Back … and then forth again

  • All of you got it wrong. No US trip until my passport is renewed. I should have lived at this address for a year before I can do that and with Baby Button coming here in a couple of months, it makes poor fiscal sense to go after a month or two. So we went to Goa. Goa in the monsoons is my favourite place, actually it’s a close second to Kerala. I love Kerala in the monsoons – did that two years ago. I hate the heat in summer and the sea is too cold for kids in winter – so it’s mostly the rains for us. The rivers and streams and lakes are full, the foliage is lush and green in a way no camera or pantone number can capture.  Steaming cups of tea, an unending supply of seafood, room service, comfortable beds, getting drenched in warm summer rain, swimming in the pool while the rain came down on us, the kids were thrilled beyond words.
  • If anyone doubts the increasing fears of obesity, check out a resort in Goa. Huge, and I don’t mean the kind of tyres we whine about and the little dimpled knees we hide. I mean huge men and women appeared out of nowhere and if that were not bad enough, in the most hideous swimwear. They barely fit into their seats, they spilled out of their clothes and they bumped into your in narrower corridors. I wasn’t sure I wanted to constantly buy into the media’s reports on India heading for disaster, but I can’t ignore it any longer. As someone rightly said – why not stop while you are 5 kilos more than you should be. What do you plan to do when you are 50 kilos above what you should be? Surely no one wakes up one morning to realise they have such a large (bad pun) problem on their hands. The one good thing is that I’ve come back thinking that if they can go out in public wearing shorts that are practically splitting, I can jolly well wear them around my apartment complex, something I’ve shied away from for a long time. Oh, and real creepy incident, one day at the pool, a creepy arsehole clicked pictures of me on his mobile phone all the while pretending that he was actually clicking of his son. I was still mustering up the courage to demand that he show me the pics when he left. I give up. Men, many of them really, are absolute jerks.
  • I only recently realised that the percentage of Indians who actually travel and explore the country are few. When we went to Sariska and Dharamshala we only met North Indians and a couple of families from Bombay. Here we only saw Gujaratis and Maharashtrians. I know travel is expensive and we did see the odd North Indian family aside from ourselves, but that’s it. Any ideas if it’s just the cost factor involved? Or am I missing something?
  • Against personal qualms the Bean has been gifted many bikinis this year. She grabbed them with both hands and insisted on wearing them. I figured I had bigger battles to fight and let it go. The nonstop rain made it hard for clothes to dry so it was really handy to have endless changes.
  • The Brat was pulled under by a bigger kid in our complex swimming pool in yet another example of bullying. I yelled, the lifeguard screamed and no harm came, but the Brat was scarred. And there he went in his father’s arms and befriended the force of the sea. There were some scraped knees when the waves spat them back out at the beach, dragging them through rough sand, but on the whole the two of them loved it. The Brat insisted on going into the deep end of the pools too, getting out of his arm bands and practically drowning himself, coming up spluttering and then grinning and going right back. I was proud of him for confronting his fear and conquering it. I keep worrying about him getting bullied and then I see a strength of spirit and purpose that reassures me.
  • Travelling with kids makes you see the city differently. The last time the OA and I went there was sans kids and we drove around on a bike in the rain, soaked to the skin and jobless. We were keen on buying a house there and we went with an agent and checked out a lot of old ramshackle places. But one minute you’re attending raves and hanging out at the fleamarkets and sipping beer on Anjuna and Baga, next minute you have kids and don’t think that would be their idea of fun. So I posted on FB and asked friends for food and shopping reccos and feel really silly now because I didn’t use any of them. We stuck to the beach and the pool and it was mostly raining – water water everywhere and not at all suitable for a camera. So not too many pictures but what I do have, are memories. We didn’t shop much either. We built sandcastles, we swam till my flabby arms ached, we wrapped ourselves in fluffy towels and watched the rain come down while we pigged out on fried calamari and prawns. We did something I doubt anyone else plans in Goa – the Brat couldn’t figure out how the calamari he loved ended up looking the way it did on his plate – So WE TOOK THEM TO THE FISH MARKET! It was a terrible idea in white linen pants because I came back splashed and filthy but I think it was the best time he had. The place was smelly as hell and the floor covered in slime and water and filth. But we saw squid, crabs, lobsters, oysters and wait for it – hammerhead sharks! Last I checked they were on an endangered list so I quickly took my phone out and took a picture of it.  I guess the fishermen didn’t realise that they’d pulled it up until much later and it was probably too dead to throw back in. Or maybe, just maybe, no one told them it is endangered. Any ideas on what could be done?
  • If you haven’t seen a coastal storm, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. The kids and the OA and I took the resort shuttle out to a beach and spread out in the warm sand after being told that the shuttle would be back to collect us in an hour. I with my book on a beach towel. The kids hunting for shells. The OA (OA should stand for over-achiever, not Other Adult) began to build an impossibly complicated sand castle. His excuse being that as a child all he did was muck about in the waves (so where is the problem?)  and now it’s time to build sandcastles. Whatever. But he was annoyingly anal and would’t let me take pictures until he got it done. So I ignored him until two lifeguards came running. A storm was coming. Yes, okay, we nodded, still hazy and sleepy from the warm sun that had shone down on us not two minutes ago. We began to collect our stuff. The storm clouds were on the horizon and surely they’d take their time getting here – not. Within minutes the rain came down heavy and whacking us like bullets. The huge drops pelted the kids in the face and they squealed in shock and pain and turned their faces towards the ground for shelter. What we didn’t know was that the hard drops whack the sand and spray it up and into your eyes. Blinded, we ran helter skelter clutching buckets and towels and hats and bags and books and cameras and phones and babies. The kids were scared and the OA and I worriedly looked around for shelter. We found an old building that I am quite sure was a deserted old bathroom. It was locked so we sat on the staircase, sheltered from the rain for a bit. We got soaked anyway and around us trees bent and swayed and the wind howled, the sea rose up to show us what it is that makes it a force to reckon with. The OA and I dialled the resort frantically for help. The stupid cow at the reception had no idea what shuttle service I was talking about and how to get us picked up.  And in all this the Brat was reading us the riot act. “THIS is why we must never come to a beach. We should have stayed in the pool.” “err.. how were we to know there was a storm coming?” “You’re supposed to know, you’re my parents!” “Right, no arguing that. Except that how can the OA and I, two completely easy going people end up with a son so grouchy!!?  And then we exchanged looks and began to giggle. The more we giggled, the madder the Brat got at us, sitting in my arms and shaking with rage. I think we were laughing in sheer shock. The storm got worse and I prayed for sailors out at sea and the thoughts of a Tsunami began to make their way into my mind. The OA’s too, he admitted later. And all the while the damn resort doing nothing to send our car back. Finally I saw a tractor crawl by with a trailer and convinced the OA that we should find our own way out. And so we flagged him down, bundled up our babies and made a dash for it. I think God healed my knees for those 3 minutes because I ran like the wind in slippery flip flops, carrying the Bean and assorted beach gear. We clambered on after tossing the kids in – the trailer was carrying potted plants and we seated ourselves in the midst of a mini-tropical forest. I half expected colourful birds and poisonous snakes to show up and complete the happy picture. Okay not so happy because my egg-yolk yellow shorts were getting screwed – I was sitting in the slush from the pots with the kids in my arms, the OA futilely trying to hold an umbrella over us that the tractor driver helpfully gave us. I pointed out that we couldn’t get any wetter and then the umbrella turned inside out thanks to the gale and the OA collapsed on the trailer floor shaking with mirth. The Bean shrieked with laughter and the grouchy Brat finally saw the humour in the situation and smothered a grin. The trailer dropped us off the little mud road onto them main road. We thumbed down a private bus who refused to let us get on, filthy and wet as we were. I promised we would stand at the doorway and not sit on his seats or drip all over the bus. He kindly dropped us to our resort. For every bloody blithering nitwit of a receptionist, there are kind souls out there to pick up the load. And oh yeah, the beautiful sandcastle was washed away and we never did get a picture of it.
