Wanderlust or Wonder-lost?

It’s a year-round task to keep the expectation demons under control, and it’s an even greater challenge as the holiday season approaches and your adrenaline plays havoc.Read on to know what goes into the making of a utopian trip and how it ultimately succumbs to nothing but a chaos!

1. Let’s P-L-A-N :

P-Put ideas together.
L-Let laziness take over.
A-Assign a deadline.
N-Never do it.

Expectations :

A flawless to do-list is set up,effectively prioritised and segregated.An itinerary is prepared beforehand,hotel pre-booked, exquisite dining places checked and a reputable tour-guide hired. Budget is effectively managed with an economically sustainable strategy and all the necessities looked after.With all the choices prudently weighed and calculative decisions taken,you suddenly seem a potential candidate for the next assembly elections!

Reality :
While your exultant hallucinations seem boundless,it suddenly occurs to you that you probably messed up the ‘To’ and ‘From’ in your booking.Consequently,you arrive at your return and return at your arrival (Happy realisation! )
Apart from the brunt of cancellation charges, your dicey vacation now seems a distant-dream.

You should have checked your horoscope before booking the tickets. Blame it on Shaani maybe?

2.  The infinite trials of packing-unpacking

Tip 101 : Take along an empty suitcase. You need space to pack home a plethora of memories!

Expectations :
(A redefining moment as it may seem)

After hours of scrolling through Jabong and Myntra, you surely are set to raise the bars hoping that Sabyasachi does not turn covetous of your possessions.
Branded outfits check.Rad sunglasses on point. People-pleasing non-essentials undeniably kept.
This journey surely embarks a new phase transformation,more like the Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’

Reality :
“Damn. It’s so cold out here. With a suitcase full of boxers, these holidays are surely going to send ‘chills’ down my spine.” Sighs.

Home-made paranthas,pickles,spices,shoe-polish,sanitizer,handkerchief.Check.
Medicines for cold, cholera,cancer.
Check. Dad’s “vella to tu hai hi” taunts, Mumma’s mawkish ” Apna Khayal rakhna” sobs. Check.
I got them all. Wait,what? Where is my charger?

3.For the “look good, feel good ” feels :

Expectations :

A chiseled body for the hunks and a toned beachy-body for all the divas. That’s manageable it seems. A few squats, burpees, crunches and diet control and you are good to go.

Reality :

I kept my utensils in the kitchen and tidied my bed. Enough workout it seems?
Not to mention countless hours of binge -watching and sleeping that surely must work magic with my stubborn bulge.

4.  Get set go!

Expectations :

Let’s make merry and go around. Does that make it a merry-go-round?

Reality :

Your co-passengers seem to have some peculiar,non-defined fellowship with you.
The clamorous sound of the rails accompanied with the subtle, zero decibel
cries of the baby ( who supposedly follows the American time zone) give rise to an ear-pleasing,resonant Ed-Sheeren music.
( Now you don’t regret skipping your headphones,do you?)

Your battery discharges faster than your smartphone.Sleep seems irresistible and your travel-companion makes sure to bid you a good-night with dazzling lights and constant mutterings.
( ’cause a friend in need, is a friend indeed.)

Oh how well you relate to home-sweet-home.Or rather, ‘hotel-sweet-hotel’,away from home. The sight of your hotel is the only site comprising of your ‘sightseeing’.
A two step trek exhausts you,making you nauseous and nostalgic.Your travel -partners-dust, pollution,suntans and traffic jams- are sure to give you a holiday from holidaying.

5.  “Whatever happens, happens for food. ”

Enough said?

Expectations :

After an ostensibly dignified scan of the menu card with eyes fervently x-raying for the most quirky word on the list,  an unconventional unprecedented confidence spurts up to utter ” Alfredo Pina Colada”.( inducing HippoPotoMonstroSesquipPedalioPhobia)  

Reality :

A special care is taken to make it  remarkably loud for the entire restaurant to to drop their forks and gaze in amazement.
At the same time, your heart-beat over-takes Sebastian Vettel ,wishing so hard that you did not seem dyslexic with the pronunciation.  
The incessant,feigned praises of your food continue as your eyes loathe the view and your tongue goes on a strike. Nevertheless, acing the game of pretence, you go on eloquently to ask for the bill. It’s apparently so cheap that you don’t bother to leave a penny for the tip.

