Thursday, September 25, 2008

The other day when I was driving back from the grocery store, I saw one of those little cars for children (the kind where they actually sit in it and drive it) on the sidewalk. Behind it came a toddler, all dressed for the big ride, cool sunglasses and all....The first thought that occurred to me when I saw the little car was, "I bet that's one of the things my son is going to buy his son when he's all grown up." The reason being that that was one of the things he always wanted when he was 3-4 years old and for some reason, we just never bought it. It was always, "not now, sweetie" or "maybe later" Of course one reason behind my reluctance was that he would speed away and I would not be able to stop him.Not to mention the exorbitant price for it. It always felt like, it would be used for maybe a year and he'll outgrow it so why waste good money on it. We always found something else to buy instead, something which both brothers could use for a longer period of time.

Well, anyways, the little car got me thinking. Isn't it funny how, we always try to provide for our kids all that we never had as kids. My parents always felt that my brother and I should have all the things they didn't have while they were growing up. We always got to buy the latest fashion in clothes(as long as it was decent, of course!)They always made sure we had money in our pockets for anything we might need or for any emergency expenses-for me this emergency always translated to a severe craving for pani-puri at the road side stand:)When they were growing up, money was not something they always had and had to go through so much for even the smallest of needs. They always tried to provide a stable home environment for us, something which they themselves lacked, growing up.

Then I had my kids, and what did I do? I tried to provide for them all that I didn't have while growing up.There were a few things I felt like I could not have as a child.It is not always material stuff, I remember when I was growing up,my friends could not always come to my house to play, because my mom worked. So, most of the time it was me going to my friends houses to play. Sounds silly, but it stuck somewhere and now my kids friends' practically live at our house. However, me staying home and not working full time means, that my kids don't always get what they want or don't get what they want right away, because we have to budget our money. Hence, the little car got pushed to the background with all the other things we felt were unnecessary at the time. My husband, on the other hand, a big sports buff,(he played cricket for his state)was the last of 10 children in the family. Though he was pampered quite a lot, he still always had to borrow sports equipment when he went to play cricket and never had any of the fancy stuff the other kids had.There were just more important things the family needed. So, what does he buy our kids? All the sports equipment they ever need or even mention the slightest interest in.

I am sure, when my kids grow up, they are going to buy their kids all the stuff they never had. It may or may not be material things, but I am sure, when they are parents, they will have this big list of things they didn't have or didn't get to do.Funny how the cycle of life continues, right?

You must be wondering, this is a travel blog,so why the constant rambling about life and its little quirks? Well, I think of life as a journey too. The journey of our thoughts, sometimes down memory lane and at others somewhere into the distant future. But, a wonderful journey nonetheless, with all its twists and turns.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hi all,

I'm back after a long hiatus from blogging. Many things have been going on with me since the time I last blogged. Mainly, life.....

My parents came to visit and help me out with a surgery that I had to go through. The first three months of their visit went by in just helping me run the house. The kids were in the last quarter of school, the summer vacation that followed and so on and so forth. Hubby has been doubly busy with work..we all know how the work scene is these need to elaborate on that! We did take a couple of trips during the latter part of their visit, though. Once was to St. Louis, Missouri, and the second one was to our fav vacation spot, The Wisconsin Dells. We had a number of karate tournaments, guitar and vocal recitals, drawing competitions, school plays and many more wonderful and exciting events. The biggest thing for us has been our older child starting high school this fall. Its a big deal around here. We were all a little overwhelmed, but we're on our way now and hopefully things will go smoothly. Our younger son started Intermediate school, 4th grade.

My parents left a couple of weeks back for India. I am trying to get back into the groove of things, school lunches(yup, remember those?) and work.

I just wanted to say hi to all of you again and hopefully, I'll be blogging more often now. I know I've said that before, but haven't really been able to, but I'll try harder now:))

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hello all, this is a guest post by my husband. He recounts his recent visit to the Great Wall of China. Read on....

Changcheng (The Great Wall of China)

Visiting Changcheng or the ‘Long Wall’ as it is popularly known in China, built for over 6000 Kms, is an amazing experience. An awesome man-made structure built and rebuilt….and rebuilt…. Over thousands of years, by successive dynasties.

