The Jewel of India-NE-Trip to Kaziranga and Meghalaya

β€œTravel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous.

The pandemic had caused havoc in many of our lives. Then the new trending term was coined and we fell prey to that too.Guess the word. “Revenge Tourism”.

The plan of revisiting North East part of India had always been on the cards and thanks to my dear friend, Abhishek , the flame was rekindled and lo, the plan was on, with meticulous planning considering the two kids,along with us, this time.

Note: I will try to capture as many details as possible about the trip as we had researched thoroughly for each and every place, customized to our needs.

Disclaimer: The links of the stay and restaurants have been updated after having personally tried and tested and is not for any promotion.

Day 1:

Aku,Nishu, Srini and I boarded the boo pane(blue aeroplane, as per Nishu) which landed in Guwahati at around 9.10 AM. A taxi driver took us to Mahalaxmi Homestay, which was right on the banks of the majestic Brahmaputra river. The Peacock Island (worlds’ smallest island) where Lord Umananda dwells was also visible from this hotel. Capturing some quick pictures , we headed off to seek blessings from Maa Kamakhya. The temple was about 5 kms and used Nataraja service[:)],an electric bus and an auto on return.Finding out the entry to the temple was a tough task, darshan was even more difficult. After a 3.5 hours of waiting in the queue, we were fortunate enough to touch the holy water and the idol of the Devi. This is one of the 51 shakti peethams. It was pitch dark when we stepped outside the temple, and we were surprised to know that it was just 4.50 PM. Just next to our hotel was the Chakreshwar temple, where we attended the aarati and ended the day.

Jai Maa Kamakhya!!! Jai Chakreshwara!!

Day 2:

We hired a car with driver ( Pulak Bhaiya- Contact number- +917086414909), ( totally reliable and well versed with all the places in Meghalaya and Assam), who arrived at our homestay as expected. It was fascinating to see that a divider on the road was the border between Assam and Meghalaya and we had to enter Meghalaya to fill up petrol which was on the other side and then back to the Assam part of the road to go ahead.The drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga took about 5 hours with a fabulous breakfast at Hotel Anuraag Dhaba on the way. It was different to see a thali of puris and rotis, along with many vegetables (bittergourd, cluster beans, ladies’ finger, potato, cauliflower) on the platter. We reached DRDA Guesthouse, Oriole, Kaziranga and were happy to see a cute, small stream and a bridge across it. The rooms were named after birds.Our room, “Cuckoo” was very commodious with three beds and had all the facilities necessary for a family, including hot water even in the shower guns and wash basins in the bathroom.

We refreshed ourselves quickly and Shantanu drove us in the Jeep safari to the Central range. We hired binoculars on rent for Rs.250 and proceeded through the wild trails inside the Kaziranga jungle. The jeep ride was fantabulous with Shantanu, patiently stopping by and helping us spot each and every animal, which we might have easily missed to notice. The world famous one-horned rhino, the bisons, deer ,wild elephants, turtles and some migratory birds were all spectacular to be seen through the natural lens as well as the binoculars. The jeep safari took 2h 45m to complete and hot ambrosial veg pakoras awaited at the guesthouse.

Day 3:

The slot for the elephant safari was at 7 AM and the kids were all up and ready for the joyous elephant ride. We sat on Chameli, the 45-year old elephant, who took us inside the deep bushes in the Western range of Kaziranga National Park. We spotted one-horned rhino and a baby elephant with his mom, quite upclose, as close as 3 metres. The sweet Chameli also collected the spectacles, the phone, etc. which kept falling off the elephant and greeted us with beautiful ,pink, rhino flowers. (The rhino flowers, got its name from the rhino. The funny fact behind this is: The rhino poops in one particular place only for 3 months and in that place , these flowers bloom and hence the name). We all enjoyed the bumpy , yet happy ride and later, the kids fed some bananas to Chameli.

