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The Return Of #Revengetravel, And How!

In this festive season of Yuletide (and a covid free world soon), let there be light and let there be travel.

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Scores of travellers, clad in a diverse assortment of winter-fresh clothing from Gucci shoes to Lajpath-nagar monkey caps carrying everything from Tumi stroller bags to oversized bags that could probably hold a baby elephant and singly, doubly and sometimes “just-in-case” triple masked too: all in a serpentine queue to check in (& again a double length serpentine queue to complete security check) at airports. 

Rushing somewhere, checking their phones incessantly, lazily glancing at the Fab India store or eyeing that Sabudana Khichdi at Naashto /Aloo Paratha at Delhistreats, although the wifey packed ample theplas to last a few weeks. Or explaining frantically to the security CISF guard why the “Karachi” Biscuits MUST be allowed in their hand baggage as much as that beloved jar of homemade (read mummy ka) achaar ☺️. But travel, we must! 

The media is abuzz with the (latest?) trend. #RevengeTravel they call it. And why not? Travel offers new vistas, connections, experiences, food and culture (both of which India has aplenty), teaches us patience we never knew we possessed by the gallon (remember those serpentine queues!?) and much more. It offers a reason to post on FB, TikTok or Instagram (or whatever social media is worth their salt) our personal #wanderlustadventures. Hashtags never looked better in the ever-evolving “new normal.” 

Battling the no-travel ban induced lull due to pent-up emotions, unspent wallets, wanderlust, and travel “requirements” (wedding season you see!), all bundled up into a cornucopia of colours, crying babies, overstuffed handbags and last-minute gifts and teeming with enthusiasm to beat the no-travel blues, we sure make for a disparate, yet similar looking set of passengers. Swelling with liberty, freedom, festive season vibes: the last travel of 2021 perhaps before the new(est) version of the virus induced travel clampdown begins?

The joy of meeting those long-lost cousins, or that stinky-rich-but-kanjoos chacha at weddings or family get togethers is unparalleled. For the boast factor of just having travelled wrapped in winter finery, for the sheer joy of that emotion taking centre stage in a post-covid era seems to be rapidly evolving. From sipping kulhad-chai and munching on Methi ki Panjiri or Gud ki Chikki on the terrace on warm winter mornings to discussing Pinky Aunty’s designer lehenga is something city dwellers just can’t get enough of.  Of hearing your grand uncle regaling you (again) with the last Season Carnatic Music Concert stories while Ven Pongal is made for Margazhi in a Tam Brahm kitchen - oh! Where are those pleasures now? 

Tipping the happiness meter when you meet an ex-colleague after 10+ years and spend the whole day gossiping about old office stories, not noticing how the time has slipped by.  Travel brings in all these, and much more. The warmth of waiting for your visa stamped, to return to India, to dreaming about that maa-ke-haath ka khana, dubbing the Subway as an also-ran, and greedily wolfing that crispy hot Masala Dosa with some aromatic filter dashini-stye kaapi as soon you hit Bangalore Airport (and much ahead of getting home) is surely some bliss!

For sharing that narrative at an in-person conference, for that hastily gobbled up all-you-can-eat buffet at MICE conferences, and the joy of buying Haldiram sweets to kids and family waiting eagerly for you when you return (and mind you, looking at the trolley bag you have just sauntered into home with, rather than ask you how the trip was).  

Wagering if the 7–8-hour travel time (the approx. door to door between any two cities these days in India) is worth it? Certainly is. 

As much as there would be rule breakers who would hastily slide and crawl within those cramped queues murmuring something that closely resembles “late for my flight, excuse me please”, there is also that corduroy- jacket clad gentleman who graciously paves his way in the queue for a lady, notwithstanding his old British manners. If he had a hat to doff, he would certainly do so. 

Or of travellers all stuck in the same gate, with mixed flight plans and delayed flights exchanging glances, nay glares (& sometimes loaning phone chargers), while keeping a hawk’s eye on both the boarding gate and the charger as if to say “mera wala flight tera wale se pehle jaayeg, bhai- my (delayed) flight will take off before yours, buddy). leaving you to a “Bhala uski kameez meri kameez se safed kaise” kind of moment. 

Or sometimes chiding yourself why you rescheduled that noon flight that needed you to wake up at ungodly hour of the morning?  And you rush panting to the airport only to find yourself to be “politely” informed that the due to incoming flight arriving late, may we offer you a seat on the noon flight instead. 

Or of hungry (read hangry) travellers rushing to the “lounge” presumably to partake of a quick, breakfast all the while glancing (and invariably arrogantly so), at fellow passengers who flash out their Mastercard or Premium card and let in too for a small fee. Perhaps what you thought was exclusive, isn’t after all :-) 

We are a country of travellers and shall continue to be one. In various colours, sizes and shapes. On airlines that will come and go, and on new ones rebranded like the Maharajah or on those that gather dust and wither away. While it may be for #revenge or #wanderlust, as Hilaire Belloc once famously said, “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment.”

In this festive season of Yuletide (and a covid free world soon), let there be light and let there be travel.

Amen.

The author is an avid foodie, traveller + food blogger/ Youtuber at Sizzling Tastebuds. All opinions expressed are entirely personal. 

(Disclaimer - The author promises to present a tongue-in-cheek version of his/her own travel stories. No animals were harmed during the writing of this piece, or any greens plucked out from the surface of the Earth)


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
wedding travel #Revengetravel

Kalyani Srinath

The author is a keen observer of social behaviour, an L&D (Learning and Development) Professional and an avid blogger at www.sizzlingtastebuds.com

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