There’s the holiday and then there’s the holiday hangover. When caught up in both, all you can do is chill. That’s what we have been up to since the end of last year. And that’s how we began our new year. First the holiday and then the hangover.
We are now slowly rousing ourselves to get back to routine. Mom and Big Sis are already back with their noses to the grindstone. We still have the luxury to loll and lounge. Every time we think of stirring, some memory or the other flashes in our inward eye (with apologies to Wordsworth) that takes us back to Nani’s house, where we spent some glorious weeks. It was a longer stay than the last time (Come September @ Nani’s House). For Mom and Big Sis, it was a working holiday, but for the privileged ones, it was sheer bliss.
In our vacant and pensive (sorry Wordsworth, today you are in our hearts and minds) state, we often poke our intellect – something like twiddling your toes on a long distance flight to keep the circulation going. So we’ve made our top five list of why a holiday with Nana – Nani / Dada -Dadi is what it is:
You’ll always find room to play, play and only play – it’s not just a matter of vast open grounds though it helps if you have the vast open grounds to romp around in. It’s actually that grandparents’ homes are meant for joy and high spirits. It’s the spirit of things. It’s opening a door and rushing out to freedom literally, or opening the figurative door to a carefree existence. That is, once you have found your feet and got over being in unfamiliar territory.
You’ll be pampered silly even as you are given lessons in manners – with all the relatives around, you’ll have to remember your morning and evening greetings, and mind your p’s and q’s while talking, for sure. You’ll be told all those tales and anecdotes of how things were ‘different’ years ago to remind you of the Golden Age. And yet, Mom’s rules have no place there. Treats, meals, cuddles are all taken care of. So what if Mom sniffs and scowls? There are so many others dancing to your tune.
You’ll learn that every visit is a voyage of discovery and re-discovery – you’ll discover new spots and smells and re-discover those of which you have faint memories. You’ll reminisce, laugh, blush at what you did the last time or this time. If last year, the cowardlier one went diving into muddy garden channels at life’s first ever sighting of black-faced monkeys, this year the bolder one traipsed down the steps of a step well for Mom to effect a daring rescue. It’ll be difficult to lift your nose off the ground with so many exciting whiffs from every grain of sand there.
You’ll find your spots from the last visit or new ones to claim while you are there. Let’s not forget the wide variety of exciting muck beyond mud there is to roll around in – poo of four dogs, peacock poo, monkey poo – to remove the yucky shampoo-ey smell Mom leaves you with after a grooming session.
You’ll love the cousins you come across there – there will be Company. Company that feels like you and for you. Company with whom you can have a blast. There’s the cousin who is warm, welcoming and motherly who protects you and scolds you, depending on your role in things; who spends time with you; and whose presence you miss when you come away.
You’ll not always love; there’ll be plenty of hate too – Cousins are good. Except when they aren’t. There will always be that one cousin with whom you just cannot get along, regardless of the peace-keeping efforts made by the respective Folks. You can eat your meals together and walk together, but there is no saying when one of you will walk quietly alongside and suddenly, without warning, go for the other’s leg. So some days are good when you are on top of things, and other days are not-so-good when you have to keep a safe distance. It’s a see-saw, and you really hate it when your Folks ignore it all. How could Mom and Big Sis kiss and pet our bête noire as if she had not bullied us, and how could she snuggle up to them after ignoring us or almost snapping her leash to lunge at us? How could our Folks hold us back from going for her when we knew we had the security that our Folks were standing right there?
Wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it before the above-mentioned cousin, but there will be those occasions when your mutual hatred is less than the pack feeling – family is family, after all. When all four of you get together with the same pulling, tugging, barking, whining to chase a troop of monkeys chattering at you from trees. Or when you all make the same puppy eyes to Folks for the same treats. Or then, for an impersonation of the implacable sphinx, looking diagonally for ages at one another poised in a square formation across the drawing room. Or when you in your own unspoken ways decide that the moment is not one to scrap but to lie within two feet of each other, with one eye and ear relaxed while the second is half alert.
It’s about time we got back to normal. What has got us up and moving is the cherry on the icing: 2021 began for us with celebrity status. We were commented upon for our perceptive canine view of the human race. (https://www.instagram.com/tv/CKV2b07JO86/?igshid=yhexnn1qkqd3) We have a mantle to shoulder now. We cannot any more remain in our haze of first the holiday and then the holiday hangover. But just to keep you gainfully occupied till our next chat (you know, something like twiddling your toes on a long distance flight to keep the circulation going), we leave you with our holiday album. Bet you can’t match the pictures to the top five observations on your own, without our perceptive nudge: