I could start blabbering about this from a prior date but Boxing day seems appropos. Anything before that would be too vague to pinpoint.
It all began with an idea that Ridhi, Vasu and I had a thought when we were in Noosa back in the May of 2006. “Wouldnt it be cool if all of us cousins could get together for a wild holiday here in Australia?” quipped one of us. After talking about the parameters for the trip for about 10 minutes, the matter was laid to rest until after Tanu’s wedding. The idea may have been discussed in passing while some of us met in Jaipur for the wedding. However, in all earnestness the whole thing kicked off one fatefull evening (13th August from my records) when Ridhi took the initiative and emailed a one liner asking for discussion.
What transpired between that email and Boxing Day 2006 is stuff of another blogpost. This post however will serve to journal the trip (post the trip’s happening).
Boxing Day (as 26th of December each year is called for those who didnt know) is a major major shopping day in Australia. Apart from that, it is also the day that the Boxing Day cricket test begins in Melbourne each year. And for those interested in sports, there is also the Sydney to Hobart Yatch Race (or is it Hobart to Sydney, but i digress). Just setting the scene. Ridhi and Vasu and I went to Chadstone shopping centre on Boxing Day and the place was chock a bloc full of shoppers. A Kumbh Mela of shoppers if you may. Frankly it was hard to find anything nice to buy despite the huge discounts. The checkout places had huge queues and the changing rooms were being guarded by bouncers. It was a tiring and exhausting experience, and I guess the only saving grace was that we found a parking spot, almost immediately. The advantage was nullified at the end of shopping cause we finished at the opposite end of the mall and had to cart everything back thru millions of dazed shoppers. After being Chadstonified, we found our way to our booked accommodation at South Yarra Mews, 1 Park Lane @ South Yarra (really it was on Punt Road). To our delight it turned out to be a quaint church. The unit was split on 3 levels. Vasu seemed pleased with the kitchen i think. Rest assured, the 3 of us made ourselves comfortable (Vasu made herself confortable on her throne in the kitchen and began cooking Rajma Chawal for the arriving party).
A bit late but the dramatis personae :
1. Sunny (Real Name: Aditya Sanghi), the eldest of them all, me the blog writer, eager photographer.
2. Vasu (Real Name: Vasudha Sanghi nee Chandra), my lovely wife, the chief, the ringleader, the big kahuna, the booker, the planner, chief convincing officer.
3. Tanu (Real Name: Shantanu Sanghi), my younger brother, kinda Newlywed, takes nice pictures, eats after midnight every night.
4. Smita (Real Name: Smita Sanghi nee Chemburkar), Tanu’s wife, the newest member of the family, also kinda Newlywed, candle maker, loves souvenirs.
5. Rishabh (Real Name: Rishabh Kasliwal), my cousin, my bua’s oldest son, californian, stanford graduate, engineer, lovely chap, first half of RishRush.
6. Rush (Real Name: Rashmi Kasliwal nee Bothra), Rish’s wife, my bua’s bhahu if you may, californian, childhood sweetheart of Rishabh, built on duracells, really lovely, better half of RishRush.
7. Shanu (Real Name: Shreyans Kasliwal), Rish’s younger brother, my bua’s second son, lawyer and hence very argumentative, Katrix’s pain in the neck, lovely chap.
8. Chinx (Real Name: Ritika Sanghi), my cousin, my first chacha’s firstborn, Californian, self-confessed Mellonite, works for Google, most changed since childhood.
9. Katrix (Real Name: Kartik Sanghi), my cousin, my first chacha’s lastborn, simple, still in school, easy picking target, lovely chap.
10. Ridhi (Real Name: Pritika Sanghi), my cousin, my second chacha’s firstborn, PhD Student in Monash, impossible to take bad photos of, Squash player, and generally quite amazing at everything.
11. Sonam (Real Name: Sonam Sanghi), my cousin, my second chacha’s lastborn, studying in UK, food scientest, MISSING IN ACTION during the trip, really very sweet.
So, we were to receive two travelling parties on this night. The party travelling from India were flying in from Kuala Lumpur and the other party was RishRush flying via Nadi, Fiji. We couldnt receive the first party at the airport since they were one too many with probably one too many bags. However, Ridhi and I took the car to pick up RishRush and save them the hassle of public transport. To cut a long story short, we bought them home and had a great family milan.
It was amazing. All together at the same place at the same time since I dont know when. Definitely a first for the wives i’m sure. There was much excitement and nobody wanted to sleep, which was good since the next day was light on things to do. There are some pix of this night and some videos of this somewhere.
Well then, next day, next post.