Kala Ghoda Arts Festival – II

Turns out my second trip to the Festival was much shorter than the first 😦 The one-hour drive from school turned into a 2-hr exercise in patience and restraint, as three humungous weddings in the vicinity led to a massive traffic jam!! How I hate these huge, ostentatious weddings which are all about appearance and not at all about the sanctity of marriage…uuuuugggghhhh 😦

Had time to browse a few shops that I had identified the first time – one being a stall by KEC Games – that deals with traditional games from all over the world done in wood! A great idea and wonderfully executed too! The games are beautifully packaged and contain instructions on handmade paper inside to help with play! They are very reasonably priced for the quality delivered 🙂 It took all my will power to restrict myself from buying everything on display 😛 I settled for some gorgeous Gond Art Puzzles (Gond are a tribe in India known for their intricate paintings), a set of spinning tops, and a cute as a button set of Tic Tac Toe 🙂 Thankfully they are online! Their products will make wonderful gifts for most children I know 🙂 

KEC Games

Another nifty little stall, 61c KIDS, had fabulous stationery and you know how I adore stationery (well, if you didn’t you do now)!! They had packs of Color Me In greeting cards, where kids can color in a printed drawing to give their friends and family! They had wonderful animal-themed magnetic bookmarks, innovative notepads and lots of other stuff that I have to check out online! You should too! I have included the links to both these websites so you can check them out from this page right here.


There were a lot of jewellery shops as well – each teeming with starry-eyed women of all ages 😉 Bags, clothes, linen, pottery, photography – you name it and there it was! There was a potter displaying his skill on the wheel and inviting us spectators to try our hand at it!


And I got to see some more installations…one called ‘Corruptus’ – that featured a horde of immaculately dressed white terracotta figures of politicians saluting a Flag that was a 100-rupee note! We were laughing out loud, it was so on the spot 😛

The Corruptus Republic!
The Corruptus Republic!

Then there was an ancient Ambassador car (remember those?), glittering all over with 1-rupee coins.


A turtle representative of defense strategy for humans…it’s body made of white marble slabs and each turtle limb replaced by organs representing one of the 5 human senses – an eye, an ear, a mouth, a nose, a hand and a foot! Rather a cool concept I thought 🙂


Another interesting installation was a coffin and cell phone combo that highlighted the obvious dangers of talking and driving at the same time!


And at the entrance, a large 3-D Display titled ‘Dhanda’ (Hindi slang for ‘Business’, although used mostly for notorious & seedy businesses associated with the underworld, prostitution, gambling etc.), a word that stands for the seamier side of this city of Dreams.


After a quick, delicious lunch of pasta and mushroom-stuffed brioches, I had to leave. I love the ‘feel’ and ‘energy’ of such an event, which gives us inhabitants a chance to amble along without fear of being run over while soaking ourselves in Art and its interpretation by fellow Mumbaiites! An interesting, enjoyable experience that I highly recommend to one and all and that I will look forward to next year 🙂

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival – I

Every year, a 9-day Festival of the Arts, ‘The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’ is held in Mumbai. Initiated in 1999, it is a celebration of the culture and various Art forms of India, with an aim to involving the community and so helping in their preservation. The historic Kala Ghoda district is the hub of Mumbai’s Art World…lined with Art Galleries, Museums, Libraries, located in heritage buildings dating back to the days of the Raj. 


The Festival is a colorful spectacle of Art installations, street acts, musical concerts, movie screenings, and a myriad of workshops in various fields. The energy is palpable as families wander through the pedestrian zone, cameras at the ready, taking in the sights, catching the latest street acts, grabbing a bite to eat, jostling to shop at the many interesting stalls that line the walk, and studying the many installations that dot the landscape. I have happy memories of wandering here when we were last in Mumbai – it was much smaller then, less crowded although thoroughly enjoyable. Like everything else in this city – it has ballooned in size and scope and attendance so that it is quite difficult to walk around without stepping on anonymous toes and warding off strange elbows with your own, as we found out when we were there last Sunday! Since Ishaan was with us, I was quite paranoid of holding on to his hand, lest the crowd swallow him up!! There were scouts too – they approached us to ask whether we would be interested in Ishaan being a child model and Hubby, much to my annoyance gave them his number!! Not that he has a say in the matter. My decision is quite final and it’s a resounding NO!

