Back to India Via Hyderabad – VI

The flight back home was at 12 noon. D came home yesterday to bid us goodbye, we hired a taxi to take us to the airport. It was a wonderful stay at Hyderabad and many thanks goes to S and D for making us feel at home.
The gazal song in the taxi brought a nostalgic feeling, although it was only five days since I have met Hyderabad. The airport had a good book shop in their lounge and I spent some minutes there. We met some Malayalees from many places on our trip, at the museum, the Film City and now at the airport - there were many. Its good to see people who talk you mother tongue.
On flight.
Aisha slept during the first phase of the journey. She woke up for lunch. I think we were flying above the Western Ghats, when my ears started paining. It was terrible, and this was the first time for me. Hubby had his share of the pain during our trip from Dubai to Hyderabad and so he was fine now. Aisha also started yelling with pain. The main cause of the problem was our blocked nose. We suffered the pain for almost half an hour, and Aisha was so agonized that she wanted to cling to my chest. Hubby couldn’t do anything to make her come to him. It was a terrible time with pain in my ear and a yelling Aisha on my chest.
I was so relieved when at last the flight landed, and we got out of the airport quickly. Father-in-law was waiting for us. Aisha still remembered him even though she did not allow him to hold her or carry her. We reached home by 4 pm. Aisha was running through the place, touring the place. She went for the hen coop, upstairs and ran through the rooms. Aisha’s great grandmother was also there at home, although she is an Alzheimer’s patient and remembers nothing.
Home at last and we were urgently in need of some rest and sleep.


Back to India Via Hyderabad – V

Since the riots forced us to stay out of long journeys, we decided to discover our neighborhood and other nearby places. After yesterdays late night sleep, we woke up late and it was noon when we got ready for the expedition.

So we went for shopping at MPM mall and Ashoka Metropolitan Mall. I bought some dress materials and a bag from MPM mall, while hubby ordered for some shirts and a pant at Ashoka mall. We walked through the malls and the streets. Crackers were still heard at a distance and we were shocked when a cracker exploded near us. Aisha was terrified, but she didn’t cry. Brave girl! That was the last night at Hyderabad.


Back to India Via Hyderabad – IV

Friday meant Jumua prayer. So we decided not to plan any tour activities today since it would be difficult to take part in the prayer. We decided to meet my friend, Nishana, who lived in hyderabad. We have been roommates during our collage life, and going away without meeting her was out of question. Actually I wanted to spend a couple of days with her, but the tight schedule of our program made that impossible. We were invited for lunch which made it easier for hubby to go for Jumua prayer with her hubby, J. Nishana’s 3 year old daughter Liya was also waiting to see us Aisha. It took a lot of time for the kids to get friendly with one another, as initially they were fighting for the toys. But later, they became good friends and walked hand-in-hand (and yes, this time there were no toys to fight over. The new discovery- the toys spoils the relationship!).
Aisha with Liya.

Nishana treated us with the special dish of hyderabad, a Hyderabadi Biriyani. It was a splendid lunch and I loved the beef roast she prepared. We don’t get good beef in Dubai and it was after a long time we tasted beef. Nishana and her family dropped us at S’s home.
We planned for a city tour for the next day and booked our tickets. But once at S’s home, someone called to tell us there was a minor issue at some place of Hyderabad – a communal riot. How these riots spoil everything! Hubby was afraid to go for the city tour, and he had good reasons for that. First, we don’t know Hindi, Urdu or Telugu (the languages spoken in the place) and second we don’t know the place. So we dropped the plan for the next day and went for shopping with S.
Later that night, after dinner and Aisha sleeping, we sat for another chat. S was the follower of Hinduism and we had long and meaningful discussions on various topics, including religion. S practiced yoga and he gave an informative talk on yoga. We also discussed on how politicians and unfaithful religious leaders have used religion to allure the public and bring communal riots. It was 2 am when we went to sleep!


Back to India Via Hyderabad – III

We spent the whole day at Ramoji Film City.
Although the starting time was 8:30 am, the bus arranged by the AndraPradesh tourism reached the departure point only at 10 am. The bus journey was a good one, going through the hearts of the city and finally getting into greener areas as we reached the Film City. The Film City is situated out of the hustles and bustles of the city. We were informed that the bus back to our starting point would depart at 4 pm.
It was a wonderful place. I thing Aisha loved the outdoor excursion that day. She was happy and excited. Although there was a small play area for the kids, we didn’t have time to spend there. Aisha was a little agitated about that. There were special coaches that took us to the different studios inside the City. Once inside the coach, Aisha forgot about her play area and once again came to her happy mood.

We toured the whole place as fast as we could, since time was something we didn't have much. Aisha loved the butterfly garden, with thousands of them fluttering by her. We walked around the place till lunchtime, and after lunch we went in for the different shows and other indoor activities. Aisha soon slept and woke up only when we reached home.
Some snaps taken on the day:


Back to India Via Hyderabad – II

Salar Jung Museum.

