Diwali Break

3:35 PM

Dear blog readers,

I dropped out of sight again as I was on a holiday. Those not living in India might not necessarily know that we celebrated Diwali on November 9th. And that this year, DH and I decided to head up North. To Lucknow to be more exact, in order to celebrate the festival of light in family (in this case with my in-laws). We took a plane to Delhi on the 7th. From which we proceeded to a lengthy night train journey to DH's native town.
The plane ride was as usual, too long for my taste, and it didn’t help that we flew with the ultimate chicken class airline (as in jam packed economy or coach class, much like the chickens squeezed in tiny cages at the market). But then, thinking of it, it was more enjoyable to spend those 2.5 hours wedged between DH and the plane’s window than it was to ride a cab from Delhi Airport to Connaught Place for 2 hours stuck in a huge traffic jam inhaling dust and toxic fumes while being wedged between the cab’s window and one of our two enormous suitcases. Trying to bear with my aching sinuses while distracting myself “spying” on the passenger of the other vehicles around us to see how they endured the traffic jam ordeal we were all stuck in. Making sure to close my eyes tight shut as soon as an opening on the road occurred as our driver was rather harsh if not suicidal.
It seems that each time I go to Delhi I find yet another valid reason not to move there, and the list is getting longer every time.

The train ride was not the most pleasant one either. Because it was a pre-diwali overbooked train DH and I had to share a berth. Those who don’t about know Indian trains can’t possibly picture how painful it is. The berths are narrow to the extreme and a bit short for my 5’7 frame but we somehow managed to catch a few zzzz between leg shifting and bathroom trips that made a position adjustment necessary. We reached Lucknow way too early for my body clock to acknowledge it was morning already. And I think it was around 7.30 am that we stepped into my in-laws house for a cup of tea before settling down in our quarters in the guest room and get all freshened up for breakfast. I vaguely remember taking a huge nap in a vain effort to catch up with my train sleepless night (the first ever) before a raging debate over what snack should we get at 8pm-ish started. 

The plan was to go to a “chaat” roadside eatery and have a few of us drive there to order a nice selection of “to-go” chaats  and bring them home since we were quite a lot and would not all fit in the car. That was before a cousin called and decided that since we were to eat “chaat” (which means snack in Hindi) they would drop by so we could discuss this in a committee (chaat is a serious business!)
It took them half an hour to come : 2 cousins, one cousin’s wife, their daughter, our Aunt and Uncle and just 5 more minutes to see a huge tray of sweets and cookies materialize so we could continue the raging debate over the chaat matter.
Eventually, it got decided to have DH, BIL and cousin brother to go and bring back a nice selection of : Paani puri, Aloo tikki and mattar tiki, while us girls did what we apparently excel at (DH’s words not mine) : acting like chatterboxes.

By 10pm we were all stuffed up with chaats and declined dinner before hitting the bed and collapse knowing that the next morning we would get busy with some Diwali matters (another committe debate session in perspective).

Since the past 12 days or so have been quite busy, I will have quite a lot of entries material, and some pictures as well. I therefore will leave you here and continue my Diwali chronicle tomorrow.


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