Calcutta Blues… Again

In less than a month, we leave for Calcutta. All three of my faithful regular readers know from previous posts how much (or how little) I look forward to these trips. Me and large families – in fact, large gatherings of any description – are just not made for each other.

What’s more, this time we’re not flying – it’s just too expensive, what with two kids over two – we’re taking the train. Two trains, each way, with a night halt at Chennai. The good part is that we’re going AC First Class, so if we’re lucky, we’ll maybe get a coupe to ourselves at least for the long leg from Chennai to Calcutta. The bad part? Well, close to 48 hours in transit with two two-year-olds, twice in ten days – need I say more?

The twins are a good ten months older than on our last visit, so naturally some things have changed.This time, I can carry far fewer diapers, and no milk bottles with the whole troublesome sterilizing business. On the other hand, though, there’s the toilet seat to carry and hundreds of bathroom calls to cope with.

Other apprehensions remain the same: the language barrier, which is now compounded by the fact that, like me, the twins are far more proficient in English and Hindi than Bengali; the problem of maintaining some degree of discipline and some semblance of schedule with the kids; trying, politely, to persuade people that there are other ways of interacting with kids apart from carrying them and feeding them sweet snacks all the time; the dietary temptations I will face on a daily basis, and how to avoid them or minimize the harm; the too-hectic socialising; and the inevitable late dinner and sleep schedule which will combine with the kids’ early sleep-wake cycles to render me a sleepless wreck.

Not that I’m complaining, of course (no, no, not complaining at all, of course not. What, me? Complain?), the in-laws are all very nice people and very warm and accommodating with me. It’s just the usual problems of being in someone else’s house, compounded by my own shyness and awkwardness that makes me worry. I suppose, like last year, it will eventually turn out not so bad, but the apprehensions persist.

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8 Responses to Calcutta Blues… Again

  1. Siri says:

    I dont know what to say other than that I empathize with you completely. I feel like this on a normal basis when staying with relatives WITHOUT kids. Good luck! I am going to wait to read your blog about the trip to Calcutta. 🙂

  2. Siri says:

    Btw, do you know that everytime you blog about something the title shows up in yahoo messenger under your name? Must be one of those new yahoo features or has this always happened? 😉

  3. Sadia says:

    Ugh … good luck. I have yet to attempt a visit to my side of the family with my girls. Come to think of it, I’ve avoided family visits since I was old enough to have a say. Language is a concern for me too. My husband’s American and doesn’t speak a word of Bangla, and the girls think I’m really funny when I speak to them in Bangla and pay no attention to what I say. Visiting Bangladesh when I was my daughters’ age was a most traumatic event. I guess we’ll do it some day – just not yet.

  4. Lubi :) says:

    You are going to Kolkatta? 😀 I am sooooooooooo enviousssssssssss!!!
    Luv that city!!
    Hope you are pleasantly surprised this time with a great trip!
    Luv to your twin Princesses and God bless!

  5. Ayesha says:

    I hope I’m counted in as one of ur faithful readers coz not only do I read every single post, waittt for the next post, have you on my RSS reader, but I sometimes read some of your posts more than once! 😉

  6. Andaleeb says:

    🙂 Waiting to hear what happens in Calcutta. Keep us(all your faithful readers) posted please!

  7. poupee97 says:

    Siri: Really? Yahoo messenger? How does it know about my wordpress blog??? I dunno.

    Ayesha: In that case, I will count you as one-and-a-half of my three-and-a-half (or so) regular readers. 🙂 What do you find worth reading twice? I’m really curious. And flattered, of course.

    Sadia: Your situation vis a vis language sounds one worse than mine. I do speak Bengali, only very incoherently… though, on second thoughts, that’s probably worse than not speaking it at all, so I take it back. Oh and also, in my case, there’s this whole expectation that I should speak Bengali, being half so by birth. At least with your husband, there’s no expectation. Whatever. Language problems really complicate relationships, and in-law relationships are complicated enough anyway, if you ask me. 🙂

  8. AM says:

    Hmmm…maybe it won’t be too bad. And if it is, then maybe we don’t need to go in future till the girls are more grown up and form their own relationships with the larger family.

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