We upped and went off to Pune over the weekend. What lovely weather, we thought. So nice and overcast, and yet not raining. Perfect for a long drive. Perhaps we could do a stopover at Lonavla for a bit and picnic in the waterfalls. The most true maxim ever penned by some wise man must be Man Proposes, God disposes.
We snarled through inch deep traffic, taking us four hours to get out of Mumbai. By which time, we were happily snoring in our respective seats, with the brat occasionally piping up from the back seat (this is the third row of seats in the Innova, with no roll downable window or openable door, therefore deemed safest for brat during long trips). The rains had done their bit to maul all the roads to get to the expressway, so were bouncing around like skittles the moment the car touched 40kmph, with the MIL yelling at the driver to think about her poor osteoarthritic joints, and did he want to confine her to her bed. Therefore, we were back to 20 kmph even on a clear road. Then we hit the McDonalds, a must stop at spot right before one hits the expressway. People stop at temples on the road to pay obeisance. We stop at McDonalds to gorge. Sated and content, and feeling chuffed with ourselves we started on our drive. All was well, until a little before Khandala when the car just refused to climb, and a wierd burning smell filled the inside. *Sniff, sniff* “Mamma, car is burning fire.”
The heavens which were till that point being nice and floaty cotton candy clouds, decided to add to the drama and the sky, in that very second, converted itself into angry black clouds spitting pebbles which were pretending to be raindrops. The driver and the husband, got out concerned that we were stuck in a right mess. The husband, with zero gyaan of what is what inside the bonnet of the car, opened it with the air of an expert about to dive in and set all wrongs right. Of course, he looked in and looked out as fast as he had put his head in, and let the driver take over a job he knew better. “Clutch palate gaya.” The man announced mournfully, almost like his grand dad had passed away. Meanwhile, the brat had started throwing jumping tantrums to be allowed out of the car, since Papa and Sunil Unkal were out, and we (the MIL and I) were mollifying him with letting him stick half his torso out on the left side of the car and soak in the rain. This compromise was punctuated by the MIL’s running commentary on how he was just going to get a right cold thanks to stupid mamma. We were saved by a legion of monkeys who descended on the car in the hope that some food could be foraged, the brat wanted to do some daan like a righteous Hindu, but jittery me, dragged him in and rolled up all the windows. Monkey bites in the pouring rain, stranded on the Ghats. Not a great idea. The husband, ever resourceful, arranged for a towing truck to come get the Innova, and began the business of trying to hitch a ride from the zillion cars zooming past at a 1000 kmph. Standing in the pelting rain, being sprayed with slush and having your eardrums split into million pieces everytime a car passes is not a nice way to begin a weekend getaway. I thought, I could take over and pose nicely, getting guaranteed stops and polite enquiries but the man would have none of it. Luckily a Tavera stopped, a tourist Tavera, with three sweaty passengers already in. We clambered in, and the vehicle took off like a rocket. All windows open, and the brat chortling with laughter at being flung from end to end everytime the driver negotiated a hairpin bend at 100 kmph plus. I kept trying to a) Keep my balance. b)keep the brat from being tossed around c)keep him dry. Needless to say I succeeded at none, and thanked my lucky stars that laziness had prevented me from putting on my contact lenses this morning, or else they would have flown off in the wind. I guess I am not cut out for slumming it out. I had worn a low waist slim fit D&G, which was showing more panty line than the hubby would have liked everytime I clambered in and out, luckily, the flab prevented it from being an appealing sight. Much retching nauseous sounds heard from co-passengers.
Reached Pune. Ate like a pig. Got hair highlighted. Actually there was never any debate. Its just a nice lazy way to keep the grey camouflaged for five months.
The sis in law has had her home redone. Glorious new tiles, spanking clean walls, lovely designer glass windows. Spent all the time in terror of brat wreaking havoc. Her bathrooms now have those delicate looking WCs with no base, supported only by two nut bolts into the wall. I stared at them in trepidation the next morning, and then let the husband go in first. No sacrifice. If they could support him, I would be a piece of cake. Can you imagine the humiliation of it coming crashing down with one’s weight in the midst of urgent tasks…Quelle horreur…