Monday, 28 January 2013


Either the Patna smog or the cleaning lady's son gave us an upper respiratory infection. Bahurani's Doctor came to the house and examined us. Later Medication arrived from his clinic. The cost, $20.00 USD and medications $6.50 USD. The convince, priceless.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


We have heard from our landlord in Bhimtal.  Our rental is ready, the 2 BR.  He says he will provide anything we need.  Am not sure exactly what that means.  As much as I am enjoying this family visit, I am looking forward to getting settled  and into a routine.  When we leave we will again go by train to Delhi and then by taxi to Haldawni.  Once there we will visit our son, Jeewan and Bahurani Sudha.  Jeewan was instrumental with helping Ram to find a house to rent.  If it were not for Jeewan we would not be living our India dream.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Yesterday we celebrated Kinni’s 17th birthday.  After breakfast and morning worship we went to a temple where offerings of sweets were purchased and offered to the Gods.  She also received a birthday blessing from the Purohit.  From there we dropped her off to have her hair done, did some shopping for her party.  We also picked up my two saree blouses and petticoats that were dropped off to the seamstress two days before.

Birthday parties happen here much like they do in the States. Happy Birthday is sung with an additional verse added, May the gods bless you. May the gods bless you.....  Kids get together in one part of the house with laughter, talk and presents.  The Moms chat in another part.  A good time had by all.

Kinni tells me this is her best birthday because her Grandparents are here.  She does not miss her late grandparents as much.  I feel honored.

Kinni with her Dadi Ji

Singing Happy Birthday

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Morning begins with chai and biscuits as the children get off to school.  Then breakfast is served consisting of roti (homemade flat bread) three vegetable sides and fruit. Once breakfast is done, Bahurani then goes to the Pooja (worship) room and prays lighting incense.  She then passes the smoking incense throughout the house.  Late morning we have chai again.

Our Son, Keshar goes off to work by 9 AM.  A driver is provided by his employer.  The children arrive back home from school by 1:30 PM and lunch is paired and served to first to the elders, then the children.  Finally Bahurani gets to sit and eat.  Around 4:30 PM snacks are prepared and served.  Supper happens around 8:30 PM when Keshar comes home from work. 

Bahurani Purnima has two full time staff members, a cleaning lady with and infant son and twelve year old daughter, Pooja, and a driver. A cook has been brought to the house from our ancestral village to cook due to our visit and our granddaughter's upcoming birthday.   All live here except the cleaning lady and infant son.  Evidently the home situation is dire for the cleaning ladies' family.  Her daughter helps some with the meals and light housekeeping.  In return she has a decent roof over her head and goes to school and has a chance to learn how to manage a house.  My grandchildren, Kinni, sixteen and Kunu, twelve help her with her homework.

I have been treated to a hand and foot message by Pooja's mom.  She will not allow me to refuse.  We have been shopping every day. 

Traffic is entertaining for me.  We see everything from cows, goats, street dogs and carts pushed by people or drawn by horses or oxen mixed in with the traffic congestion, all in the city of over five million people.

Kinni is turning seventeen on 1/25. We have shopped for her party dress and accessories and a party dress for Pooja.  Pooja will not be serving at the party but will be one of the guests.

Evenings have been spent playing Uno and Monopoly and mixed with good conversation, a mix if Hindi and English. There is nothing like a game and a small dog to bring strangers together.   I've learned my Bahraini has a large and giving heart, Kini is sweet and caring and Kunu is fun and a bit full of mischief.  I am blessed to be accepted as a part of this family and for the experiences I encounter every day.

Modelling our new outfits
No good cards
Playing Uno

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I was nervous about being accepted by my husband's extended family because I am a white woman and was previously married.  Both frowned upon by Indian culture.  White women are thought to be loose. At the time of my husband's first wife's death the family wanted Ram to come home and marry an Indian girl.  At that time he did not want a young wife who would also want children of her own  and who would also expect him to help her family financially.  My Bahurani (daughter in law), Purnima has been nothing but gracious and has taken me under her wing.  We laugh because per Indian protocol  I should be the one in charge and telling her what to do.  Instead she has a know nothing mother in law that can't even make chai much less a meal properly.

My friend and Bahurani,  Purnima

Sunday, 20 January 2013


To day we go to Patna for a stay with our son, daughter in law and two grandchildren.  We leave at 2 PM via train.  Our ticket is a first class air conditioned two birth compartment.  Vaibhav has driven ahead to the Delhi train station with as much luggage as could be fit into his car.  We will follow by taxi.  The driver attached the two dog crates to the luggage rack on the car roof with our two dog's leashes.  Again we experience traffic with cows and stray dogs among the traffic.

Upon  our arrival at the Delhi train station we see a mass of people, cars and stray dogs. Two coolies throw our luggage and dog crates on their heads and take us and dogs directly to our compartment.  Soon our grandson arrives with the rest of the luggage. Goodbyes are hastily said and we are off, the train leaving on time unheard of in India.

Our compartment has become quite cramped with luggage and dogs, yet more comfortable than the cramped airline seats. The view from the window is interesting.  In the city new construction is seen everywhere and poor people some homeless among it all. During our journey we are served hot meals and chai.  We are able to sleep on and off and arrive in Patna a half  hour early, 1:30 AM.  The porter assists with luggage as we exit to the train platform.  It seems we are an unexpected and entertaining spectacle,  a large amount of luggage, a white woman with her Indian husband and dogs.  Fifteen to twenty people gather to watch.  I am just as curious.

