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The thing about settling down to a life in India is that, no matter how much one is prepared, there is always a hidden factor that throws your loop out of sync. For example, the community we live in, is well serviced and plumbers come to your door step in minutes etc. But that does not mean that your bathroom leak will be fixed ASAP. (Read in IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE style)

If your bathroom has a leak,
The plumber will most probably say that it is because of the water heater.
If you call the water heater repair technician,
He will respond in about 24 hours.
If the water heater technician inspects the unit,
He would most probably be the person who changes ONLY the coils and points you to another person.
If after 10 phone calls you get the other person,
He would say that he cannot do anything till he speaks to the first technician who came ti inspect the unit.
If you make a date for the two,
The both will agree that a replacement unit needs to be ordered.
If you ask them to do it,
They will do it and say that the response time is 7 – 10 business days.
If you try calling them in between to find out the status,
They will not pick up the phone.

Mean while water is turned off in your bathrooms. Currently we have one bathroom in which the only the toilet works, one bathroom in which only the sink works and one bathroom in which only shower/heater works. All this gets to you at certain point of time and you go immerse yourself in Bikanervala chaat.

Three words – Bikanervala – chaat – yuuuuuum. Thanks A-kay for mentioning it. We were en-route to QMart @ Banjara Hills and I saw Bikanervala, decided to scratch Qmart and indulge our palate. Of course the fact that we were completely lost and were rather hopeless about finding QMart was a big factor in the sudden change of plans. The ground floor is fast food style. You order, pay, self serve. Seating management is streamlined by staff. Some one takes your name and then calls you in about 15 or so minutes, this on a sunday night, peak crowd. If you don’t want to wait, they also have a sit down restaurant upstairs. Of course pricing is up-marked. I did my hallmark test – Bhelpoori, pani poori and ragada, order and assess. The result was out in flying colors. The kids enjoyed the bhelpoori and there wasn’t much left for me. Mieja approved the kesar pista kulfi. The rad thing we did is to give the kids filtered water from the restaurant instead of ordering bottled water. I mentioned to R in passing that the next thing for me to do is to order bhelpoori from street vendor. He thinks it is a joke.

Right next door to Bikanervala is Karachi Bakery. Chula(yeah, she is such a sport*) and I dived in to the traffic at Road#1, jumped over the divider to go to Karachi biscuits. I think that says it all :)

But for the Rs.25 entrance fee and Rs.20 parking fee, I can totally see myself living in Shilparambam. I have my eye on some of the craft classes they offer. I did mention to R that I am going to take a block printing class and make curtains for the house, the way I want it. Again, he thinks it is a joke. I found some awesome Pathachitra artists, Madhubani artist, Kondapalli dolls and Channapatna toys. The Madhubani artist was super thrilled that I knew the name of the art form and offered me a seat to sit and watch him do the work. He forbid me from taking video/pictures though. I was doing a mini interview of sorts with him. Also found in Shilparambam this cool easy chair at a wood working shop. And some clay pots. And some trinkets. And kurtis. And shawls. And bags. And….

One thing I was sure I would miss from US is Amazon. Apparently not. I am now in Flipkart heaven. Excellent customer service, hassle free ordering and good prices. They have something called cash on delivery(COD) and I am taking full advantage of it. I have already exhausted my self imposed cash limit for book ordering for this month and waiting for July to use up my next month’s quota.

The only good thing that can come out of the situation where your child comes home with a palm sized and growing, red, hard, painful, itchy swelling on her hip is that you get to experience first hand the working styles of pediatricians. We went to couple and liked the later. So that has been sorted out. Phew!

*On the subject of crossing roads, while visiting clinics, we had to cross a busy intersection. Mieja was very scared and after the experience she told me, ‘Amma, if an auto hits me, I could die. Did you even think about that?’. See why I called Chula a sport?!

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