We did however soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the street – it’s impossible not to! I took pictures of the various installations – the theme this year seemed to be skulls made out of refuse – which would explain this gigantic model made out of disemboweled computer parts!


A scooter shaped like a fly reminiscent of a recent Bollywood blockbuster titled ‘Makkhi’, (fly in Hindi);


A giant pair of glasses served as a showcase for the normal-sized ones ensconced within;


A shiny copper bicycle encouraging Mumbai denizens towards an environment-friendly lifestyle;


Totem poles made out of recyclable materials and a green map of India strung with fairy lights that lit up when cyclists pedaled hard creating energy!



The boys ate ice-cream and we all enjoyed a 20 min tightrope performance by a troupe of local acrobats! Ishaan was extremely excited but confused by the boy on stilts and utterly in awe of the boy balancing on the rope all to riveting beat of handheld drums! It was his first time watching a show like this and I’m so glad he was able to experience it, even in the 21st century 🙂 It took me back to my childhood, when there were several such troupes wandering around Bombay, usually families, where the children performed all sorts of dare-devilry and acrobatics! ‘Dombari’ they are called in Marathi and their appearance was always exciting if a little scary!

The 'Dombari' displaying their formidable skills!
The ‘Dombari’ displaying their formidable skills!

With the boys in tow, I didn’t get to shop or even browse, but I’m going back with a friend, during school hours tomorrow, to do exactly that! There are always a couple of stalls that are out of the ordinary 🙂

Wish me Luck 😀

Bombay, Bypasses and Burning Questions

This last week has been spent in a tizzy. I left for Bombay last Tuesday to be by aunt’s side, while my uncle went through a quadruple bypass surgery. Even as I type out the reality, it feels dreamlike. Perhaps it’s my consciousness trying to soften the harshness and the suddenness of events.

My uncle, being  a long-standing diabetic and a recent sufferer of Parkinson’s, has always been particular about his health and my aunt’s one-point program has always been to look after him to the best of her abilities. She’s been devoted in that aspect and together they’ve managed to stave off major complications. Perhaps that’s why we were all so shocked when she called us late morning on the 5th of Jan to tell us, they had taken him to hospital with breathlessness. I remember the moment with that peculiar clarity that seems to accompany such moments. Moments when you know that Life as you knew it is about to change and nothing is ever going to be quite the same again. Moments, that cause you to hold your breath and shut your eyes. Moments in which you find yourself praying (if you’re a believer and sometimes even if you’re not), and hoping that what you’re going to hear is not bad news, while your sixth sense is telling you that it is. The proverbial ‘sweaty palm moment’ before you decide on ‘Fight or Flight’. I’ve had my fair share of these and perhaps that’s why I recognized this one instantly and knew what I had to do.

I’m thankful that once I knew what I had to do, circumstances conspired so that I could indeed do it, not always a possibility. I’m referring to Ishaan of course and the fact that I would have to leave him with my Mom and Pushpa, while I travelled to my aunt’s side. My boy is a gem though and he sailed through with flying colors, barely missing me if my Mom is to be believed, and certainly not missing me nearly as much as I missed him! He made up for it though with much hugging and kissing and smiling on my return 🙂 Good boy! But I digress.

The operation lasted approximately four hours, and I am happy to report that they were four relatively tension-free hours because we had such great company. This is when family needs to rise to the occasion and I’m glad & grateful to those that did, couldn’t have done it without them. I can now happily report that the operation was successful and that my uncle’s recovery has been without major hiccups. We’ve been lucky so far and all I wish for now is that our luck should hold and his recovery be completed without further complications. Minor hiccups are unavoidable though…aren’t they always? He’s been a little disoriented and drowsy because of low sodium levels, just like my Dad was after his hip surgery. It’s a very common post-operative imbalance in the elderly and one that you need to watch out for and keep in mind if you have older relatives. But the hospital has provided excellent care (unlike my Dad’s time) and things are getting better.

I spent most of days just being there for my aunt. We got to spend time together especially for the first two days when my uncle was in Intensive Care where no visits are allowed. We spoke like we always do about everything and nothing! And happily we found that we could still laugh together J I was even able to read two books. The Squire, His Knight and His Lady by Gerald Morris and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, both easy, enjoyable reads. I’ve had a lot of time to think too, while sitting around and waiting. So much of time spent in hospitals is about waiting. Waiting for doctors to arrive, for nurses to leave, for tubes to come out, for reports to come in, for tests and results, for evidence of recovery and signs of deterioration, waiting and watching and staying alert to every nuance, every change, imagined and unimagined in the patient’s condition.

