Every school vacation, even when we could barely afford it, we travelled. We vacationed in different parts of India. The tea gardens in Darjeeling, snow capped hills in Manali, pristine beaches in Puri, Rasagullas in Calcutta, kebabs and tehzeeb in Lucknow, temples and heat in Chennai, winding mountain roads of Kedarnath, jingoistic pride in Delhi, pink winters in Nainital and Mussorie, it was an endless joy ride. He asked us to soak in the beauty, capture images in our mind’s eye, “Remove your sunglasses and look at the greenery around”, a true Cancerian at heart. And well it made sense anyway as there were no cameras dangling around our necks either. Those were the 80s.
With the 90s tech boom, everyone in India had somebody living ‘abroad’. So did I. Again off I was sent with my aunt and uncle to holiday at my cousin’s expense in UK. I probably used some emotional blackmail to get this to happen.
I was gifted my first camera on that trip for Rakshabandhan. I could rely on the camera to take the bigger picture while I concentrated on the little emotions inside me. To be standing in the country-side exactly where William Wordsworth came for inspiration! Visiting 21 Baker Street where the fictitious Sherlock Holmes once lived! Watching those cuddly lambs dotting the English countryside! The surreal setting of a perfect English inn, firewood, hot soup and warm bread on a cold windy day! Priceless? Well not exactly, money or Mastercard can buy all that and more (I was of course luckier because my cousin’s money could buy me all that).
A few years later, I was there again, in the Queen’s land, just like a gazillion other Indians working in the IT industry. Since I was not the kind to talk passionately about the next version of an obsolete computer programming language, I concentrated on eating Fish and Chips, getting obnoxiously fat and making my next holiday plan.
So of course I travelled a lot. Mostly budget…the travel and stay, not the shopping and eating mind you. I even got my mom to visit me and we headed straight to the dream destination of Indian honeymooners and Yash Raj films – Switzerland! Watching my mom’s sari flutter and swell up in the havoc winds on top of Jungfrau Hoch and hoping she has it in control – Priceless.
I suppose some of the best moments in life generally escape the camera and that is how it should be. :)