Fear, MRIs and 5 ams

The stress of or the fear of something often is far larger than the actual task itself. This was at its clearest this week. With the planning of a surprise party, the visit to a new doctor, yet another (though each one is as stressful as the next) MRI and the travel and return travel on 5 am flights made for a memorable week.

The surprise party had to be perfect. Everything had to be planned without the inquisitive Birthday boys’ knowledge and we had to get him back in time lest the guests and here we kept it to family only let the cat out of the bag! The menu had to delight him and each of our demanding guests and the party had to be run on time despite the Mumbai rains and horrendous traffic snarls. Add to that a power cut which took out all the lights in the house, but none of the air conditioning! Candles were lit and the dinner with all its pre planning drama ended perfectly. The minute I just allowed myself to go with the flow instead of fighting to control it… I learned to have fun and actually enjoy the party!

I met the new doctor with trepidation and cynicism. Challenging him almost by telling him the hateful, scary things I’d been told over the years; I was taken aback when he empathised and even apologised for Doctors without tact and bedside manner. This threw me off because I expected him to stick with the way I had been treated thus far. The apology made me learn that the fear of one doctor can’t make you avoid all others. And as much as I don’t want to be seen as a clone of anyone else… I mustn’t assume that all in the same profession are alike either.

The MRI technician asked if I’d like to see ‘Friends.’I was taken aback. How was that possible? With a new machine, you could watch something, you may not hear it all but you could watch it. The 2 hr long series of MRIs were made more tolerable with a comedy show playing above my head!

5 am flights to meetings- would I hack it? Would I be on my best game? Worried I did not sleep all of night 1… And then the day ended and I was wonderful. The staying awake only made for dark circles- didn’t dampen my enthusiasm at all!

I write this as Day 2 begins (at 4:30 am now)- and now I’m not scared!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I do now what I do during an MRI. Take a deep slow breath and let the fear find another person they can cripple- not me!

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Parisian Adventures Day 1

Courtesy -: TravelWithDivya.com

And it was off on a Eurail journey again….and my first overnight train from Venice to Paris. Much has been written about this train-the luxury of first class, the food , the convenience.

These are all lies. The train is filthy, cramped, and a totally awful way to cross from one country to another especially from 2 cities as glamorous as Venice and Paris are. The food cart runs out of food minutes after you leave. The waiters are rude, uncaring and probably poorly paid. The rooms have almost no space to sit let alone sleep and most importantly you must not only lock your room at night when you attempt to sleep you must also barricade the door with luggage. Two separate families lost passports, money and handbags on the awful overnight disaster! Since this train makes several stops through the night and since you often only discover your loss in the morning, the perpetrator is usually long gone and there were several exhausted, woebegone faces at breakfast in the morning.

The morning on the train isn’t much better. The coffee is runny and weak, the croissant is hard and unpalatable and there’s no point even discussing the sham of a hole that masqueraded as the bathroom.

This train is NOT WORTH IT! TAKE A FLIGHT- ANY FLIGHT INSTEAD!

Thanks to this awful journey, I arrived very exhausted in to Paris. Now this was our second to Paris as a couple. We decided we wanted to do this trip because the first time we visited Paris we were on our honeymoon! A tour every few hours , staying in a small hotel ( that was all we could afford) and running between one tour and the next trying to cram all of Paris’ sights into a 3 night stay and also relax and enjoy our honeymoon proved to be an impossible holiday. Most of the trip was fraught with arguments and tears because we were so exhausted after doing sooo much! But even in between all the running and madness we fell in love with this beautiful , romantic city. We promised that we’d visit again-with out the tours and the schedules and that’s what this trip was for.

We had taken an apartment at the beautiful Fraser Suites on Champs Elysees. This was because one of the things we learnt about Paris was hotel rooms are terribly tiny. We’d stayed in Fraser Suites in Malaysia and the large bedrooms, huge living room and a wonderfully compact kitchenette! We wanted to stay centrally in Paris and this 5 star part-hotel seemed ideal- even more son once I saw some of the world’s best tennis players staying there with us as they were playing the very exciting Rolland Garros French Open!

We were upgraded to a suite on our arrival. The newer rooms were plush, with new furnishing, facing Champs Elysees and the Arc di Triumph and were large and spacious. Two televisions(not that we got time to watch tv), a large living room with a dining table, a bedroom, 2 super sized bathrooms, a stocked kitchenette and a massive bed and I found a new home in the heart of Paris. This trip was going to be different so Day 1 started with no plan at all and it was wonderful.

The last time we came to Paris , we arrived (like we did this time) on a Sunday and everything was shut! That was six years ago. This  time Paris was bustling on a Sunday- everything was open, everything was crowded, everything was buzzing and alive and it was amazing! We stopped to pick up some croque monsieurs on our way at Champs Elysees and decided to take the underground to the Latin Quarter.

