so I finally get to answer the question I raised earlier in this travel diary series ....do elephants and babies mix? They do and they should but after the parents realise the "gravity of the situation". You will soon find out.
We leave Delhi for Jaipur...We (though the operational word should be I) had been keenly going through TripAdvisor and travelogues by blog-dosts and had a very strict itinerary prepared for the weekend... at this stage all of us have our own "vision" regarding the days ahead. For me Jaipur was the Magical Land of Anokhi, I imagined kindly craftspeople taking me by my hand and declaring Here Is A True Patron of the Arts, come Gracious Lady we have been saving this secret stash just for you. Gman hoped that having a baby nicknamed Bubbles would merit for something when it came to paying for services in the Raj of Maharaja "Bubbles" Bhawani Singh . Nada! And our Bubbles waited with bated breath for the elephant ride we had been promising him. But in the end it is the Driver's Dream Trip that is supreme. There will be a lot of Mamoo Ki dukan so its best that you mentally prepare yourself for that.
Take us to Lakshmi Mishtian Bhandar, driverji
Hain? Where Is That? No such Place.
No such place? I give him directions right up to it's pavement. (Jiyo Google Map).
No No too much traffic, no parking, he replies. I will take you to a much fine place.
and that is how we find ourselves at Surabhi (which has on display testimonials by such fine food critics as Dimple Kapadia ji. Arey Madam, if you have to share testimonials tell us about your hair products). There is also a turban museum on the premises if you are so inclined but sadly no turbans to be sold. Jootis yes. As I was saying misplaced priorities are not limited to choice of gourmands.
Later we ask him to stop at the Jal Mahal so we can go take a look.
Arey, yeh tau vaisey frame hai. Kuch andar nahee jaaney ka nahee. (Its just a brick skeleton. There is nothing inside).
I wanted to borrow from Pran in Zanjeer as a retort
dekho biraadar. Sher Khan ne shaadii nahee kee to kyaa huaa, lekin baaraateN bahut dekheeN haiN"
Well driverji I might not have read up on Jaipur's history but I do watch a lot of films. Im pretty sure they have shot a song inside one of these Jal Mahals. And the fact that we could see people walking up and down the parapet showed that his pants were on fire as we spoke.
Driverji was not impressed with my Anokhi shopping excursion. Sooti kapra, he turned up his nose in disdain. Calm down calm down Gman keeps on reminding me driverji has to get us to the airport in time for the flight count to ten before tearing into him.
Early morning we find ourselves on elephant back at the foothills of the majestic Amer Fort. And realize that child services will soon be on to us as Gman holds Arhaan clasped to his chest. Arhaan's sling lies forgotten in the car and the elephant ride is longer than we thought. the baby keeps looking around with great interest. He might not realise the gravity of the situation but alas! his foolish parents know very well about gravity and what happens to little boys who come tumbling down the hill. One white knuckled elephant ride later, the parents dismount from the elephant and Gman now channeling a bit of Jinnah to Mountbatten gasps "thank God! I have brought you back alive".
The Amer Fort and the structures inside are beautiful as you can see.
Mr Pigeons says to Ms Pigeon "Dont Move for How color coordinated are we?"
Pathetic attempt to frame a touristy shot.
Later in the City Palace we are reminded of how clueless we are when it comes to parenting. A group of people descend on us wanting to click Arhaan's pics. Now we have no delusions of Arhaan being the stuff of celluloid dreams, we love him and he is "qabool surat " and there are no flights of fantasies there. So what does one do when random tourists start posing with him. Gman thinking its a baby snatching scam was firm that he is not taken out of the stroller. Arhaan "photo is my motto" just dimpled away in the cameras, Im pretty relaxed about putting up his pics on my blog, buree nazar waley tera moon kala and all, but this particular incident had us a a bit confused, and we have decided to be a bit sterner in future. Which is also pretty sad. A sad sad day when you become paranoid about any interest in your baby.
Arhaan's fan Group
and Memories of the Hand That Rocks the Cradle (now Stroller)
We spent the afternoon at Rambagh where our calling out (in a very loud voice I must say) to our Bubbles fell on deaf ears, sigh.
Our Bubbles is now clearly mortified with our attempt to milk the Bubbles connection for what its worth.
Arhaan does not experience a moment of "self doubt" when it comes to comparing his buggy to the royal buggies. Clearly "we are not impressed".
We leave Jaipur with memories of a number of characters quintessential Jaipur who will appear on this blog (and considerable stash that will grace the house!!).