We love to spend our wedding anniversaries out of town. For the past two years, this has been the trend and there was no reason why we wouldn’t have similar plans for our third anniversary as well, especially since we always booked tickets and hotels for February, way back in October.
For our first, we went to Goa and spent a good four days at the beach, soaking in the sun, listening to music, reading and getting drunk (at least I did :P). The next time, we went to a Tiger Reserve in Pench, Madhya Pradesh and enjoyed the jungle safari, bonfires in the night, some pottery and even a night safari.
For this anniversary, we decided to go to Udaipur in Rajashthan. There wasn’t much to do there, but we wanted to relax and just roam around. Fewer ‘activities’ and more ‘chilling out’ was what we had in mind, and Udaipur seemed to be a good choice for that. And lucky for us, most places in India are extremely pleasant in February, so we always lucked out in terms of the weather.
However, what we did not count on was that I could be pregnant.
After our first scan at Week 6, we asked the doctor if it would be okay if we travelled. She gave us the green light, so we thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to take a break. It would also mean a break for me – from cooking or doing any work around the house. I was getting sick of some smell in my house anyway.
The day we left, I was almost at the end of Week 7. For the past few days I had been feeling nauseous the minute my eyes opened in the morning whether at 6 AM or at 11, and I was puking before I could get the words ‘good morning’ out of my mouth. If I was lucky, I only threw up one meal a day in addition to the morning sickness.
I had also seen a Chest Specialist for my cough who prescribed capsules, the contents of which had to be inhaled in a very complicated way. I had been inhaling the medicines for about a week before we left and there was no change at all. And here’s the weird thing; I realised that if I stayed still for a few minutes (or nineteen) then after the initial bout of coughing, it would stop. On its own. Like magic. All I had to do was not change the position I was sitting or sleeping in and that was it.
But a change should be good right?
We took an afternoon flight from Mumbai and reached Udaipur a few minutes before 2 PM. I had had breakfast at least 45 minutes before we started to avoid any motion-sickness related accident. I was sucking on lozenges all the way in the cab from our house till the airport and even on the flight because I didn’t want to ask for a barf bag. Lozenges were just easier.
It’s a fairly small airport so it didn’t take long for us to pick up our stuff and get out to call a cab. But I was hungry by then and I had to take medicines. So we ordered a sandwich and that itself took around thirty minutes to make, I have no idea how. Sandwiches are supposed to be quick, right?
We were going to stay in a villa. It was a beautiful two storied bungalow where the family that owned it lived on the lower level and they had six beautiful rooms on the upper level for guests.
When I saw the room I was floored. I loved the decor and colour-coordination. If you know me, I am all about getting the colours righ. Here’s what ours looked like. We stayed in the blue room.
It seemed like I was in Paradise. There were paintings on the ceiling too. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a glimpse of that.
The pristine white bathroom made me fall in love. Again.
But – you knew there was going to be one – there was one problem. You see, at eight weeks pregnant I needed to eat every few hours but when we were there, their in-house chef was unavailable. We would be provided with breakfast in the morning, but for lunch and dinner we were on our own. Now that would have been okay if other restaurants or eating joints were easily accessible. But the nearest one was a 10-minute walk away. It was too short a disctance to call a cab every time (not that there were cabs lining up outside the villa) and there was no way I was going to walk that distance every time I needed to eat something.
Besides by the time they reached the hotel it was way past lunch time and I was already very hungry. So the first thing we did was dump the luggage in our room and set out in the afternoon Rajasthan heat to walk to this restaurant. Even there the chef had to make something from scratch for us because, duh, lunchtime was over.
We I spent the entire day lying in bed tired from the day’s events, mostly walking to and back from the restaurant for one meal.
|See the medicines on the stand next to the bed? It was a fun vacation! Oh, and what I’m doing in the picture? It’s pretty much all I did during the vacation.
Later in the evening, my husband made coffee inside the room using the kettle that was provided and I went back to bed. My husband spent that time looking for other places we could move to because even though the place was gorgeous and perfect for a relaxing holiday, the unavailability of easy access to food was a problem. I needed it very often.
So that evening, we told the owner politely what the issue was and why we wouldn’t be staying for the entire duration of four days as we had originally planned. He understood and was kind enough to get a chef to cook dinner for us that night, which I conveniently threw up in our gorgeous room’s perfect white bathroom about 30 minutes later, by the way.
While my husband was looking online for other places we could stay at, all we could find were regular hotels. What I really wanted was something like the room we had, with the typical Rajasthani decor, a palace like feel and a traditional grandeur, but there was no way we were going to find something like that on such short notice.
So we settled for a regular hotel room, something similar to what we had stayed in when we were in Kerala on our honeymoon or in Goa for our first anniversary; nothing great but something that would be comfortable.
The next morning – the second day of our holiday – started with me throwing up as soon as my eyes opened. Happy Valentine’s Day to us! I was already exhausted from the travel, throwing up last night and the pregnancy itself that the morning sickness really took it all out of me.
We checked out a while before noon but not before we were served a sumptuous breakfast. It was delicious but after the episode the previous night, I had to be careful. So I ate just enough to not feel hungry anymore.
Fortunately the next hotel we were staying at had a restaurant and we stepped down to have lunch about half an hour after we checked in. I had no mood to get off the bed and I really, really wanted to order room service, but since we hadn’t stepped out at all the previous day, my husband suggested that it would be good for me to get out of the room, even if it was just to have food.
However the experience from the previous night had taught me that overeating could only lead to more vomit. I had been careful at breakfast, but I still needed to eat well. A few weeks ago, my mother had told me that everyone’s body has a different response to pregnancy and that I should listen to my body and read the signs.
Well, this trip taught me that if I burped during a meal, that was my body telling me to stop, that it had had enough, that if I stuffed any more food inside, it would promptly send it all back up. Well, I hear you, dear body.
Since that day, I started with very little on my plate and refilled only if I hadn’t burped by then. Fortunately, I was allowed to eat for about 10 minutes before the signal came and I had to stop.
But I all I wanted to do was go to bed. So we went back to our room, watch a few episodes of Manhattan Love Story (Star World had a marathon going on as a Valentine’s Day special) and when I could no longer keep my eyes open, I slept when the cough allowed me to.
I woke up around late evening and the husband made kettle-coffee for me and for himself. After half an hour of urging me to get dressed to go outside and being accused of being ‘boring’ on this trip, I realised the only way to make him stop would be to actually get dressed and go out.
It was an effort to drag myself out to have dinner that night but it was Valentine’s Day. Natraj Dining Hall was very close to our hotel and they served traditional Rajasthani Thaali (platter). We walked the five minute distance in the chilling cold and I have to really thank my body for playing along that evening because it allowed me to eat almost 95% of what was put on my plate. I was concerned about whether it would be worth it to go to a place that had unlimited food per plate, but it turned out to be not such a bad idea.
We came back to our room and watched some TV. We couldn’t even snuggle because I was coughing so hard and I needed to stay in the same position for it to stop. Not the Valentine’s Day we had imagined, but we still had two more days before we had to go back home. Maybe I’d feel a little better?
I knew better than to hope for that.