  • Nothing like your kids being in danger to turn you into a tigress. I told the OA I’d be writing the management a strongly worded letter when we got back. But we both realised that it was just an idiot at the telephone who had effed up the plans. It wasn’t the hotel’s fault. And then we checked the OA’s soaked but still functional BB (yayy!) and saw that there were missed calls from the Hotel Manager trying to reach us and get us home safely to compensate for the logistical error. So they’d done what they could. But then I walked into the reception with my filthy, shivering, no-more-scared kids and saw the receptionist sitting there safe and warm and clean and unconcerned behind her desk and something within me snapped. Not a word of apology or a gesture of concern. She just glassed over. The OA who saw the look on my face and knew what was coming moved out of the line of fire while I ripped her a new one. The kids watched in awe. If nothing else, the Brat got a first hand lesson in self defence and how not to let people treat you badly. I’ve been in hospitality and the first thing I learnt was that you never tell a client – I can’t help you because I have no idea how to. The customer is always right, even when they’re bloody wrong. You begin with an – I’m sorry. And you end with a sorry, and if you can’t handle it, you ship out, like I did. Anyway, all’s well that end’s well and the Brat now tells everyone that his parents can’t take care of their kids while the OA and I roll on the floor laughing, remembering his indignation and ire.
  • I caught up with someone I didn’t think I would ever see, because Goa was so not on the radar. And meeting this lovely lady pretty much made my trip. You think you read a blog and you know someone, but then you meet them and realise they have the most beautiful curly eyelashes EVER. And that they wear their skin like a Chanel LBD.
  • It’s amazing how much people waste at buffets. I never have understood why hotels have them. It also amazes me how people tend to eat at buffets – like they’ve never seen food before. I’m not really on a diet but what I have inherited from my grandmother is her immense self control. So no matter how much I like something, I never eat more than I normally would. Same goes for food I dislike – I still eat the amount I need to fill my belly. I discovered brown rice at the buffet and after a life time of worshiping at the altar of Basmati I’ve decided to change the way we eat at home. I had it two days in a row with a very tasty lauki sabzi ( I hate lauki otherwise) and wondered why the OA was hiding his grin behind his hand. Turns out I was serving myself from the health food counter. He knows I have a huge problem with diets and healthfood (I believe you should try and eat good stuff in moderation everyday – not particularly pick fads) and figured I hadn’t noticed it and was dying under the burden of that knowledge. The day my hand paused mid-air as I noticed the little sign saying ‘health food’, he let the 48 hours of laughter out and laughed till he cried at the look on my face. The Brat too has become quite the gourmet. He’s always been lead by the nose and now it’s quite funny to see the OA, Bean and I sitting on the edge of our chairs while the Brat leans in, takes a whiff and then nods regally – the food has passed muster, and we can dine.
  • It’s easy to see what a person will be like as an adult if they’re as crystal clear as the Brat. He is a stickler for eating in a certain way and needs his fork and knife and spoon. And only takes as much as he will eat, no wastage – walking up to the chef with a plate and a very clear ‘A two egg omlette with cheese, no chillies, please.’ He refuses to pig out on dessert no matter how large and tempting the array, picking one small thing if at all, eating neatly and getting up to wash his hands immediately after. The Bean and he tasted so many new things and I was pleased to see them get started on a variety of vegetables and salads I’d never have tried at home. As a friend wryly said, I’m probably the only idiot in the history of vacations to come home thinner than I left. I blame it on amazing salads, plenty of dessert and lots of swimming and walking and running with the kids.
  • I realised that the kids have inculcated some of my habits. Every night they’d come to bed after pigging out on the buffet or some restaurant and still want a hot cup of chocolate to lull themselves to sleep. It is no biggie, but I am so happy to see them love milk the way I do. I’ve even convinced them that the malai that forms on cooling milk is fine and they lap it up quite happily. We stayed away from the fancier joints and had King Crab at our favourite Martin’s Corner and a little restaurant called Hotel Vinete that is housed in a 200 year old old heritage building, the flooring made from salvaged ship deck beams. The entrance is a collage of beads and shells and bangles and I loved it. The balconies are beyond tiny and the kids sat in it with a table that was barely the size of a peg table (the only other google mention is a private album with public settings so no linkbacks from me).
  • I’m a biker chick at heart. I harassed the OA into hiring a bike on our last day there. We’d been taking cabs everywhere because he was worried about rain. But I told him on the last day that this was it and I was not leaving the hotel on four wheels. The kids freaked out and took turns sitting on the petrol tank. I’d forgotten what a joy it is and  I am seriously considering either getting myself a scooty or talking him into a nice Thunderbird for after office hours. It also restricts shopping because there is only that much you can hang on to when you’re butt is falling off a seat!
  • The joys of being fair, the OA is burnt to a crisp. The Brat, Bean and I are merely dark brown from lying on the beach. How that happened through the endless of rain is a mystery to me. But the OA cannot be touched on the shoulder or back, so badly is he burnt. On our return trip people at the airport must have thought less of the tall fit man who strolled in airily while his smaller wife struggled with three pieces of cabin baggage hanging around her neck and on her back. Yes, he was burnt too badly to even sling his laptop on his shoulder. Next time he’ll take my advice as well as Baz Luhrman’s – and wear sunscreen. My skin? Oh, it still looks like shit. Apparently pimples will now be added to my passport as identification marks.
  • The kids have learnt to entertain themselves admirably. So while we napped in the afternoons the Brat counted coins, stacked them into towers, played with long strands of bamboo leaf and the Bean piled up cushions and pillows and made castles. No TV, no iPad, nothing. And when they did want something – they unerringly went and woke the OA. I cannot tell you happy I was to sleep till 9am because the OA would get up at 7.30am and take them for a swim and breakfast. I did offer half heartedly but they were having none of it. It was Dada or nothing. Oh joy, oh rapture, oh sleep delicious sleep.
  • The Brat once famously told Anamika when she mentioned that she lived in Bombay, ‘Mashi, my dada too lives in Bombay.’ Yes, this is a time when he was travelling alot. So this being the first time they’ve been to Bombay since the mad sibling’s wedding, the OA excitedly pointed out to them that this is where he travels for work all the time. The two sat silently through rain and traffic jams and visits to family members’ homes and then the Bean pronounced, “Okay dada, you come and work here if you want, but I don’t like it. It’s dirty and there are no parks to play in.’ The Brat nodded his assent and added, confirming his true blue Delhiite/small-town-big-house status – ‘And the houses are very small – you can’t cycle or run inside them’ (errr!!) going on to add, ‘but I like Goa and I don’t mind staying there.’ We would all love to live in Goa, darling. We would all love it. Seriously though, have been unbelievably cranky since I got back to Delhi and the everydayness of life.
  • So much for technology. The iPad only got used on the last leg of the flight back. I charged and carried the Kindle but still bought err… 6 books more at the airport – flying just got more expensive than ever. For one, buying on Kindle is more expensive. For another, I rarely buy the same author again. I am always browsing and ending up with new names and genres. That is much easier in a bookshop since the internet tends to point you towards more of a similar kind.
  • It’s funny how you think the kids will drive you nuts but you don’t want to miss a thing. We had every intention of using the Club Mahindra hobby classes and nanny services, but we didn’t end up sending them to a single one. The OA suggested I go to the spa but I didn’t take up the offer. Everytime we thought of sending them, we’d realise we didn’t really want to. And finally we got back to Delhi and thought we’d send them to their own beds but realised we had got used to them too. And so we sneaked into their room after they’d fallen asleep and brought them to our bed. Yes, we’re idiots and I’m the first to admit it.
  • We’re also back home to no maid and an idiot driver, loads of laundry, lots of deadlines and me taking off again on holiday in a few hours. So when the OA watching TV said, ‘Chalo, another disaster averted, I responded excitedly, ‘The agency said they have a maid to send us?! Err… no, said the OA carefully, ‘Greece just got funding.’ Right. Overworked, more specifically overhouseworked is the word you are looking for.
  • So tell me what I missed. What have YOU been up to? Yes, you. Everyone of you. Tell me something special that happened to you while I was away soaking up the rain. Go on, fill me in.

