I’m writing this at the Waiting Room at the Jalna Railway Station. After four months, I finally got my leave sanctioned for one week.
We’re going now to Mumbai on 17618 Tapovan Express. Then, we catch a train to Kolkata where we are going to attend my cousin Vishy’s engagement. Then, we fly to Hyderabad where we stay with my grand uncle before taking the train back to Jalna and go by car to Lonar.
It was our first Diwali in Lonar in a rental house. Dhanya wanted to celebrate by lighting a lot of lamps.
She had bought a dozen lamps in one of her trips to Akola. On another visit she managed to purchase a handsome hanging lantern and a larger lamp.
On Diwali, she lit all the lamps and we managed to take a lot of pics that we shared via our feed on Instagram. Above we have a video tour of all the lamps mentioned in this post. The hanging lantern was one of the most commented and asked about in the collection.
My father wanted us to buy crackers to show Rithika. He asked us to atleast light sparklers. We ended up lighting up none, this Diwali.
After a long wait of about 8 months, Dhanya and Rithika joined Pradeep in Mumbai. Dhanya’s parents joined her on this journey. It was Rithika’s first air flight. She disliked the extension seat belt and slept through most of her flight. We also celebrated my thirty first birthday on this trip.
The trip also had Rithika’s first visit to a beach – Chavakad near Guruvayoor. She totally enjoyed the wind and did not like leaving the place. This was a day before the chorunnu in Guruvayoor.
Pradeep went down to Kerala in September to bring back Dhanya and Rithika. At the first rice ball eating (chorunnu in Malayalam) eating in Guruvayoor, we didn’t get to take any pictures. We did a second one at the Thrikannadevan Krishna Temple at Kattussery.
During the ceremony
Rithika with her Maternal Grandparents
Pradeep travelled to Kerala being unable to stay in Mumbai away from Dhanya and Rithika. Pradeep had last seen them in June.
We also went driving to Dhanya’s house and to my relative’s. We parted once before Pradeep brings back Dhanya and Rithika to Mumbai in the end of September. Rithika turns 4 months old today.
On April 25, 2017, Dhanya and Pradeep became proud parents of a baby girl. The delivery was done at the Thangam Hospital of PRC in Palakkad at 5 PM. We had the 28th day celebration of the baby at Praseedha, Palakkad.
Pradeep, Dhanya and B/o Dhanya
The hospital refers to the child as B/o Dhanya (Baby of Dhanya).
We left Mumbai for Coimbatore on a Jet Airways flight to leave Dhanya at her maternal home on 27 January, 2017. It was a long time since Pradeep’s father and mother had left for Coimbatore after their retirement. So, our first stop was changed from Kochi to Coimbatore.
Lounging in the Mumbai T2 Terminal
Our flight was delayed an hour but we got a warm welcome from Pradeep’s parents and brother. We went to Pradeep’s house in Kovai Pudur and then spent a day there.
We went to Dhanya’s house on Sunday afternoon and left in the afternoon for Keralassery. At Keralassery, we went to Sree Koottala Bhagavathy Temple and Ayanari Ayappa Temple. After spending the night there we returned to Dhanya’s home on Monday for two days of pooja. We took the oppertunity to go to Dhanya’s ancestral temple at Pazhayannur Bhagvathy Temple. We then returned going to the Puthukulungara Bhagvathy Temple. In the evening, we went to Pradeep’s maternal grandfather’s favourite temple, Thrippallur Siva Temple.
We then stayed a night in Palakkad. In the morning, we went to the Manapully Bhagavthy Temple. The next day we went to Pradeep’s father’s ancestral temple at Thenur Moodarumpetta Bhagvathy Temple across the railway line. We then returned to Kovai Pudur.
On the next day we visited the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Annaikatti.
Dhanya wanted a pic with the lions at the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Annaikatti
Pradeep’s father then made the decision to visit the queen of hill stations, Ooty. We booked a car to take us there which was a nice decision in hindsight as the ride was gruelling at more than 3 hours each way. Both ways, we stopped at the Sree Annapurna hotel in Mettupalayam.
Pradeep left on Sunday back to Mumbai.