I know the references to Corona-impacted travel have been overdone, but with no clarity in sight about future travels, modes of recreation etc people are harking back to the good old days. Sadly for some of us they were just a few months ago. Check out my posts on my last trip here and here.
Social media platforms and photo-sharing sites have cottoned onto the idea of ‘Memories’. What were you doing on this particular day in the past. Say 3 or 4 years ago. And since our smartphones are an extension of our hands these days, most of us were doing a heckuva lot and the pictures speak for themselves.
Our family had taken our first holiday together to the mountains of India. The Kumaon part of the Himalayas to be more specific. TO had done the entire trip via trains and road and was amazed at the amount of things he saw.
A flight ends up having an amount of sameness to it after a point. And so do the actions associated with it. Go to the airport, check-in, keep an eye on the kid to make sure he doesn’t wander off, buy him KFC stuff before boarding all the while promising that yes, once we board, he would still get his Cup O’ Noodles as well and possibly some juice too!
There’s rarely any drama on a flight. Loads of it while traveling by trains and right from the time you enter the railway station. It’s a different kind of world altogether. With everything from livestock to fresh produce to wailing kids to frantic people and in India, usually a yelling patriarch of a family herding everyone in the direction of the train which is about to leave.
Railway stations would make for lovely dioramas I’ve always thought. But enough of that later. Onto our journey and why I woke up feeling nostalgic.
My child has traveled in trains before. With people and prehistoric pets both, he’s not fussy, but he’s not landed in a mess of a station where people are pushing and shoving like it’s their goal in life (aka Nizamuddin in the rains and Delhi people doing what they do best!). Neither has he looked out a window and seen mountain tips in the distance and taken in cleaner, fresher air all around him.
In 2017 we took a very memorable trip to Binsar, Uttarakhand. Red and I had been around the area before but for TO it was really quite an adventure. The poor thing emptied out the contents of his stomach all the way to the resort because of a lengthy diversion we had to take due to some road repairs. And he bore it like a champ. Of course, I defy any child to be like a parrot on steroids after having puked continuously for 3 hours. That he was still semi-bright eyed was good enough for us.
The resort was lovely. With mists hanging off the trees, big-ass monkeys threatening us from disturbing their morning rituals and lush green views of valleys and mountain peaks. The local cuisine was quite different from what we were used to back home but both Red and TO have simple needs- their idea of soul food basically forms the foundation of all Indian meals across the length and breadth of the country.
We stayed in a hut on stilts and I had the camera set up on the tripod the entire time to take pictures of birds and long-tailed ancestors who kept dropping by to steal our food.
TO showed his chops by giving Red and I a thorough drubbing in Monopoly and the three of us cuddled together under the blankets while it rained and turned the whole area a bit gloomy but pretty nonetheless. He did zip lining from a fairly high point and yelled in joy just when he landed safe on his feet. I, with my usual aim and focus, used the rifled to pop balloons but possibly knocked a few leaves off their stalks. You know…the good stuff!
A family trip is rarely without drama. Especially with hyper people like myself in the mix. But every so often we stop to take a breath and look around us and just take it all in. And those moments are what you remember one fine day when you wake up under semi- house arrest and longing to hit the road.
Here’s to better times for everyone. May you have your travel dreams fulfilled!
Check out these links from my Insta feed for some images of our trip: