Rain drenched and sated

When the Brat turned a year old, I got the entire family to write letters to him and those were posted on my old blog. My dad’s letter said -‘Your father is a great guy, but there are two things I can teach you that he can’t – trout fishing and playing a guitar.’

The Brat turned 9 this year and G’pa has neither taught him the guitar nor taken him trout fishing. So we planned to go to Munnar this summer, to show my kids where their mother grew up and the lawns she learned to cycle on. The original plan had been to go with the mad sibling, aka Tambi and his family. But their trips to India are always rushed and my kids are growing really fast and I don’t have the luxury of time. So we booked our tickets and and decided to go ahead without 40% of the group. And then Ma broke her leg. Clearly she couldn’t join us.

So we dithered. Clearly we were not destined to go without Tambi and Family!

And while we dithered, flight tickets got more expensive and hotels got booked out. So finally we decided to use the tickets we’d booked and go south only. Stopping off in Chennai to catch up with family and a cousin who is due any moment now (yayy! More babies in the family).

Our last visit to Kerala was baby-free and we wished we’d brought them along. So we fixed that by a quick trip to Pondicheri and then on to Cherai Beach, Kerala. My dad decided to keep to the program and he came along with us.

It was a bad time to go to Tamil Nadu for sure, because the heat had me sapped. Pondicheri was fabulous and the hotel was lovely, but nothing made up for the heat.

Early mornings and late evenings were spent in the pool or on the beach and afternoons were spend reading in bed. The Brat has taken to Tinkle comics and I heaved a sigh of relief. I’ve always worried that our children will turn up their noses at what we enjoyed, as poor fare. And yet here is a brand new generation reading a brand new Tinkle, a holiday session, laughing with Supandi.

Lost in his book

Lost in his book

The Kerala leg was simply fantastic. Heavy rains, lush greenery, everything screaming GODS OWN COUNTRY. I sat by the window and watched the rains pour down, the sea lash wildly at the shore and the skies darken dramatically, while we all sipped on hot chocolate. And then it would clear up and we’d all run out to play. I fell in love with Cochin too – the port, the ferry… the Jewish area. Everything had so much more character than the high rises and sameness that I returned to. I almost always have post holiday depression, but I find its getting harder to handle over the years. And this time I was wiping away tears as we drove to the airport. The city gave me a grand send off with grey skies and driving rain. If the kids hadn’t been in the car I’d have sobbed like a baby.

The last time I visited Kerala I remember observing that men in Kerala wear mundus even now. Which is fantastic. It’s perfect for that weather. Makes me wonder why so few men in the North wear kurta pajamas or dhotis. Temperatures soar here too and it must be so much more comfortable than trousers and jeans. Oh well.

Also, it’s interesting how Kerala is home to so many more communities than any other place – each one retaining its identity. Syrian Christians, Mappila Muslims, Jews, Goud Saraswat Brahmins who are native to Cochin and so on. They’re specific to this area and co-exist fairly peacefully. They’ve managed to do it while retaining their culture. Why is the rest of the country unable to do this? This is what one would call truly cosmopolitan.

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Breakfast buddies

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Made by man meets made by nature

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Because there is nothing as hypnotic as staring into the depths of a pond

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Backwaters ahoy!

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Bumchums

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Mine

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Daniel Craig. Or not.

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The Bean hanging on to my hat as she takes in the seaview from the hotel reception

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I like big eggs in my biryani and I cannot lie

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22 thoughts on “Rain drenched and sated

  1. OMG, loved the photos so much. I could’ve drunk it all in and some more. I’m literally salivating looking at the huge biriyani platter(you say you ate that all by lonesome self:-)) And Daniel Craig is aisi ki waisi, since moi heart beats for the likes of Clive Owen(does anyone even recall who he is anymore. Sigh.) I’ll say the OA(it’s OA no or is it(gasp!) random beach hottie you were ogling at?!!) is way more dashing than all of ’em Hollywood hotties.

    ok, now please do me a big favor. The place you’ll stayed at looks so lovely that I desperately need the name and town it was in for my mum. She’s overworked, has never been to Kerala and it would make for a quick and easy trip from Goa for her which I’d like to gift her on her upcoming september birthday. Can you write it here or if not send me a mail when u find time? I’ll make you super duper lacy appams and chicken ishtew when we meet next:-)

  2. oh! so thats where you went gayab ! 🙂

    loverrrly !

    My sis too says my India trips always too rushed. I want to do too much in too little time 😦 lekin kya karen, have to make the best with what is, na?

  3. Glad to know u came to my place and loved it… Munnar is just a 2 hour drive my native place n its so pretty during monsoon… The greens get greener and there is waterfall every where….:)

  4. MM.. totally unrelated to this post , but I just need to get this off my chest and talk about it, It’s been on my mind a lot and I don’t feel comfy talking about it to people I personally know and talk to on a day to day basis. Know what I mean? So posting here , in hope of getting some virtual hugs or company in bitching about the mil ! You know how ranting just helps sometimes?

