Thursday, July 22, 2010

Of Vacations and Hippies!

        It has been quite some time since I took off on an impromptu vacation. Last evening, when a friend mentioned it, I told him I was totally in the mood for a vacation, the only condition being that the crowd must consist of people who don’t get into ‘picnic’ mode. I don’t know how it works for you guys, but for me, it really does not work if the crowd travelling with me on the trip consists of people who get into “picnic” mode and start getting all hyper-excited about it. You know what I mean? There is always one guy in the group, who draws up a “strict” plan and crams the itinerary with a list of a dozen “must-visit” places. So basically, when the trip finally happens, it’s going to be a string of “go,see,click pics-run to the next spot” events. That’s so damn boring! And then there is the “hoarding of snacks” ritual. One person runs to the food market, packs up heaps and heaps of chips, cola, chocolates and other blah stuff. A little food is always good. But these guys go overboard and start piling the cart as if they are never ever going to see food ever again in their lives. And more than half the travelling time is spent in digging into the pile of snacks, pulling out a pack of chips and munching on it like noisy racoons :-|
         Another major turn off for me are these mindless, juvenile games that people come up with. The occasional fun game is ok. But if you have plans of spending the entire time on the road, playing “truth or dare”, “ antakshari” and similar kiddo stuff, no thanks, I would rather sleep through the entire journey than get myself into singing loud, throat-wrenching, blaring bollywood songs , which by the way, people never seem to run out of, thanks to the consistency with which our movie industry churns out the noisy crap. I mean seriously, who would want to croak and induce headaches, when you can actually spend the time sitting by the window, watching the little towns and villages pass by and enjoy being on the road? Call me boring if you will, but half the joy of going on a trip lies in the journey itself, and the other half is in the destination. And I like my journey to be a time meant for myself, to indulge and do things that I enjoy doing…An interesting conversation with a fellow traveler, a good book , lilting melodies from a flute and even doing absolutely nothing suits me just as fine. Anything…except noisy bollywood naach-gaana!
         The fondest memory I have of a vacation is of this trip to a beachfront, where we spent an entire night on the beach, in the pitch dark night, sitting around a campfire, the sea roaring away in a distance, the sound of the waves amplified by the stillness of the noise, half the people around the campfire were strangers who were hanging out at the nearby shack, eating their dinner and got lured to the warmth of the campfire :) It was an amazing night...full of stories from people we barely knew and people we would never even see again. Anonymity is such an aphrodisiac. Stories that would never be told in familiar company came out that night, with wicked details! It is just this kind of break that I yearn for. Where every conversation is a new discovery and every stranger is an acquaintance waiting to happen! Where you remember their faces only with the glow of the fire on it and where the night grows into dawn and yet there are stories waiting to be told.Where at five in the morning, everyone just get up and walk back into their shacks, feeling lighter in the heart and richer in experience!
         It is such breaks, free from the drone of the incessantly ringing mobile, the boring hours spent in conference calls at work and free from the lure of the social networking sites, that we need once in a while to recharge the life forces running through us..
        While I write about the amazing night, the image of the American hippie, who sat at a distance from the campfire, crosses my mind. The lady and her male companion were both drunk and high on weed and totally out of their senses. They hardly ever spoke, but sat through the entire night, staring at the group around the campfire through their glazed eyes. Once in a while, she got up and wandered around aimlessly for a minute or two and then went back to sit with her friend who was now lying down on the sand like the Vitruvian man. In the morning, when we were all walking back to the cottage, an Indian roadside Romeo, waiting for the crowd to leave, approached her and asked her name. “Nancy Drew” she said. I am not sure if that was her real name, but it cracked it me big time :D Sunday evening, when we were packing up to leave, Nancy Drew and the Vitruvian man were sitting in the front porch of their cottage, looking as normal as ever in all their hippie glory (tie dyed clothes and all)! We saw the Roadside Romeo talking to them in his broken English, grinning from ear to ear, while his group of friends, whom we fondly named The Hardy Boys, stood ogling at Nancy Drew. There is something incredibly alluring about hippies :D
       Bangalore has it’s share of hippie tourists and whenever I see one, I am reminded of Nancy Drew :D Thanks to her, all my childhood images of Nancy Drew, conjured in my mind while I read about her, are now heavily altered..LOL..Not that I mind it one bit ;) Nancy Drew just became cooler :D
       Talking about hippies, here’s a link to watch my favourite hippie songstress :D Enjoy!
                                             Phoebe you rock!!
God...From vacations to hippies...Am I on a roll or what!!
Here's to happy times people!! Cheers! :)

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