I’ve been wondering about several things this past week. How are senior citizens in India expected to manage without any help or support in a medical emergency? It’s not like the Government has any infrastructure in place that will help, nor do I see such a service developing in the near future. India has so many burning issues right now, that the care and need of its older citizens, is hardly a priority. Sadly, I’m talking about this myself only because I am now surrounded by several aging family members, many of whom cannot expect help from family, whether by choice or through misfortune. I do hope though that someone, somewhere, who can do something, will take notice. I would love to be able to help somehow.

The visit also served as a prelude of our move to Bombay this summer, and it’s not a pretty picture. I didn’t expect it to be, but I am saddened by the speed with and the extent to which Bombay had deteriorated since we were last here seven years ago. The city is bursting at its seams and no one seems to care, not the people and certainly not the Government. Traffic is horrendous, hygiene non-existent and corruption rampant. These aren’t new problems, just old ones that seem to have strengthened their strangle-hold on this seamy Metropolis. It makes me sad, as I see Bombay being buried under her own debris. The spirit that all Mumbaikars are so proud of, apparently only surfaces in times of crises, and although I’m thankful for that, I wish it weren’t so.

Which brings me to another burning question…how do I adjust to living in a tiny two-bedroom apartment? More importantly, how does Ishaan, who’s lived his entire life in a sprawling bungalow with its own garden? Will he adjust to playing cricket in the narrow compound? Or will he get bored of the game, coz he’ll have to constantly check his shots to avoid breaking car windshields & apartment windows? How will he adjust to his new school, a large set-up as opposed to his present small family-like environment? That he’ll cry is a given, for how long is what worries me! Oh I know he’ll adjust eventually, we all will, it’s not like we have a choice. But it won’t be easy, and we don’t have to like it…which is what scares me. There is of course the bright side, thank goodness! All the advantages of living in a Metro will automatically be ours…better education, opportunities, healthcare…although sometimes I think that depends on every person’s personal definition of ‘better’. Our apartment although tiny is situated in a quiet lane (in itself a miracle in Bombay), and surrounded by the green tops of the surrounding coconut palms. It is not far from a couple of parks that will have to serve as Ishaan’s playgrounds. And Goa is just a 40 minute plane ride away 🙂 Never thought I would be saying this, but I think I’m going to miss it more than I care to admit 😛

So this has been an eye-opener of a trip. It’s brought me face to face with my own prejudices and fears, but also left me with the knowledge that every crisis can be overcome with the right attitude and approach. It’s not a new lesson, just an old one that has been reinforced and now sits deep & comfortably within my conscience. And I’m a better person for it.

Shor in the City: Bombay Beats

Again, it’s been a long while since I posted…and it’s been even longer since I saw a Bollywood movie! My last was No One Killed Jessica and not much has tempted me since. Last night however saw us at the INOX after ages, for Shor in the City, a movie that has got 4-star reviews from every critic according to my cousin. It’s a movie produced by Ekta Kapoor, former ‘Queen of Soaps’ on the Idiot Box and although her soaps were heavy on the usual drivel…her movies are a different matter. They tend to be anchored in reality, well cast with gritty performances. Shor in the City follows that trend admirably.

It’s a story of small-time crooks and their struggle to keep afloat in this, India’s own Maximum City, with its seamy underbelly, unforgiving, harsh ways and strange, unexpected rewards. As is the trend these days, there are three different narratives woven into the script…one follows an NRI with a mysterious past, back in India to run a small business; the second follows the travails of a cricketer struggling to make it into his State team; and the third unifying thread, follows a trio of small-time crooks that run a ‘business’ in pirated books. The stories are both believable and contemporary…most people who live or have lived in Bombay will identify and recognize them instantly. Kids selling pirated books at traffic signals all over the city; the local goons insinuating their way into the NRI’s life and demanding protection money; a corrupt Cricket selector…familiar & all too prevalent stereotypes in our present day society. The movie is set during the eleven days of the ‘Ganesh (Elephant God) Festival’, that massive, annual event in Mumbai‘s social calendar, when ‘Lord Ganesh’, is worshiped in almost every house in the city and on the eleventh day, duly immersed in the Sea, with much pomp, ceremony and prayers for future prosperity. It’s a spectacularly noisy day even by the standards of this constantly, insistently, noisy city. No wonder the film is titled as it is…’Shor’ (pronounced like ‘shore’, means noise) in the City!

