We reached Kolkata on 30th of April in the evening and we got a confirmation that our goods will be delivered on 2nd of May. A night’s rest charged us up to face the strenuous day(s) following it. Mantam were so bored during our stay in Kolkata as the elders were on their toes and did not have time to spare them any attention. They were fed up of watching TV as well. During our last visit, they had their cousins along and there was never a dull moment. But this time around, they were on pins and needles to get out of there.
One more time, let me take the aid of pointers to summarize all that we did during those 9 days in Kolkata.
• We had strictly told in-laws that we wouldn’t be able to visit any of the relatives as we had enough on our plates already. Also, the last thing we wanted was to fall sick as we had travelled from Bangalore (still pleasantly cool then) to Kolkata (extremely hot) and were about to go to Sydney (mild winter).
• Our home has a makeshift attic of sorts which had things from the Victorian era that the in-laws had saved which would not even count as antique pieces. There were old shoes, jerseys, bags which no human would ever wear in this age and time. There were logs of wood, rusted metallic pipes, worn out quilts and mattresses and what not. Abbas and I started clearing all of that among the wails of in-laws who were reluctant to let go of their wealth. They had also made a makeshift bed in the living room with old mattresses stacked on top of one another. This bed ensured to give a topsy turvy feel to those who chose to sit or sleep over it was uneven at its best. We drove the in-laws up the wall when we told them we were going to get rid of their coveted bed as well. It consumed an entire day for us to clear the house of rubbish to make space for the cot, and other stuff that was going to arrive the next day.
• The movers assembled the cot and the dining table and left.
• We had to unpack all the carton boxes as the packers had mixed up all the stuff that I had painstakingly categorized while I was busy supervising the guy who was packing the glass and ceramic things.
• After leaving aside stuff that Ma would use, we had to pack rest of the things neatly and move the boxes to the now tidy and empty attic.
• Abbas was also following up with the movers on the status of our TV as it got delayed and we were worried if it would reach BIL’s home in one piece, which it eventually did.
• We had transferred our Indane gas connection, so I had to go to the local Indane office to get it registered in the Kol home address. Had to take 2-3 rounds of the office on different days to get it done.
• We had got out microwave and aquaguard, so calling up their customer care getting the address on Annual maintenance contract (AMC) transferred ate up a major chunk of our time. To add to the woes, we had misplaced the AMC documents (which we recently found neatly tucked among other important documents folder. Pssst)
• Our wedding anniversary was on 2nd of May. BIL had instructed Ma to get a cake for us. After the laborious day we spent to celebrate our togetherness, we thought it apt to go out for dinner. We invited Bhabi’s parents too to join us. After cutting the cake at home, we stepped out for dinner to Chinta town and hogged to our heart’s content.
• We had to carry some cash in Australian dollars to spend the initial days till our bank accounts got activated. We didn’t get the currency conversion done in Bangalore as were going to travel by train. Even that had to be completed in Kolkata.
• We had some last minute shopping done specially on the footwear front. We got 3-4 pairs each at dirt cheap price from a market called Chamda Haat (Leather market) close to our home.
• We didn’t realize how the days had passed and the D-day had arrived. We did all the packing and got ready to fly. We kept pinching ourselves if it was for real. It was our first experience travelling abroad and we were all pumped up with adrenaline