Monday, April 20, 2009

Baroda trip-last part

                                                    (Above pic: Entrance to E.M.E. Temple)

Thought for the day:

The difference between ignorance and apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.


No visit to Baroda is complete without a visit to the old city.

Strangely, for some reason, whenever I’m in Baroda, both my watches stop working, and my trusted watch repairer has his shop on the ground floor of our ancestral home. (which we’ve sold, btw, as I mentioned some posts ago). So, this time also, I headed that way, with both watches having misbehaved. And, while on the way, memories of ole days couldn’t help but come flooding back.

- Of the cycle shops lining our street, of Diwali and how much fun it used to be on New Year mornings with so many shop-owners setting off firecrackers

-Of Balubhai’s Khaman(Austy, you know these?)- some of the most scrumptious Khaman/dhokla are made by him, with his tag line being ‘ Hawa ke Dawa karta wadhaare chhe’( They’re more effective than Fresh Air or Medicines).

- Of the three old books and magazine sellers on Rajmahal Road, who would sell Tintins for two bucks and Archie digests for one buck. And, old magazines for the same 1-2 bucks.

- Of the lending library which I’d joined in the nineties, his ‘expansion’ to a bigger shop near Aradhana talkies and news of his passing away two-three years back.

There are many more memories which came and drifted away. But, let me talk about this visit.

-I couldn’t resist visiting Samrat Icecream, as always- them and their homemade icecream- flavour is irrestible, and no visit to Baroda can be deemed complete without a visit there. Only, I took a ‘half vanilla cold drink’ this time, courtesy my diet(and walked an extra round in the park.the next day. *grin*)

- Had a Nariyal Pani(coconut water) at my favourite 'exclusive' NP shop(Nah,it's not a posh do-I hate them. It's a simple mini-shop, with coconuts piled ceiling high) right opposite the main city market(Khanderao Market, as it's called).

- Had Poona Misal(scrumptious) at the same ole Canara Coffee House, another quaint ole place, which is evergreen like Dev Anand.

Before I reminsce into sadness(since I'm back in Dxb now), let me go to the last day. The airport, since funny observations can always be made there.

- The duty free. It's sign says' Rates lower than Dubai and London', that's quite  attractive,na?

- Two of the showcases there made me smile. The first one said 'World's finest tea' and was filled with Twix chocolates. The other one said 'world's finest spices' and was filled with Snickers bars. Wonder how the first one would taste with tea and the second as masala in sabzi?

- There was also this female  stewardess who found 3 bottles of achaar in the flight which was leaving before ours. Since no liquids,including water(many times) are allowed to be carried as cabin baggage, she had confiscated from some passenger. And, each airport official,male or female, had to come up to the table, check out what the home made achaar bottle was, and talk of how their wife/hubby would love to taste that. Finally, a peon brought a message that'Madam wants the bottles moved to the table on the first floor' and they were left looking ruefully at the back of the peon as he carried away the bottles. 

- The flight was half empty, so, instead of sitting uncomfy between two guys(One kept smiling without reason, the other kept singing a word which sounded like his mantra- 'lachchu,lachchu...' in different tones, so I had to get away or I'd have begun singing 'jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai'- the Mowgli signature tune that Ditty likes so much(Ditty, u reading this?)

So, anyway, there was a hubby, wifey,nine-ten year kiddo family in front of me, who, apparently, were on their first flight or, their first flight to Dubai. So, first the hubby came to the other side and sat in front of my seat. As soon as the plane flew into the clouds, he called the other two over, saying 'clouds,clouds'- and the two rushed over. This happened a number of times, once when we flew out of the clouds, once when he saw a ship in the sea('ship,ship' he shouted and the wifey and kiddo rushed over again)....this continued, till wifey spotted some houses below and said 'Dubai,Dubai'...(no, we'd not reached yet)..but, it was great fun, enjoying flying through the eyes of first flyers...I'm sure they enjoyed the flight as much as I did watching them enjoying it.

Anyway, we landed, I suddenly had a splitting headache-luckily, a friend had come to pick me up, so, we reached home, and with two tablets inside and tiger balm, I had a good 10 hours sleep so that I got up on Saturday, refreshed and ready for my two hour walk..:)But,that's another post...can anyone guess what I mean by' ten down, five to go'??

Laughs for the day:

An extreme nervousness very young couple timidly approached the check-in desk of a large hotel. "Good evening, sir," said the official behind the desk, with a perceptive wink to the young man, "Suite 16?"
"Oh, no," the young man responded quickly. "She's eighteen."
I guess many of you don't have incidents like this often.
I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Braden, the 11 year
old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.
Braden clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?
He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'
I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten T
error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'
Braden grinned.... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'
'No,' I replied.
'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'
So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T... I used to like the little fellow!

Till next time, keep smiling.


Kunjal said...

the family's activity reminded me of my similar behavior when I was going New York some years back. I was on official visit and didn't got the window seat and I made a point to check thrice with the air hostess to move me to a window seat and when I was told that none of them is free I went on my own and started asking passengers to change with me. Unfortunately no one agreed and you can imagine I started ogling from middle row to the near by windows. I still remember an elderly couple who pacify me that will be landing in afternoon so will not get to see much lights through window it will be just for some time that you can see the lights. They thought that I am going for my further studies and were worried how I will cope up there:)

austere said...

Loved the family's enthusiasm. How jaded one gets, no?

Wonder what happened to that achar. What state would achar packed away in luggage reach in?

I know Raju khaman and Rajkamal near Pratapgunj. City side not much, it was "far" in those good old pre- =metro city days. And Cinderella library in Alkapuri. And one near the station, in the lane that leads to the bus station.

Now you've gone and made me properly homesick.

Does that ten down mean what I think it means? Yes!

Poo said...

Hey Amit, (This is DiTtY hijacking Poo's account!) :D

Your Baroda trip sounds like a whole lot of fun! Aaapdo Gujrat and its fabulous food is something I always miss! :) Though, we have found a Gujju thali place in Bangalore, which is not half bad...

And ARGH!!! The Mowgli title track is now stuck in my head!!! :P

Aquarius said...

hey Amit....I am so crious to find out what happened to that achhar :)

Also the family was so cute. Not jaded like most of us have.

Its good to know that you had a good trip back home. I am so envious of you.

Keshi said...

Now I wish I was in Baroda too! :)