Garama garam delicious breakfast awaited at Hotel Anindita at the entrance of the park, after which we checked out the guesthouse and proceeded to Shillong. We stopped at the serene Umiam lake and enjoyed the nice weather there. The journey to Shillong was smooth and we reached Latei Ville Inn. The cozy blankets and the hot shower rejuvenated us, despite the long day. Police Bazaar was our next stop. We completed the day with awesome Veg Chowmein from one of the street stalls .

Day 4:

As we started early morning from Shillong, the roads were misty and it was a pleasant experience to travel through. The roads were empty and we happily took breaks to click some fog-ful selfies and headed towards Dympep View point. We climbed down 404 steps to have a glimpse of a beautiful waterfall .By the time we were back up, hot Maggie and Puris were ready to be served in a shop nearby. The next spot was Dainthlen waterfalls( the name derived from the word, “Daant” in Hindi, as it looked as if there was water between the teeth). Arwah caves , Nokalikhai , Seven Sister Waterfalls and Mawsmai caves were our other stops of the day, each having its own sheen and glamour.

Nokalikai falls is the tallest single-plunge waterfall in India.

The caves helped us bend every muscle, as we had to crouch/crawl in some places . The happiest part of this day was in Mawsmai caves where all the four of us, dressed up as Khasi people with their costumes on rent and clicked some lovely pictures. After a tiresome day, we were welcomed by the humble “Kong” ( sister in Khasi language) with a sweet smile in Nisibon Nongrum Homestay. We were given one whole house with a kitchen, which was antiquated, yet had all the amenities including a room heater.

Day 5:

This was a big day as this was the day when we headed to Tyrna village and started our trek to the Double decker Living root bridge. The trek consisted of 3500 steps down to the Nongriat village. With the help of a guide , who helped us with lifting Nishu, on and off, we managed to reach the destination in 2h 15m. The whole process was worth it. The Double decker living root bridge was one of its kind, unique and strong. We had a dip in the waterfalls next to it while the kids splished and splashed and also enjoyed feeding the shish(fish, Nishu’s term). Maggi was served for lunch in Charlie homestay, a comfortable one, which was right next to the bridge. We spent the entire day near the bridge and the waterfall which also had a shop which sold hot tea. Dinner was hot rice, dal, sabji ,pickle and salad.

Day 6:

We bid farewell to our wonderful host, Mr. Charlie and headed up the steps which took us down the previous day. Thanks to the snacks we had carried and some lemon juice cups on our way, the kids were motivated and we were able to reach the top in 2h 45m. Yay, we did it!!

Off we went to Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village for lunch and had a stroll around the village. It seemed like a page from the fairytale, or a part of a dream, the roads, the flowers, the houses, the people, all of them.

Every day was getting better with each place alluring than the previous place visited. Our next one was the last destination of our itinerary and the most beautiful too, Schnongpdeng. Even more lovely was the homestay which was on the bank of the clear, transparent, Umngot river. We concluded the day with a small bonfire which , especially, the kids enjoyed.

Day 7:

We were told that it is very difficult to get good vegetarian food in Schnonpedng. But who would have thought that amazing breakfast, lunch,dinner were to be served outside on the river side, in huge hot packs. This day was a day full of adventure for Aku, Srini and me as we tried every possible sport available.(Snorkelling, Cliff jumping, Ziplining, Boating, Kayaking) I would say that this was THE BEST BOATING experience I have ever been through. We were able to see the base of the Umgot river, which was about 70 ft deep along with the huge boulders submerged in the water, which was crystal clear. The bridge overlying the river, gave us a view of Umngot which was unimaginable. The boats appeared as if they were floating in the air. Wah! What moments to think about ! Aku loved kayaking in this river so much that he went another ride kayaking down.

Day 8:

Schnongpdeng was one place, we just didnt want to leave. A few more clicks and then off we went to Hotel Brindavan, Guwahati. We had one last evening for a quick shopping and street food in Paltan Bazar. Mekhala Chodor, the Assamese traditional attire , is a must-buy from the market. Also, the unheard bamboo pickle and some short cinnamon barks were purchased. We enjoyed samosas, kachoris, Mishti Doi, Gulab jamoons, lechhas, malai curry, to name a few, all these next to the Nepali Radha krishna mandir.

