--from the moment we woke up each morning.He liked me to be contactable at all times---and therefore I kept all the Telephones--my Cell as well as the 3 Landlines as free as possible during the day when he was at Court.That's the reason I'd be in a hurry to finish my 'phone calls---and since all my friends knew this--they'd call off as quickly as they could!!!Once abroad Sudhir and I would venture out for walks and eat Lunch out mostly---and New York was the place where we really had a lot of fun!!Sayali worked and stayed in the centre of Manhattan--and though we never ventured far from our comfort zone there were still plenty of things to do----specially visits to the Brooks Brothers Store to buy Shirts and Ties---for Sudhir loved Clothes!!!There was also a Pink Store nearby---and most of our time would be spent in these shops where he browsed---and I drowsed sitting on a footstool till he was done!!!Weekends were when Sayali took over--taking us out to Brunch or Lunch--some a hit and others a miss as far as Sudhir was concerned--for adventurous in trying out various Cuisines he was not!!!
L.A. was never a problem for since Lotta was a homemaker, she'd be there with us throughout the day.Father and daughter would hold long conversations all through the day---agreeing and disagreeing vociferously on many differences of opinion while I busied myself reading the Books she'd arranged for me.Both Lotta and Sayali knew of my love for reading and I've spent many happy hours in both their homes---deep in a wonderful Book!!Here I must state that the fact that in Rochester NY, New York--and later London Sudhir would be stretched out beside me on the bed while I read---and though sometimes he'd snore a little--I'd still wait to catch the sound of his breathing and I would instinctively stretch out my hand to feel his warmth!!!
This time I'll be alone and on my own in London--for that will be the start of my journey and I'll be there for 5 weeks at a stretch.Sayali has moved away from the terribly windy Canary Wharf to a hopefully calmer Central London location--and she's arranged for a Cell phone and Oyster Card for me---plus printouts of various Bus Routes to places of interest nearby.Though extremely nervous to venture out alone--I'll start doing that by myself---taking baby steps to return to being the confident person I used to be!!!So--Bond Street,Harrods and Ye Olde London Sights--here I come!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 3/22/2012 6:20AM

    How brave of you to take this trip! I know it will be hard to do without Sudhir, but it will be great to travel. I know Sudhir will be there with you in your heart as you travel.

I hope you post some pics as you visit interesting places.

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SOULTHIN 3/15/2012 11:46PM

    Have a safe trip, and follow Neeta's ideas, they are great!

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NITAINMN 3/15/2012 1:28PM

    Make a goal of taking pictures and posting at FB and SP for your friends of your mission to explore London all over again, as an independent traveler. Wish I could have joined you! And YEs! do take Sudhir along while being aware of what's going on around you....stay safe to have fun! Enjoy all the cuisines and take pictures of the foods too for us to feast upon. Before you know it, 5 weeks will be up! Oh, And do not forget to catch up on reading, sitting in the sun. There are many books out there for folks our age, written by current authors, real funny ones too! Stay positive and do not dwell too much on the past dear. Make a path for the new future with happy memories to tread upon.
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BOVEY63 3/15/2012 12:12PM

    Have a safe and wonderful trip. Sudhir will be with you always!

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*MADHU* 3/15/2012 10:40AM

    Wishing you a safe trip, and as Sharmila says, do spark & let us know how you are doing emoticon

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SAASHA17 3/15/2012 8:23AM

    i know he will be there with u and help u explore London...have fun Komal..i know u will...and try all the cuisines...And u can see Sudhir going "yikes....how do u eat that?"..:) i know its easy to say...but i know in time, u will enjoy the essence of enjoying these little things by urself:)

have a nice time:) looking forward to pictures...take loads of them....

love
Manasa

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XXMILAXX 3/15/2012 1:29AM

    emoticon emoticon Just think WWSD (what would Sudhir do) on another vacation and let him guide you. Have a safe and wonderful trip! Please spark and let us know how you're doing, as 4 months is a long time. Take care.

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ZANNACHAN 3/15/2012 12:26AM

    It must be strange traveling alone, but whoo hoo for getting to visit London! I've never been and some day I would love to... so many places I want to see, so many things I want to do! I hope you have a fantastic trip!

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