Soon we are greeted by our son and daughter in law (Bahurani) who have arranged for a taxi to accommodate  all the luggage and dogs.  We are surprised by a sea of bodies sleeping on the floor of the station lobby.  I later found out these people are waiting on morning trains and have no money for a hotel stay.  A few awaken as we, with dogs in tow and coolies balancing  luggage and crates on their heads, move through the crowd.  Once out side a pack of stray dogs find us interesting and are not happy with our dogs invading their turf.  They follow us, barking, to our vehicles.  Once home we are greeted by our grandchildren.  We are all so excited.  It has taken a full year to gain the necessary visas and pet passports to accomplish this visit.  It's 5 AM before we are able to wind down and get to bed.

Friday, 18 January 2013


We have finally arrived in New Delhi 3:30 AM with six large pieces of luggage and our two dogs, Katie a white German Shepard and Nanhki a Toy Fox Terrier.  Getting through customs was simple and easy.  After retrieving our luggage we found our dogs waiting for us accompanied by two airport porters who also assisted with getting a  small taxi van.  We were also met by Dr. Chaudary and his wife, owners of PetfIy.  They were most helpful in obtaining the No Objection Certificates needed to gain entrance into India.  We could not have managed it without them.

 I  almost was lost in the throng of people in the airport loosing site of husband, luggage and dogs. I felt a bit panicked but managed to find them.  After several attempts of loading the dogs luggage and us we were off.  The driver had a bit of a problem finding the address, but was persistent.  I couldn't see much of anything because of the early hour and rain. Arriving at 4:30 AM, our grandson, Vaibhav and granddaughter in law, Ila greeted us at the elevator. Her parents and brother also have separate apartments on the same floor.   The taxi walla assisted with getting luggage and dogs loaded onto the elevator and into the apartment.  When we entered to apartment building grounds I noticed a small security guard building.  The security guard was keeping warm by a open wood fire.

 We were all in bed by 5: 30 AM and up at 12:30 PM for my first Indian meal.  Ila is a very good cook and I realized I won't starve due to dislike of the food.  I don't know what I had but it was tasteful.   Vaibhav mad a run to the local store to get dog food for the dogs.  He returned with Pedigree.  After lunch we went to the bank to exchange our cash for Rupees and to obtain a sim card for our mobile phone.

 I found traffic to be chaotic and a cacophony of beeps and honks. Vehicles of all sorts, motor cycles, bicycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, new cars, small beat up trucks and an Indian Army regiment on camels move in mass. The rules, always beep at intersections, when making a turn, at some one in your way  and for any other reason.  Whoever gets to the intersection first and is largest has the right of way and it is not necessary to obey one way only street signs.  Access to store parking is interesting.   There were two narrow drives ways between two rows of parallel parking.  No one way designation was posted. The driver must turn into the drive with a good chance of meeting a vehicle going the opposite direction.   Then there is an exchange of hand jesters until one driver gives in and backs into a free parking space or street.

Once back at the apartment Ila's parents invited us to tea (chai).  I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with them.  I also met their daughter in law who lives in an apartment on the same floor and a daughter still at home who has recently agreed to an arranged marriage.  Her parents are now looking at prospective grooms.

That evening  we visited our grandson's new upscale bar/ restaurant known as PAC ( Personal Access Code).  Interestingly enough the establishment does not advertise  but by word of mouth.  There is no sign advertising the restaurant.  Once at the door  one must make a phone call  for the Personal Access Code to get in.  Once received the visitor must punch in the code to gain entrance.  Down stairs is a nice bar and upstairs a nice upscale restaurant.  There are also two private rooms for parties.  The theme and decor is based on a private 1929 underground New York Bar and Restaurant .  The menu contains American as well as Indian Dishes.   I never expected anything like this here in India.  Another restaurant is planned  for Mumby.

We arrived back at the apartment around 11:30.  I feel we have been In India for a few days when it is actually only one.  I found the people warm and friendly and traffic fun as long as I'm not driving.  I have enjoyed my first taste of India.

First look at New Delhi from our Grandson's apartment

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


We have had a good visit with family and friends and said a bittersweet goodbye.  I will miss my children and grandchildren and old friends.  Today with Facebook and Google+ the world is a smaller place and we won't be so far away.  Tomorrow we and our two dogs fly to New Delhi.  This has been a year long dream in the making.  


I have had a wonderful two days in Lakeland, Florida spent with family and old good friends.  It was good to catch up on what is going on in each other's lives.  I am blessed to have such good friends.  Now on to India and our new life.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Today is our wedding anniversary. We celebrate with the start of our next life's chapter. Tomorrow we say goodbye to Tennessee one more time.  We start the first leg of out journey to India and a new life. We are blessed. I wish for many more years together before we go to the Ganges, holy river where our ashes will be placed, and beyond that many more lifetimes together.

Friday, 11 January 2013


Joy, pure joy. Finally after a year we have ALL necessary documents for our extended trip to India. This time next week we fly to New Delhi.  Our India dream will happen.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


The entire day was spent getting  our dog's health checkup, all possible India required and not required vaccinations and finally the prized Health Certificates. Than a trip 80 miles to Nashville USDA for their stamp of approval on the Health Certificates to satisfy Lufthansa Airlines and India. Finally another 80 miles driven back home where all documents were scanned and e-mailed to "Petfly" in India. We are one more step closer to India.