Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 89 - 90: The Awesome Last Lap!

30 - 31 March, 2013

I am joining back work on April 8th, thus ending a rather eventful maternity leave. Part of me is looking forward to it and part of me is absolutely not, for very obvious reasons. Anyway, point is that I am going back and it is going to be another rollercoaster ride when I try to figure out motherhood, career, hobbies, health and everything else all at once. Before I step into the upcoming whirlwind, I wanted to make sure that I completely enjoy and cherish what I consider this final weekend of the maternity leave. OK, technically the "final weekend" is the next one but I am pretty certain I would be all busy, nervous and in swinging states of mind the weekend right before joining back. So this weekend was effectively the real deal and I was determined to make the most of it.

And I did too!

a) Early morning Bikram Yoga class on the weekend! This hasn't happened in ages! Even before pregnancy I could hardly make it to morning classes but I somehow managed to do that which did wonders to my health, mental well-being as well as pride.
b) Family time - We spent a lot of time as the three of us as well as just the two of us (i.e. hubby and I). One of the highlights was the outdoor brunch at Canopy together with the little one. I had always wanted to take her there, so she can see the dogs and the bunnies and enjoy the outdoors on a nice weekend morning. However, every weekend we would either wake up too late or get ready too late and till now, never made it for the famed Canopy brunch. So when it finally happened, I was thrilled!
c) Jolly LLB - That's a new Hindi film that the hubby and I caught in the theatre, our first film after about two months! And I enjoyed most of it too.
d) Food - From Thai (Thai Express) to Turkish (Arab Street) to German (Pretzels and Spatzels from Brotzeit) to Indian (Shahi Maharani) to Continental (Canopy), I ate them all!

So yes, it was a packed, fun, family oriented weekend and I feel ready to get back to work! Bring it on!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 88: I, Me & Myself!

Today was completely about ... well, me. And by that I mean that it was totally spent on making myself happy, comfortable and the center of all things good.

It all started with the hubby offering to take care of the little one at night while I sleep in the guest room, a privilege that he has been enjoying for the last few months. I grabbed the offer and for the first time in more than a year or so, I got eight straight hours of sleep! Which made me incredibly happy and according to my helper, made me "look fresher than she has seen me ever"!

Then I spent the whole day doing pretty much nothing. Which is again, something that I, me, myself enjoys a lot once in a while.

Then evening came. We, the three of us, had planned to go out for dinner together. However, by the time we got the little one fed and dressed up, got ourselves dressed up, and figured out where to go out, it had gotten rather late, it had begun to pour cats and dogs and the little one had begun to fall asleep. So the dinner plan as a family was thrown out of the window. Our helper was also out, so the hubby and I couldn't go out leaving the little one behind either. I was about to get really disappointed and frustrated at the "unfairness" of it all, when the hubby decided to be super sweet and offered to look after the little one while I take some time out for myself.


After some initial hesitation, I took up the offer! Armed with a book, I went out to the neighbourhood mall and hit a European dining joint for dinner with myself. The book was below average, the food was below average, but I felt completely above my average level of happiness. Those couple of hours of isolation and quiet did a lot to my heart, mind and soul and I decided that I love the hubby a little bit more than before.

Thus a day completely dedicated to myself, by myself, for myself, after ages. Loved it! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 87: 50,000!

Today I realized that my little Malayalam short film Inganeyum Oru Katha has crossed 50,000 views on Youtube!

A small but happy milestone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 86: A Different Holi!

I have hardly celebrated Holi in the past. My one and only proper celebration was a few years ago at the hubby's place in Kanpur. Then I played it the way it was meant to be played and had a ball. But we don't really celebrate it here in Singapore except for some prayers at home and applying a little bit of colour on each other.

