Tag Archives: vacation

Timeout

14 Jul

A and I decided that a break was in order for the both of us. A lot of our life centres around the breaks we take like, some sort of energy bars that need consuming before we resume on the year’s journey, brimming with demands and things to be done. 

The weather has been absolutely cruel – I’m sure it’s normal for the people who are used to it, unlike I am – and so we decided to rejuvenate our lost energy in the mountains. I’ve obviously been a lot more sceptical what with the fragility of the Himalayan region. But the idea of sinking into pyjamas and sweatshirts, fingers cupped around steaming mugs of chai and of course, just getting away, was more than enough to keep my hesitancy on the back burner. 

I hope we get to spend the next few days just soaking in all the character, magic, narratives and hidden stories of the pieces that put our trip together. 

There’s something about road trips, irrespective of how tiresome they end up becoming, that just makes your heart skip a beat…that mak you want to stay up and not miss a single thing. 


Here is me breaking the stereotype of a sarson ke khet (mustard fields) and butter chicken dhaba Punjab. Out in the distance lies Himachal Pradesh in those mountains. 

Traveling is humbling. 

Travel is the best education.

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Hanging Over

22 Jan

Work has been crazy. And you know I love crazy more than I like normal. You know the kind of crazy that keeps you a step ahead of being on your toes; where you have no time to do anything else but feel crazed in the crazy bubble. I don’t boast of a life that allows me no time to do anything else or that doesn’t allow sufficient “me time”. And I don’t think that’s a life worth boasting about anyway. But when things get crazy and you have no time (when working in an internet giant) to even log into YouTube to get your groove going (because it is important), then you know the ball’s rolling…really, that you’re headed somewhere. Where exactly, no one really knows. But it’s a good thing to keep moving and to kick that inertia goodbye.

Having said that, I found myself taking a break at the end of the year like other normally crazed people in the world usually do. It was a first because I’m that kind of person who sorts her vacations out way before half the year has even ended, leaving me with zilch to make merry with at the ending of the year. I never have a leave balance. And I never have leave come December. But last year I did and I happened to have sufficient to give me what you may now guess the title of this blog post to be about.

Two weeks – one which saw me scurry in and out of a family gathering and one in which I did nothing but read and sleep. And then it was back to work just before the new year stepped in. But of course not much happened then because the world was still at large, having a post-Merry Christmas and all that. And then come 31st, I hopped onto a plane and jetted away to Bangkok. And that totaled as (just about) four weeks of no work. After what was an insane quarter at work.

Of course I never knew what that felt like. Four weeks of no work after insanity? Of course I never knew. Because who ever gets that luxury and who ever soaks in the nothingness of nothing? And my phone decided to stop showing me work emails from week 1 of my vacation. So there you have it. It was so pretty. And the after effects? Well, let’s say I felt what a holiday hangover feels like, for the very first time. I mean a proper-hit-you-in-the-face-and-make-you-feel-morose-in-the-dumps kinda way. I love getting to work and being at work and doing work. I love crazy work time. But this was outright depressing. Like let-my-face-fall-into-my-plate-I-don’t-care depressing.

But I’m hanging over the hangover…I think. Time’s sort of moving along even in the warp-like situation it is in, like I mentioned previously. Work’s picking up, the world is waking up and we’re slowly getting back on track. Is it just me or was this holiday the kind that hits the spot – where there’s been just the right amount of time for family, my self, travel and relaxation? It’s been perfect. I don’t want to minimize the experience of it all by saying, “hey loser, this is what a holiday after a year of crazy does feel like!” But I couldn’t have asked for more. I feel more ready to take on the world of work and crazy advertising and goals like a holiday went right powers you with!

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But then you encounter images like this in your phone’s folder and pretend like you’re really really done being hung over; like you aren’t going to weep and be a sobbing mess at work wishing to hop onto another plane ready to take you to paradise all over again.

