Somebody said that traveling helped broaden one’s mind. For long I thought this was an extravagant statement, for if it were true children of the transferable Armymen should have had the broadest of minds. Which, unfortunately is not true – for why else would they also end up in the Army?
In my life, I have had extensive domestic travel, not to mention the few travels abroad. They definitely helped me broaden my mind. Now, besides my wife, I can also accommodate a girlfriend in my head. This was impossible before – the middle-class guilt messed it up.
When my wife Rekha couldn’t understand how a girlfriend and a wife can be in the same broadened mind, I had no choice but to recommend traveling. She agreed. Only that I had to accompany her.
This is the problem with us Rajans. Sometimes, we get stuck in our own web of deceit and can’t break free.
“Ok then, if you also want me to accompany you, let it be a vacation.” I said.
“Vacation? What is a vacation?” Rekha really didn’t know what that was. She studied when she was a student, when she joined a corporate, she worked, when she became a mother she took care of Rhea….and that’s what she has ever done.
“Rekha, vacation is a break people take once in a while. They go to a place of their liking, and just chill.” I had to break it down for her.
“Ohh…like a honeymoon?” Rekha looked worried.
I couldn’t fault her. The last time we ever traveled was six years back- when we went on our honeymoon to Kumarakom in Kerala.
Since I didn’t want her to be worried, I said: “Yeah, like a honeymoon…just that this time there would be a lot less sex. If at all, that is.”
“That’s fine. I can manage that.” The worry had vanished from her face, and she was now smiling.
Looking at her smiling, I got worried. This smile definitely meant no sex for the 4-5 days we would be on vacation. As the lines on my face grew thicker, Rekha touched me on my cheeks and said: “Don’t worry baby, we will vacation in a spot where internet is available.”
All this happened a few days back. I forgot everything about it the next day itself. A vacation without sex is like a movie without songs – it might be good, but it isn’t enough.
Besides, a good vacation costs money and I was not willing to part with the money saved up for my Pajero.
Rekha brought it up again today: “So, what plans on the vacation?”
“Hmm…let me see. South India is ruled out coz we are from South India. North East is ruled out because we don’t want to be kidnapped by the ULFA, Kashmir is ruled out because its too cold, Goa is ruled out because we have a kid, Andamans is ruled out because we have already been there….in short, there is no place we can go to.” I had practiced this line a few times earlier, so was able to recite it without stopping in between for water.
“How about international travel?” As always Rekha was at her destructive best.
“We don’t have a passport for Rhea, remember?” I felt like a winner while saying this.
“How about Nepal? We don’t need a passport to go there, do we?” Her destructive streak continued.
“Nepal….hmmm…don’t you think the atmosphere there would be a little tense after the Nepalese Royal massacre?”
“Rajan, wasn’t that ten years back?” Rekha retorted.
“You are right….that is indeed old news. What about the altitude? Will it be a problem for Rhea?” Only a man who revels in making one excuse after another can ever hope to win against his wife.
“For somebody like you who has grown up on a diet of Asthalin 2Mg & 4Mg, it could be a problem…not for my daughter.” Rekha’s eyes were bloodshot…as if she was the woman Rajinikanth.
“But tell me…didn’t China occupy Nepal and mess up the country. Are you sure it is safe?”
“Wasn’t that Tibet?” Rekha shot back almost immediately. Mind you, her great grand mother once went out on a date with General Knowledge of the British Army.
“You mean Dalai Lama is not from Nepal? He sure looks like Thapa, our Nepali security guard.”
“No Rajan. What happened to your GK?”
“OK, if you insist we can visit Nepal. But what do I get?” Like I have said earlier, I am a hard bargainer.
“Well, the same rules that apply to Rhea apply to you. If you are a nice boy, you get what you want.”
I am looking forward to the vacation. And I checked…most good hotels in Nepal have internet.