This year, it was the little one's first Holi and it started off with... well... a doctor's appointment to get her vaccination. So early in the morning the three of us set off to the doctor's. After the brief unpleasantness during the injection, she was back to her normal she and I, together with our helper Lakshmi (who, by the way, is fantastic and deserves a few posts dedicated to her!), set off to meet Mata Amritanandamayi who is in town. After waiting for 3.5 hours, we managed to get a darshan (a meeting) with her. The hubby too, who had left for his office, also managed to reach just in time for darshan. Thus, we managed to get the blessings of our spiritual guru on the day of Holi, which was fantastic.

Back at home, we had a small prayer, and put a little bit of colour on each other, as well as on the little one.

So yes, it was a different kinda Holi celebration, beautiful nevertheless!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Days 84 - 85: Putting Things Back In Their Place!

25-26 March, 2013

And by "things" here, I mean my muscles, limbs and other such elements that make up my body.

The Indian vacation had given my body a real rough shake. The endless hours of travel, the constant demand of the little one, the sleepless nights and the changing weather conditions had all contributed to it. My knees hurt, my ankles hurt, my back hurt, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt, everything hurt.  Even after getting good rest for about 3-4 days, things had not recovered at all.

So there was really one thing left to do. Bikram Yoga!

Yup, I was back in the hot room for two days in a row and needless to say, I struggled. I felt faint, my legs felt like rubber, I heard cracking sounds from my knees, shoulders and neck, I had the flexibility of an iron rod and I just wanted to die. Dramatic, sure. But that's how it was.

Good news, however, is that I also felt like my body was moving a bit closer to what a normal human body should be like. I could feel each muscle being stretched, feel the blood circulating in every joint, feel the soreness being replaced by relaxation, feel things moving back to their rightful positions. In spite of the hardships, I went through the lessons and came out feeling like I have had the best massage ever!

It felt Good. It felt Oh-So-Good!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Days 81 - 83: Melting Kilos & Celebrations!

22 - 24 March, 2013

I have a huge smile plastered on my face as I write this!

That is because, with 2 days of following my fantastic exercise and diet plan, I have dropped 2.5 of that 3.5 extra holiday weight! Awesomeness!

Of course, this clearly means that much of that weight was simply water retention, but let's not get too detailed. The fact remains that my heart which was trampled, broken and crushed by the 3.5 kilos gain, is now hopping , skipping and somersaulting at the 2.5 kilos loss!

Interestingly also, of all the posts I have written so far, the exercise and diet plan post seems to have gathered the most attention and curiosity. I have had a few readers (to whom am incredibly thankful for reading this blog) ask me how exactly does my meal plan look like because the "plan" I had written in the post was well... "vague".

OK then.

Good news is that the obsessive, compulsive me has maintained a food log and I shall quickly recap it here.

So here's what my diet and exercise looked like exactly for the first two days, which has resulted in these awesome melting of kilos.

Breakfast - 1 boiled egg, 2 slices of white bread toast with butter, 1 glass of milk, 1 orange
Lunch - Rice, curry (pumpkin/brinjal), curd, 2/3 pcs fried fish
Tea time - According to the plan, I was supposed to stay away from tea and coffee but well, I did stay away for one day but on the next day, I succumbed. So 1 cup of coffee with milk and sugar and 2 arrowroot biscuits, 2 pieces M&Ms
Dinner - 2/3 rotis, sabji (brinjal/cauliflower), 1 glass of milk

3.2 kms walk with the little one on the stroller on both days.

To celebrate such awesomeness, I went and got a short haircut which I actually like very much! Usually when I get a short haircut, there are a couple of days when I feel the hair's too short and feel awful about it, but not this time! I love it!

Also to celebrate, I took a break from the diet and exercise plan on Sunday when I did no exercise but gorged on a lot of the atrociously yummy and mostly unhealthy food at Antoinette.

I shall be getting back to the diet and the exercise during the week, but so far, it's been awesome!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 80: The Diet & The Exercise Regime begins!

So yes, the India trip is over. I am back with a lot of beautiful memories as well as 3.5 kilos of extra weight and more inches than I want to count. Jeez! This has never happened before - i.e. I have never put on weight due to excess holiday eating before but pregnancy does change your body in more ways that you can imagine!