Day 9:

All is well that ends well. We boarded our flights to Chennai via Bengaluru and reached home safe carrying with us a lot of sweet memories which can be cherished forever.We thanked God for all the gratefulness and making this happen as planned and the whole trip was a good value for the money spent.

Nevertheless, Ublai Meghalaya(Thankyou, in Khasi). We wish to meet you again.

The pic to be framed!

This picture is very special to me.
No, not because it is one of our family pics,
Not because it was shot at the ghat of the Holy Ganges,
Not because it was shot by a tourist,
Not because the miniature pic was printed and instantly gifted to us,
But, it reminds me that children grow up faster than we think of.
Yes, this was taken not even a year back and the moment is still clear in my memory.
In our trip to Kashi, i was tired of running after this 4 yo  naughty little toddler of mine, who was full of energy despite the soaring heat from the sun above us.
There was this cute man who happened to be a tourist too, with a costly(I assume)  SLR in his hands. He asked us a favor that he wanted to click a pic of us. (He had actually done me a favor by giving me a break from the marathon.:P)We obliged and Akash was too excited at the sight of the long lens in front of him, too and quickly followed suit. I carried him and there came an instant family pic. He was happy and gave us an instant printed copy of the pic.

Now, my son turned 5 and here I am, not being able to carry him anymore (heavier now) and he,in turn,does not want to be carried, too.
It is incredible that things have changed so fast. Kids, indeed, grow up in a jiffy.
And this is definitely a pic to be cherished forever. Owe a big thanks to my tourist stranger for this wonderful moment captured.

Goa- Yes, we went and came, as the name suggests:)

It was just like yesterday , the day the three knots were tied around my neck. 10 years!!! And we decided to celebrate it in style. With a toddler and a small baby with us, we meticulously chose the destination to be Goa. It was not a new place for the two of us, so we decided to go with the flow of the kids. Eat.. Sleep..Play/relax in the beach…

Day1: Aug 28,2019

Boarded the flight to Goa from Chennai. We were accompanied with a class of students who were being taken on an excursion to Goa. ( Man, I have never crossed Malampuzha, about 2 hours from my school on excursions.. Lucky them!!) Reached Goa and was happy to be received by “Goamiles”, ( similar to Ola/Uber), as the journey to Dona Paula (where our holiday home was) went smooth with it. We were amazed at the first look of the Vanguinim valley, serene, green and beautiful, and,were welcomed by a peacock, ready to dance in the drizzle. Had a simple Maharashtrian poha for breakfast and headed for a stroll nearby. We managed to click some selfies and non-selfies and headed back for lunch and a much needed nap following that. While sipping on tea, with the awesome view from our balcony, Dominic,the caretaker, told that he is heading to the town and that he would help us board the bus to Miramar beach. And whoa! We were thrilled with the thought of travelling in a local bus in GOA( where almost every other person is seen hiring cars or bikes). We walked down the beautiful Vanguinim valley to the bus stop(that was a solid walk of 15 mins) and after a long wait, boarded the bus to Miramar. I recollected travelling in BOBBY ( in kerala, buses have names instead of numbers), back during my school holidays in Palakkad. Nostalgia revisited and we ticked off the first public bus journey of my second son( 5 months) . My elder son was overjoyed at the sight of water on reaching the beach. Akash and Srini had fun in the water while Suvansh and I enjoyed the sunset.

Then we moved on to the capital, Panjim, in a bus, again and, after a tiresome wait, got our entry into a cruise. It was a relaxing one hour trip with karaoke, dance in the middle of the sea. Thanks to Goamiles , again, we headed to our guesthouse where garmagaram khana awaited.

