In a family of working professionals, reconciling a holiday schedule is the difficult part of the vacation, rues Kishore Singh.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
This is the time of year I dread most, and not just because of the heat.
Sometime in April, my daughter will throw a gauntlet on the table: "So, where are we going on holiday?"
That polarising query having been flung, she will add, "I haven't been anywhere at all!"
At this point, only the most intemperate will have the guts to remind her that
- a. She was in Goa a few weeks back;
- b. That her weekender in Bangkok might have been billed as a shopping trip, but it definitely involved travel;
- c. That the bridal shower she attended in Dubai wasn't so long ago;
- d. That she leveraged two US vacations in 2016;
- e. That there are pictures to prove we were together in Bali last year.
I fail to see why credits from the previous year cannot be carried forward to the next.
The forthcoming Presidential election in India has nothing on the opinions of our extended family and friends, each of whom appears to have a vote in the coalition -- er, selection -- of our holiday destination.
The process begins with everyone looking to me to suggest a spot, just so they can diss it.
Since the criteria must take into account everyone's interests, I know that it's doomed to fail anyway.
"What about the English Lake District?" I proposed this time.
"Does it have bars?" my daughter wanted to know.
"Does it have shopping?" my wife asked.
"Does it have beaches?" my son enquired.
Anyone would think Europe offers everyone varied options, but
- a. We can't do Spain because my son's headed there for a conference;
- b. We can't include Switzerland, Scotland and a few other countries for similar reasons, one or another of us having travelled there solo;
- c. We've already 'done' Italy, and a Mediterranean cruise;
- d. London is too homey, Germany too businessy, Greece too touristy;
- e. Croatia is where the kids want to go with friends, because, seriously, you can't do Carpe Diem with family -- right?
Laos? Cambodia? Myanmar? These and similar countries were no-go destinations for us in previous years, but my son now wants to "hang out there" with a bunch of friends rather than us.
South America and Africa, both lusted after by my wife and I, seem a little distant for now because the holiday window doesn't allow us more than a week collectively.
That's our other problem.
In a family of working professionals, reconciling the holiday schedule is the most difficult part of the vacation.
There are important presentations to be made, clients to be met, seminars attended, reports submitted, so
- a. My daughter is complaining about a shrinkage of the holiday week;
- b. My wife has mysterious "plans”"she's unwilling to share yet, which makes me suspect she's weighing her options about where she'll get most social media leverage;
- c. Our son wants to be bribed to join the family group over another he's willing to renounce provided I make it up to him monetarily;
- d. I'm still undergoing a medical procedure that may abort our plans yet.
And as we to submit our passports to the French embassy for our Schengen visas, here's a final hitch.
Despite a family mandate about contributing to an annual holiday fund, I'm being held hostage by precedence that provides for family vacations to be paid for by the clan head, a position my wife abdicates every time it comes to any transfer of funds.
Sigh. This too shall pass.