Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Sunday sojourns to ICH -The lessons we have learnt

For the ignorant, ICH stands for Indian coffee house. Started by the coffee board of India, it is a chain of restaurants, spread across India. Much before the advent of Baristas and Café coffee Days’, people would sit over a cup of coffee here. My husband is in a transferable job. After we moved to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, (central India) we rediscovered ICH. ICH is a no frills place, but for the frilled turbans of the waiters who are dressed in white uniforms. Sometimes the waiter takes his own sweet time to present the bill and so we just walk up to the counter and pay the bill. It is generally bustling on Sunday afternoons with the holiday crowd, but we manage a table for ourselves. My son relishes his two plates of Sāmbhar vada and washes it down with a glass of strawberry tea from café coffee day, a one km drive from ICH. ICH has been a blessing to us in many ways. He continues with his GFCF diet, he has a place to eat out. Since the ambience isn’t too classy or formal he gets away with an occasional scream without drawing undue attention. Since we are regulars now, the waiter also knows our order. The food is good. There is a park nearby where my son picks up a packet of chips at the entrance, enjoys the slides. The park has a toy train which both my children enjoy. Sometimes life throws up surprises in the most unexpected ways. These are the pleasures of being in a small city. Life moves at a leisurely place .We are not caught in traffic jams; we don’t have to refuse him a pizza, as there are no pizza outlets here. Everything is available in a 2-3 km radius. To be very frank, GFCF has been made possible to a large extent primarily because of our stay in Jabalpur. This is one such example,if I may say, as parents of an autistic child we get to explore and discover possibilities,within the given constraints.It makes our families stronger to face the daunting challenge of autism. In the normal course of events, we would not have cared for ICH. And also a 5 star dining experience may not have given us the joy we get when he devours his vada. With our hero, we greatly appreciate the simple joys of everyday living immensely. There was a time when he would not sleep at nights and so today we appreciate the worth of a good night’s sleep. I am sure families with disabled children will have such similar experiences to share. Never ever stop trying.

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