Monday, February 21, 2011

Parents and friends

As I wrote in the previous post, hubby and I had been to my parents’ home in India during the New Year holidays. My elder brother and his family paid a surprise visit and we had lots of fun. They returned back to their home on 4th January. On the morning of 5th January, my parents, hubby, and I went to a photo studio near parents’ home to have a professional portrait of us taken together. Although hubby and I had been to India a couple of times we did not have any formal photo of us with my parents for keepsake. So this was the first time that we all went to a photo studio together. The professional photographer was good and the session went very well. The photo came out excellent and we were happy with the outcome.
Portrait photograph of hubby and I along with my parents

Next, we had lunch at a restaurant named Shree Krishna Vegetarian Court located near my parents’ home. The restaurant was very clean and they served unique delicious dishes. We had various kinds of vegetable curry dishes, pulav, and biryani. Later my mother and hubby had a dessert named gulab jamun. The quality of the food was great and it was a nice experience.
Shree Krishna Vegetarian Court restaurant

Shree Krishna Vegetarian Court restaurant

Various vegetarian dishes we ordered

My parents having lunch

Parents busy eating

Hubby having lunch

A portion of gulab jamun

Hubby having gulab jamun

In the afternoon, we all went to a famous shopping zone street named Laxmi Road to do shopping. We bought a few presents for our relatives and friends in Japan. We bought pretty dresses for the daughters of hubby’s sister. In addition, hubby presented me a gold ring from a famous jewelry shop named Ashtekar Brothers Jewellers. In fact, hubby wished to buy a platinum ring from Japan for our fifth marriage anniversary. But somehow I feel platinum does not suit my skin tone and I prefer gold jewelry over platinum. So during this trip to India hubby bought a gold band ring for me. It is so cute.
Cute dresses for daughters of hubby’s sister

Gold band ring that hubby presented to me

By the time we finished shopping and returned back home, it was already 7 pm. After a light dinner we all retired for the day.

Next day hubby and I had severe dust allergy due to the shopping at Laxmi Road area for several hours the previous day. My eyelids were swollen and we both had running nose. In the past decade, Pune has become tremendously dusty and the air is severely polluted due to the increased vehicles plying on the roads. Every time hubby visits India, he is shocked by the complete lack of quality control of fuel of vehicles. I hope things will improve in future. Since we were not well, we decided to take rest at home.

In the afternoon my mother presented hubby with an antique brass pot called kolshi. It has been in my mother’s family for almost seventy years and has great sentimental value attached to it. It has been a memorable treasured possession of my mother for several decades. Ma, thank you very much for giving us the precious kolshi. We will take good care of it.
My mother presenting kolshi pot to hubby

Hubby happy after getting kolshi pot

Later in the evening, one of my parents’ friends along with his entire family visited us. The elder daughter of parents’ friend had been my very good friend during my high school days. Although she was two years junior to me, we usually used to spend after school hours together, either playing or watching television programs or simply chatting. Later we went to the same college and university. Last I saw her was way back in 1992. So I was really thrilled to meet her after a gap of 19 years. I met her parents and younger sister after 22 years. We were all excited and talked about various things for a long time.
Myself, my friend, and her sister in 1986

My friend and I in 2011

My friend, myself, and friend’s sister in 2011

On 7th January, hubby and I got up at 5 am and packed our baggage as we were to leave Pune in the afternoon. We hired a taxi to go up to Mumbai. My parents accompanied us and it took about 4.5 hours to reach Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai. My parents stayed with hubby and me for about an hour at the waiting lounge of the airport. We ate potato-stuffed paratha that my mother had made and packed in aluminum foil as evening snack. We all felt very sad and emotional while saying our goodbyes. At about 6 pm they returned back to Pune by the same hired taxi.
My parents and I at Mumbai airport

Father and hubby at the airport

Hubby having potato-stuffed paratha

Our return flight to Japan was via Hong Kong, and we still had a few hours before the flight left. At about 9 pm, my friend from college and university days came to meet us at the airport. Thanks to Facebook social network service, we recently got in touch after a gap of 20 years! It was very nice to meet my friend and her husband. There was so much to talk about but unfortunately we could talk only for an hour as it was time for us to enter the departure terminal of the airport. After saying our goodbyes, hubby and I went to the Cathay Pacific check-in counters.
My friend and I along with several other classmates during Masters Degree course in 1989

My friend and I in 2011

My friend, myself, and friend’s husband

My friend’s husband and my hubby

After getting our boarding passes and checking in our baggage we went to a restaurant and had a light dinner. The flight left the airport at about 01.30 am on 8th January and it took about six hours to reach Hong Kong International Airport. We had a stopover of about five hours at Hong Kong. I moved around inside the airport but hubby just dozed off on a chair near the boarding gate of Cathay Pacific flight bound for Narita. Our flight left Hong Kong at about 15.20 pm (local time) and reached Narita International Airport at 20.30 pm. After finishing the immigration procedures, we went a hotel near the airport for an overnight stay. Next afternoon we took a domestic flight to Akita and reached our home at about 3 pm. That day the temperature in Akita was 35 degrees Celsius lower than Mumbai, and hubby and I felt so cold.
Hubby relaxing at the boarding area inside the airport at Hong Kong

Snow in Akita

It was really nice to meet my parents and friends in India. Now we are back to the usual routine in Akita.


Anima said...

Oh how sweet!! You were in India!! And congratulations on your 5th anniversary:) Great to see the photos of your trip. It's so good to see family and friends isn't it! I still remember our trip to India last year. favourite dish. And the beautiful ring your hubby gave to you! It's so nice and shiny on your finger. Is it still snowing in Akita? I think England is warmer than Japan! Anyway lovely to see your photos in India!

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks for your comment Anima. Hubby and I had been to India for a week. It was nice to meet parents and friends... Yeah, the ring looks cute and thanks for the anniversary wishes... Oh you like Biryani! I too like it but the one we had was a bit spicy though very tasty....Here it was really cold this winter. 3.5 meters high piles of snow had accumulated here. It still snows but not much. Waiting for the spring to arrive.

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