Ushering in the holiday routine



The air-conditioner has been purring unobtrusively as it does all through the day, transforming our home into a winter wonderland, while the two potted plants in the balcony have sadly wilted either under the care of my not-so-green fingers or due to the sweltering heat.

The thermostat has been set to 24 degrees so as to ensure that the husband will not be in for a rude shock at the sight of the electricity bill by which time the children and I will be temporarily relocating (vacationing) to parents’ and in-laws’ homes, where we will carry on with the same tasks, routines and life in general to a different venue — until schools reopen.

Last year, after the monsoons wreaked havoc, I stacked our suitcases with winter clothes only to have warm sunny days ahead of us. Parents and relatives cheerily said that we had brought along sunshine into their cold and damp days, while my children perspired swathed as they were in their winter clothing, leaving the thirsty mosquito party singing their song of frustration.

So this year, I have packed for every conceivable weather condition,  along with medication to combat every sort of illness or rash that usually return untouched save for the antacids that come in handy every time I lose sleep after Little Princess coughs or Sid gets a mosquito bite.

As much as I wish to travel light, the ‘weight’ of my packing hits me at the baggage carousel upon our arrival when I invariably need a few strong helping hands to successfully mount them on airport trolleys.

In the days of yore, summer holidays meant train travels with suitcases operated on number locks, a basket full of homemade food and coolers filled to the brim with water.

Upon our arrival to grandmother’s home, the grown-ups got busy catching up with their siblings, leaving us cousins to pick up from where we had left our exploration of the vast property the previous summer.

We enjoyed our days amid the thicket of mango grooves. The adults rarely fussed over us and our interactions were limited to meal times and disastrous afternoons when we were caught raiding grandmother’s store stacked with goodies.

We lived in perfect harmony alongside the mosquitoes and the rare bugs. Upon our return, we sported a healthy tan, our limbs strong and mouths bearing the stains of mango sap from days spent climbing trees and greedily devouring mangoes.

Today, my children need me to guide them through the routine even during the summer break while we get together with another nuclear family living their carefully charted routine in a small houses that boasts of a vegetable patch and a mango tree.

The children are jumpy at the sight of mosquitoes and terrified of croaking toads.  Sun downs include closing every window and covering every crevice that might allow the villain mosquito into a home that houses two children with sweet blood.

Luckily, the children can continue to sleep soundly under the purr of air-conditioners that often leave us with frost bites by the early morning hours, but ensure that the stray mosquito that ventured into our repellent-barricaded fortress has failed to get its fill of sweet blood as it froze under its icy grip.

This is an extract from a piece that was published on August 11,2018, in the Gulf News. Click here to read the original piece.


Good morning friends! It is wonderful to be back to the wonderful virtual world after a long break. A big thank you to all of those who tried to reach me to find out if all was well. I have just returned after a long holiday and will be slowly and steadily be making up for all that I have missed during my absence.

Until then, wishing you all a very happy Sunday!


32 responses »

  1. though you’ve sounded so predictable by titling your blog ‘holiday routine’, there’s also an element of unpredictability about these holidays, the elements of nature playing the numero uno villain in that respect. just drying ourselves after a terrible deluge in this part of the country, It’s always better to be prepared for all eventualities!

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I wrote this piece, Kerala was still enjoying the showers and the rains were yet to wreck havoc.
      I guess we can never be prepared for a disaster. We were there too, watching the water levels rise alarmingly.
      Thrissur was seriously affected too. Hope all was well at your end, Doctor.


  2. So good to see you back P. In fact I hopped to your blog to check if I missed your wonderful posts😁. Hope you didn’t have much trouble with the floods.
    Unlike our times, when summer holidays was a time to chill out with cousins,
    thanks to the nuclear families now kids get uncomfortable with lots of people around and are not happy to be moved away from their routines.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Radhika. It feels wonderful to get back here after what seems to be an eternity. Missed our shared world!
      Yes, we were stuck for longer than we hoped for during our long vacation in Kerala but luckily we were high and dry.
      Absolutely, helicopter parenting coupled with nuclear families are ruining even the kids vacation. After writing this piece, I decided to let go of them and surprisingly I enjoyed myself as much as they did all through the two long months.
      On the other side of the break, I am struggling to get back 😉 even though they have quickly slipped into the school routine.
      Hope all is well at your end, Radhika. Will get to your space to find it all out 🙂


  3. Good to have you back, Writer Woman! Have missed your amusing pieces, especially the cartoons with which your posts start. It seems you had a nice vacation even if it doesn’t match the good ol’ days. Hope to see more of you from now on 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good to see you back dear Pranita. Hope you had a good vacation and the rains didn’t play havoc. Though I would jump through the ceiling on spying the huge roaches in my grandpas home, we did have our bit of fun eating mangoes, jackfruit papads etc and of course playing with cousins was a routine. On the contrary my kids get so uncomfortable with a huge crowd and are much more comfortable in their small gadget world 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Deepika. It feels so wonderful to catch you here. How have you been?
      Yes, back after a long vacation when I put I put myself on a digital diet, enjoying a little time away from routine but I must say I missed this place.
      Rains did play havoc but we managed fine. At least we did not starve or wade through troubled waters.
      Haha! Roaches, yes, there were flying varieties too! But the fun we had can never match up to any game that is available in the virtual world. But I suppose the world is shrinking into the confines of a gadget, just hope our mindsets don’t.


Thank you for reading. I would love to know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s