But it's OK. Nothing to panic about. With a decently healthy diet and regular exercise, I hope to get back to my pre-holiday self and in the longer run, pre-pregnancy self.

Today, on top of relaxing to get over the extreme holiday fatigue and unpacking the ridiculous amount of stuff I seemed to have hoarded in India, I also charted up a diet and exercise plan for myself. It's pretty simple actually and follows a few key pointers which I will share. In case this becomes successful, I can always refer back to it in the future!

So here we go.

My Diet Plan
a) Have eggs, meat/fish, green vegetables and fruits every day.
b) Avoid desserts and sweets of all sorts. (I had one rasagulla or gulab jamun or peda or payasam or chocolate cake or brownie or other similar super yummy but ridiculously calorific items pretty much every single meal in India)
c) Have only 1 cup of tea or coffee a day (I used to have about 8 a day in India!)
d) Have 2 glasses of milk every day (This is for my slightly failing calcium levels and resulting joint pains post pregnancy)
e) Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday (This was a good practice of mine here in Singapore but was thrown out of the window when in India)
f) Reduce amount of rice and stick to 2-3 rotis only per meal

My Exercise Plan
Exercise at least 4 times a week - this can be anything from walking to bikram yoga.

That's it. I am gonna follow this for a a few days and see what comes off it.

Every time I take on a "project" like this, it makes me excited! Looking forward to seeing how this works! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Days 75 - 79: Living it in Kanpur!

16 - 20 March, 2013

Another awesome set of days, this time in Kanpur! Each day, again, truly deserves an individual post but unfortunately that's not to be. The days were jam packed with fun filled activities as well as catering to the little one's needs and daily blog-writing wasn't meant to be. So here we go... yet another summary.

Here's all that made the visit to Kanpur one fantastic experience!
a) The People - We got to spend time not just with my parents-in-law, but also with the extended family as well as the hubby's friends, all of whom flocked in to meet the little one! It is always lovely to meet each and every one of them and my only regret is that the time spent together was so short! But for as long as it lasted, each conversation and every moment together was beautiful!

b) The Celebrations - The little one was welcomed in style! My in laws had decorated the entrance to the house, the living room and our bedroom with balloons and stickers and party glitter, under a "Princess" theme. And the princess did enjoy gazing at it all with wide eyed wonder. Then she had the most wonderful puja and "annaprashn" (the North Indian version of the same "choroonu") attended by the large, beautiful family.  She behaved through most of it, in fact she was pretty friendly and happy, much to everyone's delight. I too had fun - with eating, praying, laughing, chatting, clicking photos and general merry making. But this was not the only celebration. We had another equally beautiful celebration - my mom in laws birthday celebration! We ushered in her birthday with a humungous chocolate cake, garnished with a bunch of fruits, on the eve of her birthday, at midnight. We spent the day driving around, shopping, eating and also having a few family friends over for the birthday dinner. Two celebrations - both awesome!

c) The Routine Fun - I have completed about half a dozen trips to Kanpur and we have a few must-dos on every trip - a visit to Rave 3 Mall and shopping at Pantaloons there, drinking the awesome Masala Chai in clay cups at Moti Jeel, driving out post dinner for getting some Meetha Paan and having some lipsmacking chaat. This time too, we did all the above and every time we do it, it is as much fun, if not more, as the last time!

d) The Food - I have  mentioned "eating" and different food a couple of times already on this blog. Needless to say, Kanpur had much to offer to my tastebuds (as well as my waistline, sigh!). From the Moti Jeel chai to the mutton biriyani, from the Posta (a potato dish made from opium seeds) to the Meetha Paan, from the Pedas to the different egg dishes conjured up at a friend's place by a chef who specializes in egg based dishes, it was all way too yummy.

e) The Shopping - I got to stock up on my office wardrobe when I return to work, which is going to happen very soon now. I absolutely loved the collections at Lifestyle and Wstside in Z Square as well as Pantaloons in Rave 3! It almost made me wish that I were settled in India because they have such gorgeous kurtas and salwars and I could have worn them on a daily basis!