No Man’s Land

20 Aug

I’m back in India after what can only be described as an experience of a lifetime. I’ve never felt contentment such as this and it only reaffirms the wonders of travel and what it means to me. I went with no expectations, heck I went thinking/expecting to miss my flight. So it’s been awesome and great and super and stupendous and bloody brilliant, to say the least. I knew I was ready to get back home (yes, I was surprised to experience a thing such as that while on holiday). The last few days of my holiday were hectic in that we were doing quite a bit of traveling outside London which made that 4 straight trips to and from Heathrow in 4 days. So there was obviously no time to process or allow everything to actually sink in; forget write about it. I really should rethink carrying a notebook around and making notes. A habit, it must become. Either way, so before I knew it, I was back at Heathrow only to realize I was just.not.ready.to.leave.

As you may know or have read before, I am quite the home bird who thrives in her comfort zone(s). And to do something like this was scary in an exciting way. I cannot fathom moving out of the country, yet. However, I will not forget sobbing as my flight was taxiing and prepping for take-off. That’s a new and very alien feeling, one that I have never, ever experienced before. Perhaps it was the realization that this much planned for holiday had actually come to an end. Perhaps it was the realization that I would miss my family there. Perhaps it was the realization that I would never, ever experience the sense of liberty I had over there, here in India. Perhaps it was not knowing when I’d meet my brother next or get to spend the time with him that I got to. Perhaps it was a massive hormonal attack. I think it was all that and more that sort of burst on to me. But like I said, the feeling was completely new. Never have I wanted to stay back and not go home. Maybe it was just the tourist in me talking, having seeing a very, very comfortable side of things which look and feel more romantic than reality might actually be. And I’m well aware of that fact. But I felt quite strange nonetheless.

I did return late evening on Sunday and got back to work early Monday which hasn’t left me with much time to move beyond being in the post holiday blues mood. I miss everything. And it’s but natural. Routine will take over eventually and before I know it, I’ll be back in all my capacities and faculties. However, I’m iffy about getting settled back in that comfort zone and hope to fight it as much as I can.

Maybe it’s the newness of a freedom I’ve never experienced before that’s got a seed lodged somewhere in me. Life is strange.

London Diaries – 3

9 Aug

I’m way past the halfway mark of my holiday, here in London, and even though I know the clock’s ticking fast and that it won’t be long before I’m back home, I don’t find myself caught in the urgency and restlessness that time would otherwise hold one ransom to. London’s days are the longest I have ever seen in my lifetime and its nights short and sweet. Summer seems to be walking around these streets in all her beauty and languor and there really is no dearth of time.

Over the past few days I’ve come to figure out who I am as a person and a traveler, more importantly. I think I know what I like and don’t like, what I’m willing to spend my time on, compromise on and what I’m not. No one can ever have enough of a place, I think. I mean that’s my philosophy and I stand true to that. And therefore it’s safe to say that no one can ever really have seen all of London. Or ever will. There will always be something new at every juncture. I believe in timelessness and that’s what makes travel more ethereal; more surreal, more spectacular every single time. And that thrills me; even if just the thought of it.

My post today may seem scanty or scattered and I’m not sure if it’s because my head is bursting with so much in a good way or if it’s because my hormones are in the driver’s seat today thanks to the weird mood I’m in or if it’s just that I haven’t written in eternity and don’t know where to start. Or how to say all that’s on my mind, rather.

It’s needless to say that despite being so far removed from what a tourist visiting London for the first time would do, that I have seen and soaked in as much of the city’s beauty that I could have so far. I’ve stayed clear of more places than I thought I would and indulged in a lot more places and experiences that I didn’t think I would. History intrigues me but not enough for me to soak myself in it completely. I figure I’m that kind of traveler who likes to walk around and get a feel of the city/place for what it is. So I have walked around more than I can imagine (but the kgs have remained intact!). The London underground has been more than just a lifeline to me. And life here has been pristine in a pretty, English summer kinda way.

My travelogues are due and will perhaps take shape only once I’m back home and retrospect on what I can only term to be a fantastic holiday. But here are snapshots of the different kinds of beauty I have taken the liberty to experience and sponge off because there’s no two ways about it.