You can see the skies darkening and storm clouds moving in on the horizon

The Brat and the Bean tentatively extend their fingers and toes to the sea… and end up being the best of friends

Isn’t it amazing how much colour children bring into our lives?

No other shot could capture the spirit of the Bean – alive and kicking

Examining the catch at Martin’s Corner

The hot pink I favour this season

The OA insisted I set my little fishies free. And I watched with my heart in my mouth

My personal Daniel Craig rising out of the ocean

One of the many sandcastles, built, decorated and offered up to the sea

The hammerhead sharks we saw in the fish market

The mosaic doorway at Hotel Vinete

Me, in the doorway

The Bean swishes across the shell pattern embedded in the floor

The kids in the tiny balcony window at Vinete

Introducing you to my new sunglasses….

.. and incase you missed it, the size of the hat Ma just picked up. It saves pimply photosensitive skin from burning up – not!

Get away, paparazzi!

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142 thoughts on “Back … and then forth again

  1. • I want to go to Goa. Noww.
    • I went to amma’s hometown, down south. And met twin niece and nephew who were a refreshing change from the (usual) NRI kids. She made sandcakes and climbed up the roof of the house on all fours and he was constantly wrestling with the Doberman at home and insisted on spending all his time in the kennel. And the mum didn’t bat an eyelid. So refreshing, given other NRI kids in the family who I almost slapped
    • I went to a gorgeous old, stone house with red oxide floors and wooden beamed ceilings and a HUGE garden with trees and flowers everywhere. I don’t consider myself particularly materialistic, but I wish that house was my own. Total falling in love happened
    • I love the doodh- lauki you served me at dinner and have made it many times at home
    • Fish market visit – tick 🙂
    • Get the OA a Bullet
    • I got my Kindle. And hate to admit that I didn’t instantly fall in love with it!
    • I love the B &B

    Will come back to add more. Good to see you back, MM.
    P.S: Why forth again? Aap fir kahin jaa rahe ho?

  2. first bullet point “So all of you got it wrong”. I did not get it wrong..I wished you ‘enjoy sea and sunshine’ – sorry I missed rain clud part:( – in the previous post. how did I know?..go figure MM.
    lovely pics from Goa.lol’d at personal Daniel Craig note. if only it was OA’s blog, we could see his personal Halle Berry. thanks for sharing the pics.

    man,you are on a roll..off to Allahabad?good for you.

    • 🙂 LOL no halle berry yaar. Only old lady.
      And yes, kids’ summer holidays – can’t not give them a good time can we? 🙂

      how did you figure? arre.. I mailed you 😀

  3. Ah … that was a nice account of the holiday. I am not sure I’d have enjoyed so much of rain … I used to love the rain growing up, now, not so much. Thinking about the change of clothes, laundry and then ironing .. Oh well … but kids and their dad love the rain 🙂

    And the vacation becomes extra special when the kids co-operate and really have fun … total paisa vasool, to see the kids play / eat and enjoy themselves.

    We went cherry picking last weekend …. juicy cherries were eaten right from the trees .. bliss. They were ripe … just right and the trees were full of them. Served as lunch and dinner for all of us 🙂 And the experience was extra special because my kids and nephew had a blast there … initially the little one was hesitant, because we are pretty strict about washing our fruits and veggies before eating, and here she was asked to eat right from the tree … but soon discovered the joy 🙂 … can add this one to the Oxymoron list of parenting that UTBT has put up in her blog.

    • oh yes – I forgot. Went mad drying clothes in our hotel room. The smell of dampness, the wet clothes hanging off chairs and in the bathroom and then figuring out how to pack them and move to the next resort! Gah.

  4. I want to go to Goa so badly now. It’s like an annual pilgrimage for me – except, I haven’t been all of last year, and insane Goa craving is happening. I wish I was atleast going to Kerala during the monsoons – but my husband turned 30 last week, and he wants to go to Cambodia and so I’m just humouring the old man this time.

    If and when I have kids, and take them on holiday, I hope they are as peaceful and well-behaved as your are.

    • Mine aren’t peaceful. And they aren’t naturally well-behaved. They usually get a good talking to – but the point is that it works. The threats are real (well, not always, day before yesterday I told the Bean if she fiddled with the stuffed toy on someone’s car dashboard I’d stuff her and replace her on the dashboard as the toy) and most often carried through. I try to be consistent with instructions and I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that they go out with us a lot and are used to the chaos and the excitement. It’s not unusual for them to meet people and I refuse to do anything that is age inappropriate and risk people glaring at me for spoiling their movie/dinner.

      Cambodia? We have a family friend there who I am dying to visit. Do find and read Kim Echlin’s The Disappeared. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/article312211.ece. I think I lost a piece of my heart the day I read it. Will make you look at the whole place differently.

      • This book is definitely on my list now. It sounds so sad. I’ve been to Cambodia before, 5 years ago, on work – I visited Tuol Sleng then, and the memory stayed with me for years after that. Even now, I flinch when I think of it. And the impact of the genocide is still there to see – no other place I have visited has such a high proportion of special needs people.

        But there is also an incredible amount of hope and cheer in the people, like they are finally ready to put the past behind and are looking forward to rebuilding their lives.

        I’m still laughing at what you told the Bean. I guess for those who haven’t been around little children for a long time, one doesn’t really get the discipline and effort that goes into ensuring that children are well-behaved. But now that I kind of understand how much of consistent and continuous effort it requires, I appreciate well-behaved children that much more!

  5. loving the tan on all of you….so typical after an hour at the beach. wow – the weather just made everything an adventure right? the pics are all wonderful…the floppy hat is an umbrella! must take the kids to Goa sometime..I LOVE Goa too. we honeymooned there too and went there for a college annual trip – no place beats Goa in the whole world for chilling. you guys are a team…prim n propah brat, spunky chutzpahy bean, matching parents also. cant imagine you guys enjoying yourselves more with anyone else lol.

  6. Hi MM,
    Lovely account of your vacation…and lovely pictures
    the banner is very nice.. In this picture I feel you resemble your mom…

  7. Beautiful pictures! I love your vacation posts. Seriously – if I had to only take KG on a vacation like this I would not worry…but with KB the eternal what will he eat worry…and the way you described Brat being so particular about things is exactly how KB is…(Brat is different in that he eats better but that whole being principled about certain things…KB too – even if he likes something won’t go crazy and pig out).
    Love the pink btw! 🙂

    • Is there any one thing he eats? i dont fuss too much on holiday because they eat healthy through the year. thankfully the kids eat pretty much a large variety so i always get something that suits them. they both will eat chicken and paratha 3 times a day if i have to give it to them. otherwise most restaurants will make you a plain mac and cheese. at least here they will. but as tambi mentioned on the phone last night, customer service in india is really improving. he is back in india and at the hotel he stayed in a month ago. the manager came up to him and said – how is your son, sir? he must be 5 months old now…
      isnt that lovely?