When I was in Beijing for my official visit, my colleague from the Beijing office suggested we visit some places. ‘What would you like to see?’ he asked. ‘Great Wall, of course!!’

I was a bit apprenhensive when my colleague offered to drive me to the Great Wall in his car. I was already having enough fun catching a cab from the hotel to my office and back. I would say traffic in Beijing is not as bad as it is in India, but it’s definitely stressful!!

My colleague Mr. Hao picked me up from the hotel at 8.30AM on Saturday morning. It was a two hour drive to reach Badaling section of the Great Wall. One could book any of the plethora of bus tours to the Great Wall from various points in the city. Since it was a Saturday morning, traffic wasn’t that bad and we made it in good time. After parking the car, we set off on foot to climb the tallest part of the Badaling Great Wall.

The climb was pretty steep and we were exhausted by the time we reached the peak. Of course, there were cable-car rides and train rides to reach the summit and I was tempted to take one of those rides; But after seeing some septuagenarians and octogenarians climbing the wall on foot, we decided to walk. And, what a walk it was!! I have been climbing the steps of Tirumala Hills since I was a kid and I thought I was very good in conserving my energy for long walks with steep climbs. But this was a totally different and amazing experience.

The scenery around the Great Wall is breath-taking. One can see the Great Wall disappearing into the horizon. Most of the Badaling section runs through mountains. One can imagine the hard-work put in by the people in those times, with no access to modern construction equipment whatsoever. There is a belief that some 2 million people died while building this wall.

After climbing down the wall, we reached Beijing city limits late in the afternoon. Since we skipped lunch (we were too tired to eat anything after climbing the Great Wall), we decided to eat an early dinner at one of the local restaurants. The food was amazing and I realized how spicy Chinese food could be!! Most of the Chinese restaurants offer a variety of choices for vegetarians like me.The only twist to this statement is to take a local person with you when you visit such restaurants. No matter how hard you try to explain your choice of vegetarian food, there will be some misunderstanding and you may end up with the famous Peking Duck cooked to perfection served steaming hot!! Your local friend can best explain your choice to the waitress.

Thank you Travelplaza for this space on your blog :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vist to Agra...The Taj!!

On our recent trip to India, the one place we wanted to visit was Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. My kids had made us promise when we were still here that we would see it. So, we booked our tickets using the travel site We only just booked our flight tickets as our accomodation was taken care of by freinds of the family. The tickets were not too expensive and the customer service reps were professional and curteous.

We arrived in Delhi on a Monday afternoon and spent the day lazing around. The next day, Tuesday, we woke up bright and early to drive to Agra. Our driver was a nice young fellow, except he kept losing his way around a little bit! Of course once we were on the highway, he knew every inch of the road and made good time. He used his 'Haryanvi' accent to talk his way through various "informal check-posts" setup by local police. Haryanvi is a special flavor of Hindi spoken in the state of Haryana which is adjacent to state of Delhi. We stopped for breakfast at a nice restaurant on the Delhi-Agra highway, I can't remember the name, but they not only had great parathas, but also some fabulous souvenirs. The kids of course were thrilled by the snake charmer who sat at the gate to the restaurant.

After a good breakfast, we resumed our journey and reached Agra at about 10.00 am and went straight to the Taj Mahal. Motor vehicles are not permitted close to the monument and so we had to park our car little away and from there ride in a jatka...a horse driven cart. It was an iteresting 10 minutes with the bumps and clumps and the willfulness of the animal itself. At one point the cart driver gave the reigns to my older son and this thrilled him no end. We arrived at the entrance and bought our tickets to go in. There was a security check point but there was no problem. It was not too crowded and it was a pleasant morning. Although it did get very hot really soon..

There are no words to describe the unique beauty of the Taj!!It stood regal and grand near the Jamuna...I was sad to see though,that the Jamuna had shrunk to a mere stream. We walked along the path leading to the Taj and went inside. Footwear had to be left outside and we entered the monument. It was quite hot outside now, but the spectacular architecture of the monument allowed for the cool breeze to waft in. This gave the place a serene, calm and cool feel. Photography is not allowed inside the Taj. However, we took plenty of pictures outside. The kids read about its history and other interesting facts on our way out. My younger son's reaction after reading them was just one word, "awesome!". We again took the jatka back to the car park. The heat was intense now and we were hungry. We headed to a restaurant for some Daal-roti and sabji.

