Diwali Trip to Delhi and Chandigarh

I can never have enough of Delhi. I have lived in many cities, travelled to a lot of places but Delhi is the only one which feels like home. It welcomes me back with.... okay, before I wax poetic on my love for Delhi, lets start this travelogue.

Nov 6 : I was ecstatic when my coaching's , school's and dad's holidays finally coincided and I found myself on the morning flight from Nagpur to Delhi. After grabbing a sandwich at the Delhi airport and almost forgetting to collect my baggage, I was sitting in my Uncle's car and on the way to his place. Listening to my uncle's dry comments on the changes in Delhi due to the CWG and Paramore in the background, we finally reached in Devli around 11( thanks to Delhi's traffic). After the extra large punjabi breakfast (as usual) was done with, we (the whole clan) decided to head over to East Delhi to meet my cousin and congratulate him on his new job and house. The whole day passed in exploring the neighborhood and the markets (meaning apparel stores for the women and snoozefests for men) of the new area.

Nov 7 : It started with Rani waking me up by licking my ears ( she's a dog :P) and me hanging my little cousin upside down for setting her upto this. By 10 AM, over 20 more relatives had showed up and impromptu, a plan formed to go Rakab Ganj and Bangla Sahib gurudwara and also gobble up some of their AWESOME halwa. Trust me, you haven't eaten halwa if you haven't eaten it from there. After that, we headed over to Paranthe Wali Gali, for an early lunch of paranthas. Sated, we next went to Palika Bazaar and got out after a couple of hours of bargaining which included getting a jacket of 4000 bucks down to 400 in 5 minutes. It was evening and we had to head home but Obama's visit had really disrupted the traffic, so a half an hour drive turned into a 80 min game of Dum Charades , Antakshari and Foosball over iPods and iPhones in Delhi's infamous traffic jams. We reached home exhausted.

Haveli, Outskirts Of Karnal

Nov 8 : There had been no plans made for the third day but when we woke up that day, everyone was in the mood for a long drive. One thing led to another and around mid morning our 'drive' had transformed into a visit to my grandparent's house in Chandigarh. Stopping for lunch at a friend's house in Karnal, we reached our destination in the evening. Grandmother was overjoyed at the unexpected visit and took great delight in telling me and my cousins how skinny we had become :P . Taking the task of feeding 14 people who had arrived in her stride, she gave proof why 'Nani ke ghar jaaonga, mota ho kar aaonga' is sung by conjuring a HUGE and sumptuous dinner.

Nov 9 : We decided to remain inside and go through family albums new and old, laugh over old incidents and watch the video of my cousin's wedding which I had missed. Later, I went to the nearest computer store and got a webcam and microphone to setup video chat for my grandparents to talk with the relatives who are living abroad. On the way to the store, I met a guy who had also come back for holidays and seemed to know me. It turned out that I had played midtown madness regularly on his PC when I was little. In the evening, we discussed what to do and finally decided on a picnic at Sukhna lake.
Nov 10 : Broke my sleep record by sleeping for more than 13 hours. Visiting more relatives and old friends took most of the day and while the male members of the house traipsed back to the house to rest after going to so many houses, the female force somehow still had the energy to go and raid the sector-17 shops.

Nov 11 : We started early at 5.30 AM hoping to reach Delhi early so that we could avoid the morning rush but the stop at Haveli for refreshments took too much time and we reached late at my aunt's place around 11. While the elders decided to go to Gurgaon to visit a temple (was an auspicious day or something, don't ask me, I am not good at religious stuff) after brunch, me and my cousins decided to hang back and just enjoy the day finishing Season 1 of 'The Big Bang Theory' and playing God Of War 3.

Nov 12 : The next day was our flight back which, thankfully, went without incident.

All in all, the trip was huge fun and a much needed break. Cheers!