D was doing an MS program, and so she left us early in the morning after making us a hearty breakfast. Even though she was busy and had a long day before her, she was very particular in making us feel at home. S was helping her but she never wanted me to do any of the chores – even wash the plates. I was still tired after the late night sleep and so everything wasn’t going well as planned. By the time we bathed and got ready, it was time for lunch. We dined out and went to the Salar Jung Museum of Hyderabad. There are many excellent works of art in the museum, including the double-faced statue, the veiled Rebecca and the musical clock. There are also many paintings that depicts the Indian culture during the ancient and medieval times, under the Hindu, Muslim and British rulers. The museum has all under one roof - paintings and sculptures from Hindu mythology, the works of Muslim architects and the artifacts from the Greek and other European mythologies. Sometimes you wonder at the different styles of life and beliefs the country has gone through.
We reached the museum at around 3 pm and the closing time was 5 pm. We had to rush through the halls. Since some repairs and constructions were being made at the museum, we were not allowed at some galleries. As usual, Aisha got tired and frenzy and started being peevish. Aisha started yelling when I put her bag on the scanner at the entrance of the gallery. Literally, we ran out of the museum. It was when we got out of the museum that we remembered our camera was with the staff of the museum – shooting was not allowed inside. Hubby went again to get it back. Touring with youngsters is not at all a good idea.
On the way back home, we went to hubby’s ex-office to meet his ex-colleagues. We spent sometime there. Hubby has got an identical twin brother who had also worked in the same office and it was fun to see their colleagues getting confused about who the person is. One smart guy anyway recognized hubby, and his explanation was, “the spouse was different!!” 


Back to India Via Hyderabad – I

We have been planning to settle in India for a long time, and it was time to decide. I loved India; because I think that’s the best place for Aisha- she can grow up being a better human. At least, that’s one of my beliefs. So I decided to go come back to our home country. We also planned a short tour on our way home.
Diwali @ Hyderabad.
Hyderabad is a place where you can steal into the medieval times of India and emerge into the modern days simultaneously. You can see the temples of Hindus and the Durgas (mind it – not masjids) of Muslims at every nook and corner of the state. The place is known for its rich history and varied culture with lots of monuments, museums, palaces, parks and other architectures. To walk through every pages of the Hyderbabad history book, you will need almost a month. And now you have also got the modern Hyderabad too, where you can see a combination of north and south Indian cultures along with what you call the ‘modern’ or ‘western’ culture.
We knew that we wouldn’t be able to tour the entire Hyderabad within the five days of our stay. But we wanted to make the best efforts. We started from Dubai on November 13th. Aisha was officially a child now, and so had her own seat on the flight. She quickly learned how to close and open a seat belt and was practicing it until she finally slept.
It was Diwali season in India. Diwali is a festival celebrated by the Hindus. There are many stories behind the occasion including the one in which it says that diwali is celebrated to welcome the Lord Rama when he came home after 14 years of excile. The people of Ayodhya celebrated the return of their lord by lighting candles. In short, Diwali celebrated to denote the victory of good over evil.
We reached Hyderabad at 9 pm, to the thundering sounds of firecrackers, the blinking LED lights and the beautiful Diyas (ghee lamps). Aisha, although tired and sleepy, was delighted to see the crackers far in the sky. Hubby’s friend S and his wife D were going to be our host for the five days. We arranged a cab to drop us at their house and they were waiting for us. Aisha was excited to see a huge fountain-cracker just in front of her when we stepped out of the car. S also has decorated their beautifully home with Diyas and flower garlands.
Although tired, Hubby was seeing his friend after a long time, and so we chatted for a long time after dinner. Aisha was asleep.  D and I sat down to hear my hubby and S reminiscing about old times.


@ Ferrari World.

It was hubby's and his twin brother's birthday yesterday. Oh! I forgot about that. We have planned for a visit to the Ferrari themed amusement park situated on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Hubby's friend was joining us on the trip and it was he who reminded us of the birthday.
The three at the entrance.
Ferrari World, like other tourist attractions across UAE has also got some world records. I think its the biggest indoor amusement park. Unfortunately, the roller coaster was out of service on the day we visited. We had no option but to get contended with the other rides.

Most of the rides were for bigger kids, and not toddlers. Aisha was permitted only to 3 or 4 rides. We took turns in rides so that Aisha was not left alone. Aisha loved the slides more that the rides. Unlike most other kids at the park, Aisha wasn't afraid of the climbing nets or the tubular slides. She always opted the climbing nets instead of the stairs.

After spending some time on the slides, we moved towards other rides. Most of them were not suitable for Aisha and so she had to spend her time on the car models displayed around the park while her cousins enjoyed the rides. There was a drive that suited Aisha. Aisha was very thrilled to drive a car all by herself! She was shouting and jumping in the car (and I didn't get any good photos of her :( .)

Riding a car.
After the drive in the car, Aisha wanted to drive her dad's car too!!
We left the place at around 8 pm. Aisha was tired after the eventful day and she was fast asleep as soon as we got into the car and started back home.


At the top.

