Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hey Rome Rome Mein

So this week marks five months to the day we moved to Dhaka. Gman marked the evening by asking me the Momentous Question " what do you think arhaan would be like if we had beenliving in Melbourne all this while?" Hmmm difficult to answer no? Arhaan might have been hanging around with kids his age for one and yes Gman would have been able to spend more time with him. But the upside to the move is that I have spent serious Quality and Quantity time with Arhaan..yes there are days when I fear I have Stockholm Syndrome, the latest manifestation was turning down a swell job about 500m from where we live...the heart has its reasons and all that. Of course I complain about feeling like living in a cage most days, to remedy which we have come up with a fortnightly Evening Out gate pass. Basically it translates as one evening / half a day out of the house and I can do just whatever I fancy (and there will be none of the Kal Hi Tau Bazaar Gayee Thee business ...didnt you go out to buy bread and jam just yesterday cross questioning on the part of Gman). Im glad he doesnt say something along the lines of my mother . "Painting karo, arts and crafts"

To date I have used this Ticket to Vela-hood (time pass) to
1) spend an afternoon at a day spa. Which frankly as I told Gman was the Dal Chawal of massage and scrub. Its OK, it gets the job done but a bit too "homely" na, doesnt hit the spot when you are looking for something exotic and An Experience to Remember. I have to confess that I could not suggest anything intelligent to the lady behind the desk when she asked me what I was looking for. "I have a thirteen month old and I have four hours to myself" is not helpful. She got the sturdiest pair of hands on board and said Shabash get to scrub and maalish patrol. And I was getting the massage at someone's flat turned into a spa..and too much ghar ghar types. I wanted waterfalls and lilies growing in big urns and mood lighting and incense and everyone walking chup chaap sey. Ambiance, adds Gman. And here I was taking a bath in a shower stall just like mine. Next time I will go for a regular hotel wallah aromatherapy package. To date I think only Nirvana in Islamabad has done the" Kothi turned Spa'' thing right.

2) attending a Short Film Festival which was quite fun and I ate a lot of popcorn and drank a lottt offff Coke and there was no hiding the can from Arhaan or him pawing into the popcorn and Gman and me asking each other

Should We give It to Him?
No, na?
Acha you try.
Im sure it will give him a sore throat.
Oh but look at him eating it like a monkey.
Stop it, Iss May Salt Hai.
Oh now he is crying.

I did miss Arhaan a little bit. He has yet to get over the TV, imagine his excitement when he finally gets to sit in a theater? I thought about Gman and how educative the whole experience might have been for him...but then thought of him asking me every ten minutes So Its Over? Such a short film? why did they charge us full price for the ticket? did you know about it?

Ok coming to Arhaan and his personality development in Dhaka. Im really glad for him being here with us. I can share the sights and sounds (or whatever he can retain at this age) of South Asia and I dont have explain to him what a gentle Karachi wind and the song of the cuckoo is like. I dont have to put in words the incredible humidity and our reassuring each other Aaj Tau thunderstorm aayega? and stepping into a store and the ajeeb si fragrance of detergent and air conditioning. thankfully he is too young to absorb the Not so Nice things such as the Fakir Distance (when you rev up the car at traffic lights and inch your way bit-by-bit to escape making eye contact with the beggar at the window). Of course Arhaan experiences sights and sounds that I didnt have the privilege of. Where else can your morning walk include a man carrying a whole menagerie of parrots and parakeets on his shoulders? and one afternoon we walked next to a man carrying a dozen geese by their feet. It was interesting to see them upside down reaching out with their long necks , they were staring Arhaan in the eye and he looked back in fascination from his stroller.

Early evenings when we are very bored and waiting for the father I put him in his stroller and we walk up and down the roof (of our flat). I tell Arhaan tales of working in Islamabad and escaping to the roof top to enjoy the winter sun and the cups of chai and stolen smokes for some. We would look down (both literally and figuratively) at the suited booted lipstick jungle of the corporate world next door. Im sure they made fun of us becharis who wore sneakers and behen ji clothes to work. There are no corporate types here, just a lot of construction workers who were initially very miffed at my cutting into their Adda Marna and masturbating time.

Yes, Arhaan is developing a very interesting personality. We had been teaching him parts of the body very diligently and he would just stick his stubby finger in his nose and look dumb when we quizzed him, and the other day Gman was so flustered he asked him Chalo tell me where the TV is then (quite sarcastically) and he pointed correctly.
Clearly we were on a roll and asked him where the computer is (10/10 again).
He also knew about the remote, our books and my spare set of glasses.
Wah bhai wah.

Yesterday evening, Gman started again in earnest
Tell me something Arhaan
and Arhaan promptly pointed at the TV before he could complete his question and crawled away as fast as his legs could take him (Phir sey lecture start hogaya, Im out!!!) We of course burst out laughing. Arhaan also started chuckling but he continued to stay at a safe distance all evening!!

OK question time folks, and Im hoping all those who lurk chup chup ke from Videsh can help me with this. Starting March 10th the Baba, Baby , Mama posse will be in Berlin, Geneva, Barcelona, Florence and Rome. I will welcome any Must See Travel Tips (which can be along the lines of you-must-check-out-that-obscure-cafe-in-that-bylane sort of info I have been begging Parul for ...the only person I know who loves to travel as much as me) or even along the lines of
Italian may kichdi ko kiya kehtey hain?

considering I use TripAdvisor for even going to my bathroom
86% of people recommend using this toilet stall honey
it will be nice to have your stories as well.
Please write back quickly!!!!!


  1. rofl at him pointing at the TV.

    Ohh have fun travelling. Envious!

    I must say, I look forward to running away all the time..Whether its an hour to the grocery store to an evening out with friends

  2. LOL!!! I am still laughing!!!Arhaan is quite a riot!!!he has to be to survive you both!!LOL
    And those Maalish..I will give anything for'em right now!

  3. Hey,
    Long time lurker.. Haven't been there, but on my list. So will wait for ur travelogue. But with sraikh on how sad is it that grocery shopping alone is now considered 'me time'

  4. Have a ball, all of you! Loved this post:)

    Take a walking tour with Silvia. Best thing we ever did. You view the city from a completely different perspective. And a kid in a stroller is never bored.
    Thats a standard for us... walking tours in any city. They are really customizable for kids and since we are history buffs we always get a unique perspective and see hidden corners that guide books dont talk about. Besides you actually get the Natives POV.
    Also, dont bother to eat an ANY restaurants dotted around that tourist trap Piazza Navona.
    Now let me think about what else I enjoyed in the Florence/venice etc. Rome is a favorite for me. Everything else fades in comparison.
    Oh and if you yell back in exasperation, in Hindi/urdu at the Gypsies that harrass you the effect is electric! Sinti words are somewhat similar.

  6. My suggestion is you take me along. I'll be a very good guide to places I've always wanted to go to but haven't been able to!

  7. something for you here-

  8. Wah bhai wah indeed! He sure is a smartie! Both for the correct pointing out of the TV and the running away the next time you asked. We have the finger up the nose syndrome with Nikki as well. Except that if I ask her where is your tummy, she tries to stick the finger in my mouth so I've just stopped asking.
    Am a little late here but hope you have a fun fun time! Going away now to turn an unpleasant shade of green. And hound the husband about how we NEVER go anywhere.

  9. Risotto :)).first time here. Was fun reading your posts. How was the tour?


Your call is important to us. Please remain on the line while a customer care rep gets back to you.