Holidays. If they had a way to express, ‘spare me’, would it be.
A sparing dose of holidays was enough to kick start the rest of the working months. After slogging it out; waiting for the next fresh batch of holiday, was a natural progression of deprived corporate and state slaves. Packing off clothes for weeks of stay at the native place. Then packing another smaller duffle bag for a weekend stay at another relative’s place. That’s how holidays started and ended. Chugging through the length and breadth of India.
If, back then holidays were ice creams, then they were vanilla flavoured.
Now, I eat ice creams flavoured with all edible toppings, fillings and sprinklers. Low fat ice creams. Vegan ice creams. Green tea ice creams. And much more. I am spoilt by options now.
Current. Holiday departed the relax mode and is meshed in the ‘status update’ or ‘checked in’ mode.
When the big ones comes knocking once in summer and once in winter; more than the jubilation the larger mystery looming in the family – which part of the world do we hit? Or who will plan it?
Of course not the hill stations of yester years. The ones which were honeymooned even by our grandparents. Urbanisation spread its tentacles to the once popular Bollywood film shooting stations. Unless Discovery channel or the urban nomad finds a virgin corner under the canopy of deodhars in the hills of north India or under the fronds of the coconut trees in the south, we are not jaunting around these places. Until then. Europe. Middle East. Southeast Asia. And the intrinsic USA. It be.
So, while the desi tourist is posing ‘swatch videsh’ at an exotic location…somebody back home is spying on you with envious eyes. Eyes that pierce through the ‘check-ins’ on Facebook posts. Ghostly skimming through those locales and you. Raking their brains – how does she do that? A perfect work-life trapeze artist at work.
While on that side of the fence, the desi tourist from India sits silently on curiosity. Checking and rechecking. Against the serene pastures of Scotland. In the vineyards of France. On the bench at the Chappel. By the Atlantic ocean. Or may be over the Mediterranean, in a luxury suite. The number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ for the truckload of pictures uploaded on Facebook. Or on the other social media hangouts. Those pictures are all over the place. Giving some peers sleepless nights and creepy others an easy feeder on their personal lives.
Frequent changing of DP’s (display pictures) is akin to picture talking. Even if the traveller doesn’t divulge about the details of his summer holidays, the picture says all about his destinations of vacationing. Ah! So the lady chooses a pose against the Acropolis for her DP. So they were in Greece for summer holidays. Ostentatious in mild dosage.
Planning a vacation has become an after office activity. Like the after school tuitions, to improve academic score. Taking family to any exotic location and planning so, much in time is an additional task. Striking the right group discounts or early bird discounts are availed by the most planned family. And if one is getting those discounts, then why not?
Or, there can be an utterly impromptu holidaying scenario. Just pick up the car. Drive where the road takes you. Don’t expect any scheduled arrivals or welcome drinks. This is the next thing trending. Holiday like a nomad. Not just a trend setter, but also free rein from spending hours on browsing through various travel portals.
Elite set of parents, who send their kids to IB ( International Baccalaurete) schools; have another advantage. They have the privilege of buying holidays at an ‘off-season discount’. When the quotidian’s are lugging their bags to school, the rich kid is saving on his father’s holiday splash; amongst his many wads of notes; as though the father really cared.
Mind it. I am not even going any closer to the pressure of packing strollers for the family, last minute purchases and the many pre and post holiday de-tanning visits to the spa. Well, also omitting the planning for short weekend getaways!
Business of holidaying. Who had thought that this could be another checklist on the fluttering paper, held by the magnet of Leaning Tower of Pisa; memorabilia from the last summer holidays to Paris. Refrigerators are an extention of lifestyle; not just by the technologies and brands but also by displaying the destination magnets collected from places far and near.