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A day in Rye, South Sussex

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Leicester Square

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Regent Street

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Canary Wharf

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Green Park

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Home

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The Great Atlantic Ocean

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Of the Jonathan Livingston Family

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Big Ben

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London Eye

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A London Sunrise

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Summer in Hyde Park

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Evenings in Hyde Park

I’m well rested, content, happy and satisfied. I think my lists are all checked. My being feels satiated. My heart feels awesome. And I’m ready to get back home. I think that makes me feel overjoyed. I figure this is what contentment really, really feels like.

London Diaries – 2

31 Jul

I thought I’d write this sooner because every day has new things unfolding and I feel like I’m a bit behind schedule here. But then I remind myself that I am on holiday and that updates can wait a bit. I just feel like there’s so much going on and that I’m missing a bus of sorts because I’m afraid I won’t remember as much as I can. This is where little notebooks come in handy but honestly speaking, I’m not one to stop midway and take a book out and write. I don’t like breaks in an experience because I can do justice to neither my writing nor my experience. So I try and take in as much as I can and then let my mind take its course as and where it pleases. I think that works better for me.

In the meanwhile, I must also say that since I do not have my laptop with me and since I do not enjoy wording blog posts on my phone as much, that there would be delays but that I hope to keep up. Also, the past few days have been pretty full because my ever so busy brother took a few days off for me and wouldn’t that be a shame if I spent those days in front of my laptop? He’s back at work today and so I feel a little less guilty sitting in front of this screen and typing away.

I left off at what could only have been a terrible nightmare of a transit, except that it was 589347584% real. This post is more about pictures because ever since I could, and much to the annoyance of my brother, I’ve been almost rabid, clicking pictures away. And I’m certainly not embarrassed about being such a tourist! Yolo, man! YOLO! So yes, let’s get into this post now because I swear to God, it just gets prettier and I’m very excited to share all this madness with you, my dear reader.

The last update saw me passing out after what could only have been the best take-off ever. And so pass out having declined my post midnight snack (a wrap, for those of you who must know) and alcohol, I did. I’d geared up well and promptly fell into as comfortable a sleep as can be on an economy seat. It wasn’t bad, I promise. And then because my body realized it was time to wake up, wake up I did. And here’s what I found.

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A pitch black sky! Darn it, Babs, you’re out of India and you’re certainly not headed to Singapore (I work Singapore time, to contextualize), I exclaimed! And then I did the obvious. I looked down. And there it was. Dubai! And no, I wasn’t hallucinating. I’ve never stepped out of my country before so I’d obviously never seen Dubai, forget recognize it from thousands of meters above at night, that too.

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But this sealed the deal. The unmistakable palm-shaped island made me leap with joy. So there, I’d seen it, I wasn’t wrong and I was delighted. Simple things like spotting Dubai from an aircraft make me happy. Lol! Next to Dubai was what I can only deduce to have been Abu Dhabi. But I was too lazy to click it. I was more intrigued by that palm-island thing. So now that the traveler in me was satisfied, I passed out again because there was no early morning cab to catch for work and there certainly was no sunshine outside. Yes, the sun and I share a relationship that’s too deep to talk about. Anyhoo, another bout of now India time madness, I’m sure, woke me up and I looked down to find this pretty city/country. Don’t ask me, I don’t know. However, if you do know, please do tell me.

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Maybe this was Muscat. Or Kuwait, for all I know. It was spectacularly lit up, brighter than Dubai and had these very pretty extensions, which I assume were roads or highways into either the desert or the sea, I’m not sure.

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There were quite a few extensions such as these and I found them to be pretty fascinating. I love the window seat, I can tell you that much. Window seats are my life on any journey. Now that we’ve cleared that out, Babska found herself asleep again. And the next time she woke up, she was grateful to see this because going back in time and seeing so much darkness does not make her a happy puppy.

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I was, as it is very clear, seated towards the west because while the sun was rising, I got this fantastic view. There was the full moon keeping me company right from when I left Bangalore to now. The sun on one side, the moon next to me. And I’ll always be spellbound by the types and numerous colours that exist on this planet. I’m overwhelmed every single time. I had had my quota of sleep and was awake by now. My chin was firmly, but comfortably placed on my hand and my only point of focus was what I could see outside my window.

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I was now curious to know where on this planet I was and so I switched on my flight system to get some of those much needed answers.

