So I worked on Friday night. Had a real gent for my 'caller' in Copenhagen and I appreciated his manners, I can tell you! Considering the software suddenly went wonky on me and things refused to work... and he heard me tell Maria that I would "keep him distracted" while she fixed the s/w glitch -- because I hadn't muted Skype carefully! For all that, he very kindly told our team there that he had enjoyed the show.
Saturday morning I had an interview at a school. Am considering teaching as a career option and was in two minds upto the moment I actually met the principal. Now I think I'd like to work there. Both she and the other two teachers I met were so pleasant and friendly, I think spending five mornings a week there may not be so bad, even if I do have to wake up early in the mornings.
Feeling immensely cheered by the interview(ers) I walked down to Mohini Mohon Road and had an impromptu lunch with Mejomamidida. She made me an omlette to have with my lunch and to make it, used an egg, some chopped onion, salt and pepper. She then muttered a few charms and turned it into ambrosia. (I didn't actuallly see or hear her do the charming, but she must have.) I had such a pleasant hour with her, I quite, quite forgive her for asking for a simpler saree for Pujo. I don't think I will ever learn to be OK with my widowed didas wanting to look drab and eat miserably. They wouldn't do it on their own either if rotten relatives weren't always passing nasty comments.
Walked through Jogu Bazaar on my way home and then took a bus. I like bazaars. Bought some balloons. The Second Birthday looms large on my horizon these days.
V, R and I napped the rest of the afternoon. Surfaced later in the day to hop down to Dakshinapan where I bought Mejomamidida's replacement saree. Ran out of money else would have bought Lakshmi's as well. Am now in the business of ferrying sarees around town since Ma's not here. *Sigh* We ate a quick dinner of masala dosas there as well.
Rushed back home in a hurry since Philip and I had made plans to go dancing. Got dressed and then went easy on the makeup when I remembered that P can give even Vicky a run for his money as far as casual dressing goes. (Although I'll admit V is improving some, especially since I have been in charge of his sartorial life.) And then -- prepare yourselves -- I drove Ally down to pick Philip up at Hazra and we drove down to Park St. This when the roads were still pretty full. Ta-daa...!
We had a light supper of a veg sandwich and some veggie juice combo for him (and now you know how he stays that thin) and a choco cookie crumble milkshake for me. We chatted for a long time, sitting in that new cafe at The Park, talking about families and weird experiences and it was a really nice start to the evening. It's been a long time since I spent that kind of time with somebody I didn't know so well. And I thought, we should have done this long before.
Eventually we got off our seats and made our way to Someplace where we were greeted with Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams (why oh why) and we grimaced and walked into Roxy. Roxy was still quiet and we got two seats at the bar. The two bartenders at our end (Neeraj and N something) were pretty good at their job -- my Bloody Mary had a bite that made up for the sweet OD of the milkshake while Phil's g-n-ts were made with Bombay Sapphire and tasted bloody marvellous. I stayed with the one drink since I was the designated driver (yikes!) and we talked some more. Eventually Maria and Tompu landed up and we went to dance. That endeavour lasted about three minutes, start to end, but it was a great evening for all that. The DJ had moved on to 'Main talli ho gayi' which is not really my kind of music.
So at half past one we called it a night and went home. You'll no doubt be amused to hear that I was the only driver stopping at red lights at 2 in the a.m. while cabbies guffawed their way past me. Phooie, ses I.
The reason we turned in early was that we'd planned a trip to Kumartuli the next morning, Philip and I, with Vicky and Rahul. Maria and Tompu decided to join us, so there we were, at 7.30 the next morning, slightly red-eyed and somewhat hoarse from chatting over the loud music, driving down Chitpur. We stopped for the Chinese breakfast at Poddar Court en route -- stuffed buns and momos and fried rice cakes. Then straight down Rabindra Sarani, past Royal (we have to go there, Vicky), past Jorasanko, past Kumartuli -- hang on, we're past Kumartuli! So we stopped, checked by asking for directions, headed outwards to CR Avenue and parked Ally in the shade. Bought some water and set off.
It was a very nice morning, despite the sun and having to carry R because of the muddy lanes from the previous evening's rain. Rahul himself was fascinated because he saw "aati" everywhere. (Vishwakarma puja is coming up and he sits on an elephant; Ganeshas were also being made for Durga Puja next month.) Then there were plenty of crows and dogs to keep him entertained. We walked around the various workshops and spent some time sitting by the ghat. A visit to a certain famous house in the neighbourhood led to a discovery of the sort you'd think I'd be used to, by now: Vicky is (and therefore I am) related to them in the way of all boddis.
Came home, crashed. Was out for some hours. Ally was sent to the garage to be serviced. Then, after an almost fight with the husband, we all had phuchkas, him, me and the son. Mejopishi and Co. dropped in for a short visit and V left with them, on a round of chores (at 9 p.m. on a Sunday).