      • Seriously – in India – it goes both ways – they can be nasty if they think you are not worth their time – like some of the Air India air hostesses who will give such a kind smile to a non Indian but will just ignore some old lady who did not get her vegetarian meal – the lady next to me actually was told very coldly by one such “Maam, you can just remove the meat and eat the sandwich” or some such ridiculous thing..and then there is this – the way they remember you and inquire about you, your family etc…makes you feel so much at home.
        KB – he will eat pasta, bread etc but it has to be made just right – that is the problem. I think though I could manage with pasta one meal a day and bread the other meal…well, let’s see. He has improved a lot. He eats chapathis but w/out dal or anything to go with it. So I make veggie or avocado chapathis for him. Have to cook, grind and add the veggie mix to the flour and do it for his highness. Or I feel too bad that he is eating plain chapathis! But for KG who is so easy, I would have thought it is me who is the problem!

  8. Wow!!! lovely post 🙂 lovelier pictures…and I love Bean’s swimwear…one lady she is becoming eh?
    The whole post being about Goa and all..great..but confession, the line I loved the most was you picking up 6 more books 😀 “Long live bookism, down with kindlism” 🙂

  9. I saw the photos first before reading the post. Saw the Bean in the two piece and wondered, whose child is this! Doesn’t matter – she pulls it off so well.. Regardless, made me so sad – no, not anything heavy like the usual controversies but just that she looks so well…grown up. I’d have loved a chubby belly popping out or something. I’m in denial, not sure about you. When the time comes though she is going to rock a bikini with her slender frame and lovely skin.

    I think you do a good mix of both MM. You say you don’t do non-age appropriate, but I think you do. In the sense that I know you wouldn’t do anything harmful and you certainly wouldn’t inconvenience others but at the same time you keep it real. As in if you and OA love doing something, you will include them. And I think that’s what widens their horizons, keeps them flexible and adaptable. The Bean whose dislike of Bombay I shall ignore, still adapted there and was a trouper.

    Lastly, not to start something here but you do know that NRI family could’ve been anybody right? Anyone who is inflexible, unadjusting and not as easygoing as us? I just wanted to point that out. I have countless examples of those kinds of kids & families that has nothing to do with where they live. I can understand how annoying it must be for you to end your trip that way but that’s just my observation. And lastly, I don’t know about you but I’ve always found Indians don’t travel the country much. When I was a kid I would come back from summer vacation with names like Ramnagar or Nagarkoil which sounded like gibberish while my Bombay friends had at most traveled to Madh island. And these were people richer than us. So I don’t know if it’s a money thing but maybe it’s not a big part of our culture? And now when it is, unfortunately everyone doesn’t think it’s a real trip unless it’s abroad. Which is a real shame.

    What I did is also did a lit trip to the mountains and your niece was great except HATED the car and car seat. She is a city baby used to buses and trains and the idea of being strapped in it drove her nuts. She kept begging for “car vandam, walking”. So your favorite part of the trip…the journey…was painful for us (again no ipads here either)..but otherwise she dipped her feet in waterfalls, collected pebbles (who’s to tell her when there are thousands around they are not a collector’s item) and flirted with random uncles.

    Welcome back and safe travels.

    • olebabale.. did you take lots of pictures for me? i want to see baby toesise in streams. i think all kids that age hate long journeys, specially since you guys have to strap them up. the brat hated them too, so we kept them short and slowly made them longer trips. plus we can rock them to sleep in our laps,make up a bed on the back seat and let them nap.

      yes, yes, i know it could have been anybody’s kid. but that is my point. how does everyone suddenly change and become so rigid about how their kids can only eat this or that. someone mentioned a vaccination the other day and i was horrified – do you think you cant get a vaccination done in india? all you have to do is bring along the name or even a vial of the medicine if you want and get someone to give the shot. medical tourism is flourishing and strangers come here to get open heart surgery, and desis who grew up here are suddenly too fancy to get a measles shot in the swanky hospitals we have? its just sad.

  10. Wahhh everyone is going to Goa but me. Was supposed to go to Goa in November for a wedding but that likely not happening (me going, the wedding is still happening). I am so irritated and grumpy, like Brat in the rain, and I want to eat shinaneos. Hmph.

    The screaming NRI babies, it happens ya. Our first trip to India with baby was a nightmare and has now made it a dreaded event for me. First, the jet lag. Kids take ages to adjust. Benji was waking up at 4 am, happy and gurgly, which is 6 am here in Hong Kong so even a two and a half hour time difference can be a killer. And he only started adjusting toward the end of two weeks when it was time to go home. He wasn’t used to the heat, the noise, the people – because we just don’t have heat, noise and so much people interaction here and I can’t be bothered to create that just in prep for a holiday to India – and he became very cranky and clingy to me which is not him at all and was exhausting for me. He did go to my Sil quite a bit and towards the end to her two maids; I think it helps if the people don’t panic when the kid is crying and stick it out but not everyone can do that. You probably will. So be prepared for a cranky Button and don’t judge him or his parents too harshly. It is a price you pay for living abroad and now I wish we didn’t have to go to India at all, but the grandparents want us to.

    • ha ha! well Benji was smiling at some point na? never mind what that hour was. This one kid just wailed the entire bloody time. i was suicidal by the end of it. i too have two kids to handle and its hard to do it when someone else’s kids are being a pain and upsetting my kids too.

      its sad when people say they dont want to come to india but i guess its good for everyone to be all clear on where they stand. i was telling tambi about this and he laughed and said that is why they take the button out all the time, he goes to strangers and as of now, Ma says he only cries in a car seat. that works brilliantly for india since he’ll never have to be in a car seat -always a lap handy. i think every kid has one or two things that tick them off. but the kids that just cry all day for everything… *groan* nightmare!

      • He was smiling at 4 am when there was nobody there to appreciate (including his own parents, who were just ‘oh please go back to sleep’) and got increasingly cranky as the day wore on. So he came across as a cranky baby to people, which he really isn’t, although he is not the easiest baby either. I see your point about the other kids – I would’ve wanted to tear my hair out too – just wanted to warn you it might happen with Button; the whole switch to another country is disorienting for them, like even the air is different and they can’t vocalise so they wail.

        Not coming to India, well I just see it as an ordeal which I have to go through now when I used to love and look forward to my India visits. I would love to come alone but now that Benji is here, noone has any interest in seeing me alone! I’m hoping that as he grows older, it will be easier and he will enjoy playing with the cousins and all. The one thing that impressed me was that he didn’t fall sick – well he and the niece kept passing a cold back and foth but nothing serious.

        • ha ha! i love the way you make it sound like a football being passed back and forth. yeah, kids do that. old indian wisdom says that kids who keep catching colds don’t catch much else. so thats some consolation.

          and i have all sympathy for babies like benji. but by the time they are almost two or so, i think its enough and you need to tighten up a bit. if as parents they havent figured it out then i’m just a little disapproving.

  11. Goa is great, we have been a few times sans kid, plan to go with him next time. We did take the kiddo to Kerala (another fave spot), he LOVED it! I really love the beach during monsoons, too.

    Cut the NRI mom and her poor kiddos some slack. One week is definitely not enough, especially for a change that drastic wrt time, weather, environment. Mom should stick to parenting her own kids, though.

    What have we been up to? Cherry picking, strawberry picking with a picnic next to the ocean, space museum and zoo visit, row boating in a gorgeous park with miles of biking/walking trails, day out at the beach since the weather was nice and warm here. Interspersed with nearby parks outing. Planning a off-season vacation in Kauai, Hawaii, another of our favorite places we want to visit again with our son. Enjoying the summer.

    Love the tan!

    • In theory it is easy to cut slack. but you cant help but want to throw them off the roof when the crying doesnt end. At least for an almost 2 year old. I’d accept a nonstop crying child up to the age of 1. After that you’re just ruining everybody’s holiday. No sleep, no peace in those small houses, and the whole ‘this isnt good enough for my baby’ attitude is enough to want to cry. I didnt see any flexibility. I too travel with my kids and when I dont find X we make do with Y. You need to be able to do that or else stay home and let others at least enjoy the occasion. Phew. Sorry, but I’m a mother too and I have to say that everyone needs to be able to draw the line at some point and say – this is discomfort,but that is just a pain in the posterior!

