Friday, August 11, 2006


Today, the strangest thing happened. And I just can’t figure it out. I am going to try and describe it and if anyone can figure it out, please let me know.

When I got to office, there was an envelope lying on my desk. This is the description of the envelope and its contents:

  • It was one of those airmail envelopes with the postage stamp pre-printed on it (as opposed to being glued on).
  • The postage stamp is from the United Arab Emirates. I don’t know anyone who lives there.
  • The postmark on the stamp is Kottayam, a town in Kerala. I don’t know anyone who lives there either. There is no Mumbai stamp anywhere.
  • There is a printed sticker on the envelope with my office address on it. What’s unusual about it is that unlike the other mail I receive at work, it has neither my designation nor my department mentioned on it.
  • The flap has been closed with some Scotch tape.
  • Inside the envelope is a single sheet of thick, cream coloured letter paper.
  • On the letter-paper, there is a letter that says the following:

Abu Dhabi

Dear Papa, Mom and Namita,

Trust all of you are fine. Sanjay, Divya and me are all very eager to see you. Divya’s school vacations start by the end week of June. She has already got me to book the flight tickets for June 30.

My colleague and close friend Ravi is getting married on July 18. I’m planning to gift him a mixer-grinder. And for you Mom, how about a fully automatic washing machine? We’ll go shopping in Kochi or Thrissur I’m glad I don’t have to pay excess baggage this time, since we can get all the stuff from Kerala itself. Is the plastering of the new house over? Papa, please keep the flooring and painting on hold till I come.

When is Namita’s exams getting over? Mom I feel it’s time we bought some jewellery and started planning for her marriage. I’ll call up later to confirm our travel plans. In the meantime, Mom, you can get the mango pickles ready. And yes, coconut barfis for Divya. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.


  • I don’t know anyone by the name of Namita or Divya and the Anita I know lives in London.
  • How and why has this letter, which has nothing to do with anyone I know, arrived in an envelope addressed to me?

Anyone like to venture a guess? Because I can’t for the life of me figure this one out.

In other news, we are heading off to Goa for a long weekend. I just made the list of things to be packed – as you would remember from the last post, packing for non-business travel clearly lies on the right side of the table, which is my domain. A couple of funny things about the list:

  • There are 41 items listed under Ayaan’s name, 25 under mine and just 13 under Jai’s.
  • The toy list for Ayaan includes – beach toys, water toys and other toys.

Which brings me to the other thing I can’t figure out – is it possible to travel light with a baby. And if yes, how?


  1. Does your office have a branch in Kottayam?:)
    Have a great trip!

  2. Is someone in office trying to pull a fast one on you?
    The letter was found on your table, so anyone could have stuck your name and address on the envelope.
    Was the letter handwritten or typed?

    Happy mystery solving during your Goa trip.

  3. @inquisitive akka - do you welcome comments or not on your blog.

  4. It was left on your desk, but is it addressed to you? Maybe the mailman left behind a parcel unintentionally?

  5. its the Great Indian Postal System .,...thats all.... i bet Madam Anita wont be getting her pickles now!

    hmmm.. i asked my mom and she said whenever we would go to our beach house in Orissa, all i played with was a bucket and spade( sandcastles).and i had a babay lifejacket on all the time.

  6. err *baby*...i swear my typoism will be the death of me.

  7. Travel light with a baby?? Are you kidding?!

    Well, as Grafx says, kids get attracted to the simplest of toys. A bucket and a shovel should be just fine to grab and keep his attention - provided you don't try to keep him clean all the time :) I would trim down the list of toys, if possible. It is just a long weekend so, maybe 1 toy for each day and then one or two that he specially likes for the times when nothing works?

  8. Random 'gelf' malayalee snail-mail ha ha ha that has to be the strangest thing I've heard in a while. Looks like someone's playing a prank on you... maybe they found a random letter and put it on your desk.

    It's not possible to travel light with a baby. Whenever we used to go to India or Zimbabwe or Kenya or wherever 20 kgs was dedicated to the baby.

  9. Some palm trees, some pealing bells from nearby temples, some rain, some sunshine . . . worth the 'weight' of travelling with a baby :)

    Viva Goa . . . have a nice time.

  10. [Inquisitive Akka] No branch in Kottayam

    [Visitor] The letter is hand-written and looks pretty authentic

    [Nee] Yes, it is addressed to me with one of those printed sticker address labels.

    [Grafx] Spade. Check. Bucket. Check.

    [Gettingthere] I guess the toys are the only thing that can be trimmed.

    [Ranjit] I think a prank seems like the most logical explanation

    [Anil] Thanks :)

  11. No, you can't (travel light with a baby.) As he gets a little older, it will be easier. When I went to visit my mother in Arkansas when Jude was nine months old, I did not too bad, but that's because she borrowed a playpen for him to sleep in a bought a carseat so I wouldn't have to bring ours!

    Have fun in Goa. Some of my best--and worst--memories are there. Jason and I really want to go back, now that we are actually married to each other--maybe for our "second honeymoon."

  12. @visitor- comments are most welcome!

  13. strange indeed! and methinks someone is pulling a fast one on you :)

    Regarding the travel with baby, can never travel light with a baby. like i was telling a friend of mine in goa (who commented that our hotel room looked like a home), when you travel with a baby you carry half your world with you. You have to take the clothes (my baby goes through minimum 3 clothes changes in a day), her favourite toys "familiars" or "lovies" as some baby sites call them, her books...(tara has a winding down ritual with certain books read to her in a certain order), her food, milk bottles etc etc. Gosh! maybe I'm the one who needs tips on travelling light :)

  14. Gosh! That much for the Indian postal system! But I haven't heard of anything like this till date! God knows how it got there!

    :) 41 items for Ayaan!!!

  15. I see conspiracy smacked all over it! Firstly, mallus don't call their moms 'mom' - they called them 'Amma or Ammey'. Secondly, no desi origin person would write such a short letter in a snail - it should contain letters from each person to all members of family in Kottayam - so it can't be that they sent such a short piece of paper. Now, it's time to investigate who played this prank on you!

    Have fun in Goa - tell Jai to wake in time for the Mandovi river sunrise ;). Have fun and don't think about this letter.

  16. hope you guys enjoyed your goa holiday. am chuckling away of thinking how neatness-tidiness-cleanliness freak mother is going to handle brat playing in sand ALL DAY.

    hello aqua, how was KANK ? am waiting for all the brave souls who saw it furrst day-furrst show to report back to me. was it very soppy ? was there loads of crying ? good music ? dances ? though even if you say it was terrible, i may just watch it bcoz abhishek bacchan stars in it.

  17. hope you guys enjoyed your goa holiday. am chuckling away of thinking how neatness-tidiness-cleanliness freak mother is going to handle brat playing in sand ALL DAY.

    hello aqua, how was KANK ? am waiting for all the brave souls who saw it furrst day-furrst show to report back to me. was it very soppy ? was there loads of crying ? good music ? dances ? though even if you say it was terrible, i may just watch it bcoz abhishek bacchan stars in it.

  18. I don't have much of a clue about the envelope but for that person is getting married, maybe you would like to see a review of the latest movie- Kabhi alvida na kehna. Osho ka kya hai kehna

  19. Did you find out who sent you the letter??
    I sincerely hope you aren't going to Goa by plane cos then you'll prolly have to leave everything behind!!
    Thanks for coming by my blog!I've finally figured out how to view comments in my blog!

  20. Hey Entropy - we are watching KANK tomorrow afternoon (sunday)...dreading the almost 4 hr long drama...some ppl have said it's insufferably long...but we are still forging ahead now that we have already paid for the tickets :)

  21. [Talena] I am sipping a margharita as I write this after putting Ayaan to bed. You can be sure I am enjoying myself. And yes, Goa is good honeymoon material - first or second.

    [Aqua] Ayaan's 'lovie' is Noddy. He goes "Hello, my name is Noddy" when you press his tummy. Sometimes that is the last thing we hear on the baby monitor in the night...

    [Pearl] To add to that, most of the items on the list are things like 'clothes' and 'diapers' which are in multiples.

