The One with the Taxi: Karan’s Big Adventure Part 4

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Once we had to go to Madhavi’s (Rajiv’s sister) place by cab since the car wasnt available. So we we left our house and went downstairs to get a cab. Luckily, there’s always a long line of Fiat taxis – the black and yellow ones – just below our house. We, ie myself, Karan and Rajiv, hailed a cab.

The thing with these taxis is that the doors don’t open all the way. I told Karan to get into the taxi, but he refused. He kept staring at the taxi for a while. Then he put his head in and looked at the seat and then he came out again. It was quite comical. Then he stood there looking at me with a frown on his face. Rajiv kept telling him, “Go inside” but he refused and kept doing the same thing around 3-4 times.

Then he slowly put one leg in and then brought it back out. Finally I got into the taxi and told him to come in. I said, “Come in, see Mummy is also sitting here”. Still he refused. Then I showed him his koosh ball (which he likes)…and he finally got into the taxi. Then Rajiv sat in the front passenger seat.

Karan was staring at the taxi driver. The taxi driver was, in turn, staring at us wondering what was going on, wondering why such a grown-up looking boy wasn’t getting into the taxi. Karan was constantly making the sounds “AAH! AAH! AAAH!” and held on to my hand tightly, with a look that felt as though he was wondering where his mother was taking him.¬†When the taxi reached its destination, Rajiv opened the door and Karan couldn’t get out of the taxi fast enough.

We didn’t sit in a taxi again.

Clearly my son was born in a 4WD (he’s recently been refusing to get into any other kind of car, and if he does, with some hesitation).

Backtrack to: The One with the Flight (Part 1), The One Where Karan Goes to a Dentist and Pets a Dog (Part 2) and The One with the Road Trip (Part 3).

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The One with the Road Trip: Karan’s Big Adventure Part 3

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Note: If you haven’t already, read The One with the Flight (Part 1) and The One where Karan Goes to a Dentist and Pets a Dog (Part 2)

My husband, Rajiv, had to go to Pune for some work and he suggested that we go along with him. It was to be a day trip. We would go in the morning and come back by evening. Pune (it used to be called Poona earlier) is about four hours by road from Mumbai because of the new express highway which links the two cities. It used to take much longer earlier. Of course this highway has been there for quite a many years but is new to me as I have not been to India for the past eight years.

Anyway, we left early in the morning at 7.30am with Madhavi (Rajiv’s sister), at the wheel. Rajiv was sitting in front and Karan and myself at the back in the car. Karan is used to sitting in a car for long periods as he commutes daily to school in Sharjah from our house in Dubai. So he was very happy, looking out of the window taking in all the scenery. There was a little traffic on the way but not too much and once we were out of Mumbai, it was smooth sailing. We stopped on the way at a McDonalds outlet and Rajiv took Karan to the toilet. Then a little ahead we stopped again at a rest stop (in a small town called Khopoli, i think) and had breakfast. Karan did not want to eat anything there…He had already had his breakfast before leaving home. He ate a few of the biscuits he likes later in the car.

We reached Pune by 12pm and Rajiv met the person he was to meet and finished his work. Again, as Karan needed to go to the toilet we went to the Poona Club where he would be comfortable. Then we went to my cousin sister Padma’s place as she had invited us for lunch. Karan enjoyed himself there as he got to lie down on the sofa in peace (one of his favourite activities…hahaha) and he got his favourite chicken biryani for lunch. Later he had mangoes for dessert. So he was in a very good mood.

We left Pune around 4.30pm after a really great lunch and tea and having a really good time with Padma, chatting about so many things. Karan also was fine on the way but a little whining had started. So I made him listen to his favourite songs on my phone and he calmed down. The whole journey was uneventful but once we entered Mumbai, the traffic jams started. Due to the traffic jam and the incessant honking of the cars, Karan started getting upset and started crying. We had to stop on the way at a hotel so that he could be taken to the toilet. He seemed to feel a little better after that but as he was still whining, the music had to be played again so that he calmed down. We reached home finally at about 9pm after which he had his dinner. Karan went off to sleep very quickly as he was exhausted after his trip.

All in all, it was a very good experience for Karan and he sailed through with flying colours

Karan’s big adventure – part 2

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Karan has an extra tooth which has come up on his palate next to a molar on the right side. An appointment had already been taken with the dentist, who happens to be my husband Rajiv’s cousin, for the day after we arrived.We arrived at the clinic in time and were made to sit in the waiting room. Karan was very quiet and kept looking around fearfully as I guess he could sense we were at a doctors clinic. It always smells different in a clinic and he always seems to know when we’re at a hospital or clinic.

