Sunday 26 August 2018

Independence day, Mr Incredible, 'Curry Offs' and more food...

Celebrations in India for the 72nd Independence day

Yes those of you that can remember this far back may remember that a significant event in both Indian and British history was carried out when the British granted full self-governance to India on August 15th 1947.  Celebrations each year are extremely colourful and we were lucky enough to see the events in our local community.

At 9.30am a cermonial flag raising ceremony took place by an ex Government Minister who is also a relatively recent resident here. An interesting speech was followed by lots of dancing singing and other events. Unfortunately the monsoon weather was not so kind and the evening street party events were forced inside.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Max managed to take this photo of the school entrance where traditional decorations from flowers were prepared: 

Milo getting into the spirit:

Nurses from the local hospice performed traditional dancing 

We also had a wonderful performance from local school children shown below: 

Due to the multiple festivals there are some benefits for the boys and no school days normally end up with mass play days for the neighbourhood children:

Max's birthday party part two:

Max was able to wait for a couple of weeks after his birthday to have his party when his friends were all back from summer holidays. A trip to the indoor climbing centre was arranged with lots of fun and energy abounding.

One of the highlights of the Cole party catering was a moped delivery driver from our local bakery / pizzeria with around 20 full sized pizzas being somehow stashed in various spaces on the two wheeler along with the rider - forget your little Dominos bike delivery, this was serious balancing! 
When questioned on the order the current Mrs Cole suggested that she might have been having a 'moment' when she placed the order!

The McGills and Mr Incredible:

We had some fun with our friends when they visited and one of their must do's was to experience a tuk tuk ride. This was the funniest sight when Mr M was trying to squeeze into the vehicle. A flashback to 'The Incredibles' movie came to mind!

Image result for mr incredible getting in car

The 'Curry Off' challenge:

Whilst The McG's were with us they took part in a training session with Mala who taught Carla and Di how to make a true Chicken Masala. We still have to find the winner but Di has told of her success back home...

  The weather and how to cope:

Although parts of India have really suffered from the monsoon such as Kerala, I think that we have been 'lucky' as Bangalore rainfall although high has not been as prevalent in the region we live. However when it rains it rains, so an emergency plastic 'pack a mack' was called into action by Mrs C. We zoomed past her on the scooter in embarrassment!

Eating out:

If we find an excuse to eat out then we will try to explore the local food establishments. The local hotel has a number of eateries and the latest to try was on their rooftop. The grill bar serves a number of appetising offerings and we were surprised to see our meals when they were delivered:

The boys are growing fast with all of the lovely food - not long before Max overtakes the short one in the middle! 


Monday 13 August 2018

Diane and Duncan, School , Sari shopping, Max's birthday and the weather

Diane and Duncan

 Our friends came to stop for three weeks in July. We all had a wonderful time. They kindly brought us precious supplies of real Cadbury chocolate, cheerios (cereal) and tea bags. The Coles were so excited!

 We had a few days looking around around Bangalore with them
At the botanical gardens

Naughty monkeys by the bins

We often get Indian people who want a selfie with the boys . We managed three different ones this trip.

Diane and Duncan enjoyed the posh cinema.

Then Arjun arranged for a driver to take them on a road trip to see elephants, palaces, temples and forts for a week. They booked hotels that were comfortable and clean. Then we recommended that they go and stop at the elephant camp that we had visited. We had had a quick look at the lodges by the river when we were there and thought it may be a good idea.

They booked a night there with a private tour in the forest and a session washing the elephants. Little did we realise that because of the monsoon the water level had risen and life jackets were required to cross the river in the boat as the water was moving very quickly. Then they were told that the power goes off at 9pm! So they had to ask for torches! Added to that, they were the only ones there for the night so they had to go to the screening of a film about the conservation of tigers as they couldn't escape the attention of the guides. The next day they went to wash the elephants and had to stand in thick mud that swamped their shoes. But even so, they had a great time.
We had a board games night which was fun.

We, of course, spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool when they came back and we went on a few more outings. 
 When the boys went back to school,Diane  decided that she would like to go shopping. Arjun recommended a new Indian clothes shop as Diane needed a blouse to match her new sari. Mala was determined that we shouldn't pay too much for a blouse and decided to come with us. Arjun came in too thinking we would stop at one item and then leave. 
We were in that one shop for an hour and a half. There were so many Indian and western clothes at daft prices and there were so many different styles and colours that we didn't know where to start (or stop) and we just wandered without any plan or purpose. 
Mala managed to squeeze in the changing room with Diane to supervise with the correct wearing of the salwars and kurtas etc. There was a lot of giggling and it was because Mala was taking selfies of them both in the outfits! 
Meanwhile Arjun was with me, patiently waiting. After much deliberation, Diane decided on the things she would like and Arjun happily set off towards the exit, only for us to say that we would do a final circuit just to make sure we hadn't missed any bargains. He smiled at us through gritted teeth and took a deep breath. 
He managed to get us out of the shop and was pleased to see Duncan who had wisely sat on a comfy chair downstairs.
The next following three days were spent in a similar manner in various shopping centres , shoe and gift shops.  We decided that we needed a plan instead of wandering around in circles. It really was a shopping marathon. Duncan stayed at the house but Arjun came with us. I think he has the patience of a saint !
The first (expensive) sari shop.

The big cheaper shop 

Max's Birthday

While they were here, Max turned 12. He got some impressive nerf guns and spent the morning machine gunning at targets and his brother. Arjun bought him a beautiful Indian outfit similar to Milo's and he was really chuffed with it. We all went out for a lovely meal at lunchtime but his whole day had the looming shadow of the fact that school would start the next day. He was pleased though when Sheetal came round with a birthday cake that she had made for him. It was really lovely.
Opening presents.

Max used to be too big for this tiny baby grow.

Some friends were in the restaurant above us and took this photo .

Max decided to have a sip of beer (he wasn't too keen!)

Both boys in their Indian outfits.

Max had his party the following week at the local climbing centre and afterwards we came back to the house for pizza ( take away ) and chocolate cakes that Mala had made. He had a great time with all his friends ( pre- teens !!) 

Diane and Duncan had left the night before and so missed all the noise and mayhem.

The weather 

The weather is cloudier but still warm. There have been a few days with rain or drizzle but only for a short time. Further to the west in Kerala, the rain has been intense and there has been loss of life and flooding but Bangalore doesn't seem to get the extreme rain like some places do. The boys say it is easier being at school when it is slightly cooler. 

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...