When I was young and naive and believed everything the books told me , I learnt that there were just two seasons – summer and winter or coming from Madras, it used to be the hot summer and the cool summer as elders in the family used to joke. Those were the days when life was in black and white . It was either Rajinikanth or Kamalahassan , thumps up or goldspot, idli or dosa..
I learnt about the third season a bit later in the day and that, believe me was an experience . When I stepped out of a tiny room after an entire night of editing and saw an office flooded with knee deep water , with old food floating around , I knew there was a third season called the monsoons. It was Bombay that made me experience the fury of the Arabian Sea, the lethargy of the local government as I shivered with malaria , while the roads got flooded year after year . It used to rain heavily in Madras too, but that usually coincided with the winters,sorry cool summer .
But then, seasons to me have always meant weather conditions – hot,dry, humid,wet, stormy, cold..but later it came to be festive and fashionable too. And finally it seeped into the world of travel . The holiday season, the tourist season, the honeymoon season soon gave way to the Kerala season, Goa season, Rajasthan season . Every tourist worth his salt had to put his stamp in these places. You need to have those photographs against the Taj in the background, else you haven’t travelled at all.
When I started travelling, I was asked if I was going to Goa for new years eve and I would say no.( I still havent, but thats a different story ) They asked me if I had been to Jaisalmer and again the answer was negative. Thankfully I had been to the Kerala backwaters and I eventually redeemed myself by heading to Agra and got a glimpse of The Taj -whew ! that was a sign of relief.
I dare not tell them that I havent seen a single tiger or leopard in the forest, nor have I been to Corbett or Kanha. My last visit to Kanyakumari was probably when I was 15 to see the sunrise .. And yet, the eyebrows are raised..am I really a traveller ? ” Maybe shes just a pretender , not really been anywhere.” came the voices..
So who are these people , you may ask..People who believe that their holidays should be a list of only must see places as they keep ticking them off their bucket list. I see nothing wrong with it really as I have my own bucket list too and I will probably visit all the places mentioned above “whenever I feel like ..” And that to me , makes me a nomad.
I choose my destinations – I travel where I want to, when I want to – not because its the season to go there. I travel within my own city, around the outskirts of the city and sometimes to a getaway outside the city . And when I feel like its time to have a date with a destination , I check out my bucket list and go..
Meanwhile I realize I am a bit outdated still. Seasons have changed again – you now have a tiger season, an angling season and a migratory season too and I will soon be hibernating to run away from all of this
Since when did travel become so stressful, I wonder !