f) The Travel - Like all good things, the Kanpur visit and with that this India vacation also had to come to an end. The travel back to Singapore would have been pretty depressing had it not been for a few small joys like the impeccable behaviour of the little one throughout the Kanpur -> Lucknow -> Delhi -> Singapore journey, the buggy ride we got at the Delhi airport (I had forever wanted to ride one of those things at the airport but only now had this dream come true thanks to the little one!), the priority we got at every queue thanks agan to the little one and the time spent at the spectacular Delhi international airport terminal 3 - even though I have been there multiple times, it's only now that I have managed to appreciate it thanks to our long transit; I especially loved their babycare rooms (the BEST I have seen so far anywhere!), the food court and all that space which is so unusual for India and helps not to feel the crowds! It was also great fun to see the little one interact with anyone and everyone - the security guards one of whom addressed her as "Shukla Madam", the immigration officers as well as the flight crew - a air hostess even ended up giving her a nice smooch on her cheek which resulted in a big, bright red, lip-shaped lipstick stain on her cheek!

g) Us Time - Last but not the least, I thoroughly enjoyed all the time we - i.e. the hubby, the little one and I, got to spend together.

A great vacation ends. Here's to more! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Days 70 - 74: A Few Awesome Days - Of Teachers, Choroonu, Travels & More!

11 - 15 March, 2013

I really do wish I had more time to write these days because doing a summary of the fantastic time I have been having is just sheer injustice! But with a baby on hand and jam packed days there is no option but to write down a quick note or risk skipping the writing altogether. 

So here we go… the summary of some very awesome days that I had the good fortune of spending! 

a) Visit to my old school - After a gap of 6 years, I paid a visit to my old school Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. I had officially parted from the school in 1998 when I flew to Singapore for my Junior College but had visited in 2007 to invite my teachers for my wedding. This time I took the hubby along as well. And I had the most amazing time! It was so lovely to meet up with the old teachers all over again - getting up to date with each other's lives, listening to the anecdotes they had to share about me, taking photos, being treated like the student from all those years ago, and generally feeling on top of the world and also feeling like quite the fool for having missed out on this for all these years! I really should be visiting them more often. Here's my Facebook update right after the visit which pretty much summarizes it all - "Seriously, how do teachers do this?! They recognize you even after a decade, they remember anecdotes about you, they remember which "gang" you belonged to, the details about your friends and even your family, they pamper you like you are still a child even if you have a child yourself now, they give you the warmest welcome, the widest smile, the most beautiful time. 
Dear teachers - thank you! For the great times then. For the best time today!"

b) The Little One's "Choroonu" - Or in other words, her "first rice-eating" ceremony which officially initiates her to cereals. Accompanied by more than 30 relatives and friends, we made our way to the famous Guruvayur Lord Krishna Temple. We dressed her up in the customary kasavamundu and black kohl lining for her eyes and eyebrows, topped up with a little bindi. In my completely biased opinion, she looked absolutely adorable. The function itself was quick and smooth. The hubby and I sat down with her on our lap and made her taste the different items that were served on a banana leaf. It had rice, sharkara payasam (a dessert made of rice and jaggery), kaalan, pappadam and a few other items. We were to take a bit of everything and feed her. While some of the other babies seemed to resist the food and cry, our little one seemed mighty pleased with the whole thing. After the choroonu, we also had her "thulabhaaram" which is making certain offering, in her case it was bananas, as much as in one's own weight. So she was made to sit on a huge balance as she was weighed against bananas - again, an activity that she seemed to enjoy much. Then came my most favourite part of the entire day - the "nadathallal". She was placed on the floor, on her tummy, right in front of the shrine as if she is made to pray to Lord Krishna and made part of his "gang" of children. It was so cute to see her tiny form on that expansive floor, stretching herself out on her tummy, as if she is falling at the feet of the God. Post that, she readily slept off, even as we made our way into the inner shrine in some mindboggling crowd and heat. This was followed by enjoying the sambharam (spiced buttermilk) prepared by my dad's cousin sister who stays right next to the temple, which was then followed by the traditional sadya (feast) for everyone. I had expected it to be a tough day since we have to put up with immense crowds and heat but it turned out to be a pretty pleasant experience. I had also expected the little one to be miserable for the same reasons of crowd and heat, but she seemed to have a good time too. Couldn't have asked for more! Now the little one is a little one who can eat whatever she desires! Big girl already! 

