The trip that wasn’t...

What happens when nothing goes your way on a holiday?
Last Updated 07 December 2018, 20:54 IST

A typical holiday at home with grown-up children hooked to their gadgets can be quite distressing. So, we try to plan a day trip for the impending holiday. “Don’t want to wake up early,” blurts out my quintessentially nocturnal daughter, thus ruling out trekking ventures or distant locales. “No temples,” pronounces my son, further dismissing options. Complying with their terms and conditions, husband and I make an exhaustive Google search and finally single out a venue — Janapada Loka.

The day arrives and we are all set. “Can I drive?” requests the daughter who is enthusiastic about her newly acquired skill, and the privilege is duly granted. After a sumptuous breakfast in a highway restaurant, we reach our destination in over an hour. But why are the gates closed and why are people outside? The suspense unravels as we get closer and find a small white sheet stuck on the gate with a handwritten message — ‘Closed for festival’. Oh no! My folk art reverie has to be put on hold for now. As if the frustration wasn’t enough, a man evidently laughs and mocks at us. Damn it!

Now, what next? As my husband is tracking that down, I simply sit and gape at a few more disappointed faces. Why didn’t they update on the Internet? Well, forget it. “There’s a lake nearby, let’s go,” the husband says. And he is passively followed by the three of us. A short drive takes us to the terminus. It’s noon time and the sun shows no mercy, but the place appears serene. We are on the verge of having fun, but something has to go wrong. “Not now,” I howl as my sandal splits open. But I don’t want to be a spoilsport, so I walk barefoot with the offenders swinging in my hands.

And this act of mine pays off. The landscape is beautiful. Fringed by huge rock boulders and pleasant greenery, the lake is indeed a spectacle. It is our saviour for the day, I guess. We ascend on the rocks, adore the views and capture them. But how long can we stay here in the blazing heat and blinding light? Also my feet burn, so we bid adieu in a while. Then, we drive around the town in pursuit of a cobbler/footwear store.

“What next?” The query crops up again. The clock has just struck two. “Can we go to Bannerghatta safari, we can see tigers,” urge the kids who are in a gala mood now. Very well, that would be our next respite. And we hit the road again. The vehicular rush in the national park’s vicinity is evidently dreadful. After a great ordeal, we park the car. Within the premises, there is a maddening crowd. Inching forward through the masses, we learn that there are thousands waiting in the queue and the closing time is 5 pm. It is already past three, so there is no chance of making it in at all. OK, never mind. On our way back, we do have a good meal though.

“Was this a trip after all?” husband expresses his predicament back home. “I don’t know, but it served the purpose. With daughter behind the wheel and son beside the window, they were away from gadgets. Mission accomplished!” I utter and ignore the frown I get in return.

(Published 07 December 2018, 19:30 IST)

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