It was with great pride that I announced my first international trip, it turned into mockery when I said Nepal. My passport usage had been limited to identity proof thus the thought of my first stamp excited me. It turned out to be a false alarm as even the customs office didnÔÇÖt ask for it. It took us all but 1 hour to reach our destination therefore breaking my bubble of jet lag also.
We landed in a 110 Celsius Katmandu. Indians are highly stereotypical, I proved it by expecting a ÔÇ£Uuhh SabjiÔÇØ call from our taxi driver whereas who came was a ÔÇ£Hello Sir, How was your flight?ÔÇØ driver.┬á Katmandu is probably the Varanasi of Nepal as there are only temples listed in their tourist spots, the most famous one being the Pashupatinath temple.
My father belongs to the limited edition of pure breed Brahmin following each rule strictly, thereby never entering a temple without washing his feet and never leaving any God without paying its due 10min prayer. The only factor that made us look like a tourist were our selfies with Lord Shiva. Post temple hopping we went shopping where Made in India products welcomed us. This justifies ModiÔÇÖs immediate visit to Nepal as probably itÔÇÖs only in Nepal where Indian brands are valued.
We reached our next stop Chitwan and what awaited us was piping hot food. What Bubble Shooter is to a bored aunty, food is to us. Our itinerary for Chitwan included a wildlife safari in NepalÔÇÖs first national park, Chitwan National Park. ItÔÇÖs on trips like these you realise how smart your parents are and how dumb your generation is. My father poured out all his animal GK and I being true to my BMM tag started an onslaught of amateurish nature photography.┬á It took us only 2 mins on an elephant to transform ourselves into giggly touristsÔÇÖ woohooing on everything. ItÔÇÖs funny how the sudden friendly sparks starts to shoot everywhere from every one and the random waving of hands at every stranger never stop. I realised the extent of this when my mom was posing for a strangerÔÇÖs photo.
Holiday difference is not limited to difference of routine, it further extends itself to parental behaviour. The constant nagging attitude is replaced by a 20 year old version of our parents. The egoistic mood of both parties gives way to a more atrociously hilarious reminiscence. Suddenly their teenage stories revolving around one telephone booth abusive lines, that one rich aunty with a TV and huge Hum Saath Saath Hai family stories come pouring out. I gape at my parents with wonder as they tell me about their Sunday movie and ÔÇÿchitraharÔÇÖ days which ruled their routine that day. Simply imagining my dad’s full head hair days throws me into splits. They have stories more wild than ours, incidents far more filmy than ours and lives almost unimaginable to us.
Impulsive decisions on holidays are like the unexpected yes to go to Goa. Ours was paragliding. That brimming excitement gave birth to fear on signing the declaration form. My mom had clutched my hands tight as she stared outside the van while we went up the hill. Those 30 minutes of sweaty hands was a nutshell compared to the titanic pose I stroked as I flew in front of the Himalayan ranges. And giving my petrified mom her first literal over- the-top experience makes me feel proud.
Those 7 days of my life were Legen-wait for it- Dary. Legendary.