Thursday, May 24, 2007

R2I - Together time

Since R2Iing, my husband and I have been able to get some time to ourselves, here in Bangalore. In the US, after the arrival of our second one, we hardly got any time for ourselves. It was one chore after another. I had my hands way too full. And I didn't feel comfortable hiring baby sitters for the kids just so that hub and I could step out. That meant that we had to take the kids along wherever we went, and can you imagine the torment that was for the two of us and the kids! Sigh! It was alright when it was just one child, we did manage to get away on road trips, and even on a cruise once. But, with the second one coming into the household, it was almost impossible for the two of us to actually have time for ourselves. If the kids were older, I am sure any of our wonderful bay area neighbors would have been glad to keep the kids for a while when we stepped out. But, the kids were young and we were really not sure if they would have been on their own with anybody else. But here, things are quite different. Since we have my parents near by, and since they are ever so willing to watch the kids, it is so easy to get a little 'together time'. A dinner or a drive or even a movie together! Especially a dinner, it was such a joke trying to step out with the 2 young'uns. It was so much of work to get the kids fed, that we would hardly even be left with an appetite.

Yesterday, for instance, I decided to go, meet my husband at the end of his work day. His office is half way across town. Given that we have a driver now, (I had mentioned here about hiring one) I did not have to worry about getting to the place in peak traffic. Mid-way, it began to rain. And boy, what a downpour that was!? Nothing was even visible and the roads were almost flooded. See pic below to get an idea.
But, I had no worry in the world. The kids were home with my parents and the wheel was in the driver's hands. All I had to do was sit back and enjoy the rains! Such carefree joy! And then, when I met my hub, we went out to this nice Italian place that my husband has been insisting on taking me to. This restaurant, 'Little Italy', was really nice. And through the entire dinner, I was neither worried nor feeling obligated about the kids being with my parents! Here's a pic of the dessert, only because it was lovely!
Brownie, Vanilla ice cream, with sizzling hot chocolate sauce. Who knew brownie was available in India?!

It is also this same 'together time' that we enjoyed in the initial years of our marriage in Calif .... that which I will always cherish. Those were some of the best years of our lives, with travels, on-the-spur-of-the-moment road trips, drives, movies, dinners etc., and to get some of that back is wonderful! Yes, the traffic is crazy, the place ... noisy, and yes the roads have tons of potholes, but if you do get a little time to yourselves with a dash of romance, the rest shouldn't matter too much. ;) What say?

PS: To my readers who are looking for core R2I info, those posts are coming as well! :)


Amritha said...

I know exactly what you mean! My daughter is still not used to all the strapping up here - car seat, stroller, high chair - having spent the first six months of her life quite unfettered in Bangalore. So we have not had a single outing which has not ended in wailing - just her or both her and me! Little Italy was one of our favourites too!

Anonymous said...


how old are your kids? would you leave your kids with your parents and go on a trip to, say, europe?

humour me please, i will tell you why i am asking these questions.

- s.b.

Chitra said...

Amritha, I know what you mean by all the strapping. The worst was when I had to chauffeur the kids around; if and when they decided to scream at the back, and I had to still drive, well, that was not easy to do, especially on freeways.

Anon, how I would have loved to say 'Yes' to your question. But, nope. I only leave them behind for a max of 4 hours or so. I really can't stay away longer than that myself. Also, they will not the spend the night at my folks'. So, a trip is out of the question, for now.

The kids: She - Almost 4, He - 2y and 3 mo.

Anonymous said...

Hi chitra, Same anon here. looks like you had a good time and that too in the middle of the week. My friends back in the USA would call you a very lucky woman.Most people wait for weekends or other holidays to do that. I am looking forward to do that do but I need a little more time to settle in. My kids love to spend time with the grandparents. It's a great feeling. I would like some more details about hiring a driver. I was planning on taking driving lessons, but decided against it because of driving conditions and I simply wouldn't know where to park. Can I e-mail you about that? Have fun.
Same Anon

Chitra said...

'Same anon', yep, the small things make a big difference! Would love to hear about your outings after the settling down!

Hey, sure you can email me. I used to drive in Bangalore in the 90s, but now, haven't really even considered the option. Sometimes, I do think about it. Scary, though! Yep, and parking is so tricky!

SloganMurugan said...

The picture of the windscreen is nice.

Veena said...