Day2:(Aug 29,2019)

How much I have craved to sleep this long without having to worry about the everyday chores… Thanks to my darling kids, who were equally tired, waking up without any alarm was a bliss for me and Srini. And there, the beautiful drizzle and the peacock with his charming feathers were a bonus sight. Today we visited Aguada fort. I am not so fond of forts, usually, but the pleasant weather was in my favour and helped us enjoy the place.

We grabbed a quick snack(corn cob and some juices) from the local stall and got dropped at Panjim in front of Navtara restaurant. The place was crowded but we managed to have a decent lunch and headed back home.

Day3:Aug 30,2019( The D-day)

We decided to make an early start and proceeded to Calangute beach, the most happening one in Goa. However, due to heavy winds, we were not allowed to play in the water. Still, we had fun making sand castles.

We also got some filmy photographs clicked and printed as a memoir marking this, day, our 10th anniversary. πŸ™‚ Travelled in the local bus again for lunch and the sweet surprise awaited us( a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a delicious cake) from my dad. Gobbled up some big bites and we planned to have dinner at Hotel Sanyog in Panjim. We blindly went with the Google reviews of the restaurant. I must say, the ambience, hospitality and the food was just yummilicious.

There were lots of varieties to choose from. From Mexican , North Indian, south Indian, etc… We ate to our hearts content and then took a short stroll in the city lanes before heading back to our room.

Day4:( Aug 31,2019)

We woke up with a slight gloom this day as it was our last day in Goa and lethargically had breakfast., when we happened to know that there was a beach about 2.5km away from where we stayed. Yay!!! We decided to walk down the beautiful valley and located the Vanguinim beach. By far, the best beach I have ever visited in my life… It was like a private beach open to the public, but was sparely crowded, lush green parks on one side and the magnanimous waves hit us from the other side…

We would have missed to see this best spot in Goa had it not been for Mr. Rahul who told us about this place. We spent a good deal of time here and slowly climbed up the valley back , all the way singing songs and enjoying nature.

After a quick lunch, our last stop of the trip was DonaPaula view point. The huge breeze literally shoved us. We could not even stand there for a couple of minutes and rushed to a small cafe nearby and munched hot hot French fries,which was actually a bribe for all of us, as we decided to walk the distance of about 2.5 km to the guesthouse and we did. Soon after that, we packed up and started to the airport just to reach on time to check in at the gate( though,we started from the guesthouse 3 hours before the flight time).

Thus ended the much needed, awesome trip of the year, which I had been craving for,since my last pregnancy:) And yes… In style, vacationing with two kids is possible… πŸ™‚

Aku’s banter timeline

My younger son ( now 2years), went on saying the same thing again and again.

I passed a comment that he is behaving like a worn-out tape recorder.

Akash said, “Amma, not like that, like a GIF”.

#current_gen

Dec 22,2020:

Akash when asked his dad about something, dad said, “Ask mom”

Akash : Most of the dads are elder than moms, then how is it that dads don’t know anything and moms know everything??

Dec 6,2020:

Akash conversing with his grandma over phone at 8.45 PM on a week day.

A: paati, we are going to watch the movie, “the sound of music”

Paati: Now, don’t you have school tomorrow? When will you go to bed then?

A: paati, we won’t watch the whole movie, just BINGE WATCH for 15 mins.

Paati: @#β‚Ή_&+(

Dec 22,2020:

Dec 22 was National Mathematics day to commemorate Srinivas Ramanujan’s birthday.

I told this to Akash yesterday and he could not understand. I further explained that Ramanujan was a great mathematician like Shakuntala Devi( as we had watched that movie) and he understood.

Srini said, ” But Ramanujan did complex maths, you can do anything when you know maths. For eg. You can find the distance between two countries by looking at a map with the help of various parameters. ”

Akash: You told me distance is measured in kilometers, now you are saying “parameters.
Which is the right one?
We: 😐

May 19,2020:

I showed Aku a pic of my late grandfather.

Aku: Where is he now?

Me: He is dead.

Aku: Where did he die?