I like the symbolism inherent in the title and the use of noise in the movie. It serves as a cover for the undercurrents of desperation, frustration and angst that exercise a stranglehold on most of the people who struggle to pursue their dreams here. It’s an avenue through which they let off steam, celebrate and defy their circumstances and fragile existence. It’s the beat of Life in this ruthless city, where standing still is a cardinal sin – unheard of and unacceptable. It drowns out the silence that allows, even encourages us to think, analyse, consider and just be human. It makes us capable of things we never imagined ourselves doing, and allows us to rationalize our craziness in novel ways. It is a beast unto itself, this Noise, and while for many it is the Music of Life, for others, it is the sound of Doom and a harbinger of death.

The performances are uniformly good. Sendhil Ramamurthy sizzles in the role of the rather mysterious NRI, unafraid to face his demons head on in an alien environment and ultimately do what it takes to survive. I have liked him since LOST and this movie showcases his considerable sex-appeal and acting skills admirably! Tusshar Kapoor surprised me yet again with his dramatics. The last time I was impressed with him was in the cop drama Khakee, where he managed to hold his own in an ensemble cast that included Mr. Bacchan. He plays the conflicted small-time crook with gumption & gentle humor, helping his friends out of loyalty, while reading The Alchemist and pondering the meaning of his Life and the direction it’s headed! He’s the crook with heart and even in his pirated book trade, he sticks to his principles! Another actor who stood out, not only coz of his real and screen names (Pitobash & Mandku respectively!), but also for his acting chops is Mandku, the unpredictable, excitable member of the trio with a passionate love for guns, girls and bombs. He portrays the funny, edgy, scarily unpredictable character of Mandku with ease and panache, reveling in his little idiosyncrasies and hilarious monologues. Well done! The conflicted cricketer, sensitively played by newcomer Sundeep Kishan, is another character sure to tug at your heart-strings, as he deals with the threat of losing his sweetheart and the pressures of getting selected for his State team. The tug-of-war between his desperation, that drives him to consider crime as the solution to his troubles, and his inherent integrity that makes such a notion unthinkable, is handled well, without much fuss. The artistes who play the local goons are exemplary! Appropriately seedy and scary in a very real sort of way. The ladies in the movie have no great role to play, but what they have to do, they do well. Once again as in most of Ekta Kapoor’s movies, the City itself plays a lead part. The seamier side of Bombay, is portrayed effectively and true-to-life here. There are no exaggerations, no excessive dramatizations, just Bombay as it is on a daily basis – chaotic, vibrant, noisy! At once exasperating and appealing, City of Dreams & Doom. That’s the thing I most liked about the movie…it keeps things direct, simple and to the point while telling three interesting tales. No mean feat that!

Having said that, I must confess that it took some getting used to. I started to get the feel of the movie and was wholly sucked into the lives of it’s characters only towards the latter part of the first half. The second half though was right on the spot. Pacy, whacky and interesting. The music is good and perhaps in keeping with the title, rather loud at times, but it belongs. At one instance in the movie, a local gang leader vocalizes a well-worn thought…”The noise in this City, doesn’t allow people to hear their thoughts”, he says, “What on earth will happen to this country?”. My sentiments exactly! All in all, a good movie and one that’s more than worth your ticket-fare and the noise! Watch it!

Happy Monday, People 😀


I wrote this after the 26/11 attacks by terrorists on the iconic Taj Hotel in Bombay in 2008, India’s own 9/11 😦

I will never forget waking up to the news of the attacks on the morning of my Birthday on 27/11 – what a beginning to my Fortieth!! Just as I was reaching a milestone, my city was reeling under the onslaught of terrorists with their wanton violence. The attack felt almost personal this time, coz the Taj was a place my family and I frequented often for meals and special occasions. Anyone of us could have been there on the given day and one of cousins, with whom I share a Birthday, very nearly was! It just put everything in frightful perspective. I did celebrate my Birthday and looking back, I think the only reason I could was because my friends made the day super special for me 🙂 and because distance allowed. We were still in Singapore then and I could switch off the TV and pretend at least for a few hours that all was well with the world. But it wasn’t and as the tragedy stretched on I was left wondering what the World was coming to. Why do events like 9/11 and 26/11, happen over and over again? Is it because we, as responsible citizens, let them – with our narrow vision of the World, our reluctance to get over our prejudices, our unwillingness to compromise and our penchant for talking without listening? Is it the often senseless foreign policy of our countries that is mostly (certainly in India), vote-driven and not solution-oriented? It’s all of that and more, I know. I just wonder when we humans are finally going to get it right.