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal seemed to be on any week day except Friday. Visit to Taj on Fridays and weekends will only cause lot of heartache for Taj-lovers. It was around the last week of June and I think schools being in session in India, there was not too much crowd. It was peaceful and quiet and just perfect.

Soon after our trip, The Taj was voted to be one of the New Seven Wonders!!!Yeah..Taj!

Friday, October 26, 2007

More rambling....

Hi all,

I've been away for a long long time. But I'm back now. "Hey r u thinking of writing again?" These 7 words from Ajeya, posted in my comments section really got me thinking....what have I been doing these past 6 months? Why haven't I been even so much as looking at my blog? I was looking for some answers when my 8 year old came to me sleepy-eyed and asked me, "mom, what are you giving me for lunch today? Can you make aaloo parathas?" Aah, the answer...I've been living my life, the life of a mother, a wife, a home maker, a part time many things...and its been full and rewarding at times and frustrating at others...and in all the activity I forgot to do what I love, to write!!

When we were planning our trip to India in the summer, I was looking forward to getting together with some of you, but as it turned out, I didn't get a chance to meet any of you. The trip itself was eventful and I was glad to be there when I was. It seemed like it was over all too soon and we returned home with tears in our eyes and our hearts full of memories, that we will remember for ever, some fondly, others sadly, but memories, there will always be.

This post is just a come-back one...and I hope to be writng a lot more soon. I haven't had a chance to post about my India trip at all, but we did travel a little bit while we were there and maybe I'll post about our travels to Delhi and Agra...the Taj was spectacular and the kids loved seeing it.

Yes, yes...I know, I'm rambling again..seems like I'm doing that a lot lately....if not on my blog, then when I'm talking to someone...anyways, I hope to be blogging more soon. I want to thank all my blogger friends for thinking of me and caring....

Friday, January 26, 2007


I was doing the laundry the other day and the smell of clean fresh laundry took me back to my childhood when we would run around playing in the yard amidst the clothes drying in the sun. Occasionally one or two small clothes would drop down from the clothesline and we would be yelled at for making the freshly washed clothes dirty.
Then my mind wandered to my teens when with the setting sun, my mom would ask me to bring the laundry in and fold the clothes and put them away in their respective places. I loved folding laundry, but the putting away part was what I hated. I grumbled and made a list of all the most hated chores including drying the dishes and putting them away.
Today as I gently fold my kids clothes and put them away in their closets, I smile to myself and think its not so bad after all. The memories of childhood and adolescence come back to us, sometimes, unbidden and other times, we fondly recall them. The topic at the dinner table in our home usually revolves around my husband’s and my childhood and the kids love hearing our escapades and of course, how we got in trouble.
Whenever I feel lonely and isolated, living so far away from our families, it is these memories that bring a smile to my face. These memories are what keep us close to the hearts of the ones we love and to our home. I hope my children have wonderful memories of their childhood when they grow up too, for it is these memories that make the present bearable-knowing that someday the present will be memories of things past.
Why this post, you ask…its all in the title, sundry ramblings! And yes, my friends and family do think I’m weird because I love doing laundry!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I’ve been tagged again:) by RK and Ajeya.

I must say I’ve been really late with this one. Anyways I’m supposed to say eight things about myself…So, here goes…

1. I was born in Hyderabad, India, brought up in Bangalore…lived a good portion of my life there before moving to Sydney, Australia and then to the United States.

2. My favorite place in the world is still Bangalore.

3. I had my first child at a very young age when I was still studying. I had him the day after completing my second year degree exams. I had the highest marks in the whole college for that last exam.

4. I am quite reserved with people I don’t know very well. But I am anything but reserved with friends and family. In fact, they complain that I cannot stop talking…

5. I will not say I am a perfectionist, but I strive to do the best I can at all times.

6. I love traveling. I have a passion for visiting new places. I hope to travel the world sometime…

7. I love my kids to distraction…as if you couldn’t tell already..:)

8. And finally, my philosophy in life is to take each day as it comes and live life to the fullest. Planning is good, but spontaneity is better. Don’t forget to put your party hats on…and have a blast:)

I tag....