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It was clear I was crossing the area of Brussels, Belgium, Luxembourg at this point and that it wouldn’t be long before I entered UK. It was a plum -55 degrees C outside and I was extremely thankful that I was inside the aircraft under my blanket under my warm clothes. I was being sarcastic about the plum temperature outside, by the way.

Before I knew it, here it was.

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Here are images I managed to click of the English Channel through the thickish layer of clouds. I was inching closer and the captain announced that he would begin descending. I didn’t acknowledge my excitement because I was quite encapsulated still.

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We were still crossing the channel when the captain began his descent (as seen on the wings). It wouldn’t be long.

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And not long, it was. Signs of civilization down yonder made themselves present. And closer to me, they slowly started to become.

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That’s the sure and steady river Thames right there. It turns out, after showing the photographs to my brother, that I’d clicked a picture of our home here in London alright. The weird white dome is O2 and we stay opposite that on the other side of the river’s banks. How coincidental!

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I’m not sure which stadium this was, but I could imagine a game of Quidditch happen here alright! I had entered the space of witches and wizards! It was goooood!

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So after dilly-dallying till we got our command/signal to land, the time to touchdown London had finally arrived.

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And touchdown London, I finally did.

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Say hello to Heathrow International, I certainly did!

There it was – a dream, an idea that germinated 7 months ago and brewed all along to finally come true!

London, I’d arrived.

Note: All photographs were taken with my cellphone on flight mode, because I’m extremely particular like that.

London Diaries – 1

27 Jul

Let me begin from the start. There was a dream and you read about it here. Then there was a plan followed by many ifs and buts and about turns and conflicts. And then came July 25 when it was time for me to actually pack my bags and leave. And so the brother and the brother from another mother plus the mother came along very sweetly to drop the very, very stressed out me. Traveling stresses me out. Or rather, being in transit stresses me out. Never meet me in transit. Or talk to me when I’m about to board a bus, train, flight or even auto for that matter. Really.

We reach the airport well in time and I promptly get a text message from my airline saying the flight will be delayed by 30 minutes. The stress levels do not fall. Why? Because even though this 30 minute delay gave me the option to snarf down a sub and relish a rather exorbitant tiny minuscule paper cup of coffee (which was full of the one thing I loathe in tea/coffee – malai) courtesy Namhalli Mane (correct me if I’m wrong), I had the more important flight to board from Mumbai. And even though I’d checked in the previous night (it’s always good to check in the previous night), the thought of a delayed flight and all the reactions/counter reactions it would generate wasn’t pretty. But still. I tried breathing slow and steady. I reminded myself of the fact that I was down two Crocin pills (thanks to a migraine that just.wouldn’t.give.up.on.me) and that if I was to get stressed even more, I couldn’t rely on the said medicine. But still. There exists a creature named Murphy.

So Murphy decided to become my worst enemy on the 25th of July, 2013. He ensured my flight which was originally scheduled to leave Bangalore at 08:30pm and arrive in Mumbai at 10:10pm, left Bangalore only at 10:15pm. Yes. 10frikkin15pm. I told myself that it’s okay, that Mumbai was just a 1 hour 40 minute flight and that I still had ample time to rush to the international terminal via their domestic to international sector bus shuttle in time to board my flight scheduled to leave for London at 01:45am. So I kept still. And the airline assured its passengers that it would arrive in Mumbai by 11pm tops. So I kept calm. I boarded. I settled down. I looked out to pretty Bangalore. I felt a tad bit sentimental (I am dramatic, didn’t you know?). I checked my captain out – an old, white head of a Bengali man and didn’t sigh. I tried reveling in my take-off (because take-offs are my life) but it wasn’t smooth and stupid Bengali uncle didn’t do a good job. But then Bangalore looked fantastic. Sparsely lit with a beautiful full moon to keep me company and I was set. Dinner was served and was blah (saffron rice, chicken gravy and a weird pink gelatinous dessert, if you must know). And then I waited patiently for Mumbai. Till it was 5 minutes to 11 and there was no sign of a bustling Dharavi below. Oh, it must be the terrible clouds that are obstructing my view, I thought. And terrible clouds there were. Ample turbulence, there certainly was. But descent? No, there wasn’t. And Mumbai? A city I’d never wanted to see more badly than on that night was nowhere to be seen. And so I beckoned the stewardess only to hear her tell me that we would land at 12:00am. Yes. 12:00am.