Me: In his house in Palakkad.

Aku: I have never seen him in that house in Palakkad.

Me: He died when you were in my tummy.

Aku: So he must be lying down( thinking

Dead means lying down) somewhere in that house, right?

Me: No, after he died, people burn his dead body.

Aku: Oh, why? Are people in Palakkad bad?

Me: No, no. We should not keep deadbodies at home. They would get decomposed.

Aku: Oh, what does decompose mean?

Me: SpoiltπŸ˜’

Aku: Oh, like they become hard and thick and warm..

Me: (wondering what got spoilt while hard and thick and warm)… 😲

May 19,2020:

Tv showed an ad of shaadi. Com. Offer available till July 12.
Akash was watching this when I just walked past him. He called me and said, Amma, see, some offer on shaadi. Com till July 12.Lets buy soon.

🀣🀣🀣

Dec 20,2019:

Akash is learning the concept of ‘One’ and ‘Many’ at school. He knows ‘pen, pens’, ‘pencil, pencils’, like that. His first tooth fell off recently and I asked him if he knew the ‘one and many’ words for ‘pal'( tooth, in Tamil). I specifically asked in Tamil to understand if he knew both the words, “tooth” and “teeth”.

His answer: Pal and Pals
🀣🀣

Oct 8,2019:

Aku: Amma, nishu is growing taller, weight also has increased. How come his age is not increasing?
Me: why! It is increasing. You tell me what his current age is.
Aku: Zero
πŸ˜ŒπŸ™†

Sep 21,2019:

I once read aloud a page of the novel I was reading “Origin in death” By Nora Roberts, When my elder one was around.
The next day he asks me, ” Can you read Dora Robots for me? ”

Aug 16,2019:

I made Akash’s favourite cone dosai(ghee roast) at home this morning. He was very happy.

I made simple plain dosas for me and my hubby.

Akash came in and asked, “Why aren’t you making more cone dosas for you and Appa? ”

Me: Because you are special and I know that you like them.

Akash: But you and Appa are special too, ma.

😍😍πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜

Jun 29,2019:

Akash shows his mother his grade 1 notebooks and gets the page signed by her(any parent) everyday.

Today, he asked his dad to sign and he did.

Akash complains to mom: amma, Appa is not signing properly. Teach him how to sign. (Because his sign was different than mine) πŸ˜€

Apr 28,2019:

Akash sorting some coloured beads.

Me: This colour is called baby pink.

Him: (showing me the darker pink) and this is the big pink.

πŸ˜€

___________________________________________

Akash and I discussing about a clock.

Me: This is the long hand, this is the short hand and that is the second hand.

Him: Which one is the first hand then?

πŸ˜ŽπŸ€“

Apr 27,2019:

Me while giving Aku a bath: You don’t need this stool anymore, you have become tall enough for the wash basin.
Aku: We can use it for Nishaan then.
Me: Yes, of course.
Aku:When he grows, we ll give it away to some one who needs it.
Me: No, we can use to climb on to it when needed.
Aku: ok ok, when another baby comes in our house, we can use it.
Me: No, there won’t be any more babies in our house.
Aku: in my friend Rudh’s house, there are three babies(3 siblings they are), why can’t we?..
Me:@@@#πŸ™†

Apr 26,2019:

Akash’s tennis coach to Akash: Where is your school?
Akash: Near my house
TC:Where’s your house?
Akash:Near my school
TC: Ennaye kalaichitaya @@β‚Ή###&&

Jul 4,2018:

My son was cycling with his friends.They were riding too fast.In order to slow them down.
I said,” Why don’t you do a slow cycling race, the one who finishes last would be the winner!”
Akash: “And the one who finishes first?”
Me: “Loser”
They rode even faster and Akash came triumphant shouting”Yay, I’m the loser”

Feb 23,2018:

My kiddo while looking at my stretch marks asks,
“Amma, what is this uvva(wound) here.”
Me: Yea, I got them when you were inside my tummy.
Him: Sorry ma, inime Panna matten…(won’t do it again)

Sep 18,2017:

Akash was changing channels with the remote.
I was expecting him to stop at one of the kids channels.
He stopped at the channel which played old Shivaji Ganesan songs in black n white. And said, “Amma, let’s watch this.looks like a new song and looks different”
me: πŸ™„

Mar 12,2017:

Beetroot grass…a term coined by my toddler for the croton leaves which have the color of beetroot….he he.