Monday saw me cook like crazy, hoping not to need to cook for some days afterwards. In the evening we had a dinner at Tamarind, hosted mainly by four Call Cutta-related people whose birthdays fell one after another that weekend. We reached pretty late, around 9 I think, and Rahul was very tired since he hadn't slept well in the afternoon. We were both set for a quick dinner and dash back home, V and I, but we'd bargained without the son. He walked in, saw some girls (Basundhara and Anasuya) dancing to loud music and that was that. He danced for the next hour, worked the room, got even Philip on his feet, flirted with Maria and generally took it upon himself to squeeze every last bit of fun out of the do.
It turned out be a great evening, far more fun than I'd expected, and the service at Tamarind was downright welcoming. The food, as always, was excellent. We packed a 'doggie bag' for V (well, it was several boxes really, and quite a lot of food) because R pretty much collapsed around 10.30 and Bhola (our chief driver) took the Lake Garden lot home.
Tuesday saw me up early (I hardly slept all night, being afraid I'd miss the alarm) and I went for my first trainee day at The Cambridge School. Have applied to teach Kindergarten there and have asked to be allowed to observe/help out the current teacher as much as I can. It was quite a morning but I'm hoping I get this job. Money will probably be peanuts but I really liked the other teachers and the kids were a bright bunch. (They were all monkeys too but I'm told that's an occupational hazard.) Best, I liked the school's teaching methods.
Came home, saw the house in chaos. V was in a filthy mood. R has started acting up over breakfast and it drives one bananas trying to get anything inside him. Anyway, I straightened out the flat, fed The Bhablet his lunch, popped him down for his nap, fed the husband his lunch and packed him off to work. Used up all my energy for the day, I realised later because I was no good for anything much the rest of the day.
Dipali dropped in late afternoon, for the book Book Crazy Babes is reading for next month and we ended up having a very nice tea at Dolly's. I needed to buy Lakshmi's saree at Dakshinapan anyway. Lovely cheese-corn sandwiches. But they used salami and not ham in V's ham sandwich (which we packed and brought back for him). Rahul ran riot but so what else is new? She dropped us two back home afterwards, and then I ran over to Evie's place with the book she wanted for this month. Not surprisingly, I own neither book myself!
Wednesday was pretty normal in terms of housework and so on but the great thing was, I've finally figured out how to keep R diaperless for his afternoon nap. I give him lunch on time or a little early if possible, and push back his naptime to ensure a clear hour between meal and nap. That was what I'd been inadvertently doing in Madras but didn't do in Cal. His grandparents (V's parents) were babysitting in the evening so I asked his grandmother to try out a diaperless evening. She seems to have had no problems. Such a relief. As of last week he has been telling us pretty much every time he needs to go, and the biggest thing is, he's willing to pee standing up in a corner of the bathroom -- something he used to be far too distracted to do earlier. Anyway, one more step away from diapers.
Our evening plans were to start out with a visit to BSA Go's outlet on S. P. Mukherjee for a bicycle for the birthday boy-to-be. Turned out to be quite a complicated exercise what with the clueless salesmen earnestly assuring me that it was impossible to book the cycle I wanted but they didn't have in stock. V guffawing over Baba's official connections didn't help matters one whit, although I'll admit one doesn't necessarily need to enlist the help of all sorts of higher powers in buying a kid's cycle. Then again, if Baba tells his friend that his grandson will be coming along to buy a cycle I fail to see why Baba's son-in-law needs to make any nasty cracks on the matter at all.
What followed all this was drinks at Tripty's (Jadubabu's Bazar or so it calls itself). Philip and Vicky had made the plans and insisted on me coming along. A respectable matron like me. Anyway, so I dressed in a loose shirt and rolled up jeans (forgot to roll them down :) ) and we walked into the bar which looked much brighter and welcoming than I remembered it. Also, since it relied on huge open windows and doors for ventilation rather than AC, it was surprisingly airy and comfortable. We had beers and some nice fried potatoes and then some not that great paneer pakodas. Sat around passing scurrilous tales. It was a great evening. Went to Blue Sky for dinner and luckily, we reached just before they closed. Food was OK, although V's pepper chicken steak was quite Manchurian in nature. Firni from Zeeshan for dessert. It was past 11 when we picked R up from Jodhpur Park and then we went for a little drive.
Came home, dropped into bed and woke up at 6 a.m. this morning.
It's been quite a ride these last few days. I really like reading these journal accounts in my archives so I try to add to them now and then. If this is not the stuff you like to read, I suggest you avoid posts labelled "days".
Now I'm waiting for today's thing, whatever it may be. Philip leaves tomorrow so we may have a mini party after work tonight. Until then, I'm going to bake a cake. A vanilla one this time.