Most Bangloreans with kids might have heard of this place called Claytopia.Its a small Bistro in Indiranagar, with some fun things to do for the kids. I'd been wanting to take Aditi there so she can enjoy some painting in a good ambience. I had expected the two hours we wanted to spend there to turn out to be fun and memorable. It was. And How!
The Good Friday holiday was the day I chose to drive Aditi to Claytopia. We started at about 3 in the afternoon, reached the place in less than 20 minutes as it is not very far from where I stay. I'd briefed her the day before on what she can do there and piqued her interest. She would ask every five minutes if we were already there. She asked if we can get the painted stuff back home and show it to grand parents. Well, because these guys take about 10 days to get your item glazed and ready, I told her, we'll take pictures and share it with them. This was my first time inside the place too. We'd passed by like millions of times, but on different errands/ times/ en route to something else....and promise ourselves that we will explore it the next time around. Anyway, secretly I'd wanted a day out alone with Aditi (because Advait is anyway taking a lot of my time these days) so she'd feel a little special and all that. Coincidentally, Sri was travelling to Mysore for work and it was just Aditi and me. On hindsight I feel Sri and I should go there (just us) so we can have good fun painting....I am the non-painter or non-artist at home, but I think this place has the charm that's gotten to me and I could get creative too!!
I digress. So we got there, I showed myself and Aditi the place around, asked Aditi what she'd like to paint. She settled for a salad plate, which she wants to hang on our wall once its glazed (like the many she saw there). I would've liked to paint the butterfly there, but this time around, I settled for watching Aditi have all the fun. Once we settled on the thing to paint, Aditi was given a choice of 4 colours, stencils of basic shapes, water in a bowl, brushes and some basic dos and don'ts. She wanted to make a plate of stars, after one star, she wanted a heart, then an apple, then some circles here and there. She then wanted to make the plate a Barbie plate. She stopped drawing on the plate and decided she wanted to paint them already. I decided she will have her way...whatever the outcome. She used some light and dark green, yellow, pink and some leftover purple from someone else's table. The lady there, Clementina, was very helpful too. I was only worried if the plate would glaze well....whether it will not bubble up (as more than 2 coats of paint could). She ensured she will try her best...we still have a week more to go before we collect it.
All well so far..so where's the adventure, you may ask. Right here baby! By the time she'd done painting, it had started raining. We decided we'll have a quick bite and I ordered a sandwich, fries and something to drink. By the time we polished them off our plates, it'd started pouring badly. I paid the bills, one for food and another for the plate glazing. We waited by the door for the rain to stop and it showed no signs of doing just that. My car (good old Maruti 800) was parked slightly down the road. Clementina said she'll help us get to the car and took two umbrellas, gave us one (I carried Aditi on my hip) and ran to the car. Water almost half covered the already low car. Because the road was low lying, water was gushing down in such a force, it was tough to even open doors and get in. I pushed Aditi in to the passenger side, asked her to get to the back seat and got in from the passenger side too. I drove upstream and reached an area which was slightly better, but couldnt see a thing as they were sheets of rain. Somehow managed to get to the road which was a junction (a very low lying one) between Indiranagar and Jeevan Bheema Nagar (slightly up). People had all parked their cars on the roadside and were looking at me like I was a mad woman. And I really was, because I somehow sensed if I missed this opportunity to get home now, I might be stranded with my daughter, and away from my son who has never stayed away from me in all the 13 months!
Aditi decided to call upon gods to help us, then cartoons Chhota Bheem, Ben 10 and even Hanuman came by and went. It was a brief 5-10 minutes, but seemed the longest when we (the M-800) waded in the water between the low lying and higher road junction. I thought I will not be able to make it. But we did.....I called Sri then to tell him we were almost safe. He gave me some tips to stay afloat during these times, to mitigate damage to the vehicle also. He chided I didnt take our other car, which could've handled this well. I hadnt known then, did I? We faced a similar, but not so grave situation near BEML....but I was braver, because we had just seen worse. The car struggled a bit, but I just pushed it to get us out of there..and it did. Safely home a while later I couldnt thank all gods known and unknown for bringing me back to my love safely. Only when I read papers the next morning did I realise, that I could've really put ourselves in grave danger had I delayed my decision to come home even a wee bit longer.
When we were leaving for Claytopia in the afternoon, Aditi asked me 'Amma, isn't our car a brave car?' I'd then mentioned 'No baby, cars cannot be brave'. Now, I think our car is a brave car!!