Royal Rajasthan – Day 5 – Tanot Mata-Jodhpur

As I said, the BIL had heard about this place called Tanot Mata-about 150kms towards the border from Jaisalmer and had a deep desire to see this place. We had a very early morning, had bath with the heater turned on in the bathroom partition at 6:30 freezing am in the morning, a quick breakfast-again very yummy and fresh while Chuktu chased sparrows around the dining tent 🙂

Digress: I forgot to mention the accommodation at the desert camp. While we checked in at 2pm in the afternoon, it was so hot that we switched on the fan and chose to stay inside the tent accommodation until we had to leave for the safari. The whole tent is made up of thick cloth with a zipped opening for the door and another smaller partition for the bathroom-again with a zipped cloth door. At midnight, it got so freezing cold that I hardly slept all night-we decided against the heater as the husband gets dehydrated with the heater and gets a headache and nose bleed. So, I woke up in the middle of the night, added another quilt and tried to sleep but my nose and my toes (despite socks) were freezing. In the morning since we had to get ready really early, I turned on the heater to get some warmth inside the bathroom while we had bath. Despite a hot water bath and the heater turned on Chuktu and I were freezing by the time we got ready.


We started at about 8am and drove through the desert towards Tanot Mata temple. The speciality of this temple is that it is situated very close to the border and apparently during the India-Pakistan war, no bombs exploded within the vicinity of the temple. They have kept all these unexploded bombs on display inside the temple. The roads to this place is extremely well-maintained by the Border Security and is a joy to drive on. Here is where we saw the real desert land scape, with mile and miles of just desert with sparse life around. The temple is manned by Border Security people and though the BIL took a chance with request to go to the border-it was quite obviously refused. Despite this not being in our list of things to see, it was worth going to.

Since our driver was really slow and the roads are really well maintained with not a vehicle in sight for miles together, the husband decided to drive all the way upto Jaisalmer where we had a quick lunch. We finally got Churma as a sweet but it wasnt all that great. Our quest for good Churma continued.

Another 5 hrs drive through desert and vast golden sand lands we reached The Kothi Heritage in Jodhpur. This was a last minute pick of a hotel because we were searching for a heritage haveli style and got this within our budget. Ah! What a relief-another very well maintained place. More of Jodhpur tomorrow 🙂








The Lure of “Foreign Lands”

Way back in 2007, when we travelled on my work, there was a lot of excitement on the travel and some expectations of how we wanted things to shape up. This time around, the husband has already travelled and I expect I will be joining him in summer once the cold winds blow off

When I tell family that Im waiting for Chutku to finish his school year and the summer to set in, so I can take a proper Transfer Certificate for him, which might help once we come back, everyone sits up and takes notice of only the fact of “Come back”. Some are cynical, some
laugh out loud saying “Oh!we have seen so many people saying that they will come back but no one has…” , some just say-“we hope you come back”. Some ask us “Do you really want to come back”?

Everyone we spoke to about the travel has told us, “You will have another child there and settle down there!” – Eh? Really? Maybe? Or more categorically “go have another kid there!”Including my Doctor!! Your son needs the company – 6yrs difference will not make for any company, we say,only added responsibility for us! This whole having another child thing, has just put me off!Nobody, just nobody, has any right to take any such decisions for us. It makes me not want to go atall! So, I feel that its decided, we have another child there-“OH! See, we knew you would have another one there-now that child has become an american citizen” Or, we choose not to have another child there “OH! You should have another child there,you could also apply for citizenship” no matter what-there will be judgements passed.

We ourselves arent sure what we are expecting this time-we stay/not stay, I work or I dont work – everything depends on how the little fellow adjusts and accepts the change. The focus is all on him. Are we worrying too much? Maybe, because from past experience, Chutku doesnt take to change very easily. He still talks about the old house and how he played cycle in the basement. This time, the changes are huge, and he is grown older too. If the same thing had happened a couple of years ago, when he didnt remember or have to go to school, we think the transition would have been easier for him.

