(I had begun to phase out the whole Bhablet business, meaning to cut it out altogether after the 2nd birthday, but hey, what can you call a Bhablet apart from The Bhablet?)
So Vicky and I thought a cycle would be a nice second birthday gift. Accordingly, when the sales began last month, I went around pricing bicycles and tricycles. I saw lots but they were either out of our budget, or too flashy for my liking (too many things on them, what with the handles and baskets and the fancy toys) or not sturdy enough or the pedals too flimsy. I'm very finicky about safety issues and besides, a cycle is a long-term buy, so I might as well love it. I mean, Rahul might as well love it.
So I walked around, singly and with the father and the son until I was this close to giving up the ghost. Was veering towards tricycles since they seemed safer and all the bicycles looked too big. Then I walked into Dakshinapan on a random sort of quest, and found a bicycle at good old Toyland. Sat Rahul down on the seat. He not only fitted but looked so very right. The price was higher than I'd hoped, but hey, Rs. 2085 was cheaper than the other, imported stuff I'd seen in the posh shops. Called up Baba to ask if it was OK to buy a 2 yr old a bicycle with training wheels instead of a tricycle. He asked me the name of the manufacturer and it emerged that they (his company and the cycle's) were part of the same group; so he asked me to take down cycle details and hang on for a couple of days.
In a few hours I had a mail from him with the address of their dealer outlet in Hazra Road. There was no telephone number so I went through Google Maps and Wikimapia and eventually managed to locate the BSA Go shop in Devi Market at 83, S. P. Mukherjee Road.
Between this and the time we actually went to the shop, more emails had been exchanged between Baba and his friends at the cycle company. So we were forwarded a bunch of names and phone numbers of Important People who could help us. (By this point V had long stopped being of any actual use; all he did was laugh.)
Armed with these names and numbers we eventually made our way to the outlet. That was a somewhat frustrating exercise, as I mentioned before, but both the salesmen seemed to be as reassured as I was by Baba telling them over the phone that he'd handle the Madras end. So we forked over a hundred rupees for the deposit, entreated them not to forget the cute Pooh-shaped bell as a reserve, and went drinking with Philip. That was on Wednesday night. They told us, rather doubtfully, that the shade we wanted (bright red) would be difficult to get, delivery could take up to a month.
And yesterday, that is Friday morning we got a call from the shop explaining that the cycle had arrived and was ready to be delivered. It was actually delivered today (Saturday noon) what with one thing and the other, and they forgot my, I mean, The Bhablet's extra Pooh bell but it's so beautiful. A lovely, yummy red bicycle, just the right size for a two yr old and it has a little basket in the front. And the whole thing cost Rs. 1575.
Rahul loves his new 'gayi' (vehicle) and V and I decided to let it be Baba-Ma's gift, since Baba went to so much trouble. It's no problem, because we do have other gifts to give him. In the meantime here he is, perched up high. Definitely not a baby any more.