Yesterday, we- Aisha, me, my co-sis and my niece-in-law, visited the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. We booked our tickets earlier and so the appointed time for us was at 4:30 yesterday. As it was still working hour for hubby and his brother, they were not able to accompany us. We took the metro to Dubai all and from there they provide special entrance to the observation deck situated at the 124th floor (above 450 meters) of the building.
We reached the place before our time and so we decided to take a walk through the parks and ponds.

We were permitted inside only at the specified time. After security check, we were asked to wait in a queue. We waited in four or five different queues before we finally reached the lift that took us to the observation deck. Aisha slept from one of the queues. It took less that one minute to reach the floor. I felt my ears popping. It was good that Aisha slept, or else she would have yelled at top of her lungs!
 The sight from the deck was like the scene you see from your flight-window during landing and take-off. We decided to stay at the top until sunset. It was breathtaking to see the sun slide into the sea and the land below start glowing in the yellow street lights. A more glorious sight was the Dubai Fountain from above it - the water, light and music brings a marvelous movie below you.
Aisha woke up a few minutes later to see herself at the top of the world. Aisha was hungry and although food wasn't aloud at the place, I had to dig her out some snacks that  was kept unnoticed in my bag. The returning queue was also a long one which made Aisha even more fretful. With Aisha in a bad mood and the 2 plus hours of stay on the deck holding Aisha, I was more than happy to get out of the place.

All the way down.


Visit to the zoo.

This was the birthday gift to Aisha. We have decided to move back to India and so I wanted to take her to the zoo in UAE. I have been planning for this for long and got the chance only yesterday. The truth is, we never really heard of any zoos near us, or we never bothered to learn about it. I came to know about this zoo only a week ago. And it was only one-hour drive to the spot. So, we planed the trip on Saturday.
We started after lunch, the time Aisha usually sleeps. She slept through the whole journey and woke up only when we got out of our car near the zoo. As soon as she saw the horses and camels outside the zoo, she got excited and started shouting. Inside the zoo, it was parrots that greeted us, echoing our cries to them. Aisha was thrilled when she heard the parrot scream her ‘hello’ back to her. But she was afraid if they will bite her, and never allowed us to go near them. It took a long time for her to get fearless of the animals inside the cage. Whenever her Dad or I went near a cage to get some snaps, she shouted saying the animal will bite us. After about half an hour, she finally understood the animals are harmless and then started walking by herself. There were almost every animals found in Arabian peninsula. We saw a variety of monkeys, camels, goats, sheeps, ostriches, pigeons, and hens, making me wonder why do the same species have a number of different varieties in them. And yeah, why do we have the Asian, Mongolian, African, European etc amongst us?
There were wild animals like giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, variety of deers, lions, tigers, cheetahs and many other animals from the royal cat-family. I loved the big fat tiger so much. I kept Aisha’s pram near the window of the tiger-cage for her to see the majestic creature, but I saw her crouch in fright when a tiger came towards the window. Next was the foxes, wolfs, hyenas and some others hunters. The birds’ section also had a large number of species in them, including peacocks, of which I knew only a few. The best part was that we could feed the animals. Although Aisha was afraid to feed them, she enjoyed seeing them eat the leaves and pop-corns I offered them. I don’t know why the giraffe ran away when I touched it. There were some rare animals too, some of which I don’t know the name (I couldn’t read the 20 to 50 lettered names of them written on the information cards) and some of which I forgot the names. Aisha was more interested in the slides, seesaws and swings inside the cafe than the animals inside the cages.
Among the fishes Aisha recognized Nemo, the clown fish, and two of his friends from the aquarium. And then there was the snake-section which Aisha didn’t like as the snakes were all ‘sleeping’. She loved the python, as it was the only snake that moved inside the cage. From the reptile’s sections, we played the hide-and-seek game. Aisha enjoyed finding the hidden animals. Most of the reptiles had their skin color that looked similar to their surroundings and so it was difficult to spot them quickly.
The zoo wasn’t a big one and so we completed it in two hours. Once we got into the car, I asked Aisha what she had seen and she replied, “Tiger…horse…hen…monkeys and fish.” Good. I remember only a few of the rare animals.



Technically, she grew up from the infant-hood to the childhood.
I have got no words to describe my happiness. This blog will tell you how Aisha has changed during the past two years. As usual, I don’t know if I should be happy or sad. May be I should be both happy and sad. One thing I’m sure about is – I should be grateful to Allah…so much grateful to Allah for giving me two years with Aisha. This was the happiest days of my life. Thankyou Allah for this huge blessing… Alhamdulillah.
Now coming into the blogging reality let me take a peek into the commitment I have made. The bucket List. Some of the events are yet to be stricken off. I plan to make these events happen before her third birthday. So, we will be putting up a new bucket list that includes the unstricken assignments of the old list and some new tasks too. That’s the way to enjoy the roller-coaster ride with Aisha. You can go to the page Things To Do Before Three for the list.
That’s all for now. See you soon on the way…
Birthday Girl.