September 24, 2010

India - Days 9-12

k returned back to Madras on 20th at some unearthly early morning time and l~ came home a day earlier than he had announced -- that was a nice surprise. I went to Ramanathan pathara kadai again and spent another bundle buying copper-bottomed stainless steel containers, a pressure cooker, nei jaadi (a small vessel to hold ghee) etc. The store had a computer but that was used more like a calculator to add up the total sum. The vessels themselves did not have any item number on them. The store folks just consulted an old ruled notebook to figure out the cost of the vessels. The store was extremely small but had everything!
We even bought a banana hammock and a dish rack there. Customer service there is based on how much money you have to spend. An old guy smelling of tobacco came to get his mixer blade repaired and had to wait the entire length of time we were there.

Ramanathan & Co

Then we headed to Shankara hall (Of course!) We spent an hour browsing there and I bought some golu bommais, an incense stand and picked out some wall hangings. My mom selected a 3D Parthasarathy wall hanging which was quite beautiful (all blue and gold). It's extremely humid here and somehow that's more exhausting than just being hot. I had an equally exhausting (although in a nice way) dance practice session and then we headed to Fisherman's Cove at Kovalam beach (courtest l~ who gets employee discounts there).

The view at Fisherman's cove is breathtaking. Blue waves crashing on the golden sand, green landscapes and coconut trees surrounding our's a different world here. It's almost as if I am back in the US (clean, wide corridors, dim lighting, western toilets) until I see the innumerable Indian staff employed to maintain the 5 star hotel. With the exception of my horrendous hair style (think Monica style frizzy hair, thanks to humidity -- remember that FRIENDS episode?) , it's blissful here. Service is the magic word here. Press a button and a man appears to clean your room, get you freshly squeezed sweet lime juice, decadent desserts, press your clothes and fold them in neat little white covers arranged in a wicker basket, a rose placed on a leaf on top of the clothes (Seriously! Yesterday it was a red rose, today yellow).The men had an underwear shortage situation since they gave away everything to be laundered!

View from our room

Sathukudi juice -- my favoritest!

We went or at least tried to go on a boat ride yesterday. We walked in the hot sand, wore our huge life jackets, convinced r~ to wear one and then sat on the boat. But, the motor sound, the rocking boat, the waves crashing into the boat and on her face were too much for her to handle. So she loudly protested and we headed back to the shore. Then k~ and l~ went back to complete their boat ride. k said he swam in the Bay of Bengal (or at least floated with life jacket in the water) and that I should try it too (Fat chance).

Fresh-pressed laundry
We opted for in-room dining a couple of times and stuffed ourselves crazy but after a couple of times that got boring and so we headed to the Mediterranean restaurant nearby. We ordered some familiar and some strange sounding dishes and they were all tastefully arranged on a plate (Food network style plate decorations!) and four different type of desserts! Yesterday we headed to the beach and watched the waves which looked beautiful bathed in the moonlight (but a bit ominous at night) and the crabs which were everywhere. r~ ran about as usual and we just hung out in lounge chairs. She actually fell asleep at the beach. k did his first Ganapathy visarjan at the beach :) The guard said we couldn't go into the water at night but made an exception for our spiritual quest. Yesterday we tried a multi-cuisine restaurant where they took almost an hour to serve us our order. Then we took a buggy back to our room (Oh yeah, the buggy. It's sort of like a low-weight open jeep that works on batteries. To go to any place within Fisherman's cove, we need to ask for a buggy and the driver will take us to the beach, one of the restaurants, the spa etc. I endured some painful threading and waxing but the facial was neat and the detox tea they serve (jaggery, lemon juice and holy basil) is amazing! Looking forward to my "relaxation massage" today (and the detox tea even more).

We went to the crocodile bank yesterday which didn't seem to be that well maintained but true to its name did house a large number of crocodiles.We then went to Mahabalipuram. Like true NRIs, we hired a tour guide and that turned out to be a good thing. He narrated a lot of stories explaining the significance of each important landmark there (Arjuna's penance, Bhima's stove, Krishna's butter ball, the shore temple...) He pointed to a pillar which seemed like it had the carving of a cow and then he hid the cow's face and the carving looked like an elephant! Mahabalipuram was probably the highlight of the trip. The shore temple is pretty amazing...I'll put up pictures here soon - the beauty is better demonstrated through images than words.
Krishnar vennai

Shore temple


Back to the real world today evening...


Lavs said...

no wonder your phone went unanswered:)

The Doodler said...

KOvalam beach? Is there one in Chennai? Or did you go to Kerala?!!

PH said...

More pressure cookers??!! I am sure K is thrilled.

My MIL is already worried about returning your blender to you. We need to buy one ASAP, to releive her tension.

Anonymous said...

Please do not use "its" and "it's" interchangeably. It's annoying and I cannot read further.

RS said...

Anon -- You mean this one? "but true to its name..." Fixed it but seriously if you are unable to read further, I would suggest you stop reading :p

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't have commented if that's the only place... "it's" is mocking me from everywhere, so I know it's not just one careless mistake.
One doesn't expect basic errors from a writer. I did stop reading.

RS said...

"mocking you from everywhere?" Isn't that being a bit too dramatic? Anyway, there is limited editing I can do when I post from India...given the time schedule I am on, posting itself is a huge task -- not trying to justify grammatical errors but stating the obvious!

RS said...

Oh also, that's the only place where I had mistakenly used it's. So not sure where else "it's" mocking you from :)

kamal said...

Good one RS.

Anonymous - Firstly you are hiding under an Anonymous blanket.

Secondly, if you can't read further then don't. There is an "X" on all your windows.

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy reading you.

Here you go:

"Heard the Kokkarako Sevale sing it's good morning song yesterday morning at around 5 (because we hadn't slept yet) and today at 5 (because I woke up already)!"

"Bombay goes to InOrbit or one of it's sister malls on Saturdays and Sundays."

Anonymous said...

Kamal- RS is a stranger to me (as are you), so I don't see how a name really matters here. We are all strangers here.

Anonymous said...

"The other day while on our way back from Sab Kuch which is a cool restaurant that serves as it's name suggests, pretty much everything"

Anonymous said...

Please correct these too.

"A few days later, I noticed a circular white crust/small bump right behind my piercing like it's twin sister."

"It could have ended with a happily ever after and I would have liked nothing better but then the story and it's poignant moments wouldn't come back to haunt me with what ifs, would it?"

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there was a time (I believe, 4 weeks after r~ was born) when I wondered if I had the famous baby-blues or it's nasty sibling, PPD."

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