    My mil and I , for the most part have a decent relationship…Decent meaning , I talk to her the minimum required amount and visit my inlaws for 5 days when I am india ‘coz that’s part of my responsibility and I have grown up with the belief that families, atleast close members of the family need to stick together come what may. I find her very hard to u’stand coz I have never come across a mother like her. N my fil won’t raise a voice against her. They hvn’t spoken to their daughter since 2008 , how does one live such a life?! When we were in India in 2011 and she knew we were going thru our 3rd ivf treatment at that time ( and has known about our struggle to have a baby and when we were diagnosed with male-factor infertility) she got into a stupid fight with us about how a neighbor’s son bought a TV for his parents and how our gifts are not special ( read expensive) enough and somehow moved on to what my parents didn’t do for them at the wedding and how much money they spent on my husband’s education n how thankless he is! My husband is a short-tempered man and words flew to n fro that night. All in all a very ugly sight and as part of it she cussed us that , that’s why we are not able to have children. With that being the icing on the cake or last standing nerve… my husband stopped talking to her. And I spoke to her may be once in 6 months. I know it sounds unreasonable , but I feel a mother’s curse can actually impact the child. How can a mother curse her own child and a father watch that quietly and even defend her about it?

    I’m all for husband n wife being supportive of each other, but sometimes one has got to raise a voice when the other is being beyond ludicrous, no? That actually reflects a better marriage?

    We visited India in March-April of this year. I didn’t know what to expect when we visited their home, but she got talking to my husband the minute we landed as if the last time she spoke to him was the day before! My fil took my husband out to let him pick his B’day cake( yup! It was his bday.) , she approached the baby-topic with me and asks about what are our plans about treatment n such. I told her we are considering another ivf and so on once we return to the US and here is what she says to me “ At the time of marriage , we really should do fertility tests n such. Your life would have been different if we found out then”. One might think , how progressive and fair.. but I was shocked. Ours was an arranged marriage and I’ll be honest and say I may not have considered marrying a man with fertility issues, given how obsessed I was with having 2 girls of my own since may be I was 13! But now, I laugh at the matter….if I were to live life all over again, I wouldn’t do it any other way and with no other man. Seriously , I’d want life back with all the fertility issues ‘coz its shaping us into people and parents, that we never would have been without the experience. Its made us so strong and brought us incredibly close.

    Anyway my concern is, will any mother be able to say that about their son? In such an un-empathetic , cold manner? It goes against the fundamental principles of motherhood no? I told her not to talk rubbish and that , it doesn’t matter when we found out and am really glad me and the husband are dealing with this together and not pointing fingers! It takes 2 ppl to make a baby and egg w/o sperm or vice versa is useless.

    Now we are close to embarking on another IVF journey and in the last 2 months have completed all the pre-med work, successfully ( yayeee!). You can only imagine my nerves at this time. A few weekends back( after about 3.5 months of no cribs/ arguments) she starts an argument about how we don’t talk to them often enough and don’t want to see them on skype and don’t care enough and more BS of the kind! I don’t want to go into details of justifying myself, but really we are not the type to call everyday! I don’t do it with my own parents even. I really can’t afford to get stressed now. I have to hold my calm and stay positive and hopeful. The baby struggle has been very draining for us …financially, physically and emotionally and every cell in my body is hoping to get it right this time. I know the hubby and I will kick-ass as parents ( i.e. will give it better than our best) and am confident we will have babies of our own, but sadly we are getting older and we hope to start on the journey of parenthood sooon.

    Anyways, I deal with all this crap and yet I maintain the formality of my relationship with my inlaws and not get into a fight. I won’t let my husband break ties with his parents. I don’t know if I am being stupid and digging my own grave, deeper and deeper. I just feel so helpless! UGH!

    Sorry to post this type of comment on such a happy post MM.. Really Sorry. But I’m desperately wanting to bounce this off people and so using your forum. Hope you don’t mind?

    P.S : Hope you know who I am thru’ my IP address, don’t want to use my regular ID as I am sharing a lot of personal information.

    • MM

      I reallllly apologize. I just realized i abused the comment space you provided us to share thoughts on YOUR post, to something of your own. Horrible! don’t know what came over me. Please go ahead and take down that long comment if you want. I
      I’m really embarassed about how i went on n on. Sheesh! Sorry MM, very very sorry.

  5. You made a mallu Syrian Christian who grew up in fort Cochin home sick 😰 or rather rain-sick… I miss monsoons almost as much as I miss family..

  6. oh yea, kerala. That whole lush green still stands on my mind- that whole coast from Goa to Kerala is too pretty.
    Btw, gaud saraswat brahmins arent native to kerala – might have some presence in karnataka and moslly from maharastra.

    Oh also Syrian Christian men look pretty smart
    – from some one who is not from there.

  7. Hi Me

    Your story is very similar to mine except mine gets worse in MIL dept & parents dept ,both expect things from us !
    I did not need IVF but IUI , lost a kid ,got a micro preemie etcetc…now she is beautiful intelligent 7 yr old 🙂 ,it worked out
    Here are my (HUGS),I never comment here ,not really a fan… but I read your comment and wanted to make you feel better 🙂
    My very best wishes for your baby journey 🙂

    • Thansk for taking the time for a kind wish 🙂 and congrats on your offspring .

      I beleive it will work out for us too..i just donno when.

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