c) From Kerala to Kanpur - It was time to say Goodbye to Kerala and Hello to Kanpur, the hubby's hometown. However, the journey wasn't quite as simple as that. From Thrissur -> Kochi airport -> Mumbai -> Lucknow -> Kanpur, it took us a grand total of 11 whole hours. This again, was not something I was expecting to be easy, given it's the little one's longest journey so far but thankfully again, it turned out to be quite smooth. She slept through the Kochi - Mumbai flight and played through the Mumbai - Lucknow flight. She was a lot better behaved than even her average day, I would say. And I can't be more thankful for it! Now the hubby and I are not only more confident of travelling with her, in fact we quite enjoyed ourselves, spending all those hours with just the three of us. 

d) So much love! - We continued to have visitors, each one more affectionate than the other, showering us with good wishes, gifts and love! Particularly, I was so very touched by my cousin sister who made her way down from Bangalore, just for a day to meet the little one. She was on her last week of classes and would have had returned home very soon but since we wouldn't be around till then, she had to make this extra trip down. Given that she was in middle of her exams, her health wasn't at its best and a trip down from Bangalore over a 12 hour bus ride is not really pleasant, I have to say that this was incredibly nice of her. Like, So Super Sweet! She and her parents and brother came down to our place for an evening and we had the best time ever - playing with the little one, chatting & catching up, enjoying some great food and general merrymaking! 

Awesome days, really! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Days 64 - 69: Kerala Continues to Excite!

5 - 10 March, 2013

It is continuing to be crazy busy and hence time for another power packed summarized list-based entry! So here we go, what's been keeping me super busy, excited and happy the last few days in good old Kerala!

a) Welcoming the hubby who has finally made his way down to Kerala - His midnight flight was a couple of hours late but it turned out to well for my dad and me. We could have our overdue, peaceful conversation over a cup of awesome tea from a roadside stall. Loved the late night drive, the cool weather, the conversation, the tea and of course, finally having the hubby together with us!

b) Recovery of the little one - She fell sick with abdominal colic and a flu once she got here. Inevitable, given the changes in the weather as well as routine. But it was heartbreaking to see her miserable for a few days. And I was over the moon when she finally recovered, back to her very happy self. The first few times she started to "talk" and laugh again, I felt what was probably one of the strongest feelings of relief and joy till date! Parenthood is indeed interesting.

c) Visit to my dad's place in Tripunithura - But first stop was to try out the famed Kaayikka Biriyani. The rice and the sauces and soda lime that went along were quite yummy! This was followed by visits to my uncles' and aunt's places. It was lovely to meet all of them as well as my cousins. It was also wonderful to meet my cousin's 7 month old baby, who took a fascination for our little one. It was amusing to see the two babies bonding and having their own conversation. I was also absolutely WOWed by my little cousin brother's singing talent! I had no idea that he could sing and when asked to put up a live show for us, he did with no hesitation and ended up blowing us away. So proud! I wish we had more time to spend together with everyone, but I guess this will have to be it for this time!

d) More & More temple visits - I think I have covered more temples on this visit than ever before. More because the little one needs a madatory drive every evening. She absolutely refuses to sit at home past 5pm. And since we don't have too many different places to go to, we ended up covering plenty of temples! One highlight was definitely the Iringalakkuda temple. It was my first time there and I loved the temple with its expansive grounds, a beautiful pond and old world charm. On the way back we also hit a famous eating joint, the Friend's Kitchen in Iringalakkuda which served authentic Kerala cuisine. Yum! I was also taken aback by the breathtaking landscapes enroute to some of these temples. In less that 10 kms from the city, there were so many lovely temples set in pristine locations - surrounded by palmgroves, paddy fields and little streams. It is so wonderful to discover these gems!

