Chapter 1: The Group
When I was in high school, I read the story of ‘Packing’ by Jerome K. Jerome. That story describes beautifully how a travel group is formed. There will always be one dysfunctional, one know-it-all and one cool manager in that group.
As I know that my father always has a high chance to miss every trip due to his office pressure, I planned it as a girls’ trip with mom. I know, it’s funny. But if you are ever born in a middle-class Bengali family as a girl and only child, you will always receive a never-ending love which will even assist you even after your marriage.
My mother is like a cat mother; ever cautious. So my girl gang only includes her. Still, I enjoy her company. But this time my father also jumped out to go with us. I said, “What about your duties?”
Ma also said, “Are you planning to cancel the trip at the last moment like all the time?”
Dad said, “Just buy a separate set of tickets. That will work, I guess.”
Since my grandparents died I always take an extra pity on dad; poor baby. So our team was formed.
1. The highly dysfunctional Dad
2. The know-it-all Mom
3. The cool manager me.
And thus our packing started.
Since my childhood, I have seen my mother reading about the place we are about to go. She has a book called ‘Bhramansangi’; means ‘The Travel Partner’. It is Bible for every Bengali travel enthusiast. No, not for the modern solo trip. This Bible belongs to strictly for family trips.
Dad was much more interested in the type of the aeroplane we were supposed to get. And me?
Well, I was dreaming of attending the K-Pop concert that was about to take place at the festival. I was getting goosebumps thinking about the handsome north-eastern boys I’m about to bump.
Paradise! Horatio, Paradise!!!!
But my father never forgot to remind me that since Mother Gothel is accompanying us I should stop grinning about that dream. But I was happy to visit Shillong. The place where Tagore wrote ‘Farewell my Friend’. How beautiful that place could be which inspired him so much.
And that place is also memorable for my parents because they were the first couple in the world who got bankrupt on their honeymoon. Mom said amusingly, “We were just busy about shopping and buying souvenir for everyone and your father got pickpocketed.” Sometimes I wonder what legendary parents I have got. Kudos to God.
Man proposes. God disposes. In my case it is me who proposes and my mother disposes.
I thought in this will be a family trip. But my mother one day said, “Didi and Swapan da will also come. Raka make tickets for them too and it’s good that hotel hasn’t been booked yet.”
I was already feeling dizzy. What?? My Aunt. Lord, please save my soul. She is next to the Mughal Queen. You can satisfy Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II. But you can never satisfy my aunt. No matter how good you perform she will always find out some problem. Either the room is not good or the hotel lift is not upto the mark or the staffs are rude.
When I look at my uncle he is a complete opposite person, always happy and alway contended. No wonder he belonged to core engineering in his college days.
In short when these two sisters are together the gossips, blabbering and dirty jokes are never gonna stop. You better keep your earphone handy or they may bleed.
So now our group contains two chatter boxes, one silent sage, one man-child and one daydreaming fellow. This group is now more entertaining than the group mentioned in ‘Packing’.
See you in next chapter.