The reason I thought to re-post this, was because with all that ‘s happening in Japan, surely we must see that in the disaster-department’ we are not a patch on Mother Nature. She can do what we can only dream off, on a humongous scale, in the bat of an eyelid, with no warning, no pointless posturing and no mercy. The only thing that then remains is for us battered humans to pick up the pieces, the ruptured threads of our lives and try our best to move on. To somehow find Hope amidst ruin and salvage what’s left of our broken spirits. To rise again, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of our existence. What gives me heart is how we manage, repeatedly, to do just that! A year after the horror, the Taj Hotel, opened it’s doors again to visitors from all over the World 🙂 President Obama visited it on his trip to India and paid homage to Her courage and spirit.

And so no matter how cynical I get about the future of the human race, somewhere in a corner of my soul – Hope Floats 🙂


She stands majestic by the sea,

Her brick walls steeped in history,

A century of memories, witnessing all,

Love, Intrigue, Scandals & Balls,

The birthing of Nations, Coronations of Kings,

Anniversaries, Birthdays, Luncheons & things.

Yet after all that She had seen,

Tragedy loomed, grim, unseen.

On a black day in Time ,

When the nightmare began,

Her walls lay shattered,

O cowardly hand of man!

Milky marble burnt to cinders,

Hot coal fires, fatal embers.

Her spirit torn asunder by a billion silent screams,

Blood; Blood everywhere, flowing crimson streams.

Dark those days and darker nights,

No respite, relief in sight.

The nightmare continued – endless, fey,

The sky coloured a morbid grey.

The world watched silent, as it always does,

Doing little, saying much.

Determined she battled for freedom & grace,

Wrenched herself free from Death’s embrace,

Lives surrendered, Innocence lost,

Victory was hers, but alas the cost!

People cheered, forgot their fears,

Visions dimmed by happy tears,

She rose again, phoenix-like,

A beacon of hope from the ashes of Life!

If She can do it, perhaps so can I?

Spread my broken wings and fly,

High above in cloudless sky, spread my broken wings and fly.

– Harsha


Road trip to Mumbai: Omkar to Keshvai

On the 30th of September, we set off on a week-long road trip to Bombay via Pune. Hubby had a day-long training session in Pune and we decided to tag along for a much-needed break. We were on a dual mission – to enjoy ourselves and to drop off my helper Pushpa, who was off for her own holiday with her family after a year apart. I was on my own secret mission, to see if I could manage Ishaan on my own, amongst people who to him were essentially strangers in strange surroundings. It was a test I set myself. A test of patience, creativity and my coping abilities…a test of whether I could look after my boy, on my own, without losing a major chunk of my sanity. I think I passed the test…but I’ll let you decide.

We set off from our home ‘Omkar’ at 9 am, with a fully loaded car and 4 happy people 🙂 Ishaan has been a great traveler so far by which I mean, he slept peacefully on our previous two road trips to Bombay, getting up at meal-times and dozing off again as soon as the car set off  🙂 He was younger then. This time was a little different. He slept, but was awake much longer and every time we left the car for a break he howled his head off ‘coz he didn’t want to get in again! Don’t blame him, it can be awfully cramped in a car-seat on long journeys and he’s old enough now to register protest! Loudly. And I mean LOUDLY! Still, between us, we managed and in general had an interesting journey. We saw a veritable menagerie on the way…herds of cattle & goats, all manner of fowl that streaked across the road in an alarming manner, dogs by their dozen, a few cats, horses, donkeys, bold troops of monkeys and two camels on a road trip of their own!! Ishaan was fascinated by the camels but terrified of them when we stopped to get closer!


