Thursday, April 25, 2013


We had a fairly cushiony childhood; ofcourse, there was a time when money was tight. There always is in one's life. We did not have fancy dolls but we had books. We did not have a lot of hours in front of the TV, but we had hours to spend learning dance, music and swimming. We were brought up to be independent and to be able to enjoy our own company. We were taught to follow instructions around the house, to pay heed to a parent's voice, to resolve issues among ourselves by ourselves.

Out of all of it, what I remember the most is time taken to travel. It was taken up for the sake of it, before it became fashionable to say 'I like to travel' in job interviews. Trips were always sparsely budgeted, mostly from Daddy's LTCs.

We did it all-camping in the Himalayas, on an island in Beyt Dwarka under the stars; getting swept in the seas in Kovalam; getting bitten by nasty red ants in Naisargdham in Coorg while patiently waiting for Daddy to click our picture; bathing in the chilly Ganges; river-crossing in Bias; watching wild cats in their habitat in Gir, Jim Corbett and Kanha; getting soaked to the bone in the November rains in Kanyakumari; weekend getaways around Ahmedabad with family friends; preparing dinner on a secluded Gandhinagar highway-by the time each of us three kids finished college.

From when we traveled, I don't much remember what I packed as much as I remember that there was always a separate bag each, for all of our books and shoes. We carried our own music. But there was only one Walkman. One of us was in charge of buying tit-bits, chocolates, gum, games, etc. for the trip. So that there were no fights among us kids, we slept in the berth that was mentioned against our name in the tickets. Trains were cleaner and a more peaceful way of reaching a destination. It was a childhood spent well.

We continue to take time out from our daily lives to go see places, only separately with our spouses because we live away from each other. It has helped us prioritize our needs and wants. Daddy gets fidgety if he hasn't been on a train/plane to somewhere once every five-six months. Mum joins when her work allows. Else, he is known to go to Mahabaleshwar to enjoy the rains by himself. He likes to call it his Vitamin T!

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