My perfect holiday is when I can sit back with a book on an easy chair and not answer for my idleness to anyone. I do not mind what book I read really. Books are meant to do something to me and it is all that I expect in a holiday as well. After having fortified myself with some solid breakfast a book stays with me for the day till sleep claims me. I casually dip into the page where I stopped last only to make a free fall. I have no intention of finishing the book on hand but let an accidental word or passage to trigger certain responses to set me free. By such manner one might take me for a traveler who has circumnavigated the globe many times over. I am a traveler non pareil who never got wet even when I went after Moby Dick. I have been with Crusoe and not a speck of sand got into my shoes by that experience; even as I followed him around on that desolate isle I was as affected as he. He may not have had me much as a company but I had him and it was great. Holiday is where you get your pleasure without others exacting theirs out of you. Books on that score alone top the list of essential items that make up my holiday travels.
Looking back I can quite recall my first holiday with my father. The school was closed for summer and three months I could claim as my due for having mastered multiplication tables. My slate and pencils were thrown into a heap along with books as of no use. No more I would need rap on my knuckles with a ruler from my master but let to be myself. It was something. How often can a child of 8 be told to act his age? I could have wished to go to the zoo or for a movie. No my father had decided sea air would do some good. How thrilling that notion was! A child of seven or eight is wet behind the ears so he wishes to see an animal that is something of a rarity. He wants to see something else because he is bored. His world is so small. But the suggestion coming from my father had something of a new world. An adventure! Only when we walked along the magical sea shore I knew I had come to an important point in my life. The sea would take me faraway places. On that moment something seemed to open my understanding. It was a liberating moment. The sea and I. I watched in fascination the waves riding towards me. Bedazzled as though the wave that surrounded my ankles cast a spell. It will take me on a journey, after all. I must have shivered at the thrill of it. My father intuitively took hold of my hand. Clutching my hands harder he said, ” You have learned multiplication tables. Division isn’t a big deal.” It would have been so if he had not set about teaching me division. Then and there. Since then I decided the idea of holiday travels will have an altogether new definition for me.
Of course I used to think seeing places made the holiday travel worth the while. No more I subscribe to the Philistine notion that seeing places is essential for a man’s education. You go to Washington D.C, London, New Delhi or Amsterdam. I speak from experience. If you think you soak up culture by such a visit, perish the thought. Without any exception all that you see will be the same: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and so on. Holiday travels, when all said and done, help you renew yourself. Allow me to do it my way.