Trying for the happy-face while camel munches on 😛


The first pit-stop on our 9 hour-long journey was Amboli, a tiny hill station, in our neighboring state of Maharashtra, discovered by the British (who else?!) and famous for its narrow winding road that hugs the very edge of the Ghats, one largish waterfall, fabulous views, hoards of brazen monkeys, misty mornings and hot & spicy corn on the cob 🙂 Ever since we’ve started taking this route to Bombay, Amboli has become a mandatory stop and we never tire of the views, the roar of the waterfall (especially after a good monsoon like this one) or the monkeys, who snatch bananas from your hand and raid open-windowed cars with characteristic monkey-boldness! They are a favorite of Ishaan’s (I wonder why? ;-)) and he would have been happy to spend the day watching their antics! We took pictures and then it was time to move on. One spot was rather frightening – it was the site of a major landslide this Monsoon season, and although the road had been cleared, the ton of debris still piled to one side and the eroded mountainside on the other were pretty scary. It’s a long way down to the valley!


Happiness @ Amboli 🙂


Next stop, the McDonald’s on NH-4 @ Kolhapur for lunch, again a favorite. It has food that we can rely on and clean loos!! Ishaan of course ate only the French Fries and a spoon of vanilla ice-cream (he’s not into sweet stuff!) and refused even a single bite of our burgers. Tummies sated, we were off again and except for short stops to look at the animals and tea, we didn’t stop again until we got to my aunt’s place on the outskirts of Pune, to a grand welcome I might add 🙂


'Keshvai'...My aunt's dream home 🙂



Red on Green...The Tulsi Vrindavan in my aunt's garden.



Lets play cricket! With my aunt and Pushpa.


Our stay in Pune was wonderful! My aunt’s home, ‘Keshvai’, is cozy and her garden though small is both restful and exuberant, if you get what I mean 🙂 The roses were in full bloom and her Chikoo tree was laden with fruit, although not ripe. Her rustic brick-red Tulsi‘ on the tiny patch of green lawn made a pretty picture and the swing outside the back-door offered a shady, calm chilling-spot. Next door, in her neighbor’s garden, grew a Fig, untended and covered with figs! We plucked them off the tree, from her terrace upstairs and munched happily on their juicy sweetness 🙂 Ishaan took to the house like it had always been his 🙂 wandering around the lower floor, exploring the kitchen and the ‘Puja’ room, where he would ring the silver bell used during worship, playing cricket with my aunt and Pushpa on the patch of lawn! While there, we visited a ‘Shiva‘ temple, in an ashram, close to my aunt’s house. In the compound were giant statues of Shiva, his consort Parvati and their son and my favorite deity, ‘Ganesha‘ with his vehicle the mouse. Ishaan recognized them all and was very excited to see them in such huge avatars!


The 'Lingam' - Shiva's symbol and the way he is worshiped.



Giant-sized avatars visible over the countryside...



And here, a humble stone revered!



Hanuman - The Monkey God!


We also visited the Pune Zoo, where we saw a white tiger, a normal tiger, two leopards, two elephants, a peacock with several peahens and some owls! It’s a large area that includes a lake where they have boating, but as always in India (sadly), poorly maintained and in need of better administration. Still, Ishaan enjoyed the trip and the animals, although most of them were sleeping off the afternoon heat.


Figs! We ate a few of these 🙂



The Lake @ Pune Zoo



A rose in the garden...one of many!


We left Pune on Sunday morning. I was loath to leave, truth be told, both because once in Bombay, Pushpa would finally leave; because I had such a wonderful time catching up with my aunt who is a true ‘kindred spirit’; and because Ishaan had adjusted so well and I was worried whether he would do so again in Bombay.

Our time in Bombay in the next post. Suffice it to say…I needn’t have worried 🙂

p.s. A word on Pune city…not very complimentary I’m afraid. It has the worst and I mean the worst traffic I have ever seen and that’s saying something considering I’m from Goa where the driving is atrocious!! Nobody obeys rules and it’s a free-for-all, with no traffic police in sight! The roads in the Katraj-Kondwa area, where my aunt lives are non-existent and one is jolted from one pothole into another! A crying shame!

Punctuality is NOT a strong point either…the ticketing booth for the car-ride through the Zoo, that was due to re-open after a lunch-break (they haven’t heard of shift-work apparently!!) at 1.30 pm, didn’t open until 1.50 when the girl sauntered in, completely unaffected by the long queues of visitors who had forfeited their lunches and braved the afternoon sun to get tickets!