Day One of the adventure ended with a biryani dinner at Slim's house. Of course there were idlis to go with it because I love them so. My adorable niece and nephew gave me the guided tour of their toy cupboard, also known as Pandora's box. We watched an impromptu bharatnatyam performance and answered/ asked questions and chatted with my brother in law while the aroma of fried papadams emanated from the kitchen. I tried in vain to draw a train for my nephew who dismissed it as 'you are doing it all wrong' and then proceeded to draw me a refined version of my cartoon. I feel old and yet young in the face of their innocence and enthusiasm.
Day Two was another breakfast of idlis and crisp dosas. Also the trying task of figuring out which podi I liked (the one without sesame seeds won) and wanted to buy to take back. But much before breakfast I was up at 5.20 to talk to Kid before his school day. He was in happy land as he was watching cartoons while his father got ready for work. 40in2006 was on her phone as well and by 6.30 my aunt and uncle had joined us for a good old gossip section. Lets just say we left no one out and all news and views were exchanged!
It was another morning of retail therapy, this time my lovely aunt joined us 3 cousins. I bought a very heavy cast iron dosa tawa to replace my horrid non stick one; and a second one for my Singapore sis-in-law. This from Murugan Stores where in actual fact I wanted to buy EVERYTHING - those neat rows of shiny stainless steel - cups, saucers, pressure cookers, plates, spoons et all - were all calling out my name. I refrained from going crazy but made mental note of what I want next time! Other small errands of bank, snacks and pressure cooker replating. Then on to Fab India where 40in2006 thwacked her head on the bounce back of the car boot and got a little forehead laceration. After a little TLC we all tried on and bought stuff. Kurtas and salwars that make all lacerations seem better and life brighter.
Lunch at Madras Gymkhana, the old haunt of my childhood summers. It stopped in time, this beautiful place, it's capped bearers serving food delights in the wood panelled and pillared main hall. The driveway was smaller than in my memory but then I have grown considerably in girth since my last Buttery Bar Saturday buffet. We ate a comforting lunch of fish fry and Russian salad, amongst other favourites.
The drive home took us past the fugly new constitution building (?) opposite the venerable P.Orr and Sons. The purpose built building is however not to be used for its intended purpose but instead as a hospital. One without any windows and one that looks a bit like an alien spaceship. Poor sick people, not only will they feel ill but then to be subjected to this monstrosity as well?!
In the afternoon we picked up Slim (who left before lunch) and her kids. We went to Landmark to browse books and music. And then on a semi wild goose chase to find a shop called Masala Chai. It's a blog I love and follow and I've been waiting to go and buy everything I had been admiring. The lady on the phone beforehand was vague about the location and then we couldn't find it. We drove up and down a 'kuccha' side road and found a board on a house marked 'Ashvita'. When we stopped to enquire we were informed that this was the erstwhile Masala Chai store and that the cafe (?) was closed. So we went in anyway to have a look and found, in one room, most of things I had seen online. Even though the woman was unable to explain anything and the aircon was shut off making it unbearably stuffy, I managed to pick out a few lovely things.
Then a quick stop to buy sesame-less podi before heading home for yet more eating. Goodbye hugs with Slim and family. A quick 20 minute packing and it was off to the airport. More goodbye hugs with Tall, aunt and uncle and I was soon at my gate awaiting the overnight chariot to Singapore.
Two days. Gone by in a flash.