The post sounds so romantic Chitra cool..
Glad to know you could do all that with 2 kids..!
Have such lovely time always..

Chitra said...

Thanks sloganmurugan!

Thank you, Veena! Wishing you wonderful times too.

Pradeep said...

I fully agree with you, Chitra. It's not that couples don't have time to be together, but often that'sn't a priority. Once we give it some importance, we find time, and as you say, so many other worries just seem incidental! I can testify to that as my wife and I are working, with odd shift timings...

Chitra said...

Pradeep, I know that 'it' is mostly not a priority and that is sad. We have much to gain by focussing on the small things in life.

mumbaigirl said...

gosh that photograph made me so homesick!

ARDONIEL said...

Hey Gal, we moved back to B'ore about 9 months ago. I have to say your romantic evening sounded like fun, but hey! we used to do that in the US too (10+ years!) :) As long as the babysitter is reliable (a friend? ), kids need time away too :):) My son has been going to a daycare centre since he was 7 months old....all I can say is that he is a well adjusted kid now, and my husband and I are still a rocking couple ;-) Lets not forget our individuality, just because we have kids!

Chitra said...

:) sorry mumbaigirl!

Ardoniel, welcome to my blog. I am glad you guys are a "rocking couple" :)

Poppins said...

Hey that's one of the biggest perks of R2I-ing ! I catch night shows in theaters (!!) what a luxury !

And I know about how hard it is to leave the kids with folks other than grandparents, bully to anyone who thinks it does not make you a rocking couple :)

Regarding the brownie comment, I have to say this. In Bangalore, you get EVERYTHING that you get in the western world, every single thing. You just need to know where to look. Take it from me, I was born/raised here.

Vijay said...

Chitra: You hit it right on the head... I remember an earlier post of yours that compared traffic etc etc which were better in the USofA but you were still glad to be back because of family...

This reinforces it !!!

Chitra said...

Poppins, yes I still find it very hard to leave the kids with anybody but the grandparents. More so, because it is not an easy task, and I would feel much too obligated.

I am a thorough-bred Bangalorean also. In fact, I would miss the Bangalore pastries there! Never knew about the brownie tho'.

Vijay ... :)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of desserts, Poppins or anyone, please tell me where I can find donuts in Bangalore. My kids love Dunkin donuts and krispy kreme. Today was my son's first day of school in Bangalore after we R2I. He liked it and told his class that his favourite snack was donuts. Another kid from his class asked me if Chicago was famous for nuts. I tried to think about what kind of nuts grew in chicago. It hit me a second later that she was talking about the donuts that my son mentioned in class. Anyway, we would love to let him eat donuts sometime in Bangalore. If anyone has any info, please share with me. my son will be exteremly thrilled.
Thanks Chitra for providing the space here.
Same Anon

Amritha said...

Poppins is right - you get everything in Bangalore. For donuts, try Hot Breads on infantry road (maybe not as much variety as dunkin donuts, but definitely excellent chocolate glazed donuts)-in fact even some "Iyengar" bakeries sell donuts!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chitra,
Very nice to read about your together time and little outing! I was just reading the comments by some of the other readers. I think it gets a little easier if the kids get bigger. My kids are 5 and 3 and quite independent without us. In answer to anon's question.. i would love to leave my kids with my in laws or my parents and go off to europe for a couple of weeks! We are still here in US and are planning our R2I. Hopefully we will come back soon :-)
I really enjoyed the part where u just sat back and relaxed inspite of the traffic... its attitude i guess that gets us through. Looking forward to more of your very informative posts :-)
Ghost Reader

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amritha.. will check it out the next time I am there..
Same Anon

Poppins said...

Same Anon: you get donuts in almost every place here, try Daily Bread (they have many outlets in Bangalore - the one that comes to my mind is in Fabmall @ Forum Mall). Daily Bread has some to-die-for pastry that I don't think I even got in the US.

On the same note, try Painted Platters (Lavelle Road, Jayanagar, Koramangala) for some yummy yummy desserts :)

I would also like to add that while we miss our comfort foods from the US (ask me, I am still looking for the perfect set of onion bagels), this diminishes with time and we soon get a new set of comfort foods, that we can find only in Bangalore and no where else in the world :-)

Sorry for the long comment !

Chitra said...

