Friday, May 4, 2012

A one-of-a-kind-vacation

After cruising along the backwaters of God’s own Country, as Kerala is known, we are now on the final leg of our vacation this summer. Our vacations almost always end with a mandatory trip to “Shristi”, my father’s farm house in Dharmasthala partly because it is easier to plan a short trip while we are on vacation anyway and partly because post vacation hangover doesn’t seem so bad when you ease back into your routine incrementally!:-) Anyway, we  had a great time in Kumarakom sailing on the Vembanad lake in a traditional Kerala houseboat followed by an idyllic vacation in a resort adjoining the bird sanctuary with the panoramic view of the lake. Everything was perfect….well….almost everything except for the fact that Abhay was down with fever for all five days of our stay in Kerala! Having made reservations and booked our train tickets almost two months ago, having read all the travel books on things-to-see and do in Kumarakom, spoken to people who’ve been there and done that, we thought we had everything planned out! But what we hadn’t planned for was applying cold packs to bring down Abhay’s fever at an interval of every two hours each night, or keeping our fingers crossed as he gulped down 5 ml of his paracetamol syrup for the post effects of the acidic medicine or hauling an auto late in the night in an unknown place to take our five year old to an unknown doctor! At the same time, thanks to Abhay, this was a vacation in a true sense of the word. Unlike our previous vacations  typically characterized by a hectic daily itinerary, this was a relaxing one where we got to indulge in refreshingly quiet activities like bird watching, swimming, soothing ourselves with an ayurvedic massage at the spa, enjoying sunset dinners overlooking the lake and not to mention cuddling with our flu ridden five year old on a hammock with a book cheer him up!

I’m not sure if it was my sixth sense that made me pick this book before we left for Kerala….but reading about a family  and their spoiled vacation consoled me in a strange way. “ Arthur’s family vacation by Marc Brown is a story I can totally relate to! It is the last day of school and everyone is excited to have their vacation planned. Everyone except Arthur, who is not particularly thrilled at the prospect of going on a family vacation. As they prepare to leave, Arthur cant help dreaming about attending a summer camp with his best friend Buster instead of travelling with his parents and siblings. But his mother assures him of a good time at the beach and so Arthur cant wait to hit the sand. But as they reach their destination, it begins to rain and does not seem to let up even after a couple of days. Tired of waiting for the rain to stop, Arthur plans a field trip for his entire family and discovers there is so much to do even on a rainy day. Finally on the last day, the sun is out and the Arthur family decides to relax on the beach. On the next day, as they pack up and head home, Arthur realizes that he had fun with his family on their vacation, even if it didn’t go as planned! Just as in the book, it was only on the last day in Kerala, Abhay recovered and got to soak up sunshine on the Malabar coast. Whatever said and done…our vacation on the Kerala backwaters is an unforgettable one, for various reasons!:-)

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