It was during my morning walk that it came to mind how I have been traveling from Day 1 of this year.
Last year also on Dec 1st post noon we had traveled to my hometown and this time with full family and ever since then I have been also traveling for official purposes in the last 3 weeks. So I took a quick look back on the last 4 weeks where I had the opportunity to spend some good quality time with my near and dear ones.
Initially, it took some time for us to settle down, primarily because of the weather. On a lighter note, I was telling my wife that we should all take a break to home town for only 2 weeks in a year with one official break. She laughed her mind out. However, my hometown brought a lot of memories. I could recollect certain stories and remember people who are living and dead as I was driving around the city.
In this trip there are a few things that stood out :
My wife got the middle seat in the aircraft and she had to wear the PPE kit and for her, it was a blessing in disguise, call it cold protection
My younger daughter wouldn’t mind leaving fish for the rest of the year as we ate so much fish in those days. My younger daughter ate so much fish that she can now recite ” fishy tales”
My school friend who decided to settle down in my hometown built a bar on the terrace. Call it “raising the bar“.
My daughters were interested in knowing more about our roots and I had the opportunity of sitting with my uncle ( father’s brother ) who shared the stories from his life which was very fascinating for me as well. We remembered my father on his 79th birth anniversary and his brother narrated their “Childhood struggles” and how they worked their way to success in life
We moved away from weapons of mass distraction to weapons of mass connection.
We all have the weapons of mass distractions ( Phone, laptop, Fire-sticks, wearables). On this trip, it was good to find weapons of mass connections. Those were albums; stories of yore; food items of interest ( my wife picked some good recipes); home gardening; meeting people whom we knew before and seeing how they are now; playing sports like badminton, handball, cricket.
It was also nice to see the bond between daughters and grandparents. My younger daughter got connected with my in-laws with birds. My mother in law is an avid birdwatcher and my daughter had a fun time updating birds on the e-bird app. My daughter was sharing the name of this bird ” greater coucal ( uppan in Malayalam) which I was not aware of and stories by my father-in-law of the Indian Civet cat ( Marapatty in Malayalam) stealing fruits.
One of my favorite moments was when my grandmother, mother, wife, daughters, and I sat around and had icecream.
This trip was unique, post covid, as the online world dictated to a great extent how we can spend time with the larger family. As my daughters had to attend classes ( school, dance, tuition ) we had to work everything around the same. By making very restricted visits to family members after seeking their consent, we made it a point to spend some good time with my near and dear ones.
After we returned from our hometown, I was back to my pre-covid business travel routine. Some things however were different…This week, I landed home around 11.45 PM after a business trip and as usual, went to do my post homecoming travel sanitation routine. My younger daughter was still awake and waiting for me to return. She opened the door and a few minutes later she came to me and showed tricky tongue twisters and asked me to say the above tongue twister aloud! I was tired initially as I was in the travel bubble ( Mask, shields ) and added to it, a bad cold as well. But that didn’t deter me from not doing what she wanted me to do. So I read it out loud. I was tired but took a deep breath and did it for her sake.