Ghost Reader, welcome to my blog. I am sure with the kids growing up a bit, things will ease slightly. I would love to go off on a vacation, just the 2 of us. But, I am in no hurry. :)

Though I didn't realise it, what helps tremendously for an R2I to be a good experience is 'attitude', as you rightly pointed it out. It is only of late that I am reading some other R2I experiences and am getting to know it is not all great for everybody. I prepared myself for the move for a few years, it was not sudden, and it was not forced. Either of it would have probably made it a little unplesant. I hate to be cornered, and thankfully that was not the case with this major change in our lives. Maybe, I should write about my mental preparation too. That will probably be something that others can relate to?

Thanks Poppins, Amritha for your replies to Same Anon's questions. Same Anon, I hope you find everything you are looking for. :)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Poppins about finding a new set of comfort foods as time goes on. It's just for once-in-a-while cravings. Eventually, my kids will get used to everything here. Thanks for answering my questions everyone.
Same Anon

backpakker said...

This is bangalore where chaos reigns supreme ..i'm dying to get out of here .wouldnt have moved here if it werent for my husband

Poppins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poppins said...

Backpakker: Please do not abuse Bangalore in what is such a positive post. If you have issues here, please feel free to leave !

Anonymous said...


that is so unfair. this should not be a 'you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours' kinda place. let us hear dissenting views too.


could you please give me links of those who were unhappy with their rti experience too?

also, it appears pretty unanimous that all who responded to my question (though i asked chitra specifically) don't/won't think twice of escaping with their s.o. on a trip abroad leaving their parents to babysit (though you might not agree on the exact sittable age of your 'baby').

btw, i originally asked this question because we had a disagreement at home about this issue (i.e., whether or not we would - if we get the chance - leave our kids with their grandparents and take off for a trip abroad).

- s.b.

Chitra said...

Backpakker, welcome to my blog. I am sorry you are kind of 'stuck' here. That usually doesn't work for most people; I know it wouldn't have worked for me. I hope you are able to go to wherever you want to and find happiness.

Poppins, to each his own. :)

SB, I am sorry I didn't notice your initials the first time.
Unfortunately, I was just 'blog hopping' and so don't remember the URL. However, I am sure I will continue to look for other views, and when I do, I will post the links here.
As far as escaping for a vacation is concerned, I am quite sure every woman will always want to do it at some point in time. However, I have this nagging feeling that I may not be terribly pleased once I am actually away. Of course, I wouldn't know that unless I do it, but that is not going to be anytime soon. So, no answers at all!
I do know a friend of mine who came to India for a vacation when her boy was only a few months old, left him at her parents' and went from here to Europe with her DH, and I think both she and her baby did quite well. :)

Poppins said...

Aww C'mon s.b. mine was a dissenting view wasn't it? Besides I don't know what backpakker was dissenting against, was this what Chitra's post was about - the merits of Bangalore? Nah, it was about a dinner outing with her hubby. Plain and Simple. Why the needless criticism?

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

hey Chitra,
Being a working mom, I just cannot get myself to leave Cantaloupe with anyone, after my work hours. She would have spent her day away from me for almost 8 hours. Call it my attachment to her or guilt, I just cannot leave her after that.
But completely with you on taking advantage of grandparents proximity.

Debbie Ann said...

so I am curious - did Bangalore Mirror ASK before reprinting this whole post in the newspaper?

I hope so.

Chitra said...

Cantaloupes.Amma, welcome to my blog. I do not work outside of home, and spend most of my time with the kids. :)

Debbie Ann, Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn't even know there was something called the 'Bangalore Mirror'!!!

Debbie Ann said...

It arrived free and unasked for this morning. Maybe I should mention I was thinking of subscribing, but if they steal things without permission, I think I will not subscribe.

btw, it is debbieann at

thanks for yr suggestion about milk directly from cows

Veena Shivanna said...

Hey Chitra,

There is a section called Bloggers park and those guys pick some good blog posts and print them daily, well they do mention the source at the end(not too sure, whether this can be called stealing). In a way, the readership for this blogpost has grown, this is my thought..

Well, Bangalore Mirror is the new name for Vijay Times, they stopped VT and started Bangalore Mirror.

Take Care and Congrats,

Chitra said...

Thanks Veena!
The thing is neither do they say it is 'printed with the permission of the author' in any of their 'Bloggers' Park' space, nor do they inform the blogger whose post has been printed. Both of these would have been nice! A lot of the bloggers have some kind of email contact on their blogs; should be very easy to inform them.

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