I can't believe I haven't found time to complete the Bharatpur story. Therefore, quick attempt. This will be, unlike the previous post, just notes on the highlights.
1. We went cycling the next day in the Keola dev national park and my bottom hurt for a week or so after that. The landmark here is that this is the first post that mentions my bottom. It's a strange feeling. Moving along, quickly, the cycling was the BEST fun. This was in spite of the fact that there were no ladies cycles available and I had to ride a man's cycle which was too big for me and was in serious danger of hurting me and ensuring that I would not be able to bear a fourth child .... Hey...first post that mentions my...never mind. Vijay taught me how to ride properly, dismount (without hurting myself) and to pedal with maximum output and least effort. Useful two hours. And we saw some birds too.
2. Vijay was insistent that the rickshaw driver I had given a big tip to the day before would be lying somewhere drunk in a ditch - my heart leapt for joy when we spotted him at the end of our cycling trip - he had been anxiously looking out for us 'Un log ko aaj kaun andar le gaye'? He was mollified to note that we had taken ourselves in on bicycles; and I haughtily told Vijay he must have more faith in people since the man was talking to us and clearly NOT lying drunk in a ditch somewhere.
3. Vijay converted himself from a scoffer-of-my-mother's-many-cameras into a Canon-toting-shutterbug, who developed a fascination for photography and took some really lovely shots of some birds including me...i mean, and also me... which I have put up on Facebook in case any of you are interested.
4. I got to pat a stray black puppy and try out my newly cultivated American accent, just for a lark. Both activities drove Vijay crazy, as a dog-hater as well as a 'angrez-log' hater. Well, he doesn't hate either, he just doesn't like them much. I later subjected him to my American accent while we were driving back to Delhi and to his credit, he did not actually carry out his threat of throwing me out of the car.
5. We ate too much in the Bagh's wonderful restaurant and basked in the sun after every meal. The Moong-dal-ka-halwa was to die for. I died for it. And became a little fatter, I'm sure. Heavenly, heavenly meals. I told myself that the cycling had ensured that I could take the extra calories. It's okay to lie to yourself while on Holiday. In fact, it is a pre-requisite to enjoyment.
6. Vijay continued to fluster and annoy people, even the lovely staff at the restaurant - the nice waiter said 'how many cubes sugar, sir', only to be spontaneously told 'Mujhe to der cube ( or however you write the hindi word for one-and-a-half) chahiye'. The man hovered uncertainly until Vijay assured him that just one cube would do.
We had to rush back one day earlier because the kids were apparently inconsolable without me at night - and in short, ended up only staying for two days instead of three. We managed to squeeze in a place called Deeg, which was nice but not faaantastic, you know what I mean? Will try and write a bit more about that later. Dammit, it's been so long that I've lost my notes on the trip. Must not let so much time pass before posting again.
But overall- it was the best, best trip possible and our annual holiday was an unqualified success, even though it was very short.
Highly recommended, Bharatpur.