Celebrity column: Surviving a family vacay, writes Shweta Bachchan Nanda – This year, after much toing and froing of dates suitable to all members of my family, we were booked for Greece
Shweta Bachchan Nanda
Family vacations are the kind of enterprises you embark upon with hope and optimism, and return with a lot of dirty laundry and suffering extreme exhaustion. This year, after much toing and froing of dates suitable to all members of my family, we were booked for Greece. At the airport, crowded with holidaymakers, our flight kept getting delayed but in 15-minute increments. Leaving us no choice, but to sit tight staring at a never changing screen.
Once at our destination, we would spend our mornings on the beach, where every 30 minutes, I was required to appraise my daughter on the status of her tan, while my son skulked in the room on his laptop. When he ventured out, it was with a towel covering his face and head as he rushed from one shady spot to another to avoid getting a tan. By nighttime, my daughter was sunburnt and my son was pale and in hysterics at his sister’s plight. For food, we would venture into the quaint towns that scattered our island and after bridging a serious language barrier, managed to order. My son had decided we must pool all our mobile phones at the centre of the table and not touch them till the meal was done. This was a very noble idea, but suddenly, we were all out of conversations and aching for our dinner to be over so we could have our devices back. Forgoing dessert every time. One morning, I woke up to my son sitting at the foot of my bed his face lit by the neon light from his laptop. It was 6 am. Three hours later, his exam results were out. We held hands and took many deep breaths before he logged on and by the widening of his smile, I knew we could exhale! The pleasant breeze intensified over the next few days, to a gale force wind and my daughter and I were left most evenings yelping as we brushed knots out of our tousled hair. We were by now bristling at the enforced invasion of our personal space and many a fight sprang up about wet towels thrown on the floor and whose turn it was to take the breakfast tray out. I was by now sustaining myself on the little squares of chocolate mints that were left on my bed during turn down service (I am not big on seafood).
At check in, on our way back, I spotted a cat walking around the airport like it was no big deal and narrowly made the weight limit for suitcases on account of everyone throwing their dirty laundry in mine. I hadn’t seen my daughter wear anything bigger than a handkerchief the entire trip, but she didn’t have space in her suitcase, she said to me deadpan.
As we ended our holiday, I was more than a little relieved. Driving back from the airport someone said, “Can’t wait for next year. Mum start planning.” I pulled down my eye mask and pretended I had heard nothing.