How will he adjust to the environment around him. Of not having the grandparents and cousins to play with, of a different language, a different set of people to get adjusted to, a schooling system which is also very different from here. Most of all we wonder whats going to happen to the very noisy, tantrummy, happy to scream boy there! How are we going to control all that and channel all that energy – especially during winter months.Today, he knows that he has a backup in the form of Ammamma-Thatha if we scold him, would he feel left out there? Feel he has no one, if we scold him? Would that affect him? Here we co-sleep, there though I’ve already told hubby that we need to furnish his room and make it inviting for him from Day-1, will he be able to sleep alone? How would he react in school – would he notice the difference of skin color and would that affect him?

This whole move comes with a lot of upheaval for all of us.Sometimes, despite having plan A and Plan B, life takes its own course, and we just need to flow along the currents and see where it takes us.


Chutku’s 5th Birthday Letter

My Darling Chutku,

Shall I begin to start addressing you here as little boy? Or little monster? Those names seem to suit you much better than Chutku – because, that, you no longer are. Like you yourself claim, you have become a big boy now, coming all the way above my waist. Anyone who sees you,
asks how old you are and exclaim about your height.

You, my little one, have grown. Not just in height but in your mind too.Like your Ammamma/thatha always said – you realise the child is growing up when he gets bad behaviour!

And how! You know just where and when to throw tantrums, how to get your way and how to back answer too! It infuriates me when you back answer and I scream back at you, only realising much later that I could have handled it better with a wee bit of patience. Sadly – I loose my
mind with you. A lot of times when the day ends and you are sleeping peacefully next to me, I regret the fight we would’ve had and think I should handle it better the next time.Anyway Im sure, there are plenty more next times to come!

There, that was the first thing on my mind. Lets talk about more nicer stuff – Im surprised by your clarity of thoughts and your actions. Suddenly in a PTM your teacher says-he is one of the more mature kids in the class and then the next PTM the same teacher says that you are very naughty and you even cause fights in the class! So what am I supposed to hold on to? I take both with a pinch of salt. You are growing up with your own thought processes and
influences, no matter how much I try to control the environment, its not always possible. So I just learn to let-go.

There are times, when you get your home work done in a jiffy and then there are days when Im ready to pull out the hair on my head trying to get you to finish 3 lines of the letter ‘j’!! One thing that is always for certain though – your 13847596067 questions, your non-stop
chatter and your unbridled energy. My God! Even past 11pm, when your Dad and I are just waiting to drop off to sleep, you sit up in bed and ask questions or you want to get out of bed and play! These days, I even let you do it. You are very sensitive and have amazing observation powers! Every little thing comes to your notice and more than my screaming you are affected by my sad face. I love it that you care-care for that little butterfly that is not able to fly out of the home or about that little ant crossing the road-that you scream – Amma,
dont stamp that ant! You are most happiest when there are people around you and Im proud that you can engage any one of them in a conversation and I have noticed, that people do respond to you-even as their expression is one of surprise that you are so confidently talking to them 😀

You are still afraid of the dark, especially after watching Chota Bheem and Little Krishna. You prefer to “huggie Sleep” with me or your Dad especially on those nights when you are afraid. You still want to be woken up by me,carried around and you LOVE to be pampered 😀 It hurts you when we refuse to make you sit on our laps or we refuse to give you that hug. You continue to be possessive about us and hate it when we talk to little R on skype or carry little S or even call them by any pet names. Forget carry any other baby 🙂 There- there still seems to be some amount of innocence and baby-ness left in you which I still cherish…

I can feel you growing up in more ways than one. Im going to start calling you the little monster (LM) from now on in this space, because I really dont think you are Chutku anymore 🙂

May your quest for more answers continue and let nothing stop you from getting those answers, Baby.


Anticipating 2015

If 2014 picked up pace mid-year, 2015 promises to start with a sprint.
Home and Hearth – The husband has finally travelled to the USofA on a long term assignment, and Im trying to wrap up stuff here so we can join him as soon as summer sets in there. That would be April-May and Chutku would’ve finished his school year here. Lots to work on the
“Wrapping up” though. I still dont know what to take, what to pack, what to sell and if its even worth a cargo or not. The husband is yet to move to the house where we would be staying and until that happens everything here has to wait. I’ve partially shifted in with my parents and we try to work out the daily stuff as each day goes by.

Work-wise – As a resolution last year, I had written “concentrate on career – I need to stop looking back at what I left behind when I moved from mainstream delivery to support. Its been 2 yrs now, I need to take stock of situation and see how I can grow from where I am today.
Baby steps have been initiated and I hope to get to a better place by my standards, atleast by the end of the year.”

