Don’t pretend you haven’t done at least one – if not nearly all – of these things
Before the trip: Papa will have borrowed the neighbour’s weighing scale. Stepped on to weigh himself. Then stepped on again with full suitcase to determine if said suitcase is under 20kgs.
At the airport: Their family of five will split to join five different queues at Immigration, frantically gesturing to one another to join when they’ve identified the fastest-moving line. And Papa will be carrying EVERYONE’s passports!
On the flight: They’re the ones with trapezoid-shaped cabin baggage playing Tetris with all the other rectangular shapes already in the overhead bin. They’ll figure it out, of course. Then they’ll shuffle the seating plan so everyone in the group is sitting together.
In Europe: They’ll be posing atop a mountain, arms open, like Shah Rukh Khan, befuddling other foreigners.
In America: They’re the ones looking faintly disdainful at “Ancient” monuments. This building is 80 years old? We have saris at home that are older than that!
At the hotel lobby: They’re the family of eight, sauntering in at 10.10 for the 10am sightseeing coach pickup.
In the shops: They’re looking at each price tag, thinking for 3.2 seconds, and calculating (down to the second decimal) how the foreign currency value in INR. But the internal calculator is off at Indian restaurants and cheap souvenir stalls.
In the city: They won’t show it, but they’re pretty tired from walking everywhere. Who walks so much back home, yaar? THIS is why the locals are so fit!
In the photos: The wife and daughter are wearing short shorts that they’d never wear in front of relatives back home.
On the tour: They’ll try very hard to not get a tan, walking in the shade when white, black and Asian tourists are making the most of the sunshine. They’ll feel cheated if the itinerary contains non-activities as “Enjoy Leisurely Sunset At The Beach”. Kya? No paragliding?
Everywhere: They will make eye contact with fellow brown people, offer a friendly smile, initiate small talk, point you towards a faster bus route or a cheaper deal, offer directions and speak your mother tongue if they can! You’re never lost if there’s an Indian around.
From HT Brunch, September 27
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