25th December 2011
Abbas was the first one to wake up. He was the enthu cutlet unable to wait to drive Tulu. (BIL’s car – again christened by Abbas) I was up but lazing around as nobody had budged from their beds yet. Abbas called out to everyone but no movement or response to his umpteen attempts. He played loud music on his laptop and began dancing. Mimmi opened her eyes, looked at Abbas and asked her parents – “Why is Pa dancing at night?” All got up laughing their heads off.
After a quick breakfast, we finally set off at around 10 AM on Tulu towards Jaipur. Abbas drove to live his dream of driving Tulu with his entire family seated in the car. Rest of the 4 adults – Ma, Bhaiyya, Bhabi and I had a child each perched on our laps. As we drove onto the highway, a car sped past us without any indication. The guy looked back and Abbas looked at him questioningly. The guy was young and full of attitude. He jerked his car and got down. We thought he was drunk or drugged. Abbas and Bhaiyya got down. Abbas was right as it was the guy’s mistake but he was in no mood to speak. All he exhibited was his hunger to punch and strike. He would’ve smacked Abbas had Bhaiyya not intervened. He went back to his car which was infront of Tulu. Abbas waited for him to move, but the guy refused to budge. We all suspected that he was waiting for Tulu to go forward so that he could harm us. We waited for a minute and then took a small lane towards the left, our eyes fixed on his car. He went away. After a couple of mins, we came back to the main road and proceeded to move on the highway.
Many tolls were left behind when we reached a Hotel called King’s. All had to attend Nature’s call and it was lunch time anyway. We filled our tummies there. Abbas and Bhaiyya ordered Naans, Kulchas, Paranthas, Butter Chicken and Kadai Chicken without even checking the Menu card. When food arrived at the table, all our jaws were dropped. As Kadai Chicken was served in a fancy Kadai which was of the size of our household’s Kadai. Same goes with Butter Chicken. Quantity was abundant. One dish would’ve been sufficient but how were we to know? About quality of food, it must be one of the bestest Chicken preparations we ever had. Laden with oodles of butter, we literally licked our fingers off. There was a huge park outside the restaurant. Ma and I took the kids out while Bhabi, Abbas and Bhaiyya settled the bill and went to ATM.
We travelled again and reached Jaipur at around 4:00 PM. We stopped frequently to find out the route to our hotel. People of Jaipur were exetremely hospitable and were more than happy to help. But each person suggested different directions which confused us big time. One person said that we will get a ‘ Batti’ (Signal) after travelling 3 Kms. But the signal never came even after travelling 13 kms. Finally we met a guy who spoke Bengali and he gave right directions. We reached Hotel Teej at around 5:00 PM. While we were unloading luggage from Tulu, an autowala (AW1) approached Abbas and offered him to take us around to Jaipur market in his Auto. Abbas noted down his number and assured him that we would give him a call if required. Bhabi and I somehow had intuitions that the guy was not noble. We asked Abbas not to give him a call.
We had booked a Family Suite and it was massive. Kids were elated as they had enormous space to run around and play. We wanted to order Tea / Coffee. Menu card read – ‘Single tray Tea – 28 Rs.’ Ma exclaimed – ‘I don’t want to have such expensive tea’. We decided to order Double Tray and share among ourselves. When Tea was served, we were surprised to see that even after drinking a cup each, there was much more left over in the flask. We made a mental note to order less quantity wherever we go in Rajasthan.
After freshening up and stretching our tired feet, we went out to explore markets at around 6:30 PM. Abbas caught hold of another autowala (AW2) who would take us to a Market. Instead of taking to a local market, we were directed towards a handloom emporium where prices were exorbitant. Later we came to know that guy would get commission for bringing customers there. Handicrafts were gorgeous and attractive but we wanted to check local markets where same stuff could be cheaper. Ummi wanted to buy a set of crystal deers. They claimed that the crystals would change colour according to season. There was an offer on it. Buy 3, Get 1. Abbas secretly made an alliance with a newlywed couple who were eyeing the same. He would buy the deal and they would share 2 sets each along with the discounted price.
We stepped out without buying anything else. We were surprised to see AW1 waiting outside. He came up to Abbas and said “Why didn’t you give me a call? Why did you go with AW2? I can take you to a good restaurant now” Abbas politely refused and said that we were going back to our hotel for Dinner. Bhabi and I insisted on having Dal Baati Choorma for dinner but Ma, Bhaiyya and Abbas were looking for a Non-Veg restaurant which was tough to unearth. After driving along same road for 3 times in search of food, we finally settled at ‘Thali House’. Ma was pulling our legs saying ‘Are they gonna give ‘Chumma’ to us while we dine?’
I loved the platter – Roti, Garlic Chutney, Mirchi Achar, Pulao, Chhole, Kheer, Dal, Baati and Choorma. It was an unlimited Thali for 70 bucks. Cool no? Rotis were ‘oh-so-soft’. Dal was lipsmacking good. I didn’t like Choorma much. We went back to the hotel and dozed off. We joined the double beds together and the whole family slept in a row, Ma in between. She kept on saying “I have saved 500 bucks of yours as you didn’t have to take extra bed for me”
Leaving you with pictures taken in park outside Hotel King’s.
Will continue the series from Monday.