Well – I guess it paid off! I was a part of the key team in July where only 8 people from the organisation were chosen and since October I have been handling an entire unit by myself. I would say it was one resolution that worked. I dont know what to look forward to in this area with all the impending changes.

Health-wise – The weighty-matters continue and I have not done much about it. I did start with the Julia Michaels 20min shred for nearly a month and then gave up mostly because I got bored of exercising alone. Havent really put on much weight but havent lost anything either. So its just stagnated there. Only small change is that I have begun to drink green tea twice daily and try not to eat oily/sweet stuff/chocolates daily 😦 Though sometimes the craving is just so much that I give in 😦 The idea of going to the gym continues atleast to make use of the gymwear I bought after spending a small fortune! Lets see where that goes.

On the creative side – There was nothing I did last year except again the customery Chutku birthday t-shirt of Chip and Dale and I painted one more for a close friend’s son – Thomas the train. With so much happening everyday, I hardly got time to think of any such creativity and struggled to atleast maintain some 15mins of me-time to read before bed. So, this year Im
looking forward to some time on hands where I can get to do something more creative. Hoping that this move to new country and new house would bring in some enthusiasm combined with the
fact that I might not be working for atleast a few months to DO something instead of just planning and thinking.

Plenty to look forward to in 2015 and plenty of apprehensions come along with it too.

So what are all of you looking forward to in 2015?

2014- In Retrospect

Where did the year just vanish?! It has been a whirlwind year with so many things happening sometimes and then suddenly nothing at all happening at other times.

Best and sweetest news of the year was that I became an “Atthe”! I now have a cute little niece 😀 and Im trying to teach her to say “atthe” on Facetime 😛

The parents travelled to UK for 3 months to help Brother-SIL with the new born from July to September which was the most busiest part of the year. I had the Org level reassessment/Husband travelled to Pune every week and the in-laws pitched in by staying with me to help me with Chutku’s school and schedule.

Being chosen to be a  part of the Organisation reassessment which was a career high for me. Really happy that the team has noticed my contribution within 2 years of moving here.

Managing Home – office -home and the travelling that comes with it, without the husband, wasnt easy, but has now given me the confidence that I can do it – thats an ego-booster to me!

In between all the confusions of husband and parents travelling, we managed quite a few fun trips as well. Planning and executing these trips not only kept me busy but also gave me lots of positive energy rather than get bogged down by everything else.

Like always, *Touchwood* friends and family have been around for me to vent and care for me -always a phone call away to hear me out and give me strength, pulled me up before I realised I
was going down – just by being there. I have much to thank God for, in that department.

By the end of the year, the husband has already travelled, Im making plans and arrangements to travel too and things seem to continue at a fast pace and would maybe continue to be until mid
year this year.

So, how has the year been for all of you?


How I Ushered the New Year…

Like every year, this year too there was a 31st night party organised by the elders in the family. Sadly, since most of the cousins have travelled to other shores-Australia and the USA, including the Dear hubby, the crowd was dismal. Since Im still here in namma bengaluru with Chutku, I decided it would be really bad and sad if I didnt attend it either.

So last evening, came home from work, mom fed Chuktu his dinner and I made him wear the new clothes I had bought just the day before – I have this small tradition for myself-I always bring in the new year in new clothes, so I obviously need to do the same for Chuktu :-), and waited for FIL to come pick us up. There was one other young cousin, who made all the necessary Skype and Facetime calls around the world and then promptly left to party with his friends. So at the end, it was just 7 elders,me and Chuktu.

But guess what? The fun never diminished a single bit! We played Antakshari for nearly 2hrs and it was SOOOO MUCH FUN! Since I was the youngest, they made me dance too and gave Chuktu chance to sing and dance, played lovely old melodies in tribute of the movie stars who passed away last year, the older couples also danced, because I didnt have my big partner, I danced with my little partner 🙂 – It was just the same amount of fun. Food was amazing too.

Today morning one of the aunts sends a message that Chutku and I were the Jaan of the party and they all enjoyed because of us. Along with all the fun last night, we have also been heartily blessed. In the morning, we woke up late and Mom has taken care of the cooking. Just woke up from an aftenoon nap and the little fellow is peacefully playing by himself right now on the bed, as I type this.What more to ask for?

