Monday, June 14, 2010

Far from the madding crowd

May 2010
Lucknow vacations this year were quite eventful because we managed a vacation within a vacation – a four day trip to Mukteshwar.

It was a long road journey – 12 hours straight. Hrit Naisha took it pretty well, sleeping through almost half the journey and waking up intermittently to ask sleepily – ‘has the medicine mountain come?’ (inspired by Hanuman’s trip to get the Sanjivani buti. Their obsession with mythology continues).

Once there they seemed thrilled but disappointingly enough they weren’t awed by the mountains at all. They were happier with the swings in the resort gardens and the resort itself (Mukteshwar Himalayan Resort) - a cosy quiet place where they could be left to run around with their cousins while the cooperative hotel staff kept an eye on them. They happily climbed to the Mukteshwar temple without their trademark ‘I am tired’ line while we huffed and puffed our way up.

The high point of the trip however was their obsession with food. The mountain air seemed to have worked wonders with their appetites. Even when lunch was hours away they would start planning their own menus irrespective of what the resort cooks had whipped up. Hrit wanted dal-chawal when he was offered aaloo parantha, Naisha wanted palak paneer when there was khichri at the table. It was a constant struggle to reconcile them to what they had on their plates.

For the rest of us long walks and peaceful drives were the trademarks of the trip.

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What’s a vacation?

  • For my overworked brother-in-law, a doctor by profession, the vacation meant unaccounted hours of sleep and his daily can of beer. In fact so strictly did he follow his a-beer-a-day routine that the morning prior to our departure he was found contemplating.. “I shouldn’t have my beer in the evening because I’ll be driving early tomorrow so I will have to have it in the afternoon.”.. hmmm… such devotion. Touching!
  • For my sister-in-law, also a doctor, the vacation meant a holiday from routine, long hours of chatting and catching up on her reading.
  • For my sister it meant connecting with nature, looking for wild flowers, making tiny bouquets of daisies for Hrit and Naisha and wearing one herself as a brooch.
  • For my nephews Varun and Tarun it meant craving for Pepsi, which we found in plenty for them, and icecream which was completely not available due to power cuts in Mukteshwar.
  • For Hrit and Naisha it meant foooood and a far second was their obsession with collecting unripe fruits which they claimed had ‘fallen’ from trees. (To their credit they stuck to the claim even when I actually saw them plucking the fruits.)
  • For me it meant letting Hrit Naisha be. Not worrying about what they’d eat, whether they’d had their milk, when they’d sleep… total bliss. And also (how could I forget) preening in front of the resort mirrors which made everyone appear magically slim. Wish I could have carried one home. I strongly recommend the mirrors for everyone other than Kangana Ranaut.

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