It was a much looked forward to vacation. You see we had barely escaped the clutches of thoughts of a staycation. I mean I just couldn’t get it how folks were so desperate to leave home that they were willing to just go somewhere (in many cases, their own city) and stay some nights in a hotel. Like seriously! Well maybe it was the thought of having to not fend for meals for everyone, or perhaps do the dishes or maybe avoiding, the ever-ongoing house-keeping that I keep slipping into at all possible times and days of week just because I feel it is my god-bidden duty to do so. You see, as long as there are people who (one feels) one needs to take care of, one will always have enough to do besides spending, me-time. And that course after you have taken care of those whose benign presence in your life allows for the subsistence levels of income that you deserve because you literally (please note the avoidance of mentioning all the lifestyle diseases thus caused) are born to serve them day in and day night.

Anyways, so for all the above reasons that one may have needed it, I was a proud better half of one poor soul who had been kept away from the clutches of it. Maybe it was my very expressive face that could conjure multitudes of unpleasant expressions at the mention of it. Or maybe the thought that upon return after 48 hours thus spent, I would have them (you see the tween was a willing accomplice, much to my chagrin) stay in the (so-called) outhouse. Yes, I know for several of you, given the maximum city I stay in, you would wonder what the size of this outhouse would be, given the standards of magnitude on the “house”. Most likely, the thought of the latter was what finally stayed the staycation plans. Though I must say, there was a certain frequency to the re-checking of possibilities, just in case there was a change of heart from the cold-blooded mother superior who governed the entry and exit of warm bodies into and outside the abode.

Thus it was no surprise that there was incredulousness when mother superior offered to take a family vacation. Perhaps it was the push of the one much more superior, or perhaps it was the end of the semester for the tween which seemingly deserved a break. Or perhaps, it was the feeling that one needed to overcome all anxieties while travelling with family, in order to even imagine that one could travel on one’s own when duty called (and mind you, there was a lot of calling that was happening, rather desperate at that too). It was strange that the latter was even a concern, especially for someone who had spent enough of a lifetime in solitary travel – no I am no avid traveler, it was again (yes, you got it), the call of duty that made me do thus. In fact, you can almost equate me to the bawling, hands- and legs flaying child who gets pushed to have to go anywhere that is more than an hour away from home. Sigh! Such is life!

So now that you know how important it was to leave home, you must also be aware, that we chose to visit the wilderness. You see, the four-legged creatures seemed to be less dangerous than the two-legged ones during these times. First of all, there was no clarity on transmission of the virus from them- not sure who had tried going close enough to them to have the transmission or maybe it was the surface that they so magnanimously pervade that could possibly be a transmitter- but then we ruled out surface transmission or so I would think with all the research we have undertaken worth centuries of work within a year. Having confirmed that none of the above two possibilities would be a cause of concern, we ventured to what ended up being one of the most relaxing and memorable times we had- of course, it’s the law of marginal returns – the lesser you have of something, the more you seem to gain from it.

Irrespective of the impact of the virus on the four-legged brethren, a particular species of which is not to be sighted when more-than-eager guests wake up at unearthly hours to wait for them to deign with an appearance. Nopes, you can stay up all you want or wake up as early as when your sleep cycle has not even hit the first of its phases- but our folks of a certain striped variety shall not make an appearance. And as if it was not enough that you have lost all sleep and yet not had even one selfie to brag about, there are folks who (and I am sure these are faked only to spite me) shall send you calender/ poster- perfect shots of the creature in their part of the country’s wilderness almost as if our trophy was posing for all the photos- middle of the grassland, under the tree, with family, solo. I mean, like seriously- here I was dedicating my post-pandemic appearance to the world for this particular striped species- but no- it was least interested in reciprocating. Of course, not one to beat a retreat, I was happy to sight the spotted variety! What if I don’t have any clicks to prove that we spent time together- I mean, I wasn’t there to click was I, I was just there to be one with nature.

Talking of which, the more our naturalist told us, and God knows I envied his passion of the subject, the more I was enamored by the fact that whether it was the predator species or the prey species, their entire life was spent in very simple objectives of satiating hunger, reproducing and staying alive. One could look at it in terms of what may be priority at which point in time and of course, there may be off shoots, for example, reproduction did come with responsibility of taking care of young ones. But that’s it! Simple rules governed the jungle or perhaps they seemed to be thus. Whether it was about marking territories or it was about staying awake all the time so as not to fall prey to the predator, life seemed to have a simplicity especially when compared to what Maslow did to us! I mean we as a species have complicated  – and are continuously at it- the simplest things in our lives.

From food, to jobs, to relationships, we seem to have created a web of complications that seem to get stronger the older we grow. Perhaps it’s time to learn lessons from those less evolved – or maybe it’s our naivety in assuming that we are the most evolved species. Not for nothing are there so many who look for peace of mind that only comes with simplicity! Of thoughts… of all that seems to matter! Perhaps an undo function is what several of us need.