After savouring the extravagance of the name, you finally decide to bask on
some real food. A failed attempt to locate KFC,Subway or Dominos, with the beckoning of hunger pangs and a dwindling sum in your pocket, you choose to resolve to the vendors-A promising sumptuous meal and a promising imminent disease.

6. The ‘Oh-so out of the box pictures.”

Expectations :

Jaw-dropping photographs with amazeball sunset backgrounds, Shah Rukh’s patent poses (euphonious violins in the ambience) with hair synchronously swaying with the wind. What a shot!
A few more boomerangs and you are all set for a record-breaking instagram post and a snapchat story with funky hashtags and lit captions

Reality :
You may have been on a strict oil-free diet, but amazingly,with an incredible sense of timing, an oozing pimple pops up to mock at the vanity of your compromises.
With tyres of fat bulging out, put together with a buffoon-like happydent smile that fails the moon, you are all set for the picture perfect!
If this wasn’t enough, the backdrop highlights include garbage nuggets, out-of-nowhere people and of course your naive friend (with absolutely pious intentions) who accidentally fits in with awe-inducing ludicrous poses. ( surely not a photo-bomb )

7.  Meeting the Homosapiens

Expectations :

It seems that every civilian,every stone of that land had done penance for you to step your holy foot on their ordinary realm.
As you step down from your exotic elephant and pace forward on the red carpet, congos are thwacked and just like a king who’d conquered the world, everyone looks up to you reverently. You are given the customary regal welcome.At the entrance, Aarti and Tikka ceremony is held and rose petals showered as you ascend the stairs to enter the palace.

Forgetting that you are just a ‘local foreigner’, you seem to take ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ way too seriously!

Reality :
After a ‘not-so welcoming’ welcome, it finally sinks to your head that you are no biggie.

The cliche characteristics of humans suddenly make way for oddities (like your forehead bearing the tag of a tourist) for the
locals to cajole you into buying the overpriced, absolutely unessential stuff.
( Leaves you bankrupt, more than GST.)

Cultural differences ensure that you understand the locals precisely with random interpretations of their silent actions and awkward reactions.
Evidently,google seems the only one compatible.( Matrimonial alert! )

8. Living space

Expectation  :

A grand resort furnished with swimming pool,golf course,bonfire,a gym, club music for the night,spas and Madonna’s beauty products.
Unlimited snacks, 24*7 hot showers, a sea-facing panoramic view and any-time service.
In short, Mukesh Ambani’s house would do.
Correction. Mukesh Ambani’s palace would do.

Reality :

Dials up 911 in a jiffy. ” Room service,(puffing with rage) why isn’t my room’s key working? I need my personal space.Get it fixed you nincompoops ”
” Hey kid,do you want to get locked up? “
“Yeah, I mean that’s exactly what I am asking for.”

9.Mementos and Artefacts

Have-it or take-away?  We Indians would prefer to take-away.

Expectations :

A vivid collection of Pashmina from Kashmir, puppets from Rajasthan, tribal jewellery from Jharkhand and Mysore silk from Karnataka – that’s exactly how you promote the Make In India Campaign!

Reality :

It goes without saying that all the body-washes,shampoos,moisturisers,combs,bed sheets are your self-proclaimed property which are entitled to check out of the hotel with you. These, then, to your rescue, transform into the opulent,fancy gifts you promised your siblings.

Exclusive sea-shells and extravagant stones are bargained from the beaches for the irksome aunties whose long list of demands exceed the innumerable rejections you’ve had in life.
(Non-bailable dowryoffence?)

While the economist in you is short of self-praises for your prudence, you are soon introduced to the reality at the airport.
Extra pounds for the extra pounds you encased.

Checkmate, mate!

10.  For the new-found love of tourism

Expectations :

The grandeur of Mughal architecture ,rejuvenating beaches, grand domed structures,extravagant mosques and temples- All the places that restore your faith in the concept of heaven!

Reality :

An exemplary tale of immortal love echoed by The Taj leaves you with existential crisis,
awakening the never-existent Shah Jahan in you. In an attempt to prove the sanctity of your love, you pick up a stone ( royal drum rolls in the background with loud thumping and cheers)  and with all splendour carve an ode to your beloved, making your Iove historic and the history less lovable.

The very word ‘prohibited’ spells to you as ‘provocative’ and to satisfy the ‘macho’ in you, you resolve to do the don’ts.