What is the correct way of spending holidays? Socially-accepted break-time activities include discovering new destinations, catching up with folks, checking-out financial matters; honing a new skill, pursuing a hobby, soaking tense muscles in scented water at spas, pilgrimage, retail therapy, et al.
I'm back from my annual summer break and did none of the above, at least not to the extent where it warranties a mention. For instance, I did shop but it was not retail therapy nor was it the shop-until-you-drop kind of an endeavour. I did call upon the elderly but it wasn't catching up with my folks. I did pick up the racquet to give my little girl some badminton fun, but it was not pursuing a hobby. I did tend to my sore back but it wasn't at a celebrated spot. I did pass through a couple of new places while looking for addresses of friends but they were not exotic destinations. And yes, I did visit holy places to pray for my family's well-being, but it was not a pilgrimage to note down in my itinerary.
So when I was asked by a few of my acquaintances on my return 'what did you do, where did you go'?, I had no specific reply. My response - ‘nowhere, was at home' - received varied reactions. One elderly couple, in their 50s, laughed out loud, and said ‘how could you have sat at home all the time. We just can’t do that’. Another younger duo, in their 20s, said ‘don’t you get tired of staying at home. You’ve been going to the same home for so many years now start visiting new places’.
I forgive the younger couple. They would know no better. Being just married, understand their eagerness to spend time alone far away from their people.
But can’t understand the older butterflies. Wonder if their laughter would be as loud when their soon-to-be-married son takes his family elsewhere on annual jaunts and not check on them.
Ideal holiday activities are matters of your heart. Do as it says, want to laze around, just do it; want to jet-ski, go ahead. But be generous with floss when speaking to status-obsessed lifestyle mongers. No fear of guilt rides needed because - only warmth breeds guilt!