KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
It was pretty clear to us that when the family would congregate in Delhi to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Anil’s older brother and his wife, we would have to look for somewhere to stay instead of staying with Ajay as we had almost always done in the past. We had invited my sister and her husband to join us for their first ever trip to India and our daughter Adia and her husband were coming from Canada as well.
Of course we had thought of possible places we could stay, but we never could have anticipated that we would be making an unplanned trip to India in November 2019 while we were travelling in the Balkans, visiting three different countries that once were part of the former Yugoslavia. Abandoned our plans and left Croatia to fly to be with Ajay and his children in Delhi, and to participate in one of the final religious rites for his beloved wife, Neeta.
During the week that we were in India at that time, we discussed plans for the coming celebrations in Feb 2020 and it was clear that it would be best if we could find a suitable AirBnB apartment for the four of us to stay in for the twelve days we planned to be in the capital. Our daughter and her husband could stay with Ajay’s son and his wife at their apartment located a short walk away. We knew the four ‘youngsters’ would get on well together without any ‘boomers’ on the premises.
When I put the dates and filters into the AirBnB website there weren’t many options for us within a reasonable distance from Ajay’s apartment. However, I was immediately taken with a beautiful home about a half hour away, in an upscale residential neighbourhood on the border of Delhi’s ‘Union Territory’ and the State of Harayana. We would have the whole top floor of a sprawling three-story home, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two large terraces and breakfast included. The price was very affordable and we would be sharing the cost with my sister and her husband.
Ajay was really reluctant to see us make a commitment without meeting the hosts or seeing the property in advance, but we assured him that this was always the case with booking AirBnB apartments and we had rarely been disappointed. Besides, the cancellation policy was very agreeable so we went ahead and booked the property for twelve nights. I sent a note to the owners explaining why we were in India and made it clear that at times we would like to have other family members visit us on the premises. They were fine with our request, and we laughed when we learned that the owner’s name was also Ajay, and that he had retired after holding a senior position with Delhi’s police force.
We moved into the apartment on Dec 7th before Donna and Duncan arrived from Goa, and then we headed to the airport in an Uber to meet them and start our time in India together. Our plans were to visit the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan together and then spend a couple of weeks in Nepal before they left for Canada and we flew to a warm spot near the Mediterranean to wile away the month of April.
The apartment was fabulous and our hosts warm and accommodating. The food was delicious and we were able to order lunch or dinner for an additional cost without having to provide much notice. We planned to be with our family for most of our meals besides breakfast, but it was comforting to know that we could eat in if need be.