Being a parent-An emotional battle

I have seen tears flowing from my parents’ eyes when I waved bye on my first day of school.

I have seen those tears when I first sat in the school bus to school, and when I go excursions with friends.

I have seen them flow happily everytime I discover something new.

I have seen them every weekend when they leave me with grandparents, despite knowing that I am in safe hands.

And yet again, when they got me married off with my loved one
And so forth…

Today and every day , right from the day I held my bundle of joy in my arms, I experience all of them. I realise that those were not mere water droplets from the eyes, but the downpour of emotional battle.

The toughest part of parenthood, according to me, is not the sleepless nights nor handling the tantrums,but , fighting these emotional battles day by day.

My words on “Flight or Fright”

Okay! So, I got some ME time of a good 4 hours approximately today. What a Wow!!. My husband and dear son were not at home. I first started off with fulfilling a long lost wish….Eating a Dairy milk Silk all by myself….(Hurray)..That was one hell of a child-like happiness, with no one to share with around. The next thing I did was to get my hands on this book, which was lying on one of the shelves at home for a few weeks now.
I was waiting for the time to read this and this was The-Day. The book started off with an intro of characters, the number of which, I felt was never-ending. But there was something which kept me reading. After some time, I really thought it was a remake of the tamil “Payanam” movie. I am a great fan of the movie,and hence, did not mind continuing with it. Soon, I got immersed in the story, imagining the nuances of each and every detail mentioned, which were way beyond what I had initially thought to be. I went through all the emotions of each and every character, while experiencing the Himalayan trek myself. The sheer hardwork of the author is well seen in every word of the book and is commendable. The book, kept me gripping, till the “Ripley’s Believe it or not” suspense at the end. This book is a must-read by all who love to read. I never finish a book if it is not interesting. And I am glad, I have utilised my ME- time thoroughly well today by completing the book, a feat which I used to achieve back when I was a student.
The name of this Goodread, is “Flight or Fright” and the books of this author, none other than the versatile and dynamic, Sudha Ramnath, are now part of my library collection.

Heaven’s ledge- A travel saga

Excitement and happiness in the air. It was the wedding of a dear friend in our team, the long awaited event as it was a really long time we had been out as a team.Alas, the trip started on a Friday, 2 days before the wedding. We , a group of 13 members, embarked our journey to Salem from Chennai through various modes of transport from office.

We were cheated by the chill weather (at this time of the year)on the way to Salem making our train journey sleepless and miserable.
Nevertheless, we were received at the railway station by the groom’s bro and we checked in at the Estancia Hotel.After a warm shower, all of us quickly got ready, had a sumptuous breakfast (like gluttons) and went to Hogenakkal for a one-day trip. The journey of 2 hours was enjoyable with all of us laughing and singing our throats out. We were welcomed there by the calm and pleasant waters on coracle rides. The experience was just serene and out of the world.

We reached back Salem well before the reception. After patiently decking oursleves up, we attended the function. Clicked some selfies and groupfies in the backdrop of the magnificent hall decor and went on to have the yummy lip-smacking dinner.This was followed by the DJ night, where some of us had a gala time dancing on the floor.

The next day , our groom tied the knot and we were happy to have graced the occasion. Now comes the interesting part,our TRIP to YERCAUD.

We reached Heaven’s Ledge, a resort right near the cliff edge, about 20 kms from Yercaud, which was deep inside the jungle. The first glimpse of the resort was breathtaking. The tents put up for us were an added beauty.

