The story reel on ‘Facebook’ of a friend felt like a deprivation of my secluded moods that are wary of any carnivalesque collaborations.  It starts as a riddle for the ‘Facebook parrots’; I benevolently call them for their oleaginous tootle on someone else’s phantasmagoria. What about me? I stay away from all this piffle-paffle but at times the parrot in me invokes a subtlety of crunching the chili that has already left a piquant taste in somebody else’s mouth. I look at the reel, ‘What a way to start a vacation’. The passports of all family members flash like a worn-out bulb; maybe they did not greet sleep with the same affection, who needs it anyways now? A closer look assures not one but four people standing with their luggage, posing somewhat erratically. ‘Vacation time?’ is all I see but the destination would be a fact-finding for the parrots. ‘No clue’, ‘no text flowing’, wait and watch for the next reel—I guess!

Vacation is like a passerine in closets. As they come out flying, their appearances elude their real temperaments, intertwining with masquerade identities to the destination par obscurity. It is learnt through ‘Google’ the onomatopoeia; the slippery fault of changing one’s style to induce a similar magnanimity and the wanderment of heels and slippers to an unknown land, filtering the ‘native me’ to finally call a tour de force.

The bee-line of stories and reels continues. Oh! I forgot to introduce the prodigal trailer before the tribe saunters to the undisclosed cave. The tootle bears the rhythm that of the foolhardy machines in the gym on which is toasted encumbered bodies to relieve the ‘aloo paranthas’ of their abysmal guilt. The finely chopped figure gets ready to binge on the demurs that feel awkward to digest but a bitter cul-de-sac to meet the demands of pertinence. A month before the vacation a ‘cultural shock’ invades the ‘cultural consanguinity’. One actually starts ‘living’, ‘talking’ and ‘breathing’ the vibes that fly unperturbed in the territory it is about to invade—purloining the pastiche like the hibiscus diligently inferring the smell of other flowers nearby.

So, inhibitions take a pummeling fall—a noticeable difference presents itself in a pirouette of frequent parlor visits, scanning the frissons and fears of ‘what to wear’ and how succinctly a ‘bikini’ finds place in the luggage considering the baggage of being covered head to toe is an anomalylike mushrooms growing in a dark damp wood.

‘Three days to go’. ‘Two days to go’ and ‘here we are’—bang on! Arrival at the airport is a ceremonious task. A selfie of the hubristic luggage carrying the essence of plasticity, with the guardians into their much pompous staggered smile is more relevant on social media than the ‘wrestlers’ agitation’.  There is more to feel! The reluctant family members who could not be a part of the vacation sit in a vague expectation if they could have been soiled along. Friends, least to say, the ones’ who listened to your banter and frivolous pontification of a ‘vast vacation schedule’ scan your photos ominously. Some, beastly in nature, might ignore the entire pomp out of jealousy and the curtly wherewithal.

Anyone remembers the vacation of 90s? It would be 3-5 day trip to a hill station, and if resources were still a blank dot in the pocket, a visit to an aunt’s place or the grandmother’s succulent abode was enough for greener pastures. Sitting inside the carapsse, whispers flew unobtrusively through the common ducts of the wall. Today, the walls are more constricted and so are the hearts. What has given these anthropocentric wings? It’s primarily a refuge under the burgeoning financial capacity.

Many would feel that why I am acting as a demon coming in the way of ‘saints for a sail’? After all vacation is all about making moments but what tires me is how one can swoon over their eccentricities on people who themselves are tampering with their own mess. Shoving down every bit of detail on social media for people to see what they cannot afford or for that matter creating a paradox of ‘we are a happy couple’ when friends have seen them fighting tooth and nail. Hilarious!

Let’s not forget the enlightenment received during these trips! The fear automatically turns into an imperceptible love. A ‘spider’ in the house upholds a stentorious shriek but then a ‘tarantula’ exposed in a reel or a story feels like a newly infested animal magnetism. The indiscernible clicks voraciously uploaded on social media are like the shredded glass awakening to how differently it can grow now. Isn’t it? Tell me if this is not the case but considering such paradoxes, one supposedly finds these ‘vacations’ to live out of your discomfort that grips you culturally and is morally a de trop.

I have seen women walking in knee length attires on a beach in India but the ‘parvati bani poo’ fantasyfortuitously becomes a reality in a foreign land. Bikini makes a slimy appearance to cover the fat encrusted bodies, once only a phantasmagoria in the hard-core fundus of the society.

Vacations now are a clarion call indeed that ‘I can do too and it’s not a big deal’. For many it would still be; the ones who are not fanatical of their privileges and neither live a life of duality. Vainglorious it may sound but a deliberate frisson to post one’s photograph with a tankard in a dim twilight sometimes can make the other’s life feel an aberration. It would not merely be a compulsory alliance to react but a profane non-alignment of what cannot be held in the shriveled fist of forced disturbances.

Please post what you like posting…’the drum beats to the terpsichorean legacy of sunset walks, the toboggan sliding the dream to a deadlock where it meets reality and the fuss about wearing a ten-gallon hat among wanderers –it may all be taken as a conceptualized dereliction of accustomed fears or a moral behavior to retract what was never a choice or is just a plan holiday with no strings attached.

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