Going on a family vacation during summer break was a ritual in our family. I should thank my globetrotter parents who took us to every nook and cranny of this beautiful cultural potpourri called India. These holidays were adventurous expeditions which gave us a vast array of experiences; each holiday has its own share of stories, anecdotes and incidents which have left an indelible mark in our memories. Now when my family gets a rare chance to be together we take it as an opportunity to narrate those tales to our children. This generation has missed it all-travelling happily in general class, relishing train wali chai, samosas and pakoras at every popular junction. Narrating these small and funny instances with this generation makes us believe that we are growing old…AAAHHHhhhh I shun that thought with a smirk; after all ageing is more to do with physical fitness than with the dates on a calendar.
My father planned a trip to Himachal Pradesh , tickets were booked and a detailed itinerary was prepared. He ensured that we cover every possible place in and around our starting point which often made these vacations turn into a mission impossible. On this travel plan a day was reserved for Rohtang. Even in peak summers the sight of snowy mountains was enough to enthrall the kiddie gang. The picturesque view of snow clad mountains was truly enigmatic. Due to vacations and the peak season tourists were ravaging the hill station in hordes.
Everyone was busy skiing on the snow, rather it is more correct to say that they were wearing safety gears and just posing for photos. Snow balls were popping from all directions – thanks to some crazy berserks. Anyways, like others we also started trekking on the slippery snow. Huffing and puffing, everyone was racing against each other to the top. Walking with those rented heavy gum boots is a herculean task, the bigger steps you try to take the deeper you are submerged in a heap of snow. In all the humdrum I lost pace, I could see others but was unable to bridge the distance between us. The gap was widening, suddenly there was a BIG GUSH! To my utter dismay I was rolling like a ball on the snow. It took me a while to get back to my senses and understand what had happened to me (I was just 11 years old). Actually a bunch of buffoons were sitting one behind the other and slipping down from the cliff intentionally, just for fun. My wagon also got hitched to their eccentric bandwagon accidentally.
From zenith to nadir in a jiffy, I landed at the bottom of the mountain- the place from where we started. I looked around and felt like a tiny bud amidst a swarm of bees. There were strangers- tourists, dhabawallahs, drivers, hawkers and all the buntys and shuntys of the world but not a trace of any of my family member. I looked up towards the infinite sky and contemplated- Am I lost?
An eleven year old girl would have wept, felt anxious or searched for her family members. I did none. I marched towards our taxi and trust me it was not the best of idea as there were innumerable cabs, buses and cars parked in serpentine queues in the narrow bylanes of the hill station. People were honking madly in the traffic snarl but their woes didn’t seem to end. I was searching for my cab, indifferent to these mundane things. By the time I found it I was so enervated that I got in the car and asked the driver to get me something to eat.
After some time my father came looking for me and took me to my family. I got to know that an aunty who was with us was so petrified at my sudden disappearance that she was completely dejected and started chanting mantras since then. She remembered every possible Hindu God and promised them a hefty prasadam, only on the condition of having found me. What about my mom, was she wailing in grief? No, probably she knew that her maverick daughter was safe somewhere. She guessed that I must be sitting in the cab so she sent my dad to check the cab which was parked not less than a kilometer away. God knows how she guessed that but that’s called a mother’s gut feeling and that’s God’s gift to every mother. A mother knows it all. Eureka! My dad found me and all was well again.
I wish I could have an ounce of aplomb and gumption for my kids the way my mom had for her children. No wonder that she has raised fearless children who are ready to take the plunge into anything. Love you mom for how you have nurtured us!
It is rightly said that mothers unknowingly instill their thoughts, feelings and attitude in their children. Do you know your thoughts are going to turn into a reality one day so it’s better to think positively about everything related to your children. Free Range Parenting is a rage now, my mom has already been there done that -decades ago.
Think positive and be optimistic, no sinister element in this world can ever touch your child.