Briefly glossed over during tours , the Latin Quarter with its frenetic activity, quirky shops, arty bars and cafes is a wonderful, bohemian vision of Paris. Each bylane has lots to explore, each cafe has new , exciting food smells and each shop has interesting , quirky things to take away, buy and keep! This area is very filled with students and young couples and is so diverse in culture and colour it was absolutely magnificent walking through the Latin Quarter.

Paris is exciting every time you visit but I believe the more you walk through Paris , the more layers you uncover. Like an onion, you can keep peeling and peeling and discover new and exciting places, people and sites within the city and still realise you have more to see.

Paris is more than the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame–those are exciting and pieces of history that you must see…but walk through Paris,see the architecture, meet the people, sip the cappuccinos….the romance of Paris is all around for you to discover…

We came to Paris first on our honeymoon…but we really fell in love with Paris this time ’round.

More on our Parisian adventures and a special trip to Versailles…next week!

Best Times To Travel-:  June through to October – but expect crowds and tourists! So remember Paris is beautiful but make your own memories….different from the brochure memories that are sold to you! 🙂

Price Factor-:  EXPENSIVE!!! $600- $1000 per night for a 5 star hotel but you must know that you should stay in the centre of Paris for sure (Champs Elysees, Concorde  is great or opt for something more arty like Opera)…then everything is walking distance and everything- amazing!

love byte(n) and already missing the bytes!

so the last month has been full of jet set getaways, 5 am flights, hectic rehearsals and even some outdoor shows! Yes! In summer! But it was also filled with tons of laughter, 9 people dinners, strange ‘dance’ movements, marco polo games in pools and tons of pranks! To say that this was undoubtedly one of my most ‘funnest’ (yes that’s a word now!) summers would be an understatement!

We move to the final weekend for the final show in Chennai of this tour of ‘Love bytes’ and I have to say i’m going to miss it all! I have done so many plays over the years, made so many friends…but this group has almost become like family!..so here goes

The cast comprises of Aditya my beloved husband and uber star when he comes for my productions…he needs sleep, rest and work out time! I love it I love him!

Gaurav, who’s petrified before he does his lines and before a show. He is also the person who most recommends the 5 am flights back on sunday mornings…

Rashi– who dances in her sleep …no I mean really…she comes into every hotel looking like she is sleep walking and yet she dances on the elevator music like a star!

Sanket– he’s done shows from A Personal War to Love bytes and a strong reason for his love for Balancing Act Productions is my uber handsome husband! No they just play trial pursuit and other silly games on his phone…what did you think I was talking about!

Chaiti- the newest member of the cast…always with the latest goss and the coolest places to hang out…chaiti is a Walking-Party-Pages (pun on yellow pages if you didn’t get it!)

Areesz-with his huge tattoos and his working out mania is eventually just a big ol’ softy!

Niranjan– he’s the Assistant Director & Sound guy in the show and takes our non-stop harassment and taunts…He also doesn’t know how to swim….something we learnt after we pushed him into the pool!

Michael– Lighting director extraordinaire–unless ofcourse he’s fed up of the scene and he blacks you out 😉

Things I’m gonna miss (in no particular order…and just a few of them)

  1. Watching my ipad 2 in the plane with Michael as he falls asleep. He pretends he’s watched but there’s no way he has …after all im the one lifting his spectacles and dropping them back on his nose every few minutes of the flight….if he didn’t pick up on that …he’s definitely not watching csi!!!
  2. Seeing Sanket in a shirt ( that messy sod comes in the same black t-shirt to every show…not superstition just plain lazy but quickly puts on his crushed shirt as he enters the hotel to impress me! i love the shirt– crushes n all!)
  3. Pranks on Chaiti (my goodness she is the easiest to prank and I enjoy it thoroughly….)! I’ll probably still prank her in Chennai and she’ll probably still fall for it!
  4. Almost drowning Niranjan in the swimming pool while playing marco Polo cos he couldn’t swim!
  5. Watching Gaurav finish ALL the water…there’s never enough bottles!!…We’re lucky the sea is salty!
  6. Areesz and his ironing!
  7. Aditya and his silly football matches and worse still conning us all to see it with him!
  8. Rashi, rashi, rashi….she had her foot in her mouth and ensured that it stayed there (mostly for sanket’s and my amusement!)…she was funny, is funny and wow- she made us laugh!!!

I’M GONNA MISS THEM & AFTER RASHI’S EMAIL LAST NIGHT…I THINK THEY MIGHT MISS ME TOO…

I love you guys…this has been an incredible summer, an incredible journey and some incredible friendships…

p.s.-: I’m no softy so you’ll still get the post-mortem of the previous show before Chennai’s finale! 😉