In Lucknow

This is one post I should have done as soon as I got back from my vacation but what with the sister coming back with me and the kids' birthday... it had to be put off.

After Lucknow's dusty story I stepped out to the main shopping area, or maybe I should say the erstwhile main shopping area, Hazaratganj and Wow what a pleasant surprise. It is indeed new and oh so improved. Cleared of vehicles the roads look like a runway, shops have uniform sign boards, green patches, tiny fountains, awesome. There's hope still. Lucknow will always be special.

Given that almost a month has passed since I got back I find it easier to let these pictures do the talking.
Bear with the longish captions please..

STUNTMAN: If you haven't guessed already.. that's from
the torturous train journey.
Hrit provided edge-of-the-seat excitement with stunts
such as this one and was the nightmare for all tea/snack-vendors

TWO'S COMPANY: When Naisha refused juice he sorted it out for us by having both of them, simultaneously

DRAWING CLASS: That's one of Hrit's 'boy friends'..
only it turned out she was a she :-)
 Naisha found a friend in the neighbouring compartment which left Hrit alone in the 'boys' team'. And so he went around the entire coach looking out for boy-friends. Finally he found enough of them to make his team bigger (one of who happened to be a girl). So there I was almost running a drawing class in the train for lack of any other way to keep the bunch of them occupied.
THE BOOTY: To say that the SIL loves Naturals ice cream would be an understatement. So passionate were her appeals to The Husband and so heart-rending her tales of deprivation (since Naturals doesn't have an outlet in Lucknow) that he got about ten tubs packed in dry-ice so we could carry it through the 24-hour journey. And doesn't she look thrilled?
BREAKFAST AT LUCKNOW: Ever tried bread-jam and mangoes for breakfast?

TRIAL ROOM: Chaniya Choli gifted by nanima being tried on
HAND ART: Naisha's first proper mehendi ever

IPL ATTACK: The nephews, specially this younger one, is an aspiring Malinga.
Here he is with Naisha's fake hair for the perfect look.
He has for long debated 'Easy ways to get rich'. The two he shortlisted were to 'star in a film' or to 'play the world cup'. The first option was discarded because it had too many people involved and any mess up by any one could be the end of his dream. And so that left the second option. If I may quote 'sirf ball ki dhulayi karni hai'. What's better, reasoned he, by the time he grew up Malinga would be too old to really trouble him.. so the Cup is ours.
SARTORIAL WONDER: If Nanima got new clothes for Naisha
she couldn't leave out Shanti, could she?
Here she is cornered by Naisha into stitching up new clothes for her doll. Of course Mowgli got new clothes too.
CARD GAMES: Then it was Dadima's turn to keep Naisha occupied with a card game.
FURSAT KE RAAT DIN: Though the husband was there for just a few days he made the most of them. Here he is chopping up some watermelon while the older nephew bites in

BONDING: Hrit, Naisha play the hoop with their cousin
MORE BONDING: Apparently that's how boys bond.

MASI GYAN: This is something I could never do and so the masi took up the task of imparting
this crucial skill to Naisha. Take a guess..
... that's right.. she's teaching Naisha to whistle.
Now you know why masi is such a hit with the kids

POTTED: And finally these two pics are of a roadside shop that completely fascinates me.
I guess it's all about the colors. Love it

So which one's your favourite?
Next up.. Nainital pics.