# It’s almost a month since I left Muscat. Some say I’m lucky. Maybe so. But little do they know that I take only one vacation in a whole year. The rest of the year, I agonise over work pressure, instant deadlines and mommy guilt. So, whether you like it or not, I deserve it!

# For the third year in running, have been part of a major function. This time, it was my nephew’s upanayanam. That it was conducted in the neighbourhood we grew up made it all nostalgic… and I was misty-eyed most of the time.
# On the two-day stay in the old neighbourhood, I discovered a shop run by two enterprising Gujaratis which sold beautiful bangles, mostly the Rajasthani type. My bangles received more attention than my Kanjeevaram, and prompted the entire horde of cousins to land up at Jalaram’s. Needless to say, it made brisk business on both the days we were there.

# Got to meet a few of my school friends this time around too! Much fun and laughter was shared over coffee and lunch. One of them suggested a salon for my unruly hair. Now, I say ‘Prema who?’ which of course, is until I land in Muscat. To all in Cochin, I wholly recommend Naturals at Kadvanthra. Worth every penny… and yes, they charge more than what I pay for two haircuts to Prema…

# Went on a week’s holiday to Sri Lanka. Beautiful country, clean roads, charming people with much Tamizh conversations happening and consumption of idiyappam, appam, puttu and coconut milk in excess. More on that would mean a whole new post altogether.

# I changed my mind about hospitals in Kerala and in particular Cochin. My visit to one was a revelation in many ways. And yes, someone ought to write a book on the special brand called ‘Kerala nurses’ soon. They deserve it!

# I still don’t understand the logic between half-hour power cuts. On for half-hour and then off the next half hour… That’s what I call slow torture and gigantic mosquitoes in the Palakkad area are currently doing nothing to speed up the process. Bah!

# I saw a perfect example of salesmanship in a small shoe store at Vadakkencherry, Palakkad. Since it’s run by an acquaintance of the husband, we dropped in. A small boy charmed us into buying two pairs of slippers with his interesting talk. When we got talking, he told me that he had passed his tenth grade and could not study further because he had to support his family. My gut feeling is that this enterprising young man will surely go further…

# I was overjoyed at the news of the metro coming to Cochin, and thrilled it would pass through our area with a station a stone’s throw away. But yeh hai kerala meri jaan… much controversies, hartals and intense debates to go before it happens…

# The only dampener during the whole vacation was the absence of the usual Kerala monsoon. No raincomings, no downpours, no thunder, lightning… But with a few more days to go before we head back to Muscat, there is hope, yet!

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