And so, I landed at 12:10am. My aircraft taxied and let us through its not so golden doors by 12:30am. I don’t think I can remember what state of being I was in. How was I to take the shuttle (which would take 20 minutes, I’d heard, because the shuttle would wait to fill up before it drove all the way to the next terminal)? And get my security check and immigration done in time to board? I couldn’t think. I just ran for my life. And then because I have the most amazing mother in the world, who panics more than I do (I’d like to believe), she’d organized for me to be picked up and transported to the international terminal. So I was picked up at the gate. And we were driving to find a traffic jam at the frikkin tarmac thanks to a US Airforce giant which couldn’t decide whether it wanted to take off, taxi or just let its jet engines roar and have panicky girls wait in the middle of nowhere.

And so I reached the international terminal at 1:00am. I stood in the shortest immigration queue to find that when it was my turn next, that I was in the premier/business class line. Screw it, I’m going next, I told myself. And then it was time. The immigration officer looked me up and down. Took a million minutes to check my passport. Asked me what I was doing and decided to crack a few jokes about online marketing at Yahoo!. It was 1:15am. I wanted to cry. I wanted to run through those gates. And then I heard the golden sound any international passenger wants to hear – my passport and immigration form getting stamped. That sound has never been more comforting. 2 stamps. And I was through. Security check happened. And I was through. And then because Murphy was still trying to test my endurance levels, he had my gate be right at the other end of the terminal. So run through the ever so stuffy underground international terminal, I did. It was 1:20am. And then I stood in the international (foreign) passengers’ queue. There was no other boarding queue because surprise surprise,  most people had boarded. And then I was stopped for a last seal on my passport; not before I was checked up and down lest I be an Indian-Russian imposter smuggling excess amounts of desi masalas in my luggage to the UK. And I was through. And running through to the aircraft. Thankfully the Mumbai authorities figured they’d give my aircraft an aerobridge. I thanked Mumbai for not raining that night or finishing its business before I landed. And in the aircraft I was. It was 1:30am.

The flight’s doors closed at 1:45am. And I think I passed out. I didn’t have any dinner. And I declined the booze. I thanked my beautiful mother a million times. And had a reassuring conversation with my brothers. And then I passed out. And it was the most beautiful take-off I’d ever experienced in my life.

London Diaries

26 Jul

As the clock struck 12 this year of 2013, and dramatically so, I made my first ever serious and really serious resolution; you know the kinds that makes you want to see it through? Yep, those ones. I’m not a resolution-maker otherwise, for obvious reasons. But let’s say that when it concerns travel or food, it ranks wayyyyyyyyyyyy above anything else.

And so I resolved to get my virgin passport stamped. And it didn’t matter where I went, but out of India it had to be.

It’s been almost 8 months since. And I write this post here, from London today. I’m still on India time, mentally and otherwise. And even though I sit with a view of the Thames from my balcony, it will take some time to sink in.

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This is where I will be writing to you from. I hope to catalogue my journey at every step of the way in my London Diary.

I sign off for now to soak in some London sun and sink into long overdue conversations with the brother I’m visiting, and my aunt.

I feel extremely grateful for having the family that I do to make this dream come true.

Feeling Sunscreen-ish

19 Jun

I’m in that frame of mind; the Sunscreen frame of mind. To help provide a contextual base for my random frame of mind, here’s where I’m coming from.

Having gotten that all sorted out, I’ve been feeling Sunscreen-ish since yesterday. Maybe it’s because I’m in that phase where I want more. Or maybe I’m in that regular day dream phase. Or maybe it’s because I’ve got this weird surge of hope and determination from nowhere. Or maybe it’s just because my hormones are playing a cruel joke on my frontal lobe for all I know! Either way, I’m taking this frame of mind as a good thing and putting this post up so we can all be random together; or not. This is a very stream of consciousness kinda post, so let’s loosen those seat belts and float along this stream, shall we? Here goes!

