We planned one thursday night at 11 pm that we had to go on a vacation to Bengaluru on the very same day the kids had got done with their final exmas last week. We were quiet sure no amount of planning would work as all train tickets would be booked by then. We made a few frantic calls to friends and long lost aquaintances to check availability of accomodation in ooty, kodai, munnar, yelagiri and yercaud. They gave us hopeless news that all was booked and we would never stand a chance at this time of summer. They must have thought we are a crazy couple who would sit and make plans at 11pm to go on a vacation the next morning, with two kids. We did not give up. He lost hope soon and said we may not make it. Then, it stuck me that Bangalore was just a 5 -6 hour drive away and insisted, perstered, nagged, and cribbed till he was forced to agree that there was not much option left.
His Bengaluru friends cautioned him that it was Ugadhi, so it may be difficult to get accomodation. Something also to do with some political party indulging in some celebrations on a mega scale as well. He backed out and said we could go the next time. I did not. Meanwhile, his friend had texted a few hotel no. for booking just to give it a try. We tried. Kids were looking from the corner of their sleepy eyes, not setting any expectations as they knew it was just a try.
I was jumping with joy as the hotel guy declared availabiltiy of rooms. I slept eager and happy like a school kid going for his first vacation. Within the next evening, we took a jolly drive to B’lore and landed up at the Woodlands.
This was one of our best stays ever as we did not have any big agenda . The food, especially the soups served were a lingering delight for all four of us. Kids loved the corn kababs too and we loved the cute manager who resembled a 50-50 of my dad and his elder brother. He would stop by every lady guest and ask the same thing over and over again” if you guess what this is made of, then i will bill your food for free”! The ladies would give typical answers like maida, besan, cornflour, etc and he would cutely decline with his “priestly” pony tail shaking side to side. He has been serving here for atleast 15 years, as says the pride on his face, the way he talks and walks the talk! One more cute point is, if you order for special food like panner gravy etc, then the manager would come and take the order, let it not be taken by the boys there as it seemed too technical for them to handle:-). After the food was being served, he would come by, say sweet words to the kids, pat them, show his wife and son’s pictures from his wallet and again the pride about his son’s gold medal in the university, would make his face swell up like a cute balloon! Amazing to see such people who are willing to treat people as their own and be so kind!
Looks like apart from eating 4 meals a day at the woodies, and visiting the half- a km away Lalbagh, we really did not have any plans.
ofcos, day 2 was very very enjoyable, as we visited the HAL township that I used to stay in 34 years ago! I showed the kids my Vimanapura school that I and my sis studied at, the HAL colony, the playgound, the park, the corner house..
We had quite a task finding G-561, 7th cross as we kept crossing the same house so many times and I hadnt realised it was remodeled to face a different direction. Finally, we managed to find out and stopped. I inquired to find out that the huge cotton tree which was the landmark of my house was gone, the entrance faced the opposite lane and all the neighbours we used to have had left and migrated elsewhere. I showed the kids my house and the flooring of one of the rooms, unchanged brought back reminiscences of my good old b’lore days, my mom, her badam milk, tomato juice, her smell, her loving presence all over the house. For a minute, i sat back, to control my tears, i was happy i could feel her in that house.
I embraced the mango tree outside the verandah, looked up and remembered how much of yeild it had given us, now it was hardly green. I recollected how my dad used to climb up and pluck gunny bags of mangoes and supply them for pickles all over the colony.How many, how many memories, those roses, those corns and balsams were all gone but the lovely couple who occupied the house now with their two little girls were warm and nice, and it gave me instant relief that the house was now someone else’s and that they too are nice people like my parents.
My kids and their dad waited for me, knowing how much i had told them about each detail about my blore town. They waited until i felt every bit of the house and drank the same water which lingers in my tongue even after so many years.
My love and thanks to the three of them to have let me make my dream come true. Yes, going back once to feel the house was my long time dream, and this time, i have seen it come true. I realised, if you really wish for something with your whole heart, it will defintely come true someday!