      Cherry picking?! I would LOVE to do that. My kids would go nuts, specially the Bean. someday…

  12. Awesome, awesome, awesome and even more awesome

    and now something to make you jealous 🙂 my parents stay in Goa (just shifted last year when dad got a job in the campus) and we plan to go there every year! yayayayayay!

  13. what a lovely trip! i am very jealous. this is *exactly* the holiday i want to go on (except for the mumbai bit). too bad school has started and there is no hope of anything like this for a bit. the bean’s colourful attire is just awesome, as are your new sunglasses!

  14. MM,
    It was a total delight to finally meet the Mad Bunch i have so far only read about, and been in awe of. You read a blog and you think you know someone, but then you meet them and realise they are really every bit as adventurous, energetic, carefree, wonderful and happy as you imagined they would be!
    Iv been swamped with work since Monday rushed in on me, but theres an unfinished draft waiting to be posted, and I will notify you as soon as its done.
    Also, find me on fb? I cant seem to find you 😦

    This was a delightful post. So nice to know you enjoyed Goa. Pictures are gorgeous and speak so much of the kind of holiday you have described so beautifully!

    PS: your link has sent hits on my blog through the effing roof. My eyeballs nearly popped out 🙂

  15. Nothing much happening at my end. Just getting the house back to normal after the birthday party (have sent you the pics). Son going through another round of teething and refusing to eat.
    Why do I have a feeling that its been a long time since we have had a proper snap of the brat and the bean (or is it my memory)? From the side angles looks like they have changed a lot. Can we have a good snap please?

  16. Wonderful! Need to plan our next trip back to Goa right away.
    Can copy quite a few blocks and pass it off as a blog on the vacation we had in October 2010 at Goa!? There is a big “if only” but let’s ignore that part. Can I? … Oh I forgot – don’t write a blog yet!
    The picture of B&B testing the ocean with their feet … is that what every kid do? No matter how many times they have been on a beach in a vacation – the first few beach minutes – they are unsure. Have similar pictures our kids doing that at Goa. And they did it again at Kovalam this summer!
    And you are right – with the kids around, you just need to have a beach and a swimming pool! No other plans needed.
    We too want to move to Goa – permanently! Daughter was seriously thinking about asking her school to open a branch at Goa (she loves her school) – while every time we take plan for a break, son subtly suggests – can we go to Goa!

  17. There is always something eventful in the mad family isnt there? – Even when you are supposed to be on a peaceful beach vacay! 😀
    But you should have mentioned earlier that you are going to Goa. We went there in January with our then-8-month old with only one thing on the agenda – food. I tried all the places suggested by a recent edition of Lonely Planet magazine (do you read that BTW); found a few hidden gems; disappointed by some (Venite was one of them – I thought it was highly overrated) and generally just pigged out.
    Let me know teh next time you are there will give you some undiscovered reccos!
    Lovely pics and I love your feet..what shade of nailpaint is that?

    • Colorbar Autumn Rose, #20.LOVE it. Will soon be doing a post on nailcolours.

      Vinete was reccoed by a friend. and I found it quaint and the food decent. Since I had not read about it anywhere else or anything, i didnt go with great expectations.

      • MM, I remember u saying you were a brown and silver nail colour kinda person. You used to hate pink and purple, right… have u changed to pink now?? Personally, i am a pink fan….but i have exhausted all pinks now and quite bored……
        nice shade, btw…perfect for the beach…

  18. We were in Goa end of May for a week. Stayed in an old portugese style resort at Baga. Place is not big but very homely. We went there during the pre-monssons…God! it was hot. The heat did not deter the kids. The resort was on the beach so all 5 days were spent on the beach or in the pool 🙂
    Some people ,told us about a sunset cruise on Mandovi..i cursed myself for getting on to that boat..the cruise itself was nothing great but the crowd…uff…less said the better. 😦
    BTW, i am still not thru with reading the full post 🙂

  19. ooh..i love detailed posts like this 🙂 and Goa sounds wonderful…did u cut beanie’s hair by the way? looks very cute 🙂

    njoy ur time in allahabad as well …..

        • yes amma. sorry i even implied otherwise. can i just say she looks less messy and neglected now? i always thought people would look at her and wonder is she’s a little abandoned urchin. hair knotted up, falling in her eyes, brown and wispy. now she looks very chic if i say so myself.

          • I am sorry, but no. She is the little stylista who rocked her brother’s old ganji and shorts and with such elan too! And urchin? A little baby who can invite people with an ‘excuse me everybody, but dinner is ready’ being called an urchin? You didn’t know unruly, ‘cleepied’ hair that fell in your eyes is fashionable, did you? 😀

  20. Arre. I never thought of it that way. I always thought that monsoon would be a bad season because it would keep raining and we won’t be able to step out. How often did it rain?

    • It depends on how much the rain bothers you. We didn’t care, except for the loads of bleddy damp clothes all over our room. We swam in the rain too and it was awesome. Then you come back to the hotel room, have a hot shower and pakoras! And I usually got out of the pool ten minutes ahead of the rest, called room service for hot milk and kept everything ready for the kids and the OA. Worked out fine.

  21. You visited Mumbai!!!!!

    Seems like a lovely, hectic and very satisfying vacation. I’ve been to Goa many many years ago- seems like a lifetime ago- I was just out of college and a free bird. Hmm…what I wouldn’t give for those days at times.

    MM, we have travelled quite a bit every time we were out of the country- in the US, UK, and in Japan.Every weekend we would head out somewhere- by road, rail, air- even hiking trips. We even took a few longer trips. Even with A as a toddler. We tried quite a bit of it back home in India, but here the infrastructure is terrible. Poor roads, poor facilities, poor civic sense, (I loved it that in Mussoorie, visited recently, there were garbage bins kept at intervals by the local governing body, and it was a no plastics zone- no litter to speak of!) poor availability of information, even though everything can be accessed online, next to no sense of hygiene sometimes, absymal toilet facilities. It just was too difficult, inspite of equivalent expense. So it becomes a bit difficult to go very far, or experiment with new places- you never know the problems you may land into.

    I don’t know. What do you think?

    • I think the fact that you’ve seen better makes a difference. Me, I don’t expect any better. the kids are used to peeing on the road, i ensure that potty happens in the hotel room before we leave ( i give hot milk with honey and a couple of prunes at bedtime) and I am grateful for the advent of wet tissues. The kids didnt wear diapers unless we were going out so I am very used to cloth diapering and any convenience is something of for me. I guess its how you look at it. This is my country and this is how things are. Now can I deal with it as 100s of others before me have or can I not? And will I let this get in the way of my getting to know it? Now with the kids so much older, I cant imagine anything I wouldnt take them for.

      • “i give hot milk with honey and a couple of prunes at bedtime”

        Do you think this will work with a 1 yr old kid also? Neev has the habit of doing potty atleast 3 times a day. Now is that natural at his age or will giving your above formula change it from 3 to once a day. Would be useful atleast for times we are travelling (planning on a train travel to Kerala. Mom insists it has to be train)

        • No no.. this is to make sure they are not constipated and have a motion the moment they wake up instead of half way through the day on the highway where there are no bathrooms.
          if you give it to Neev the poor baby will get a runny tummy if he already has three motions. is he formula fed baby or is he on full time solids only now?

          • He has formula milk two times during the day, buffalo milk during the night and rest all is proper solid food that we have.

            I am continuing the formula milk only because I did not want him to stop taking it. It would be easier to carry for long travels as compared to the normal milk.

