I have always co-related holidays to one thing: CHAOS! Which is why, holidaying with my tribe is the most wonderful and the most painful experiences of my life.
Will I, won’t I?
You can stay up all night!
You haven’t been on a train journey if you haven’t stayed up all night and tried to get down on all spooky stations you come across. My Dad loves this game so much that he missed his honeymoon (he couldn’t get inside the train on time and reached the destination only one days later) much to my mom’s consternation.
My happy go lucky family never bothers with mundane things like booking hotels. Their philosophy? “Nothing should bother you until it is staring right in your face, begging you to take notice.” They believe that any hotel would willingly welcome us with open arms since we can provide them “big business” (Aunt No. 2’s words) Can you imagine standing in Delhi with nearly 40 suitcases, 10 adults, 8 children (in spite of being 20, I am still counted as a child) and 2 hapless coolies waiting for a cab who would take us a hotel whose address we don’t know.
Cab driver: “Kaunse hotel jana hain”
Uncle No. 1: “Koi bhi acha hotel lekar chalo”
Play this dialogue three more times in your head and the result? Uncle No. 1, 2, 3 and papa are in four different hotels and are trying to call each other excitedly for they have managed to get a huge discount!
Every Indian loves a good bargain. But when you let loose 18 of them in a market, you are in trouble. Firstly, Cousin No. 1 and I have similar choices. So chances are that both of us will pick up the same dress and start a cat fight. All the “ladies” would be coaxing the poor shopwala to show them something “antique” (read: unique) whereas their husbands would be sweating profusely when they see their wives buying yet another salwar kameez which will definitely make their wives look like Katrina or Shilpa.
After a tiring a day at the bazaar we would all hit the bed gearing for a fresh day where we would…shop again.
What about visiting the museum?
Aunt No. 3: “ Beta, wahan ka museum shop is very expensive. I will get you some lovely souvenirs from that bazaar I read about in the tourist guide”
Me: “Err…I actually wanted to see the Museum…”
Aunt No. 2: “Beta Mumbai mein kitni purani cheezen hain. I will show you something new, no?”
Me: Face palm
You won’t get to see the picture of any monument. It will be hidden in some obscure corner covered with 18 humans dressed in their finery giving 100 watt smiles.
Will I, won’t I?
So would I give up holidaying with my family and go with friends? Well, would your friend suddenly surprise you with five beautiful matchboxes because he knows you love collecting matchboxes? But your kid brother will! Would your friend give you the last piece of paneer schezwan because you absolutely love it? But Aunt No. 3 will. Have you ever walked for about 3 kilometers because someone (ahem: Dad) forgot to book a taxi but you thoroughly enjoyed it because you had packets and packets of kela wafers of three types; tomato, pepper and plain? Would I give up this chaos for peaceful holidays with friends where I am the master of everything? I don’t think so.