e) Celebrating Shivarathri - The last time I celebrated Shivarathri in Kerala was about four years ago. Then I had primarily visited the Vadakkumnathan temple and spent the evening there lighting the lamps and praying. This year it was a bit different. We visited five different Shiva temples and we got a Pulluvan song done for the little one at the Punkunnam temple. Pulluvanpaattu is a dying art done in honour of the Sarpa/Snake Gods as a way of invoking their blessings for infants and I was absolutely thrilled to have it done unexpectedly for the little one! We watched a dance performance near Vadakkumnathan and more interestingly, we saw dancers in full fledged Bharatantyam costumes on the roadside waiting for an autorickshaw after a performance at a nearby temple. What a sight that was! I also saw the elephant procession from Parmekkavu temple towards Vadakkumnathan. I learnt the fascinating fact that there are about 15 such processions from nearby Devi temples and these signify the journey of the Goddesses from their abodes in these temples towards the Shiva residing at Vadakkumnathan to greet him on Shivarathri. How cute is that!

f) Visit by a good friend from Singapore who is currently based in Kerala. He came over with his girlfriend, a lovely girl whom I am meeting for the first time. It was wonderful to have them over!

g) Visit by my filmie fanatic friend who is based in Kochi - He came over with a memento and the final official DVD of his film. Our history is all there in the old blog, so am not repeating it here. But it was lovely to meet him again and receive the tokens of completion of his first film project, which all apparently started from our conversation in Singapore in 2011!

h) Visit to My House - There is an apartment we are constructing on the plot of my mom's ancestral house. This is the first time I had an opportunity to visit the site. It was thrilling and overwhelming to look up at that complex and realize that that house is going to be my house. There is still some construction left together with most of the interiors but I couldn't help but feel that it is my very own house, the place where my parents would be staying in from the next time on. A bigger, brighter, newer place for them after all these years. It was truly a beautiful feeling.

h) And last but not the least, I have been gorging on all the food. From jackfruit dessert to toddy, from beef fry to duck curry, from biriyani to chocolate pastries, from banana chips to squid curry, I have had it all. Of course, it's all starting to show on the body but we shall worry about fitness and such boring issues once back in Singapore. For now, the taste buds get the priority!

Jam packed. Heavy duty fun. More to come! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Days 60 - 63: Miscellaneous Highlights from Kerala!

1 - 4 March, 2013

I wish I had the time to write detailed posts every day for the duration of my stay in India, because that's how fascinating and eventful each day is. But that's not to happen because I simply do not seem to get the time! So I am gonna make do with a quick list on the highlights over the last few days.

1) Visits to the Agathimandiram old age home and Parvathy bhavan, a home for mentally challenged ladies - Made a quick visit to both the places, something I have been doing regularly over the last few visits to Thrissur. The reality check when you meet the inmates of such places is an absolute must.

2) Visit to Guruvayur temple - This is again a mandatory event on every trip back home. This time, the visit coincided with the Guruvayur annual festival and I was amazed to see how grandly the place was decorated! The shiny lights, the endless number of Krishna idols, the rangoli decorations, flowers and lighted lamps gave the already charming place an added beauty. Loved it!

3) Shooting for Mausams "It's a Wrap" video - My editor who is in town to meet the little one, had this brainwave that we should have a behind the scenes video on Mausams. Given it's the journey from an intended home video to a feature film that did reasonably well in terms of audience acceptance, festival entries and such, he suggested that it would be good to summarize everything into a short video - to tell the story of its journey as well as a tribute to the cast and crew. But this required a shoot with me - an interview style video where I narrate some of the stories behind the making of the film. After a few scheduling issues that cropped up because of the little one's mood swings, we finally managed to get it done. I had a good two hours being in front of the camera, as my dad managed the little one who behaved pretty well during the time.