      • WHOA!!! Put like that, I do come across as spoiled!:)

        Not my intention. I just lament that if only people used a bit of civic sense, our Incredible India would be so much more beautiful.:)

  22. Superb pics MM! Loved the one of Beanie in the pool 🙂 I just came back from India and looking at the pics I want to visit Goa next time. This time Mangalore was a priority. You know that pic of you in the hotel doorway…you like some exotic Spanish senorita 🙂

  23. Such lovely pics!my favourite is the third pic with the chappals and the colorful buckets and spade. I grew up in Visakhapatnam and our weekends were almost always spent on the beach.
    My vacation story! I was in McLeodganj for a week. My last visit was in 2006 with a bunch of people who were(some still are) out to save Tibet, so that visit was mostly about meeting activists and ex- political prisoners. I fell in love with the place and the people and was sobbing all the way on the return journey. Made a hundred thousand plans to go back, but everything only fell in place this year. Stayed at a gorgeous place, Pema Thang, which is owned by a friend’s family( she was my junior in college). I pigged out on Tibetan and Italian food and even trekked to Dharamkot to hunt for a pizza place that I had been to in my last visit and in my opinion makes the best pizzas EVER. I didn’t find it( someone told me later that I would have, had I walked an extra mile or two) but did find another fabulous pizza place. I also met my friend after ages and we were yakking all day and I almost missed my bus 🙂
    I’m so jealous that she lives there. *sigh* Completely understand the cranky feeling.

      • Okay, so from the main square/chowk/old bus stand, you have two roads going up. One will take you to the Bhagsu temple and waterfall, the other will take you to Dharamkot/TIPA( Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts). Take the TIPA road. It’s a lovely uphill walk, and you will( rather should) cross Men Tsee Khang(this is an Institute of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology) and TIPA and then this gorgeous place called “Flourishing Fauna” with yellow windows and loads of potted plants. Keep walking and walking till you see a school and some taxis and a couple of shops. To your right there will be structure that’s painted blue and a sign that says ” Out of the Blue Pizzeria”. They have chairs outside as well. This is the place I ate at, this time. The pizzas are served with olive oil! and please please have the bruschettas! The place I went to in 2006 is somewhere near Out of the Blue. Probably a 10 minute walk from there. It has better pizzas, but no one seemed to know the same and I don’t remember it. When you’re there and if you find out, please let me know! 🙂

  24. Wow…some holiday you guys had! Well done guys. Missed the presence on blogsphere though…happy to have you back. I shudder to think of the day you decide not to blog anymore…pliss not to- ever!

    We have been ofcourse battling the desert heat here in Dubai. It is simply unreal. Have lived here for 5 years now and still not used to it because it reminds me too much of mumbai- hot and humid. Minus the monsoon-which makes it horrible. Anyway, we went on a weekend retreat to Ras-Al-Khaimah, a neighbouring emirate. Checked in to a hotel for 2 nights and lived in the pool. Yohaan behaved like a villager because it was his first proper-non-india holiday, I mean like a hotle stay and all. He kept oohing and aahing over everything saying things like ‘wow,mama nice bed’, ‘wow mama nice water’ (when he saw the pool) and we laughed so hard. For me it was a welcome break from home making chores which are never ending….infact for a few hours I felt useless, so I kept straightening our hotel room inspite of housekeeping. I was so fidgety! loll. Hubster had to ask me to calm down and enjoy the break…we swam, ate and slept. Buffet was the usual- continental, Arab and Indian…so it was no problem with Yohaan’s needs. He is a very non-fussy eater and there’s always milk and yoghurt which he loves.
    My husband is a mallu. We have never visited kerela ever and he keeps saying we should holiday there…but he is wary of having to do the rishteydaari rounds, which i think makes him hesitate…one day i hope.
    How is the Goa weather mostly? I am a big , big , big fuss pot when it comes to weather conditions. It really gets to me and affects me in everything I do. Inspite of reading and hearing so much about Goa, I havent been able to drum up any enthu to visit it because I keep worying about humidity and I will crib and whine and spoil it for every one. I can handle the heat but not the humidity. I have enough and more of that right here in Dubai, thank you. Dubai does have awesome beaches and i go there only for Yohaan’s sake. Like you, I am a hills-girl. Give me cold-grey-wet weather any day. I will keep the fact in mind that Kerela might be fun in monsoons. Any other weather I cannot handle.
    One thing which I truly enjoyed during our weekend trip? Holding yohaan in the pool skin-to-skin. I and hubster both noticed how amazing it felt to hold him against us, hanging on to our necks and backs, squealing in delight and hugging us and saying ‘thangu mamma’ and kissing his dad in joy! I still cant get over that feeling of feeling him wet against my own skin…very elemental and strong….
    On our next trip to India we are majorly planning to take yohaan on a train journey. Chenna-bhopal-mumbai-delhi-varanasi…lots of weddings in winters to look forward to and i am so excited on his behalf…I know he will go mad having fun on the trains. So far we have travlled by air only to save time considering we have to cover so many cities in a months time. But gimme a train journey and I am in my elements! Oh, this comment has become a post in itself…feel free to edit MM!
    love
    h

    • I HATE humidity too. Top reason why i can’t live in bombay or madras. it makes me cranky. so i’d advise kerala and goa in the rains because the rains are almost nonstop. no time for that humid atmosphere to build up. always a cool rainy breeze.

      i’m sure you guys will enjoy the train ride.

      • Try Goa soon after Valentines Day when the weather is lovely and room tariffs are for half. In Goa, nothing beats a room with a sea view. If you can get that, you would have enjoyed Goa at its best. There’s good food all over. In fact check out fodo at various places so a good idea to book for a B&B. Ideally, sleep through the day and hit the sea just before sunset. And eat under the stars as you can smell the aroma of food and some enthu singer rendering Bryan Adams offkey. Mast timepass. yes, take a bike ride and go to Ponda and visit their Sahakari farms. Fun as fun can be.

  25. I’ve been to quite a few places in India, but never to Goa! 😥

    Hopefully, this year that will get rectified and come Nov, me and my gal pals will be frolicking the lovely beaches too!

    Loved your post! I could almost feel the skies darkening and the storm clouds looming… though it’s 45 degrees outside and not a cloud in the effing sky here!

  26. Luks like you had a blast and getting set for another one :)…
    The pool looked very familiar as I had stepped into it a year back… BTW I think the kiddie pool at club mahindra was more fun, it had this wonderful slide.I would hover till dark so that all kids are out and then make a dash for it before the guard caught me frolicking there. Good that you dint spend any of your hard earned money on the excuse of a spa over there. Am drooling over the thought of Goan seafood..

  27. What a lovely time you had. And you all are looking awesome.

    The pic with the bean in your lap – heck you don’t even look like an adult. You look like a bachcha yourself. You the hotness… Wish u’d posted some pics of you in a bikini – you’d have made it look good 😀

    Love, love love love – the bean’s new hairstyle. I have no concept of anything to do with style (having never cut my hair or stepped into a beauty parlour/salon) – so i have no clue what to do about my little monster’s hair. It has finally grown to a little more than fuzz on the skull :D. Maybe i take inspiration from you – except they have such differently shaped faces – i doubt it will suit..:( Sighhhh…why do you live so far off. Why aren’t you my neighbour?

  28. I forgot to mention that i also loved your hat and the neon blue chappals 😀

    Also appreciate how cool you are in dealing with the kids on a vacition. it rubs off and lets them relax too. Kids pick up on the parents’ vibes and behave accordingly.

      • 😦 .. Coming from someone who had the time to go to goa and not to come see her nephew .. I could have said the same for you 😛 . But as bean would say, you love me. I love you. We all love each other 😀

          • Just read my comment again, and it seems harsher than I meant it to be. I was just so ashamed that I hadn’t noticed the tattoo before. Please don’t be miserable. I know you would have come if you could. 🙂

            • Arre senti mat ho jao yaar. my sin is greater than yours, as is my desire to hold that child. I can’t believe he’s here and for real. aaall is well and i’ll be there on the 17th if i have to step over corpses.