Oh yeah! I also grabbed a sho of PK with a friend on 31st December. So the year ended with a bang and the new one has begun just as I visualise it – lazy and relaxed 😀

How did you bring in your new year?

Happy New Year-2015!

Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year!!
Wishing all the readers – 1 atleast? A very very happy, healthy new year!

So, its been like I just vanished into thin air after last year’s blogathon. So much has happened that I could’ve blogged about, so much has not happened that I could crib about here too. But I guess I was just very lazy and in my own cocoon the last year to be putting down the happenings here.

For the friends from the blog world who made an attempt to keep in touch with me – RM,Maya,Seema – thank you! If not for you, I would not have wanted to come back. Seema – I hope to live up to the expectations!!
Congratulations for all the wonderful things that have happened to each one of you over the last 11 months and All the very best to the year ahead!

Blogathon 2015 – Bring it on!

NOTE: Like I already mentioned, I HAVE been in my own cocoon and most of the posts would only be personal than discussions. Will try to think of more social stuff as the days progress – but read at your own “BORING” risk 🙂

Office Office

Do you remember there used to be a comedy serial like this? Well, if office can give fodder to an entire serial,I think it can definitely give me some fodder for a post!

Onsite travel is something most software engineers dream of as soon as they get their job offers.Likewise, I do have a lot of collegues who are all set and eagerly waiting for such opportunities. No, for that, I have no problem at all. I too have had such an opportunity and have learnt immensely from the experience. What bothers me is something entirely different.

The politics behind it. I have seen this happening in the other organisations and I see a lot of it happening around me here too. Thank God! Im not in any contention for any onsite travels, so I guess Im spared, and I try to stay away from it all too.

Someone I know always wanted an onsite oppotunity and got her papers ready-good for her. She found a guy who is also working abroad and got married recently – again, very good for her. She didnt want to quit as she already had the papers to work abroad – that actually makes sense for someone who is serious about their own career. I appreciate the fact that she just didnt give up everything and was ready to travel as her husband’s dependent like most people assumed she would. So, now she has been fighting to go onsite. She has had multiple discussions with the necessary bosses to ensure she gets her chance at the earliest. I actually have no issues with that-I have realised that in most corporate worlds, if we dont speak up for what we want-we just get pushed down to the bottom of the list-be it promotions/hikes/opportunities anything.

What actually bugs me – is the fact that she goes around telling that she is better than most other people who have got a chance to travel onsite before her. Saying that all they did was a presentation or a documentation or attended a meeting which anyone could’ve done. I understand her urgency to want to go abroad, her need for it, but that doesnt mean everyone else who has gone onsite is not upto the mark. That everyone else didnt do anything except walked up to the boss and asked to go onsite?!! Really? Is that all that’s required to go onsite on an assignment? There is something like a job description for every role and just anybody cannot be sent to such a role where the company’s name is at stake.

Now, she might get a chance to go sometime this year but someone else who has already gone there for the same job,is not very keen on wanting her there – reason – she is newly married and her hubby is in another city across the country and so she might not give it her best at the job but would want to take leaves and spend more time with him, thereby the pressure of completing the work would fall on this guy. That too, I feel is bad-how can anyone just come to a conclusion that someone wont work because they are newly married? Will the same rule apply to the man as well? Isnt that being a bias too?

So many of us, trying to get another job, so many of us currently fighting to atleast get a better hike, so many of us trying to push for promotion – All in a day’s work, I guess.

Happy Makara Sankranthi

Happy Makara Sankranthi to everyone. Like the last 3years, we did bhogi to Chutku last evening where we put yeLLu bella (til and jaggery) with cut pieces of sugarcane on his head and do a ‘Nazar Utaarna’ for him. Its a custom that I guess symbolises prosperity and good health for all his life.

My Dad putting the mixture on his head.


Batting away all the coins and otherstuff falling on his head.

Im glad he enjoyed the whole thing.

Today morning, i hurriedly prepared both sweet and khara pongal, did a quick pooja and gave the sweet mixture of yeLLu bella, sugarcane, banana and  sakkare acchu to mom-atleast managed to give it to one person!! Before rushing to work.

So hows all your day going?