Quickly gobbled up some lunch. The next part of the trip was boating along a small lake. There were two pedal boats which we drove on and we spent our own sweet time fishing and boating. We went on a short trail uphill to view the sunset.

The orange rays narrowing down to a small shadow disappearing behind the hills was a visual treat.

We spent our chill evening in front of a bonfire listening to some good tunes and dancing. We rushed to the cozy tent after dinner and chatted all the way past midnight listening to some real/reel πŸ˜› love stories.

The next day , we made it all the way up and downhill cycling happily. This was a much needed workout for all of us who have not moved a muscle for years together. This, along with the weather and the place , felt like paradise.

As we had a lot of time to board our train to Chennai, we literally killed time by visiting Kiliyur falls(where there was hardly any water, inspite of the 267 steps(Courtesy:Sowmya) which we had to climb down to reach the spot. The next spot was Pagoda point where we came to know that Pagodas are cave-like structures made by stacking up stones in a specific arrangement(as told by AK, the Thala :P).

The trip then came to a sluggish end after having a heartful dinner at Aasai Dosai restaurant in Salem .
That was one hell of a trip, rejuvenating and a much needed break for all of us amidst the hustle of the city and hectic schedules at work.

A road trip to Ram-Eshwar-am

It was time to plan our next trip. After a lot of discussions and debates with friends and family,we decided to do a road trip to Rameswaram and surrounding places.
Day 1: SEP 28,2017

It’s difficult to wake up before sunrise for us on usual days. It is otherwise when it is for a vacation. Akash, Srini and I woke up at 3am and quickly embarked our journey at 4, picked up Aku ‘s paati n thatha enroute. The morning breeze and the clear roads were in our favour and we stopped by Hotel Sangeethas at a place called Vikravandi, about 140 kms before Trichy, for breakfast at 7.30am. After treating our taste buds with some delicious idlis n dosas, off we went straight to Rameswaram at 2.30pm.

The roads in Rameswaram were too narrow and dirty for such a tourist attraction.We checked in to a hotel(Hotel new island Star booked in advance) , which was not too great despite the good reviews online.
Nevertheless, we refreshed ourselves soon and headed towards Ramanathapuram temple, praying for a smooth darshan. We were surprised at the no-crowd temple and decided to take the theertham trip. This is a famous must-do ritual which takes us through 22 theerthams(wells) and water is poured on us from each of them. The routes were well marked and we completed this part of the trip,too, in a smooth manner.

 
The board “Gujarat Bhavan” and the smell of ghee dragged us inside.We had a lip-smacking Gujarati thali and retired to our hotel after the long day.

Day 2:SEP 29,2017
We quickly visited the longest corridor which we missed to see the previous day,had breakfast and went towards Dhanushkodi. Visited Ramar padham and Kothandaramaswamy Temple on the way.It was a sad sight to see the dilapidated remains of the storm in the 1960s which had caused great havoc and destruction in the place.

 
The roads were new and took us till Arichalmunai, the end point of the sea shore.we could not believe that Sri Lanka was just 15 kms away. The view was indeed, mesmerizing. We spent some time shopping a few sea-shell made jewellery and clicking some selfies and went to Tirunelveli, our next stop of the trip. We checked in to Sri Balaji mansion, near the bus stand. The building looked really old outside , but the rooms were surprisingly spacious and clean with all the necessary facilities. Happily, we refreshed ourselves and went to seek the darshan of Nellaiappar and Gandhimathi Ambal. It was a very old and large temple. Then we wanted to have authentic Tirunelveli food for dinner.As recommended by the locals, we went to Annamalai mess, which served us unique delicacies like Mundhiri rava dosa, 3-in-1 uthappam( tomato, onion and coriander), etc.
Day 3:SEP 30,2017
Akash, Srini and I love water, water and anything water. Agastiar waterfalls, with its tall cascade of milk, was waiting for us to dive and splash in it. Though it was crowded , being a long weekend, we had a splendid time to our heartful. Then we had an authentic awesome lunch at Ambasamudram(Thanks to Siva who suggested this place).
In the evening, we planned to go to Tiruchendur.The heavy traffic jam and the long queue to take a glimpse of Muruga was a great turn-off for all of us, leaving all of us hungry for a long time.Nevertheless, Mani Iyer ,(restaurant you may find all over Tiruchendur) saved all of us from starvation.:) That was a long day and we reached Tirunelveli at 11pm.