  29. Woww! I just realized that it is not where you take your vacation…..but how you take it that matters:) Not that Goa isn’t a beautiful place……but your vacation made it sound so exotic…..makes one want to go there right now!

    • LOL! and i just realised that you can be a basically nice person or not. Long ago someone commented on my Auli post saying that I made it sound like a great place when it was all shit. That I should stop making stuff up. And I felt bad for her. She couldnt appreciate simple pleasures and she couldnt appreciate my joy in a simple local holiday. You on the other hand, only saw the best in what I said. With each comment you learn something good about a commenter. I look at all your comments and realise that you are a good person who similarly sees the best in other people. Thank you.

      • Thank you so much for the compliments MM:) I truly mean everything I say here. I look forward to your posts. I grew up in a family where we were always encouraged to count our blessings & take joy in everything we have. Those are the exact sentiments I always see in your posts. Pure joy in all the things in your life….be it your kids, your married life, your lilttle trips…..And all that excitement in your writing brings so much joy to the reader 🙂

  30. We went to Santorini – Greece for a week :), it was a lot of fun, it was the next place on my wish list and my hubby gladly obliged as I turned 34 a month ago and this was his gift to me.
    About the weight loss, I gained 30 lbs after my second pregnancy and would pig out uncontrollably, as a result I ended up looking like a muffin top :(. It also took it’s toll on my knees. Finally, i said enough is enough and took to weight watchers program, it is funded by my employer and it has been 3 months, I am 10 kgs lighter!! If we don’t exercise and do not control the portions of our food, then, in the long run it will lead to a disaster. I was at the receiving end few months ago.

    Love Bean’s hair style, she looks very cute.

    Deepa

    • 10 kilos?!! I want the program too – point me to it! Jokes aside, nothing works like the will to improve yourself and for that i doff my hat to you for having the persistence. Kudos to you.
      Santorini? Sigh… someday.

  31. Have read a few of your blog entries and I enjoy your writing 🙂 will explore it more.
    And the holiday sounds like super fun.

  32. mental note to self. Make sure my kids aren’t cranky if/when we should meet MM. I was thinking back to our meet up and I think I was the cranky one and my kids ran off to see your playroom. And you asked me to sit down on the rocking chair and handed me a cool beer. 🙂 The kids behaved better than I did.

    Anyways, we went camping. In the forest near a lake. South Lake Tahoe. 3 days of no tv, internet(i did some fb and some ebay stuff) and no phone calls. Corn on the cob, sausages, sandwiches, cocktails and chai.

    Then the youngest got fever and we didnt have his nebulizer/ medications and we cut short the trip by 2 days. The oldest 3 are very very upset with him. I told them he didnt ask to be sick and to not be angry with the 4.5 yr old who was already screaming that he wanted to go crawdad fishing(which was the next activity planned)

    • Arre kids are welcome to be cranky if you drag them around all day. the biggest thing was you. you were cool to leave them alone and have a break. these parents just kept fussing and making the kid even fussier. your holiday sounds awesome except for the last bit 😦 poor baby. is he okay now?

  33. How wonderful it would be to live in Goa – the sun and the sea! Sigh..

    And wow..that picture of your silhouette – perfect snap , right degree of mystery and right measure of hotness!

    Looks like a fun holiday!

  34. I love love love Bean’s pink bikini! I otherwise hate pink, esp when its made to be girls-only colour. And I liked your toe ring too. Guess I’ll buy myself one 😉
    Loved your hat and sunglasses too.
    This post reminded me of the AWESOME Goa trip we had last year. Yes, Goa does that to everyone I guess. It’s simply magical. Next time we go there, hopefully we will have kid/s for company 🙂 You make it look so enjoyable, as opposite to some parents who shudder at the thought of taking kids on a trip.

    And finally, I can’t believe how grown up Brat and Bean look. Is Bean thinner? I guess happens to all kids.

    I have no idea why I’m blabbering. And no idea if you remember me from my blogging days. I just get excited and happy by your posts.

  35. Nothing much happened with me except that i got selected for IIT Kharagpur for a LLB course with Specialization in IPR-intellectual property rights. Its the only institute in the entire country which offers engineers a law programme!!!
    yay!!!!!

    Now go on…. Congratulate me!!i bloody damn excited about it!!!!! now…i am going to have my own IIT t-shirt and pass to all my friends!( dunno why i am saying that…but i’ve always fancied it since i don’t know when… lol!!!)

      • you realize that the “Congratulation” word is still missing in your reply, right??? 🙂 rest of the details shall be given once i come over to your place for a bite!!( i have been missing opportunities every time!). will be leaving (for sure) on July 18 th. will catch up with you before that.

  36. I’m here after a long time away.I don’t know if u remember.I had landed on your blog via OJ.Then the site was off limits from work & I just recently got net connection at home.I really missed reading your blog.It was delightful to read u spent your holiday in Goa which is my home state.Incidentally, I too was there in May & spent some time at Club Mahindra .The Varca resort.Had a similar bad experience with the reception when my daughter fell ill suddenly& I needed a doctor.Had to give them a earful to get them to act.But the rest of the staff were very good.The antics of the mad family continue to delight.And Baby button is very cute:)

      • Oh you remember that mail too:)
        Yes they are 10 & 12 now , the pre-teen years.While my son is still the quiet ,gentle boy, my little girl is growing up all too fast.She’s already so concious of what she wears & how she looks & we have a dozen arguments on why she can’t wear heeled shoes & nail paint to school.I don’t know if I’ll survive:)

  37. Nice update post MM ! I louuuveeeeee posts with pictures!
    uh-oh, was looking forward to a conversation but woo hoo ! baby button is visting?! Exciting and busy days ahead for the mad family!
    N go…ah! Takes me back to memories of college days!
    I’m very impressed with people who can make the best of any weather. I’m a total party-pooper when it rains. I absolutely hate them and get real grouchy when it rains or if I get wet. So, hats off to u guys…
    Ya..while I look up to those who dress for themselves and don’t care about what the world thinsk of them in an outfit, I find it ridiculous when people are dressed in an outfit that was in no-way designed for them. C’mmon people…reality check!
    I thought our generation of Indians were travelling a lot..no? I know rite now my sis sticks to trips that are only about 3-4 days long ‘coz she has a 1.5 yr old and a 5.5 yr-old ‘coz she finds it hard to find places to go that both will appreciate and not have the parents exhausted.
    Li’l girls in biknis…..how does one not fall in love with them!
    I ‘d like to have a discussion with u..abt bullied kids and bullying kids…I know u wrote a post about it…but there is much in my head about it. Just saying. So glad the brat took to water the way he did!
    Fish market! Wooow.! And ya…we know this one li’l girl who we absolutely love and well, who adores us. The hubby has seen her since the day she was born. We do a couple of outings with their family in a year…and ya, doing stuff that a child loves is so different and well so fun!
    Okay …I can see myself being as grouchy as the brat! And friends laughin at me. omg! That’s exactly what happens with me. The husband will be like..c’mmon lets get u a li’l drenchd n see what happens! UGH!!!
    I envy you..a soaked but working BB! The husband was in the ocean with the iphone in his pocket for mabbe 20 mins…and that was the end of the life of a iphone that was just 1 month old!
    I’m very good friends with some bloggers…but I’m yet to meet one face-to-face. n I alwez wonder if that meeting will change anything.
    I over-eat at buffets. I don’t waste food..but I surely pig-out on the food like I’ve been starving forever. And well we never go for a buffet unless we are super hungry. Hats off to the brat for already being so good about eating.n hez the food police at home huh?:)I donno if I’ll change..but for now I pooh-pooh organic food!
    Yikes! milk!
    Oh..now I want to ride on a bike!
    N this is where I realize I’m writing a whole new post by commenting on every bullet in ur post. So I’ll stop.
    Did I mention…love them pics! Kaala theeka to ward off the evil eyes on the mad family 🙂

    PS: Sent u an email..read it when u get the chance

  38. Hmm. I travelled to des and back every single year at least once with one and then two babies. So here’s some gyaan: the bigger the fuss one makes, the more the kids will need to live up to it.

