A wedding and a vacation - I

Most New Years on their arrival, find us vegging out in front of the telly. However, 2011 came upon us while we were celebrating a wedding. Though it was scheduled for the 1st we landed a day in advance. If you’re wondering why, I’ll just say that the wedding was in Mahabaleshwar. Got it? For people in Pune/Mumbai Mahabi is really no big deal. However, for our vacation-starved family, it was no less than a trip to Kashmir’s Gulmarg.

I’ve been to Mahabi twice earlier but this was the first time I actually saw more of it than the bit that lives in a glass of Strawberry shake at MAPRO farms. I must confess though that bit remains quite my favourite. If you haven’t sampled their fresh strawberries with cream or the shake your life is incomplete.

Colours of Mahabaleshwar
The colours of Mahabaleshwar for me will always be the fresh reds of the strawberries, the rich scarlet of beetroots and the bright orange of carrots. There was a pleasant chill in the daytime sun when we arrived. However, what made the trip special was simply the fact that we were together for a holiday after I don’t know how long. I can’t even remember when we last went out together – just the four of us. That’s what special about holiday destinations and tourist spots. Of course they have the sunset points and sunrise points, the caves and forts, orchards and farms.. but what sets them apart is the happy holiday feel. And we were part of it all. The Husband was relaxed for change (All must be well at Mahindra, I presume) and game for a holiday. The kids were thrilled and could barely sit still.

As a friend pointed out.. The Husband has eyes for nothing else
Predictably enough we headed out to MAPRO to begin our ‘sightseeing’. I stuck to the time tested fresh SB shake, The Husband, on his last binge before he went on a ‘strict diet’ in 2011 (or so he claimed), opted for SBs with fresh rich cream and some icecream thrown in for good measure. Naisha took on the safe icecream (when will she learn to experiment!) while Hrit opted for mango icecream… yes he ate mango ice cream sitting bang in a Strawberry farm. When I pointed out to him that Mahabaleshwar didn’t grow mangoes, it grew SBs he refused to change his mind with an uncompromising, “So what? Lucknow grows mangoes, na,” which was of course irrefutable logic.

We'll huff n we'll puff and we'll finally get home
At the Venna Lake
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned earlier but my kids are water crazy. One look at the lake and they went berserk. The husband wasn’t too keen on the boat ride but where was the choice? Off we went. Naisha took the oars within a few minutes of being on the lake while Hrit confessed to being ‘too scared’. Finally encouraged by Naisha he took the oars too and the two of them proceeded to row us home with gusto. “I’ll eat three rotis today,” averred Naisha flexing her hands as we disembarked.

Savvy shoppers with their precious buys

I was of course interested in a spot of shopping and so we headed to the Mahabi market that comprised of about two dozen small shops. We saw some gorgeous vases which I longed to pick up but the guy at the shop refused to bargain and we left in a huff. Now I’m feeling totally silly because I did so want them….another reason to go back. We finally got home with two hats for the kids, a pair of glares worth all of Rs 30 and some shiny stones (which proved of great value in keeping the kids busy in the hotel room during the endless wedding ceremonies they didn’t need to attend). Hrit fell so madly in love with his glares that he refused to take them off. He wore them all through the wedding, at the dandiya night, at the reception, through the pheras and even at bedtime. When I forbade him from taking off his glasses he promptly wore the glares over his glasses.

Back at the hotel it was time to get ready for the pre-wedding dandiya night. But that’s another post.

So Happy New Year everyone, our beginning was pretty good, how was yours?

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