The last 10 days were simply awesome! We were cut off - literally and figuratively from the urban chaos. We were in places with zero and almost zero connectivity.
The trip was essentially to drop mom-in-law back at Dhaliara - Ady's village in Himachal and let everyone else dole out their coochie-coos for Driti.
Here's a pictorial summary, before the prose :-)
Here are some pics.
Day 1: Saturday: 8th May: Delhi: Driti quite enjoyed the flight and really jelled well with the air-hostesses. She always gets free stuff when she travels. I bet that's because of her height and limited vocabulary.
Didi and Jiju picked us up at the airport. They are in the process of moving into a new house (read bungalow) and it was indeed very sweet of them to want to host us with all the shifting work. Driti also got a chance to bond with her Katyayini Jia. ( Jia=older sister in Jiju's side of the family). In the evening, we went to catch up with old friends from XL. Pattu, Sudha, Nishant, Tasha, Priya and Sayan. It's really nice to see that all of them were XL couples, with the exception of Priya and Sayan. Boy! Did we have a great time. It was nice to catch up with friends after sooo long. All the women - trying to be domesticated for a change- were the kitchen experimenting with various dishes. The Burmese Soup I made seemed to be a hit! Wish we could have stayed a little longer so Ady could get a chance to taste Sudha's chicken. Hubby dearest is almost turning herbivore - courtesy - yours truly :-)
Day 2: Delhi/ Noida continued: We met with 2 sets of Mamajis, Bhaiyas and Bhabhis.Katyayini accompanied us to Noida. She wanted to be with her sis. While at Noida, Aarushi, another niece, about a year older to Katyayini, found the ideal playmate in her sis. So the same age girls kicked it off, leaving Driti to find and destroy stuff.
In the evening, we decided we'd meet with our long lost friends. (Purvi - it'd been 2 years since I last saw her, and Aishwarya - 1 year since Ady met him). We met at the Great mall in Noida and Driti gave Purvi masi a strawberry shake bath! :-) Really nice to catch up with old friends I must say! Especially since they'd only be extra fond of your kids, and won't complain at the mess they create!!
We left for Delhi - Saket in the evening. We missed meeting Sahasrajeet, Driti's second cousin as he had already beat us to Palampur the previous day. So we (read mostly I) cribbed to Bhabhi on the injustice meted out to Driti - for sending her brother off on exile.
Day 3: Dhaliara - The train journey from Delhi to Chandigarh was as usual replete with pranks from Princess Driti. The poor gentleman who was forced to share the seat with us in the chair car train, had to swap his biscuits, spoons, newspaper and toffees with Ady. Driti only spared the tea flask - because it was too heavy for her to lift! But she did sing out her high pitched song to please him toward the end of the journey.
Papa received us in Chd. The road trip to Dhaliara was simply scenic at its best. We stopped a while at Bombay Picnic Spot and Driti refused to go back to the car. She thoroughly enjoyed herself. The swings, the see-saw, the merry-go-around et al did the magic.We enjoyed ourselves as well. Lot's of stuff at dirt cheap prices. Need we say more.Yes - and lots of food, that's a WIFM as well for food lovers. But the fear of Father-in-law kept us on our toes. He's not the guy from the military per se - but he does have all the characteristics. Atleast the part of being absolutely punctual. He is the one person, who makes sure we're the most well behaved too! Though I must say, his grand daughter is making him a lot less stern. She's perhaps the first child he's changed the diaper for!! We have it on record, just in case he backs off from our treasured claim!
Day 4: Dehi Pukhar : A small strip in Dhaliara, this is where we actually stayed. Peaceful and no connectivity at all. We got to see buffaloes (actually), snakes, mongoose and animals we would never have cared to notice in the noise of the city! Driti now actually knows that the cow say.. 'Maaaaa' Experiential Learning if you will!
Day 5, 6: Dalhousie : Sudha, Pattu joined us in Dalhousie from Delhi. We visited khajjiar (also known as the Switzerland of India), did a lil zorbing and horse- riding through the apple gardens! Th best part was when the cowboy (for a lack of better word), carried Driti and walked along with the horse I was riding for about 7 mins, when she refused to sit, and remarked " Everyone has kids ma'am, they are never heavy!", when I asked him to stop for a while, if he felt she was getting heavier. His reply brought a tear.
Later in the evening, we visited a Moti Mahal restaurant. It was a restaurant, a grocery store, a bakery , an ice-cream parlour all rolled into one. We had read reviews about this place. This was supposed to be the best in quality in Dalhousie. It was a little unbelievable. Anyway, there was no way to dispute the contention, so we ate the oil soaked koftas, paneer without complaining.
Our post lunch walk brought us to another restaurant. Moti Mahal Deluxe. Ahem! So much for name sakes!
Day 7: Road trip - back to Dehi Pukhar
Day 8: Dugri, Ludhiana: To attend a friend's wedding. Reminded us of our wedding. Ostentatious Punjabi style fun wedding! Good food and music!
Day 9: Dehi Pukhar : Hi to friends and family and prep back to Hyderabad.
Day 10: Back home! For the sake of the Ds I'd like write Domalguda or Durgam Cheruvu, alas w stay in Hi-Tech City :-(
This is definitely one trip we'll never forget. We got to meet almost everyone and visit places we'd been planning to in a while!
Himachal, Friends and Family truly rock!!