So that answers your questions – no, we didn’t make it to Leh.
And, next time I set out to do something against my better judgement, please somebody, do me a favour and shoot me.
I’m not a great fan of sleepless nights, and two on the trot, dragging two frisky girls around (who, by the way, don’t seem to mind being sleep-deprived) is not my idea of a vacation. So when the second long and tiring sleepless night and the interminable wait at the airport for the flight to Leh ended in a cancellation, I was ready to call it quits. Unfortunately, Amit’s dad was quite keen to try the next day and even the day after that, and the very thought of two more sleepless nights and possibly cancelled flights had me wailing in despair. Luckily, late on Saturday afternoon, I was put out of my misery: all flights to Leh on Sunday and Monday were booked out, and no additional flight was planned to compensate for the ones cancelled on Saturday, so that meant no more early morning stake-outs at the airport.
The bad news was that it meant we no longer had a holiday plan. We should have spent a comfortable week lounging around at parental homes in Delhi and Chandigarh. What we got instead was: Saturday and Sunday nights in Delhi; Monday and Tuesday nights in Chandigarh; Wednesday and Thursday nights in Kasauli; Friday night in Chandigarh; Saturday night in Delhi; and on Sunday half a night in Delhi, the rest of it spent getting to the airport in time for a 4.15 a.m. flight back home.
Apart from the long stint at the airport for the cancelled Leh trip, the kids endured two long flights, two long train journeys, and two not-so-long car drives, apart from the usual commutes to and from airports, train stations, and other people’s houses. Does that sound like a hectic trip? Believe me, it was!
The twins held up through most of it. Despite so many changes of places and faces, they were almost exclusively smiling, cheerful and relatively social. Until Friday. On the drive down from Kasauli to Chandigarh, they both threw up. Several times. (Each.) We put it down to motion sickness – it was a hilly road at that point; but that evening and night the vomiting recurred and by Saturday morning they were seriously down and out. How we all got through Saturday and Sunday, doesn’t bear thinking about. Amit and I were completely worn out from lack of sleep, worry, and general parenting duties. The girls soon developed moderately high fever and liquid stool to go along. When one was looking slightly chirpy, the other was looking completely washed out; when one was eating, the other was sleeping; when one had fever, the other had just puked, and so on.
Add to that a gala lunchtime party thrown by Amit’s dad to introduce all his friends and family to his granddaughters… Luckily, the girls slept through the worst of it.
Today’s been a tough day as well, though. Catching a red-eye flight is nothing to get excited about, but in these circumstances it’s worse than usual. And, with kids, once you get back home (not that that’s an easy job with the new airport being 45 km away, as opposed to the old one which was a mere 8 km away), you’ve got to be on the ball right away cleaning up the house, shopping for groceries, getting meals ready, unpacking, doing laundry… In the good ol’ days, we’d have just ordered Dominos pizzas and watched TV.