Live life. Love life. Say a prayer. Eat olives. Walk under a canopy. Run in the corridor. Glide through your dreams. Forget your baggage. Carry your desires. Take a carpet ride. Speak to the stars. Irritate your pet. Smell flowers. Take photographs. See through your eyes more. Buy lamps. Light them up. Turn off the lights. Eat a chocolate cake. Melt marshmallows over bonfires. Make jacket potatoes. Dance in the rain. Watch lightening. Sway with the wind. Understand your words. Feel new emotions. Jump off a cliff. Face a fear. Climb the highest mountain. Lie down on grass. Sleep under a tree. Swing on a park swing. Eat a sundae guilt-free. Embrace the new. Watch a sunrise. Make stories from shapes of clouds. Define the dark side of the moon. Dig your feet into the wet sand of an ocean. Help a baby turtle make it to sea. Give your pet a kiss on the cheek. Sing with freedom. Rejoice in rapture. Burst with energy. Fly with your spirit. Listen to your heart beat. Really look yourself in the eye. Live in a forest. Glow with fireflies. Identify new constellations. Look for Saturn. Give random gifts. Run the fastest you can. Eat because you love to. Treat your body right. Make cheesecake. Travel. Work. Blow up your savings at least once. Do the things that make you happy. Understand before you judge. Empathize. Listen to stories. Spend more time with grandparents. Listen to their bygones. Give your phone a rest. Read more. Learn new words. Sky dive. Learn how to swim. Start driving. Let go. Be different. Take up a challenge. Run a marathon. Stand at the Grand Canyon. Stand at the feet of the Himalayas. Earn in a foreign currency. Lock the weighing machine away. Spend an evening at the Serengeti. Feed a tiger cub. Help an animal. Nurture a tree. Respect faith. Find your own. Say I Love You. Apologize when you know you should. Run on the beach. Smile. Live. Love. Breathe. See. Believe. Find. Look. Dive. Learn. Awaken. Meditate. Exercise. Sleep. Be at peace. Have no regrets.

Mothers

4 Jun

Mothers. Ah sigh, what does one say about mothers that justifies their being, presence and existence? Nothing. Because I simply do not have the words to. Simple.

What does one say when their mother packs her bags and heads for an impromptu holiday with her sisters? Yay mom, I’m so happy you’re finally taking a break and leaving your mundane life of work, kids and home and really pampering yourself but also, could you postpone the trip so you don’t have to go just yet? Yeah, I think that’s what I’d say. Or have said a million times over even though it’s just the first bit I communicate to her with a smile while the remainder can-you-not-go bit sort of trails off.

It’s awesome when mums literally throw caution (HAHA, if they ever was such a phenomenon!) to the wind, pack their bags and head out to meet their sisters because sisters make the best friends and vacation buddies ever. According to her at least. I truly, madly hate the fuss they make over whether they really should go or not, whether it’s really necessary at this point in time or not and all that martyrliness mothers are famous for. I think they’re just petrified of coming back to dusty window sills, unkempt beds and general disorderliness which is every mom’s worst nightmare no matter how clean you may actually keep the house in their absence. I’m pretty sure it’s that. And the fact that their plants will be left to dry. Kids? I don’t think we ever feature on the same plane as their plants and dust-free window sills. Really. I still haven’t figured if that’s a good thing or not.

So yeah, mums and holidays are awesome because you really, really want them to just take that break and forget about their routines back home. You want them to go out there and explore the world, see new places, kick back and have their dinners and drinks handed to them. You want them to embrace the awesomeness that is life and travel. You want them to soak in the magic that this world minus chores, responsibilities and holding fort has to offer. Really. Is there a better feeling than not waking up to the milkman, paperboy, maid 1, maid 2, flower man, soppu (greens) man, vegetable man, cable guy, internet guy, insurance agent and a million other drones who make your house a home? To wake up to bed tea with a view, to be able to head to the beach and sink your feet in the sand, to look at abundant sunsets and sunrises, birds and animals, plants and flowers, to just live a good life isn’t as easy to come by for a lot of mothers and when in that rare moment you see their eyes twinkle at the prospect of taking off, you just let the latter part of the sentence trail of.