Finally, we were ushered in. One look at the chair and he refused to sit on it. There was no whining though. He shook hands with his uncle ,the dentist, and gave him a big smile. He opened his mouth slowly after being coaxed a few times, all the while standing and holding one of my hands tightly. This had to be done a few times but Karan did it without whining. This was a great relief. Anyway, the doctor said that as the extra tooth was not hurting him in any way there was no need to remove it .There were no other problems like cavities so no cause for worry. Only his teeth are too sharp so as a preventive measure they should be rounded or blunted. This will have to be done in the next few days under anaesthesia.

Rajiv’s cousin sister Kaajal who lives in the US has also come down to Mumbai with her husband and two kids. They came over to meet us at our home. Karan just waved at them when told to look and say hi and went and sat on the sofa playing with his ball.That evening all of us went over to Rajiv’s sister Madhavi’s home for dinner. She has a dog, a beagle, called Toto. When Karan heard him barking he was a little taken aback and kept staring at him. Toto started jumping and licking my hand while I petted him. Karan had gone and sat on the sofa and suddenly Toto jumped on him and started licking his face. All of us kept looking at Karan anxiously but there was no need for concern. Karan was laughing loudly and letting Toto lick him. Then he started petting him, pulling his ears and touching his tail, putting his hand in Toto’s mouth, clearly unafraid. And Toto was letting him do this without growling. It was quite amazing. And then Toto just sits next to Karan at times and Karan just touches his back and at times they both ignore each other. But Karan is not afraid of Toto and neither is Toto afraid of Karan. It is really amazing how animals understand children like Karan.

Karan’s big adventure – Part 1

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Both Karan and I have not been out of Dubai for the past eight years. Sometimes because I did not want to go and sometimes because there was no one to travel with me as I felt it was a bit difficult travelling with Karan alone. Most of the time our relatives would come to Dubai to meet us. This year we finally decided to go to Mumbai for the Christmas and New Year holidays as my husband Rajiv was there with us. I had been talking to Karan about the trip for many days so as to get him prepared for it. I dont know if it registered in his mind as there was no response from him but I like to think that it did.

The day finally dawned and we left for the airport. He was very calm and walked through all the checks and we were finally sitting in the business class lounge. He refused to eat anything there and as the time to departure came closer, Rajiv took him to the toilet. It is impossible for me to take Karan to the ladies toilet now as he towers over me. He is 172 cms tall and I am just 155 cms. And he cannot be sent to the toilet alone so I have to have a male presence with me. Anyway, the departure gate for our flight was very far from the lounge and when we mentioned that Karan was autistic and might get upset because of the crowd and the long walk, the Emirates airline ground staff arranged a buggy to drive us there. This was really excellent but Karan refused to get into the buggy. When we tried to push him in he started jumping up and down and screaming at the top of his voice. We got many stares by the people around us: some amazed, some compassionate and some disgusted….something I am very used to. It does not bother me anymore. Finally, I got into the buggy and held out his favourite koosh ball and after hesitating a few times he got in and then Rajiv got in after him so that Karan could not jump out again. Karan was ok after that and we finally boarded the flight.

Karan was very good throughout the flight. He sat between Rajiv and me and kept playing with his ball. Only while taking off and landing, he held my hand tightly as the noise was deafening and I guess he was frightened as he had his scared-deer look on his face. I had made sandwiches for him incase he would not eat anything on the flight but the main course for lunch was his favourite tandoori grilled chicken. So he enjoyed eating that and did not want to eat the sandwiches. But he refused to enter the toilet on the plane. I guess this was because it was too tiny and looked different from what he is used to. He went to the toilet only after we landed at Mumbai airport.

However by this time he was very exhausted and the noise of the people around him had started to irritate him and he started his whining and crying.We did not have to wait a long time for the luggage which came quickly. The customs officer took one look at Karan crying and stomping his feet and just waved us through which was a blessing. Karan calmed down once we were sitting in the car on our way home with his favourite songs playing on my phone.

All in all, the journey was quite good but i dont know how he will be able to cope if the flight is a longer one. Anyway, this was a good start and I hope it will get better and better.

Devina: I’m quite excited that Karan is on this trip…I think it shows how much he’s progressed over the years. I don’t think he would’ve handled it this well a few years ago. I’m so proud of you Karan!!!