There is so much to tell that I think it is wisest I break it up into little stories. Also it's been over 2 weeks since we got back and it all seems a bit like a fairytale to me rather than a real life lived. Here goes.
My parents live in a DDA flat. For those non-familiar with the term, officially it stands for Delhi Development Authority. Unofficially, as my father succinctly puts it, it means lowest tender construction. It's a south facing ground floor flat, well proportioned but not of garangutan proportions. When we first moved to it in the early 90's even our school bus would not venture this far south. We had a private pool of parents taking on the resposibility of organising transport for school and lobbying for the windowless DTC buses to ply our way. It was a deserted shell of a colony and people stared in utter amazement and laughed out loud (at us, not with us) if I ever told them where we lived. It was akin to telling someone that we lived in the middle of the Thar Desert. Of course now it is considered a reputable outpost of south Delhi and with burgeoning Gurgaon to its south it seems almost central what with its endless malls and ridiculous rents and house prices. Who's laughing now?
It's south facing-ness with just a prk in front always made my parents feel like they had won the lottery. My brother and I used to grouse growing up that living at the back of the colony with wilderness in front of us meant that we lived at the southernmost tip of the southern end of Delhi. It also meant a 10 minute trudge to the bus stop each morning - and that meant a few extra freezing cold or burning heat minutes (depending on the Delhi season) than the oh-so-lucky kids who lived facing the front road. We hated it.
Well, now we have no one peeking into our house and the flat gets that delightful Delhi winter sun streaming through its large windows. And we have a park with somewhat mature foliage between us and the ample parking space. So I guess in some small way my parents did win the lottery. For the entire first week I stayed indoors, reading and napping and eating my way through anything made of flour and deep fried in butter. And most mornings I lay on the sofa chatting with my dad as he sat on the doorstep, reading and chuckling with the baby on his lap on the doorstep, soaking in the sun, listening to music on one of his many many music systems. After our whirlwind 4 weeks, 3 cities tour both baby and I needed it, that feeling of stopping and letting everything settle. It was a good week.