Have Feet, Will Travel

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A few months ago, at a client meeting, my boss was in conversation with a partner. Discussing vacation days, she looked at me and asked, "I think I took a lot of days off last year, didn't I? Yeah, but this year I didn't."

"Yeah, you went on these short-ish breaks."

I thought of that on my way back from the meeting. All day. Continued thinking about it, until one day when I was distracted by how much water weight I was gaining if I drank a glass of water empty stomach in the morning. That stole the show. My boss planned her vacations rather well. She travelled at least twice a month on these extended weekend trips. I'm sure it added to the bulk of money she spent but in turn, she got a lot more to experience and fewer vacation days at stake.

Last year, I took days off at a stretch and fell off the grid for work. Academic work, booty work, research work...you get the drift. While that did a lot to my head and helped me work better, it cost me all my paid leaves. Consequently, the last sixty days have gone with one odd day off. I told myself to stick to the amazing, already in motion plan that my boss is on. Extend long weekend and maximize vacation days that spread over a month at least.

By the time I came to that conclusion, I was down to my first failed vacation plan of the year. One long weekend I had took upon myself some freelance assignment to get over a man I had occupied my mental space with. It took four days and three edits, but mostly it took my time to distract myself from the fact that in the absence of no departure tickets, I had to cancel my arrival tickets. I lost money on that but then again, I wasn't sure if I needed more distraction to divert my attention from that man or my failed vacation plan. My colleague's husband who sweetly agreed to help me book tickets was bewildered when he heard, I was planning the vacation to each kachoris. A fact, I'm still proudly wearing on my sleeves, and er, posting here.

After deliberating my effectively smart, extending long weekend into bullet sized vacation plan, I jumped into action at the beginning of the year. I carved a full snow-beach-plains and god alone knows, all terrain vacation plan to be carried out in the long weekends spread across the calendar. For over a week, I researched for tickets all through the country to see where should I start and end.

I booked my tickets to Kashmir for this long weekend. You know, the one that starts in a few hours from now. One of my closest friend stays with his family there and has been fussing for years now for us to come over.

"I'm coming to your city. x" I dropped my text and screenshot my flight details. We spoke in detail, almost every day. About the bakeries, the lake, the snow and the walnut wood carved bed he allocated in the guest room for me. "I'm actually priortizing the furniture in the guest room for you more than my room". My friend and his Kashmiriyat had me.

Until last week when the news channels announced the bloodbath between India, Pakistan, and as always- Kashmir. In the middle of everything- my mini vacation plan. I understand my problems are miniscule, they don't matter.

In a large scheme of things, neither do I.

But here we are. And, this is my blog.

While soldiers are actually indeed dying on the border, and Ambani family is uniting with another business conglomerate's and all of Bollywood is attending that. At the same time, we're launching mobile apps, prepping for the largest possible election campaign and god knows everything in between- I can afford to safely talk about myself and my miniscule problems.

Where were we? Right, my flight.

I cancelled my flight after what seemed like all of India was trying to get me to cancel it. This list includes my colleague's husband who helped us book the arrival tickets from Aligarh to Delhi for kachodis, my college friends, my colleagues, my grandfather, friends, Tanu Dogra and others who I'm pretty sure don't care if I skip their name and affiliation.

It was a surprise when my refund was processed in entirety. It wasn't when they said they're releasing the prisoner of war.

Small price for a foiled vacation plan.

Or how my failed vacation ensured peace between India and Pakistan because I'm going to die without having ever seen snow. 

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