4) Visits to Maangottukaavu and Pazhayannoor temples - After a beautiful drive through some of Kerala's best untouched scenic landscapes, we made a visit to these two temples. It was my first time at both the places and I really enjoyed myself. I must mention that I was totally amused to see Pazhayannoor temple crowded with... well, cocks and hens! Just as I entered the temple, I noticed there were just too many of these birds around - on the walls, on the deepasthambham, on the donation box - pretty much everywhere! It was then that I discovered that this is something unique to this particular temple. Apparently these birds are  offered to the temple by the devotees. How cute!

5) Shopping - Made the mandatory shopping trip that follows every visit home. Am always amused to see the large number of new stores that seem to have popped up every time!

6) Food, Food & of course, Food - Seriously, with the kind of options available - be it my mom's cooking or the stuff that we get from all the restaurants, Kerala simply has too much good food! I have been gorging myself on everything starting with amazing coffee (Aryaas) to yummilicious chocolate cake (Elite supermarket), from prawns fry (Luciya Palace) to kozhakatta (from neighbour's house), it's all been way too good! 

Eventful and a ton of fun!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 59: A Truck Load of Attention!

Super nice day when a truck load of attention, gifts and love were showered!

Not on me, but on the little one. 

I have come to realize (and accept) that absolutely nobody is fascinated to see me anymore and it is really all about the little one. Oh well. So yes, she was hugged, kissed, played with, fought over and super pampered through the day. 

We had several visitors - my uncles and aunts, cousin, neighbours, friends (one friend even came over from Mumbai!) and those who couldn't visit yet were calling me through the day. I was running from one call to another, from one visitor to another, catching up, showing off the little one, and having general merriment. 

The little one charmed everyone for a while after which she decided enough was enough and put on her most frustrated front. And when she does that, all that mummy-baby bond I was talking about yesterday... well yeah, even that doesn't work. She caused utter havoc inside the house. 

Then we realized something. That the frustration melts away when she is outside the house. You take her to the roads, walk her, put her in a car, or do any such activity that involves the outdoors, and she immediately transforms into an angel. She puts on an expression of such serenity and docility that one wonders where the other baby disappeared to. 

In the evening, after a whole day at home that resulted in quite a war between the Little One vs. The Adults, we put her in a car together with her grandparents as well as my friend from Mumbai and we went off for dinner. She was quiet in the car and later in the restaurant. She watched all the proceedings very curiously and after she had quenched her curiosity, she fell asleep on my lap through the rest of the dinner.  

And I must mention the dinner. Dinner was at Indian Wok - a new Indian Chinese place in Thrissur. We ordered quite a few dishes but my favourites were the Jade Chicken Soup - which was sweet corn  chicken soup with a mix of coriander, which I thought was a deadly combination!; their Egg Hakka Noodles, a pretty good lamb dish the name of which I forget now, and last but definitely not the least their "Sizzling Brownie", which is brownie with vanilla ice cream put on a hot pan. Once the pan is placed in front of you, they pour chocolate syrup on it, filling up the entire base. This is what "sizzles" thereby giving the dish its interesting name. The brownie and the syrup gets a bit fried, giving a really interesting taste. Loved it and highly recommended! 

I must also mention how I had very unexpectedly bumped into an old school friend! We were on our way back from dinner when I noticed a guy wearing a helmet, riding a bike, was waving frantically at me with the widest of all grins. I first thought he got the person wrong, because I couldn't recognize him. So I turned my head away confused and well, very unfriendly. Then he sounded the horn, waved again, and the grin got even bigger and then it dawned on me that it was my friend from school! I had not seen him for more than a decade now, so one can't really blame me for not being able to recognize him, especially when he was donning a helmet! After the recognition, of course we stopped the car and I had a very quick catch up with him on the roadside. It was a nice little surprise indeed, bumping into him like that! 

Thus the first day in Kerala with the little one comes to an end. A good day indeed!