3rd day in Lucknow and there are lots of activities slated for today. I woke up, did packing got myself and Tashu ready on time so that we do not waste much of time dilly-dallying also, had to give some buffer to Deepak as he always is late. I didn’t find my husband in the room so assumed he must be busy with Mr. David which actually he was. I might be skipping a lot since there had been so much commotion on the mind front (graver issues that need to be addressed big time) so forgive me.
Deepak was busy in his fixture and Kundan had to drop his nani and eventually we got late while Sharat and Sarita had been waiting for us. I do not like to wait and keep people waiting. Or maybe it is that I just don’t want to be late for anything. I have always been like this- either reach earlier than expected or be exactly on time. But, there is something with Deepak, howsoever hard he may try he still gets late and then I am available for free to take on the blame. Deepak delayed as he was busy with Mr. David- seemed a long time affair to me. So, finally we got late while Sharat and Sarita were waiting from like past an hour.
We reached Rajbhavan (that’s where our A sahib stays) at the main entrance guard confirms where are you going and then we are ushered in to visit A Sahib. Good yaar! I mean all that attention, power, authority and above the rest the respect which one gets in such position. It’s amazing! Though, I still believe there are very few people who know how to handle their attitude- i.e. to stay grounded. Very few people manage to stay sober and decent with the power. And, I am sure Sharat is one of those guys who can (NB. I said ‘can' and not ‘may’) never put airs. I am no psychologist or human behavior analyst yet I feel that the impressions and analysis of people I generally make are sincere.
A trip to Lucknow Residency, Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, and finally Lucknow Mahotsav. So, we had tea and Tashu watched her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Episode on YouTube and then we all left for Residency. It was a nice trip- all girls cooped up in one car and the guys with Kundan. We had this Policeman tailing around all the time after all ADC needs to escorted lol! However, this made me wonder do these guys get some privacy or not? Well, everything has its pros and cons.
We went to a museum first and then Residency area. Tashu loves gardens, flowers, walking barefoot on grass and when she got little tired and irritable, I took her out in the garden for a while. She loved it and enjoyed which gave us few clicks.
A group outing always confirms the fact that what you enjoy with a bunch of good friends that you can never do alone. We didn't do any historical digging to be specific or checked all those cannon marks on the residency wall. What we did is a quick tour, pulling each other’s leg and Sharat and Tashu combat over the camera. Tashu thought that it's her camera while it was Sharat, and he teased her to his heart’s content. Seems Tashu has registered everything in her little kaleidoscopic mind and may come up with some good revenge plan with Sharat. Sharat, stay alert since as soon as my girl sees you on FB she starts saying, “Maine kuch nahin kiya.” And, I am sure every mischief is your doing :)
After residency we headed towards Bara Imambara, now I got a little glimpse of Lucknow with those mosques, and old houses. There we found a guide appointed specially by Sharat's caravan. Deepak was busy on the phone throughout the outing. This David seriously kept him busy. Even Sharat had so many calls coming in between. So, most of the time these two big shots were on their phones and this gave Kundan big time cramps. He was really into complex," God I am so vhella banda no calls for me." Sohini is a lucky girl! At least her husband once home is home. Almost every photograph has Deepak on phone call. I sometimes feel so bad then it's a part of my life so maybe I should not be bothered any more. There was bhoolbhulaiya in Imambara premises kind of creepy if one really gets lost. I at times wonder how those Nawabs and kings who actually were of robust physique were able to escape from those narrow gullies. We did a good photo session there. We actually did spend lots of time in Imambara, so there was no point going to Chota Imambara, and Rumi Darwaza which in fact is like the Delhi gate from where you pass while commuting. This made us decide to go and have something first to satiate our palates.
I figured out that Royal Cafe Chaat Outlet is quite a famous joint in Lucknow at least among our friends. Sohini wanted us to try Basket Chaat , and all the way to this joint I kept wondering what this Basket Chaat actually is then it was like 'khoda pahad nikli chuhiya'- it's our Dilli's own Lacchha Tokri... God what all nuances people have picked up to make money. Anyway, we all had chaats and then scuttled back to Sharat’s place. After a while we left for Lucknow Mahotsav. Sohini caught a little cold and had sore throat yet she was game for any outing. So we left for Lucknow Mahotsav again I felt it’s going to be some cultural event show. It had few minutes’ cultural programs though and the rest was any ordinary fair with an amalgamation of Delhi Haat INA and Appu Ghar. As they say when you are with friends so there is no end to the fun. We took a giant wheel ride excluding Deepak and Tashu. Meanwhile Tashu and Daddy took car ride. It was so good to see them enjoying together. Then we all of us including papa-beti took Columbus ride. I thought that it’s not going too high so Tashu would be managed but we had to get it stopped in the middle as Tashu started screaming and choked a little. Deepak also felt dizzy and then I knew he would stay same rest of the evening. Kundan-Sohini left early and we guys left for dinner at Royal Cafe, Hazratganz. The food was really good.
Next day we just lazed around and had Palak Paneer in lunch and a movie late evening. Gypsy broke down while coming back so had to wait for another one for a while. By morning Deepak decided to attend a Deb’s wedding and Sharat was busy confirming tickets of the umpteen numbers of people including us.
I wanted to buy some Chikan Sari for Ma so Sarita took us to this market called Chowk. On the way, we had a small episode of chicken aka chikan. Sharat exclaimed, “Prachi, you will find really good chikan in this market.” Deepak looked at me as if I have sinned and am already doomed. I said Yeah, I know that’s the reason I am trying it here in Lucknow. Sharat and Sarita both exclaimed, Yeah, when in Lucknow you ought to try it.” “Lucknow aye aur chikan nahin liya toh kya kiya.” DKS was so tensed and gave me so wearied looks which I definitely overlooked. I simply told him, "See Deepak it has to be some day then why not today." I am not asking you to try that, I and Tashu will do. Deepak really got so irritated which of course he didn’t make too conspicuous and replied, “I am fine with whatever you want to do, but Meri beti nahin karegi.” Sharat coaxed him to try it once at least and my dear husband was reluctant even to hear anything about it. Though he was very much convinced that I am about to try the chicken (chikan) that day. He just walked along helplessly as he was the one under the butcher’s knife. He didn’t get what this chicken-chikan is. We entered a sari emporium and started checking few. Then, we told him this is the chikan we were talking about all the way long and not the chicken. Man, you had to see his expressions he gave a sigh of big relief. Lol! I still wonder how he could believe I can try non-veg when I don’t even eat Egg. But, that was a great fun at the expense of Deepak. The entire time he had those tense looks tinged with helplessness.
Sharat did his shopping and then lunch @ Dastarkhwan. Food was overpriced and not so good. Royal Cafe topped the charts but somehow Golgappas @ Chaat Corner stole away the trophy.
Kundan-Sohini had already left for Kolkata in morning and now we have to catch the train for Kanpur and from there for Kolkata.
See you @ Station guys.
Wait, I was about to miss something here- Sarita, when I first met her, my husband declared, "She is very quiet and sincere Georgian wife till date." I too kind of agree with him. Now, she of course is sincere but never knew she could be so fun and amiable lady. I mean I had this imprint on my mind that she doesn't talk much and she is quite serious by nature. Woo, when she entered with a tea tray in her drawing room. She was all so amicable and cheerful. She had such vibrance on her face as compared to the day when I met her first. But, then those were the difficult times and now God Bless them both. They look so made for each other.
And, yeah Palak Paneer and Tea- we can check in anytime for that :)