Category Archives: India travel diary

India… Bye bye…

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Once again, I hurt a lot of people and I got hurt a lot when I stepped out of the country. As soon as we collected our baggage, a lady said that we have a lot of luggage and she told my husband, “Your wife must have a lot of clothes”, I would have felt happy if that was true but it is true that I had a lot of stuff(non-textiles) and was also well under the weight limit. This time I was really proud that I didn’t miss anything but as soon as I reached home my son started complaining that I didn’t bring some of his toys.I again proved that I’m a bad mom… Thanks to all our flight pilots, I’m safe back at home in Sydney…

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Diwali 2014

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Diwali is not just a Hindu festival but it is most likely a festival of Indians. When I’m in Australia, Christmas is very special and everywhere we can feel that Christmas will be there soon, we would get the same feeling in India when it’s Diwali festival time.

I had a great time this year on Diwali, doing shopping in the non-crowded stores, driving in the non- crowded roads, eating good home made food and South Indian style traditional Diwali sweets like Murukku, Adhirasam, Rava laddu, Maa Laddu, Paniyaram and last but not the least, Mundhiri Kothu (this is mainly a Tirunelveli sweet and my parents being from Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur background is the very reason why this sweet always makes it in the sweet menu at our home). Apart from these the sweetest North Indian style sweets were also there. Lots of Idlis, Mutton Kuruma, Chicken Biriyani, I felt like Mayabazar Rangarao. I don’t know when I would again have an opportunity to eat all these items in one single day, yes, I have already booked my appointment with the dentist for Friday morning before I start to Sydney. Fired lots of crackers too and looked at lots of silk sarees until my eyes became tired and begged me to step out of the shop.

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A Balakumaran’s fan

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I started reading Balakumaran novels when I was 18 and people started asking me if I’m trying to imitate my mom. Honestly, I was not a big fan of Balakumaran until I finished the book ‘Udayar’ but the moment I finished the sixth part of Udayar, I thought that he truly is a great writer and I fell in love with his writings at that moment and glanced through all the novels that I have read already to cherish his writings. I got married and moved to different cities and countries but still Udayar stayed afresh in my memories.

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Yes, things go wrong and we always adapt to it

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Five years back when I entered the operation theatre to deliver my son through C-section, I was convinced by everyone that the doctor who is going to perform the surgery has 40 years experience and has done more than 4000 C-sections. I was normal when I was taken out of the OT but I fell sick immediately after the C-section and got wheezing the same night within 3 hrs. I was treated for wheezing and the next day morning my temperature rised too high and the same day night I lost my consciousness and couldn’t verbalize my thoughts and started developing pneumonia. I had to take a high dose injection to bring down my temperature and my uncle rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night to treat me psychologically. I was sick for 15 days with pneumonia and severe cough. Even five years later, I feel things are not normal in the operated area. When I checked with all my friends and family who had a C-section they say that they feel normal but it is only me who get cramps when I try to bend down and wear shoes or when I sit and fold my legs to wear shoes. I learnt to live with it and am adapting to this body condition.

Now it is the dental. I know that I will adapt to this condition soon but things are not going to be the same again. I already feel like I went through a cosmetic surgery due to the swelling and the stitches which has changed my jaw movements.

Silk sarees in Chennai

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To buy a good silk saree we need a good salesman. To get a good salesman we have to be at the right shop at the right time. Today I visited a few saree shops in the city’s main shopping hub, T. Nagar to buy silk sarees but only a few shops were really good other shops really don’t care about what we ask and they right away tell us that they don’t have what we ask for. One salesperson in a famous shop said, “Madam, it takes about 40 to 50 days to weave a silk saree and you cannot expect all the combinations in Handloom sarees”. Asking for a specific Colour combination is considered like a sin. One of the most advertised shop for silk saree don’t care about what the customers are looking for instead they were busy in always counting and arranging the sarees as per the price range.

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At Kumaran silks

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Nalli silks

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Melting Magic – SKS Mysurpa

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The only sweet that I can eat now is Tirunelveli ‘Iruttu kadai’ Halwa but it’s not possible to get it now since Tirunelveli is some 600 km away so my Krishnaa had some pity on me and took me to Sri Krishna Sweets,T.Nagar to get me the melting magic. Chennai city’s most famous sweet shop is Sri Krishna Sweets. The shop is now relocated to a different street and I even found Baklava there. Yummm…

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How did this happen???

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After the dental surgery, my India trip dreams were completely turned OFF.
No shopping, no eating and no sight seeing. Due to my surgery, my Nagercoil trip got cancelled; thanks to me, my husband got to be near his mom during her eye surgery. More than a Diwali trip, this turned out to be a Medical trip now but yes, I think I kept telling myself that it is a joyful Diwali trip, denying the truth that it is more of a hectic trip that is going to toss my confidence and courage. If I would have accepted the fact then I would have cancelled the trip or would have shortened the trip.

The excitement that was running like a bullet train in my head, when the tickets were booked 4 months back, slowed down like a passenger train on the day before I started from Sydney. My 3 week holiday was completely booked with medical appointments, family visits and temple visits before I left Sydney.

I managed to visit only one temple out of the 7 temples that we planned to visit in this trip. A visit to meet some of the lovely relatives in Nagercoil is cancelled. A visit to Gangaikonda chola puram and Tanjore temple is also now cancelled. Rajendra chola and Raja Raja chola, the 2 great kings of South India, when would I ever get to see the 2 great temples that you built during your rule.

Diwali season is shopping season

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It’s Diwali festival season in India. I should have started my shopping by now but unfortunately due to my unexpected dental surgery, I am held arrested at home by my family and banned from visiting shops. Still I managed to do a quick shopping in Lifestyle the day before the surgery. The collections have improved and the prices are affordable too.

I prefer to visit Silk saree shops for this season and was checking some ads in the magazines. Tamilnadu Silk sarees are well known around the world for its quality, purity, styles and colours. Posting some pictures here.

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Photo credits: RMKV

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Photo credits: RMKV

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Photo credits: The Chennai silks

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Photo credits: RMKV

Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple

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Facts about Tirupati donation pot (source: Wikipedia)
It is believed that Srinivasa had to make arrangements for his wedding. Lord Kubera credited money to the god Venkateswara (a form of the god Vishnu) for his marriage with Padmavati. Srinivasa sought a loan of one crore and 11.4 million (11,400,000) coins of gold from Kubera and had Viswakarma, the divine architect, create heavenly surroundings in the Seshadri hills. Together, Srinivasa and Padmavathy lived for all eternity while Goddess Lakshmi, understanding the commitments of Lord Vishnu, chose to live in his heart forever. In remembrance of this, devotees go to Tirupati to donate money in Venkateswara’s hundi (donation pot) so that he can pay it back to Kubera. The hundi collections go as high as 22.5 million INR a day.Devotees offer gold as a token of their love for God. Temple sources said that in April 2010 the temple deposited 3,000 kg of gold with SBI as gold offerings in the temple hundi by devotees, which had accumulated for the last several years.

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Seven hills

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Hairpin bends

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Misty hills

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Entrance to the TIRUMALA from the hill roads

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The gap between 2 buses in the hill roads

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Entrance to the Tirumala roads