Jet airways sent me an ominous email last week. "We see you have not used our services for more than two months now" or something like that. For a moment I stopped and wondered how that could be so. I mean I am a consultant's wife dammit. Then it occurred that in late December and early January when we took our holiday we tried other airlines since we booked so late and holiday prices were so crazy. Indigo we tried and regretted immensely. Go Air we tried and it was bad but no so bad although I did eat a sandwich (which I bought of course) on the flight and lived to not have typhoid from it, on second thoughts, luckily enough, and good on you Go Air. January was busy with so much. February was when I was sick for a big chunk of time. And then there is March which we are at right now.
So Wednesday night I fought long and hard with the website and booked our tickets. The screen refreshed three times and I had to begin at the beginning and thank heavens I don't have a blasted middle name but gosh I wish I could just remember my Jet Privilege number stored on my mobile ever since I lost the blue membership card, and child, can you please not talk when I am so tired and having to enter credit card numbers so many times. Anyway they SMS confirmed my booking. My email took the opportunity to fail at that juncture. So I had the PNR but no copy of ticket. I called them and they helpfully suggested I get it at the airport when I show up. I absolutely thoroughly HATE that because you have to budget extra time for such things. I finally managed to pull the ticket up from the web-page and print it out at like 10 pm. Thankfully I was all glowing and pleased since they gave me 10% off for travelling on women's day and being, you know, of the feminine gender.
Chennai was hot as ever. I am still not at my usual levels of energy so I ended up being dog-tired every single day. But it was all fun. Met with our friends. The little girl gave me a bunch of flowers, for you Maami, she said. I asked what flower it was and she said Frangipani. Now I know what that is. This is why I love children, they teach you so many good things. Saw my little niece. Who has more hair than I do. Who curled up in my lap and slept off cutely. Who oozed cuteness even when she completely refused any food that was offerred and also threw up on my jeans. And who cried her guts out at the sight of my husband till he spent fifteen minutes completely pataoing her, and then reserved her giggles, smiles and all nature of coquetry for him for the rest of the visit. Monster and I spied a KINGFISHER bird. A real live one. I was hanging out drinking tea in the morning when she clackety-clacked down the stairs and started chattering. I was half-way paying attention even when she claimed she was looking at a kingfisher outside. But then when I turned around and saw it, I almost fell out of my chair. What lovely colouring that bird has.
One of my college friends' kids thread ceremony yesterday. Tired and thinking of flight in afternoon, I went anyway. Kid was cute in his dhoti and so on. Friend in her nine yards, every inch the responsible, proud mum. Good for her! Her mother, whom I knew from our college days, was there, bubbling with energy. Me in my sari nevertheless received comments that I had hardly changed from back then. But part of that is the typhoid. Blouse was loose (I dislike that but since pregnancy it has been a constant problem, both ways, tightness and looseness. And now I cannot do anything about it till I stabilise in terms of weight. Gah). I had to leave early and the monster ate up most of the big murukku I got to take back home. I used my time there usefully to play with a little girl from Bangalore (monster was home with her cousin, I went alone), who wrote all the hindi vowels for me on the back of my Jet Airways ticket, and then proceeded to draw stick people whom she coloured pink - which was the only crayon I could find in my purse. But then it matched with the Alpenliebe I gave her from my purse for having a birthday on Saturday. So it was cool (and yes, the hall was air-conditioned as well).
Went to a bunch of schools. Hated the fact that they took my baby away and made her give tests for up to forty-five minutes each. "Cut the cord Kenny" was the husband's response, though I am sure he felt it too. Felt relieved when one of them agreed to take her in I standard. Watched in horror in one school when my opinionated and head-strong monster stomped out of the room when the lady (Vice Principal) said, she is too young for I standard, I can only take her in UKG. "I will NOT study in UKG again" the monster said (thankfully not overly loudly but I am sure Vice-Principal lady heard her) and took off to play in the slides and swings outside while I smoothed the lady's feathers and commended her on her unique school and gushed about how excited I was at the possibility of being admitted there. Its all a big racket. Everyone insists their school uses unique methods for teaching. I am cynical about it all. I mean I was cynical two years ago when I decided to avoid all the hip and happening schools of the area and put her in the campus school. And nothing has changed.
In a sense I am glad to be back. I still have some way to go in terms of recovery. And I am really liking my new place here with the flowers and what not. And mum is here though she is incessantly on my case about our moving again and what not, the food is yummalicious and everything seems a little easier. My mother-in-law has strongly suggested I quit worrying about my cholesterol and eat well and gain my weight back, which I am using as an excuse to indulge in chocolates a little. But now its time for lunch so off I go.