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And we are back!

A vacation that lasted less than a week but had action packed ingredients for much more. This trip to Bhubaneshwar will be remembered for a whole lot of things apart from the wedding related stories. Before the details get all muddled up in my brains and I pour it all out in the same incomprehensible manner, let me take a huge breath and narrate the details as they happened.

The 3 and 1/2 hr flight to Bbnswr from Mumbai was via Hyd where we (My sister, niece, R and I. Did I mention, my b-i-l dropped out of the trip at last moment, leaving us sisters to deal with the respective brats all alone?..well..) were joined by our cousin A (whose wedding we were to attend). The adventure began as soon as we alighted at the Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneshwar. The airport is so small that you can just walk to the arrival hall after you alight from the plane and then pick your bags from the belt and in the same speed proceed to the exit. As we were driven down to the hotel where we were to be put up for the rest of our stay, we couldn't help notice how smooth the traffic (which seemed quite minimal too) moved on a Friday evening. One of the best parts of living in a small town! During the course of our visit, we realized that any place within the city could be reached in a maximum of 25-30 minutes, even after accounting for the traffic.

Our parents were to join us in a couple of days time at the same hotel where we were to be put up. Little did we realize that in the span of those two days, we would be hotel hopping every morning. The hotel intended for our stay had done a fumigation exactly on the fateful day of our check-in. So, that explained the unpleasant conditions we were subject to after a tiring flight with super-energetic and jumping kids. We immediately decided to move into a different hotel the same night since the place seemed quite unfit to inhabit especially with kids around. We planned to return after a couple of days when our parents would join us and by which time, the odour and effect of the insecticide was expected to clear out. This would have been fine but for unnecessary factors like the bride's side taking up responsibility for the state of affairs and checking us into a five-star hotel by way of making amends, thus complicating the whole situation further. Thankfully, cousin A took the situation in to his hands and ensured that we did not burden ourselves on the bride's family and booked us a different hotel the following afternoon. We thus managed to check in to three different hotel in two days time. The funny side of the matter struck us only when, on the third day while we were getting ready for sight-seeing, niece S asked us innocently if were were going to go to a different hotel now :-).

The next couple of days until the wedding were spent visiting the Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves, Nandankanan Zoo, Puri and Konark. Each place was worth the visit. The city exudes a rich cultural richness which reflects in the historical sites that are abound the city. It is not known as the city of temples for nothing. We witnessed the lunar eclipse on our second day of our stay. Oh boy! I am falling short of superlatives to describe the event and the experience. Why did I never venture out to get at least a glimpse of this wonderful act of nature earlier? I have no answer to that. The eclipse unfolded right above us from the terrace of the hotel, where we camped ourselves to watch it until the very end. A quick glance around us and we saw several people drinking and eating at the open restaurant without so much as casting a fleeting glance above at the sky.  OK, I understand if you do not want to get out of the comforts of your home to view the eclipse but how is it possible to remain indifferent and unaware when sitting in the open right under the moon, when even on normal days, one would at least throw a fleeting glance at the sky above?

The Tambram family welcomed the Oriya bride amidst great fan and fare. The wedding itself was a grand affair with a perfect blend of Oriya and Tamil customs. Yummilicious south Indian and north Indian fare only served as the crowing glory of the show. Being already familiar with the Tambram weddings, we looked forward to be a part of the Oriya customs. Most Hindu weddings follow a similar set of sequence and have pretty much the same rituals, although the manner in which they are conducted differ from state to state. A gatti-melam in a Tamil wedding can be loosely compared to the hul-huli in a Oriya wedding, for example. Cousin A is my chitti's (mother's sister) son and is very close to us sisters. We were already in touch with S, his then fiance and now wife, and got along quite well. When we met her in person, it didn't seem as though it was our first meeting. The two make a lovely pair. May God bless them!

R proved a total brat throughout the trip and I am inclined to make a resolution this new year, never to attempt making a trip alone with him! Details to follow later...

Comments

  1. Good to have you back :)
    Weddings are so much fun! Orissa is lovely I've heard, in fact just yesterday S and I were saying we should go there.
    Oh, what did R do? It's definitely easier for 2 to handle a kid, I donno how you do it so often. I generally try not to travel alone with my brats!

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  2. Hotel Hopping eh?

    Loved your niece's reaction to sight seeing heheeh :)

    Oriya and Tambram eh? Lovely

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  3. Hi Uma,
    Missed your posts... LOL at the lunar eclipse incident... Indians will remain Indians afterall.. :D :D Nice post.. :)

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  4. Wow the wedding & the details sounded wonderful. I say it wistfully really coz one of the things i miss here in Dubai is weddings. U see most of us here are expatriates & everybody goes home to get married;-(

    Lunar eclipse experience sounds lovely...never seen it till today but now after reading ur post want to make the effort;-).

    Looking forward to reading what R has been upto;-D

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  5. That sounds like fun - you make it sound quite easy handling the kids among you sisters, don't tempt hubbies to repeat this act again ;). On that note, must not expose my hubby to your site too else I'll never hear the end of "Why don't you ever want to travel on your own like this?" :O !!

    Bhubaneshwar is one of those places that is on my must-visit list, so it was nice to hear more about it. North, North-east vacations only after a few more years when I can be sure the "Kids" will take care of themselves more or less ;).

    The wedding sounds like a nice blend, must have been fun for the kids too! Great to have you back though :). Let's plan to connect in person sometime in the new year!

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  6. Sounds like a super short break..I love cocktail weddings and this one sounds like loads of fun.. Puri and Konark are on my bucket list too. Happy settling in.

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  7. Aparna: thanks Aparna! normally I dont venture out on a trip alone with R, except when I have to travel home, that too its only one way for usually hubby accompanies me on the way back. This is the first time, we went sight-seeing on our own.

    RM: :-):-)

    Radhika: Thanks Radhika! :-)

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  8. Nancy: aww..but the you must be getting to visit home each time there's a wedding right??
    I had also never ventured to watch the eclipse earlier but seeing how lovely it is, I wondered y I do it before..:-) R updates coming soon..

    Aparna: oh really, it was def nt easy handling them alone. I feel 2:1 ratio for one kid is a minimum requirement. North east is on my list too. I am getting impatient to wait till R gets older..
    Looking forward to meeting you in person..

    Bhargavi: yes yes, though Konark was better than Puri..but worth a dekho!

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  9. I am sooooo glad I could spend those 2 days with you all...even though it might have been stressful :) ...Will never forget the fun though :)

    Miss you all

    A

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  10. Arv: and so am I..me too had fun in spite of the little hassles ;-)..loved the time spent with u...looking forward to meeting u two once again sooooon...:-)

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