If there were any doubts that perhaps I have not been losing my edge (regarding being a " laid back " mom), the events of the last week reinforced my fears. For a while I had been battling Arhaan's boycott of the bath tub (he would only agree to a sponge bath or sitting with his feet dangling in the sink at best--which is kind of difficult as you have to remember he is no longer four months old), so when Gman suggested we accompany him for a work thing in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, I jumped at the idea of Water Aversion Therapy Bay of Bengal Style.
Arhaan took one look at the water and kind of told himself Damn, yeh log tau nehla kar chorheyngey (these guys wont rest till I take a bath.
Cox's Bazaar could be quite pretty if they had just let it be...but the rapid urbanization and invasion of Pankaj Udhas ghazals and really bad 80s songs (Im talking Agar Tum Na Hotey and Terey Mere Beech May Kaisa Hai Yeh Bandan Anjaaaaanaaa)is going to make it a never ending nightmare on the longest beach.
Arhaan, thank the water gods, recovered from his fear of water. He is kind of getting used to his Trojan Horse Vacations...as in he does get out of Dhaka but sadly has to pay for it. He got treated to the Grand European Experience but had to have meningoccal shots in Berlin (they were not available in Dhaka).
Now I do realise that I have been very lax about my Europe diaries so just this once I am going to use the 'crutch' of bullet points style notes. Think of it as a trailor for the forthcoming film. I can no longer sit down at the computer
what with the power cuts and an adorable toddler putting the pitter back in the pitter patter of tiny feet (I can watch him walk like a slovenly drunk all day long)
And some time this week I also promise to respond to all the comments .
So after Berlin (where the sun came out the day we were finally leaving) we arrived in:
1) Geneva: Geneva is basically the Mall Road of Europe, at one time or the other you will run into all the people you thought you had left in the plains. It also has a lot of shops for things you might not need, but you have to buy as you are so many miles above sea level. We thought we might feel a bit awkward there, considering we were dressed in bulky coats and woolies when EVERYONE knows the dress code in Switzerland is chiffon saris for women and cute sweaters tied around your shoulders for men. But we survived and none of the locals stared at us for being dressed so inappropriately. Switzerland is seriously beautiful and Im sure someone goes around mixing ingredient X which makes the snow shine whiter and the water look more turquoise. We took a day trip to Gstaad which other than being famous for the ski resorts is also now known as the site for Polanski's house arrest. Of course if its Polanski you speak about a great artist and a vindictive judicial system(Unmana writes about the moral quandry here) but if its Iqbal Kashmiri or the Gulshan Kumars of the world making a case for Babyji sey Fransheep we cry foul.
Pretty mountains, prettier lakes. And blasphemous moi. In moti shawls and NOT diaphonous chiffons in the Land of Yash Chopra.
2) Onwards to Barcelona. Barcelona has the unique privilege of being the one place our family of three has agreed on as being Totally Awesome. We are very Goldilocks this way, with our divergent tastes and needs but Barcelona had us smiling every second. We strolled the tourist magnet Las Ramblas where Arhaan shook hands with all the buskers. Even the scary ones.
Thats Columbus saying Woh Dekho Amreeka.
The first thing you have to remeber to say in this city is No Gaddi, Just Gaudi. This as the city is host to nearly a million Pakistanis. Half of them accost you at the arrivals lounge of the airport trying to get you to rent their cars. The other half park themselves at the city's eateries giving you (unwanted) advice about eating at a nice desi restaurant in the alley as yahan par sirf tourist log khaatey hain (only silly tourists eat here). Hmmmmph.
We marvelled at the genius of Gaudi and picnicked at Parc Guell. We were blown away like many before us by the sheer scale of Sagridia Familia (Gaudi is basically the Kamal Amrohi of architects...they must have started work on Sagridia Familia the same time as they planned making Pakeezah...Pakeezah was completed before Meena Kumari turned 72, but for Sagridia Familia picture abhee baaki hai dost).
3) Our last stops in Europe were Rome and Florence.
When in Rome Be Like the Romans (in this case sleep)
the statue that inspired Yeh Haath Dey Do Thakur
Lining up for 110 museums. And dying to say in our best baritone Hum jahaan khade hote hein, line wahin sey shuru hoti hai". The Line Starts Here, The Buck Ends (T)here!!
And one day your baby tells you no more maps.
4)There was also Singapore. One day I promise to discover more of the city than our Room With a View in Arcadia Road and lunches at Crystal Jade.
As you can see the Asian tiger fails to scare our Gulsher and in fact recieves a swipe from him (Aircel ko na batana)
Chalo thats all for this time, more later inshallah.