By Akanksha Seth
“Hey, what’s your plan for new year? Shall we go out for dinner?” asked a friend. “Sorry, I am out for a planned vacation!”, I replied.
“Vaction!!!!! With?” came a prompt response.
“With family”, I confirmed.
“What???? Really!! Family huh?” A sigh of despair came from the friend
It took some time for both of us to digest the fact that we were not on the same page or mindset when it comes to going for a vacation with family in 2020, amidst all the COVID-19 fear and winter assaults.
“Where to?” he asked.
“Nainital”, I spoke with a beam in my eyes.
“What!!! A hill station in winters, that’s crazy!! Isn’t the cold in the city enough for you, that you plan to celebrate the hilly winters?”, he commented.
“Not to forget the lake amidst the hills”, I joked.
Yes, I know it’s an era of solo travelers, or plans with friends in your mid 20’s. You are earning, financially independent and consider it pretty cool to tell your family that you have a trip planned the next month. But, just for a minute, go back!! Go back to the memories, the snaps your family has so preciously preserved of those family vacations, which your parents had so dextrously planned during your school breaks. That hard-earned money saved and invested wisely for recreation, for an escape to make memories to relive today. Now ask yourself, ”Don’t they deserve a break too?” A break from the mundanes of daily chores where the conversations are merely about what to cook the next day to the list of grocery to be arranged for the month.
Yes, this struck me seeing my parents work hard the entire year. So much so that I decided to convince them for a vacation, keeping in mind my mom’s winter break and the advantage of all of us being together in this COVID-19 induced Work-from-home scenario. I was really skeptical about the current situation and the fact that we had to be over cautious this time, making sure we are sanitized and aware of the precautions we need to take during travel.
Thankfully, my parents agreed and we set off to our stay in Bhimtal, by road. All throughout my journey, I was so thankful to my parents to have made every possible preparation, we could possibly imagine and I realized what a bliss it is to travel with parents. No matter how old you grow, your parents are always more experienced in life and know exactly what is /might be needed. From packing blankets/shawls/food to medicines and toiletries we were taking for granted, we realized the importance of the itinerary in times of need.
On reaching the hotel, I was amazed to see the excitement of my parents and the appreciation in their eyes. They appreciated our every little plan and choices we made for stay and travel and it took me a prick of conscience to recapitulate the days when we took the same things for granted when it was planned by our parents. The reversal of wheel is a moment of realization and gratitude and you suddenly start valuing every little moment. Waking up to no worries, but amazing sunrise in the morning surely brought a glow on my parent’s face and I vividly remember how they called up the relatives and appreciated us all the way. I never had thought that their smiles would suddenly mean so much to me. Even after returning back, we cherish the moments we spent together and thank God for giving us such moments in life we forget all worries of the mundane routine and spend quality time in the laps of nature, appreciating the beauty of life together.
Friends, let us make the best of the time we have got together, because this moment too, just like others shall pass away soon!
The author is a software engineer by vocation and is passionate about poetry, photography and oration.