But when they’re gone, I don’t feel a sense of freedom that many usually rejoice feeling. Maybe it’s because we’ve grown up spending more time alone at home that sort of makes the yay-mom’s-traveling feeling quite meh! I do feel like the queen bee and we do hold fort pretty fine, but I don’t think any of us really volunteer for it. While it’s awesome to hold fort, it’s a pain in the a** no one wishes to experience.

I don’t know how it happens but the moment mom’s out on a holiday, the kitchen supplies dwindle and our fridge looks barren! And it shocks me because I never thought I was spartan in my way of life. I always dream of a well-stocked pantry, fridge and kitchen cupboards. I think that’s because I imagine having a genie for a slave or living with my mom. There can be no other explanation. The snacks are out. The vegetables become pretty much non-existent. And there’s barely any food cooked. It’s shameful and scary. I bow to those who are married, have families and hold fort without their mums around! I applaud you. I marvel you. I hope to be half as awesome as you are!

So I’m happy for ma but I want her back. Her plants, her kitchen, her window sills and her bedspreads miss her. The pigs are sullen and sad because I don’t pamper them half as much as she does because they trigger her maternal instincts I presume. And Poppins just told me he never wants to speak to me again because I didn’t give him as many carrots. Fuzzy has turned her back to me. The lilies don’t bloom properly when she’s away. No, I’m just being extra kiddish. As if this entire post wasn’t already, I had to drag the lilies into this as well! I’m sorry lilies, you’re just gonna have to figure this one out by yourselves.

In the meantime, I’m happy that ma takes these rather impromptu vacations. It doesn’t leave me with much time to brood. Neither does it leave me with much of a choice to do anything about it except pack her bags for her and ensure she’s been seen off. I love that she has begun caring about herself more than she used to. I love mothers, but I love mine most. Also, I’m not bothering too much with the house’s upkeep. Yes, the house is clean and is in order, but if I were to be fastidious about it, what would I hand over to ma when she got back from her trip secretly hoping she’d have at least one window sill to dust? :)

Summer

3 Jun

Did you know Time bought himself the latest Lamborghini and is painting the world of Time red? I’m sure you’ve seen him zip past. I’m sure the next time I see him, which won’t be too far off, it’ll be October 2020. Not, I hope. Sigh. It’s June, folks! June. JUNE. Like the sixth month of a year that has just twelve indicating we’re reaching the half-past mark at a pace none of us expected. Right? Yeah well, do you still love the Lamborghini as much?

June came too fast. It wasn’t long ago when I was awaiting the arrival of May with great excitement and longing. May was filled with everything every month should be filled with – family meetings, reunions, birthdays, celebrations, arrivals and of course lots of catching up, food, laughter and madness. May was filled with what I can describe as the only summer love I’ve known all my life.

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We’ve been blessed with abundant mangoes, litchis, peaches and mango-milkshake-moustaches. It’s been the season of much gluttony of a childhood kind; no questions asked, no heat boils counted. Mangoes rule, litchis prevail, peaches reign. There are just no two ways about it.

Summer walks, travel and rides at dusk make the perfect companion; even in silence. They’ve been abundant and abundantly welcome too. There have been storms of a fierce summer kind that put you in your place and shut you up when you open your mouth to talk about the heat. There have also been uproars of a thunderous kind which tell you to shut up, period. And then there have been power cuts, candlelit games, adrak (ginger) chai (tea) sessions and conversations in shadows. There have been the most beautiful sunrises the mornings after. There have been steaming cups of filter coffee and homemade cookies, mango tea and cinnamon rolls and conversations in between claps of thunder of course.

There’s always a magic in summer; in the way it shows up and transforms everything around it; in the way it takes the world by storm without really saying a word. Summer is a rainbow of every colour, every mood, every sound, every experience. There’s calm and quietude as flowers bloom at dusk and there’s the din of the sky opening up above. There’s the cruelty of parching heat and the apologies of torrential rain. There are butterflies, rain ants and moths. There is always the struggle to survive with a ladder and a jug of water right at the end. There is always summer.