Tired after spending the morning inside the Bundestag dome in Berlin (post here!), we picnicked in the lawn outside. We had had a rainy morning and the bright sunshine that followed offered us the sort of bright light that brings the colours alive and makes everything around look like its straight out of the pages of a computer-rendered drawing!
In this setting, Aadyaa discovered the pleasure of feeding the birds when she accidentally dropped a morsel of bread on the grass beside her! The eager and clever sparrows, well versed with tourists, began to seat themselves in the bushes and trees nearby, waiting for one of us to throw out piece of bread or a broken off potato wafer. Slowly they began to wait in the grass beside us, only a few paces away and it would seem that if we had spent the rest of the day there, they could have eaten out of our hands as well!
Needless to say, our little girl was thrilled! My intense pleasure of experiencing the Bundestag dome paled a bit in comparison with her genuine happiness while feeding the sparrows. Rahul and me were spellbound by the extreme simplicity of a child’s mind. Sitting there, deliberately not rushing the kids towards another touristic destination, we were able to see, for a bit, life the way our kids see it. Uncluttered and in the moment!
This post is part of a series on our family’s experiences in Berlin and The Netherlands in the Summer of 2014. Some of the more popular travel posts from this series are:
We had a day in Pune with a flight to catch at the end of the day to return to Delhi. Nothing much was planned as I knew a work meeting had to be scheduled sometime today as well.
As soon as I realised the meeting was at lunchtime, I called up an old friend Varsha and we spent a delightful morning walking around Koregaon Park’s mind blowing greenery, passing the boarded up shop that was the German Bakery of the bomb blast fame and then moving through the cantonment to Pune’s Main Street, where we were taken through some really quaint old Parsi bakeries. Clearly, Varsha was reliving the pleasures of her college day haunts. She also bought a stash of the famed Shrewsbury biscuits for the Delhi gang, declaring it her birthright to buy us this delicious stuff!
Post the meeting and an unplanned site visit, I had time enough to catch up with family as well. Aslesha, my cousin Sunil’s wife (uncle actually, but only a few years my senior and a favourite companion of my childhood years in Mumbai) was kind enough to pick us from the hotel and take us home, feed us and make us comfortable in her lovely home. To top it all, Air India was kind enough to delay their flight so I had the chance to meet Sunil as well when he got back from work and could spend some time with their daughter Maigha who is one if the most entertaining kids I know!
The call to inform me that the airline had preponed the flight (yes, crazy) sent us all into a tizzy. Now I sit checked in, at a sleepy airport, smiling at the days events, at the sheer pleasure of unplanned jaunts, catch up sessions with friends and family, the pleasure if the warm hug and unaffected smiles of those you love. Makes it so much more worth your time to visit another city. In that sense, I guess I am and will always be my father’s daughter, above the pleasure if sights, sounds, tastes and smells will always remain the pleasure of company!
There is something particularly relaxing about leaving town. Today, we drove out only about half an hour to a friends farmhouse for a birthday. We drove through a bustling little town and a couple of sleepy villages. The green fields, the trees, birds and the rocky outcrops of the Aravallis came next. With every few kilometres, I felt my heart rate drop and my senses open up more.
At the farm, the children revelled in the simple pleasures of the outdoors. Climbing, running around, setting themselves simple challenges, it was a sheer pleasure to watch and be a part of. The hostess had gone a step further and organised some extra entertainment, calling in a potter from the village nearby, a horse to give kids rides, besides a funny duo who blew balloons, painted tattoos and showed magic while getting utterly bullied by the children.
The farmhouse itself was delightful. Landscaped but not manicured, some real veggies and fruits, lots of flowers. No loo and the kids seemed to even enjoy the experience of peeing in nature!
Kudos to all city dwellers who invest their money and their time (which is a lot tougher) to nurture a getaway. I especially admired this family for keeping it a simple wholesome experience that their children are an integral part of.