When I asked my 5 year old, if she wanted to go far where Papa’s car won’t be able to go too easily, she very readily agreed but had a few concerns of her own. She wanted an exact replica of her first travel which was from Pune to Chennai. All that the trip included was air-flights to and fro and accommodation in one of the city’s most centrally located top-notch hotels. A little binge on junk food and a visit to a kids’ play zone. That was pretty much the itinerary and that was exactly what the little one expected of every travel – travel by air, stay in fancy accommodation and not to be pestered to eat vegetables.
What has happened to the old-fashioned middle-class way of taking a vacation? Where is travelling by the train wherein you arrange all your things like newspaper, radio, bananas etc. on the berth and the side tray getting ready for a long journey gone? Going to a new place meant either you hunt down and re-connect with your far-off relatives residing in the city or you look for the cheapest accommodation rarely accompanied by discounts or even basic amenities. Having queried about all these lifestyle changes, the next query arises that of the historic importance of the place. Children are definitely willing to learn a little history of the certain new place but I am not too sure how much do they look forward to it. Many a times they agree to accompany you to the forts or temples because they have already been given the incentive of visiting a play zone post the spiritual or historic visit.