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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

A Perfect Saturday!!

The day started out almost as usual, but it turned to better and better as the sun moved across the sky – I had planned to take Samhith to the play – The adventures of Tintin – at NCPA. What was surprising was that Shankar agreed to join us. We headed out in the pouring rain in a local train, which took me back to my college days when I did the same thing almost everyday. We reached NCPA soggy but happy, and thankfully managed to get a ticket for Shankar too….

As to the play, Samhith loved parts of it – the parts with the fights, that is! He was hardly able to follow the dialogues or the story – which makes me think I should get him to read the books!

The theatre was full of kids – mostly from the same school, I think, for they all knew each other. The kids provided a nice distraction for Samhith, especially when one managed to get himself locked in the bathroom! It made me feel thankful that Samhith had never done something like that!

The kids were too busy playing even inside the theatre, and Samhith was probably the quietest kid around – for a change, it made me feel nice, and also thankful that none of his friends were in the audience, for then he would also be among those making a ruckus!

As for me, I enjoyed the play, and especially appreciated the way they managed the set with just a few benches and hardly any props – no mean feat, considering that the story involved a journey to South America!

We trooped outside the theatre to find that the rain had let up a little, and headed over to walk on Marine Drive for a little while. That the day belonged to Samhith was apparent at once, for we almost barged into the entire team of the TV serial CID, of whom Samhith is a big fan! He rushed to their car to say Hi, but was pushed away by someone with them. But then Mr. Shivaji Satam who plays the ACP Pradyuman, not only opened his window, but beckoned to Samhith, shook hands and spoke with him! Needless to say, Samhith was thrilled!!! Sorry Kanthi, I never even thought of taking an autograph…. Probably wouldn’t have taken one even if we had the time! Its just not me… you could have got one if you had joined me for the play!!!

It was then time for me to have some fun, and I headed over to eat bhutta (corn on the cob) walking along Marine Drive in the pouring rain! This is something which I have done many many times, but this is the first time I had my hubby and son with me…. And neither joined me in eating the bhutta! I am the only one in the family with such interests. While Shankar was more interested in getting ahead, Samhith was more interested in playing in the water!!

We were just about to leave when Shankar suddenly decided to see if passes were available for the kids’ concert to be held at Tata Theatre. This was to be a performance of children’s choirs from Mumbai schools trained by the Mehli Mehta Foundation and teachers from Barcelona, Spain. Entitled ‘From Barcelona to Mumbai’, the concert featured about 372 kids. We had read about in the paper and had tried to get passes, but were informed that they had all been given away. Shankar however was sure that if we turned up at the venue, we would surely get passes, and he turned out to be right once again!

Kids under seven aren’t allowed inside, and Samhith just about qualified, after we managed to assure the guard that he was in Grade 2. The rule makes perfect sense, for they are really serious about maintaining absolute silence during a performance. In fact, for all concerts, the minimum age is 10, but for kids’ concerts, kids above seven are allowed. But even then, it was a task to keep Samhith quiet, for most of the songs were in Spanish and German and he didn’t understand a word! He did understand some of the English ones, and the single Maori song they sang was a hit with every single person in the audience! To think that the kids had picked up songs from so many different languages, of which they knew nothing, was wonderful! Of course, as a typical mom, I took the opportunity to point this out to Samhith, who even complains when he has to sing something in his music class which he doesn’t understand!

Anyway, once the concert was over, we headed back home, the rain had stopped, the train was full, and we were back to everyday reality – the difficulty of finding an auto! But it really didn’t matter anymore, for we were really sated, for the day had been perfect for each one of us, in our own special way!!


  1. Nice..i love walking down marine drive in the used to be one of my fav places when I was studying

  2. Wow! Really a perfect saturday! In crazy contrast, I went to college in a rare rainy day in Delhi to find I was one of the dozen sincere souls ready to work on a wet saturday. Needless to say, not a single student showed up :(

  3. Sounds like a perfect day for Samhith. I am gald to hear that you enjoyed your corn too.

  4. Nice read.

    The roads may get submerged and transport may get crippled in the monsoons, yet you guys had a perfect Saturday! Well done.

  5. I'll never ever ever forgive u for what u did with me!!!! M glad u guys had a family outing :) Kanthi

  6. I remember how I used to spend time with my son and nephew narrating them stories of Asterix and Tintin .It is not kiddy stuff. But it was like a narration sort showing them pictures, I did create an interest. We have almost all the Asterix series and a few Tintin in our library. My son has become voracious reader .thanks to the time well spent.
    Happy to know you had a nice outing.

  7. Great to know you had a lovely outing inspite of the rains.

  8. its nice post.thanks for sharing.its queit interesting to get your experience.


  9. I am vissiting this blog for the first time.....

    Very nice....

    Did you visit Trivandrum by any chance????

  10. i loved ur post a happy one...

    for u a perfect Saturday and to me: a perfect Tuesday because i read ur blog...

    i went through other blogs and felt interesting.....

  11. hey , nice blog , like it ,
    won't be nice if i u can clickover to my blog page too ,
    & post some suggestion

  12. Interesting! Good memories penned.

  13. Good dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.


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