    [Prashant} The day Jai gets up for any sunrise, the sun won't rise!

    [Zen] I don't let my cleanliness fetish get in the way of Ayaan's exploring. In fact, these days I let him jump in the puddles in the park and I get very dirty looks from other moms.

    [Inquisitive Akka] Well, I am here and I did come by plane. It wasn't so bad since we checked in everything except the diaper bag. They did look suspiciouisly at Ayaan's water bottle but they let it pass.

  22. They looked suspiciously at his water bottle?!!

    Oh, I am almost green right now, I am so envious of the fact that you are in Goa. Are you near a beach? Are you sipping margaritas with the sun going down over the waves, while the music plays over the restaurant/hotel loudspeakers and the wind plays in your hair? I wish I could remember the name of the town we stayed in--I'll have to ask Jason tomorrow.

    Ooo. Green, I tell ya. Just like a pickle. I mean, um, a wood sprite. (That just sounds more appealing than a pickle.)

  23. Just read both this post and the one about divisions of labour. First the letter addressed to you though not for you - random joke maybe?!

    Second, divisions of labour - for all women they all seem to include some nagging of the husband/ partner! And yes it is always an unequal labour with women doing the higher amount of quantitative/qualitative and essential things that make the cogs of a household turn smoothly. Reading a list like that must make you feel like a star!!!!

  24. haha..well its seems like a case of mistaken identity...maybe someone got the address wrong....
    hey firstly can u tell me if its possible to travel light even without a baby!:-)

  25. Entropy - watched KANK and liked it. not as bad as the reviews made it out to be :)

  26. woman!Travelling light!!!!!!!!
    Even for a two day travel they need to have matching sandals with every dress!

  27. The only way for parents to travel light is to leave the kid home ;)

    I guess as the kid grows older, we don't have to pack as much stuff. But I think we can never travel as light as we used to travel before.

  28. Maybe someone thought, like Calvin, they'd "try to make everyone's day a little more surreal"

  29. Traveling with a baby... Yikes. Most babies require no less than three carry on bags. You're gonna have to suit up like RAMBO, bottles in magazines, binki's like throwing stars, and shiny rattling things in every pocket

  30. actually rohini you know a few of us from blog world who are from Kottayam:)

  31. [Talena] Actually the margarita was had in the hotel room listening to Ayaan sleep over the baby monitor. And I have a post coming up on the Goa trip that will surely make you feel less green.

    [30in2005] Actually, I do feel a bit like a star. The day Jai actually takes my word for it and starts doing his fair share, I might not like it!

    [Ekta] I was never a light traveller but travelling with a baby has just made the amount of luggage I carry through the roof.

    [Anand] Try adding a baby to that mix! I actually carried far less stuff for myself than I usually would to make place for Ayaan’s stuff.

    [Perspective Inc] Isn’t it?

    [Twisted DNA] I think it will get better when he can sleep in a normal bed, eat hotel food and doesn’t need diapers any more.

    [Jim] They sure succeeded.

    [Frida] You forgot the extra diapers, a change of clothes and wipes!

    [Suemamma] Was it you? ;)

  32. Hey Rohini,

    Dont give up with the pool thing cos ayaan fell ill the first time - it may not even be cos of the pool - it could have been the whole journey itself.

    Karan also loves the pool so much that even if he did fall ill once or twice, i would still take him whenever I get a chance. BTW, i also let him have a bath in the rain a few weeks ago, and luckily nothing happened.....and he truly truly had a blast. he couldn't believe that he was actually being allowed to do this!

    But I do know what you mean about "holidays" with little babies. they really drain the poor child, specially short holidays....but somehow robi and i have decided that we will still do the occasional trips here and there, so as not to completely postpone our lives till K grows up and also cos he actually does have fun on these trips (up until he falls ill ofcourse.)

    also another tip when you travel. dont carry too many toys, cept one or two for the flight, and even then a book may be a better idea - unles ayaan is particularly attached to some toy. we used to initially carry several toys, but reduced it more and more (and carried none at all the last time around) cos we realised that K was so much more interested in everything else and did not want to see his boring old toys (which he anyway gets to see at home).