Day 4:OCT 1,2017
This was the D-Day of the trip. We spotted a cute, small village in the rural suburbs of Tirunelveli, called C.N.Nagar, thanks to Google Maps. This was the place where my dear mother-in-law had spent her happy childhood days. She mesmerized us with her nostalgia when we visited the house where she had lived once,the Kurukkuthurai Murugan temple which lies right on the bank of the Thamirabarani river and the way she narrated each and every road we spotted taking her back to those days when she walked with her friends to school. After spending a good time here and taking a quick dip in the cool and serene Thamirabarani waters, we headed towards Annamalai mess(hoping to relish the taste yet again),but in vain. The shop was closed. Had lunch in another restaurant nearby and the rest of the day was for rest and shopping the famous Tirunelveli halwa,etc.

Day 5 & 6: OCT2,2017
These were the last days of our trip.We started the day lethargically and headed towards Trichy.
Checked in at Mayavaram lodge and climbed up the fort(Malaikottai) to meet Uchipillayar. We happened to meet two of my relatives there as a coincidence. It is great joy to meet our dear ones unexpectedly. The next day we returned to Chennai,thus concluding our long,yet relaxed trip.That was an overall 2000km. πŸ™‚

Whinings of a mom to a dad

I encounter power struggles throughout the day.
I patiently try to give him that complete bowl of food in 2hours.
I silently endure the pain of being hit,kicked and bitten by him.
I spend enormous energy in entertaining him in creative ways possible.
I go that one extra mile in getting rid of books and phones and facebook and whatsapp just to ensure he gets quality time.
I give him unconditional love just forgetting all the ordeals.

What is the role of the bigger “him” here?

Giving up after the little one refuses to take the first bite.
Giving up the child’s time in order to spend quality time on the phone and
laptop.
Giving up after that first sign of whining.
Giving up after he refuses the first sip of milk.

Oh, yeah. I forgot ..He has donated the sperm. What a big contribution!
What does a mom get in all this?
The tag “Patientless angry woman” and that during PMS. Is it not the role of a husband to be her mother and fill the gap when she most needs it? Doesn’t she deserve more care atleast now than abusing or accusing her of impatience ?

I seriously wish to have a boon where the physical roles are reversed.Its high time men start understanding their own wives,if not women.

A mom writes….

I am a new mom,    
I am an experienced mom.
    Yes..Im a mom.Stop judging me.

I carry my child on my hip,
I lovingly chase him while he runs in front of me,being careful,nevertheless.
      Stop asking, “Why doesn’t he walk or why doesnt he sit on the stroller?”   

I teach him to talk, dance, draw.
I teach him to be calm and patient.
      Stop ordering me to teach him what you have taught your child.

I breastfeed my child for two years,
I decide to give him a bottle.
    Stop advising me about his diet.

I hug him when he cries or whines,
I raise my voice for the same sometimes.
      Stop dictating me on how to treat my child.

I feed my child while he watches videos.
I also do while he runs around and creates a mess.
     Stop prescribing me ways to make him eat.

Every mom has to wear different hats everyday.
Every mom has her own shoes to wear.                                     
A few words of love to all the moms.
Every child is unique and will never remain a baby. Soon, there will dawn
a day when you will not be allowed to carry him, bathe him, feed him,play with him.
    
Consider them precious moments and not as duties.     

Instead of thinking “how to deal with a fussy toddler”, think “how to create fun in the fuss”.

Dedicated to all moms. Sincerely wishing all of you a beautiful journey with your little ones while they are little.