Thursday, March 24, 2011

Darjeeling, March 2011

In March 2010 I packed the boys bag and mine and went to Assam. In March 2011 a phone call from Smitadi saw me shrug my shoulders (I was pissed off at Vicky) and agree to go to Darjeeling in three days' time. Rahul and I went, almost secretly, because I didn't want the families starting on me, telling me how dangerous it would be etc etc.

It was a fabulous trip, actually. Let me tell you what we did, Smitadi and Rahul and me, with occasional visits by Indranidi.

We ate like pigs. We even ate pigs. We walked through clouds and rode the Toy Train right through them.

We walked up and down hills through public lavatories and bazaars, past municipal buildings and colonial clubs, and walked up and down the mall hazaar times. We bought chocolate like addicts. Seriously.

I bought a kilo of liquor chocolates for Vicky, marzipan and brown and white chocolate creams and marzipan centred chocolates and a chocolate egg and a chocolate rabbit and marzipan and cheese pie and cheese and chicken pie and thick woollen stockings so that I can wear my short skirts next winter. We attended part of a Lent service at St Andrews and viewed Kanchenjunga by the morning light.

The Toy Train day was the most magical, I think, for Rahul.

Me, I kept bumping into ghosts. Me dancing around the railway station platform. Me walking sadly down Chowrasta. Me stepping through the drizzle to Kev's for a bite.

Rahul chased pigeons and I agonised over a pair of carved turquoise rosettes set into silver earrings at Habib Mullick's. (I didn't buy them then but Smitadi picked them up on my behaf later, yay.) He spent a whole morning mesmerised by a ladybird that he watched some older boys put into a fountain. He set a new style standard by pleading to wear mismatched shoes and crawled out of the blankets every blessed night, to be found huddling in a cold little ball every morning somewhere between Smitadi's head and mine.

Smitadi and I talked late into the night -- past 11, horrors! -- and Rahul slept around nine every night. The WBTDC Tourist Lodge turned out fabulous pork chops and Smitadi's friend Indrani turned out to be the wife of an ex colleague and the mother of two kids I've done theatre with. In fact, Indranidi made us awesome Indonesian beef one day and it was she who introduced me to the delights of Raju Bakery.

Rahul and I bought postcards and toilet cases and hair ornaments and discovered new roads. He was, after the first two days, a fabulous travelling companion. I still cannot get over how much fun he and I had, just us two, walking up and down Darjeeling, riding in the train, hopping into shared taxis, sipping hot chocolate in Kev's.

I took some gorgeous photographs of him this time.

Now I wonder what March 2012 will bring for the pair of us. Perhaps we will finally be able to take Vicky out somewhere.


dipali said...

What a fun trip, and what lovely photographs of Rahul! He looks most grown up!

Gayatri said...

- Niceeee :)
- isn't it great to have a son who loves to travel..I have one too :D
- Both of you are looking great
- Am sure this will drive Mr.V to come along next time ;b

Anonymous said...

Waw snaps are great, it was indeed a fun trip..

R's Mom said...

Wow...super fun..should try going to Darjeeling sometime..and Rahul looks so adorably cute :)

Sue said...

Dipali -- He does, doesn't he? Says the most ridiculously grown up things, too. He is moving into the little grandfather stage.

Gayatri -- Yours too? Do you travel with him alone?

We Our Life -- Thank you :)

R's Mom -- Yeah, I'd go again. We saw no trouble and apparently they do try to work bandhs and stuff around so that tourists can safely leave the area before any trouble starts.

Just Like That said...

R looks maha cute! Envy the two of you traipsing along .. :-)

LOL at "Perhaps we will finally be able to take Vicky out somewhere.." haha

SUR NOTES said...

Awww, this is the kind of post that makes me all mushy and misty...

You know if you are a good travelling companion then i think the children follow suite. And if you are tripping, on whatever, especially if its basic things like mist and clouds, and chocolates, then thats what the kid will think is the coolest thing to trip on.I really believe that.

SUR NOTES said...

and do take vicky along next time, just for a change :)

Suchismita said...

And where is Habib Mullick?

U said...

What an enchanting smile he has

Sue said...

JLT, Sur -- I wish we could. He has missed out on two great holidays so far. Not his fault or ours, but I'm hoping third time will be lucky in 2012.

Sur -- I know I'm far more relaxed about meals and naps now. That has eased the travelling by a great deal. R and I were tripping on totally different things, but we did have fun. You know, it's you I thank for this.

Sushmita -- Chowrasta, next to Oxford.

U -- He got that from his dad. :)

Subhashree said...

The boy looks adorable. What smiles he gives! Glad you guys had a great time.

Sue said...

Subha -- Thanks, mon. :)

kaichu said...

sunny, this sounds SO wonderful and I reminded of travelling with my father when I was young. also, you've made me miss darjeeling and go all nostalgic for when I went last. this time I'm coming back home for 6 months and bygod, I think you just made me decide that I need to visit again and make me some new memories. :-) hugs.

Sue said...

Kaichu -- Darje was shabbier than I remembered it, but as charming as ever. I admit I was on a serious nostalgia trip.