    Same holds for r2i-ing too. You crib on and on about the roads and the schools and the interfering neighbours and family – the kids will have to react accordingly too.

    • This is really all your fault. People like you and Deej set high standards for NRIs and I get cranky when people don’t live up to them. The Mint walked out of the airport and into my arms. I’m not an aunt she meets on skype everyday. She kissed me and let me hold her in my arms almost all day. And then you realise its the parents’ attitude. Deej didnt give them one second of fussing. It was all very no-nonsense and I kept comparing said cranky kid and parents to her and getting more annoyed by the minute.

  39. Ailaa! what a pic! Would have been more awesome if the glasses had had OA’s and the kids’ reflection 🙂 and this is a hilarious post!!!

  40. You went to the fish market in the rains? I’ve lived in Goa all my life and I cannot ever remember doing THAT. But it must have been a great experience for the kids – best way for them to learn.
    If you do plan another trip in the rains, do ensure you’re here on the 24th of June – its the Feast of St. Joao (St. John). The hotels do have pool parties, which must be fun, but we – the lucky ones who live in villages – join revelers at the local wells. More info (with pics) will be made available, if you’re interested.

    • 🙂 We loved it. I too have never seen so much fish in my life! And I will take your tip and make it for the feast. And yes, I’d love to see pics. Do make them available.

  41. Goa in the monsoons is too bleddy good. I love the rain, beach… and the fact that it’s ‘off season’. Hate it during dec/jan when it is too crowded.. …

    Oh and, me came/passed through your side of the country for the first time. Was driving through Himachal P, Chandigarh – Spiti Valley(loved it, totally recommended) – Rohtang Pass – Manali.. A recce for a trip we are planning in August. Headed to Ladakh next week for a 15 days trip, back to delhi for a few days and back to the mountains again… All for work 😉

    And, when you were writing about ‘Indians not travelling much?’, here we were cursing the crowd in Manali, the number of cars and ‘tourists’ at Rohtang Pass! Sad it is, how these places have become. Manali, the hill station, is no more… And, Ladakh is going down that same road 😦

    Reading about the NRI kids, I was LMAO.. We had a 7 months old with us during the recce.. High altitude, some of the toughest passes, almost non-stop driving.. And he did fine 🙂

    Almost forgot to mention – loved the bean’s ‘kickass’ pic and the Brat too 🙂

  42. Love your attitude and the way you write. How do you really manage to travel so much with kids? I simply adore your travel posts amongst so many others of course. I would have come back cribbing about the things which went wrong, but you make all that part of the adventure and fun. It has been quite a while since we have been on a holiday. Planning one soon most likely to Goa, and am going to read your travel posts as part of the prep 🙂

    • I have made my peace with the fact that I am not a very good organiser. Things will go wrong. The only way forward is to laugh over them. The Bean and the OA are like me. The Brat is well… hopefully getting there.

  43. Ok you asked for it. I got my share of the Western ghats and the monsoons. Went to Pune last Thursday – to drop off Jia as he starts his first year B Sc Economics at Symbiosis. The drive on the Expressway was fabulous and the weather was unlike any I have experienced before. No heavy showers just the occasional drizzle, the breeze, lush green and dark clouds. The settle-in process at his PG digs took all my time and he will now fend for himself and his studies, his food, clothes et al. The only thing which stresses me out are monsoon flights.. I am paranoid about in- flight turbulence. Strangely – the flight back last night just had one anxious moment..may be it was my gratitude to the higher forces for a safe and steady ride which did it…. and yes. will go to Goa in the monsoons. Next year. Huggz and love.

  44. MM, as usual I love the telling of your adventures. It makes me want to have kids and go to Goa. Or just, you know, go to Goa.
    But there’s something here that hurts me. I understand obesity is something that you’re concerned about, as a woman and a mom. But as someone who has been big most of her life, I have to tell you, I don’t remember if when I was 5 kilos overweight, if I felt like I should or could stop. No one–and this may sound absurd but is true–sets out to become obese. It happens as you’re looking out the window and doing what you can to get through life. Should we take responsibility for our bodies? Absolutely. But it’s a battle. And not one I thought I’d still be fighting at 30.
    If I found myself in Goa, I hope I do have the nerve to wear my swimsuit and get into the hotel pool. And I know I’ll be judged for not being in shape for it, but dammit if I want to swim in the goddamn pool, I will swim in the goddamn pool. I’ve shuffled around under big baggy clothes for too much of my life.
    I’m going all over the place but this is really what I want to say: let the fatties in the pool. We may displace some water, but we promise not to hog the diving board. Also, we know our hearts are in trouble and our loved ones are concerned. But this is, at the end of the day, a battle we fight alone. Believe me, we know how we look in a swimsuit.

    • Okay
      1. see, here I have the advantage of knowing you – you’re not obese. You had to see the people I am talking about. You’re the person that I put in my category when I say we whine about our tyres and dimpled knees.
      2. Where were you when this exact same argument exploded all over my FB page? Except that I was making the point you are making and our common ex-colleague N took the other side – it went on for about 108 comments. And she and Koko let me have it – flayed me! All because I said a real woman has curves. (thanks for the forward btw). Trust me, you have no idea what I was talking about – neither have you seen the monstrous ankle length cabbage patch flowered swimsuits I was subjected to. They were just an assault on good taste.
      3. Don’t have kids. Just borrow mine when you want.

      • What u have 108 comments in fb! MM u rock!!!

        ** dont ask me what am doing creeping over the comments section on an old post.. am looking for one of your commenter and her blog where I read about her travel to Israel.. 😦 forgot her name and the blog’s.. now trying to find it and save it under to do folder..

  45. I miss Goa 😦 Your post made me remember the holiday we’d taken to Goa with an eight month old Nikki back when she was just a little baby. Now of course she’s a two going on twenty year old who goes to school all by herself and doesn’t need Mama anymore. *Sob* *Sniff*

    P.S. What flabby arms?

  46. bean looks so lovely in the swim suit. glad to hear about the wonderful vacation. the rainpart was so fun.

      • Thank u thank u!! A wee little chintu of a boy, 5 weeks back. Makes me wonder why did I ever want a girl enough to resent him a bit when i found out i am having a boy. He is all that I ever wanted but never knew I did. Your posts are going to be looked at with brand new eyes now darling… Wish I can be as cool a momma as u. Early trends are NOT promising, with me freaking out at every little rash and dissolving into tears and invoking all the Gods I know!

        • LOL! You’re going to get murdered for this. How many times I’ve had blog wars because some woman has taken offence to mothers looking at things differently because she is not a mother or something.
          And don’t worry, the world needs a healthy balance of concerned mothers like you and lazy ones like me. 🙂
          Give him a big squeezy from me, will you?

  47. Ahh Goa..absolute bliss. I was lucky to get a break and stay in goa for a year and a half…going as a tourist and getting to stay there are just two diff things. We explored every nook and corner of goa..total bliss. November to Feburary, goa just transforms. There is so much joy in the air. Best time of my life. The small villages, the lazy laid back life, the beaches make me want to go back there. Deep down, we do hope to own a home in goa. Keeping my fingers crossed. Its a beautiful place to live. So peaceful.

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