It’s summer time, everyone is on a chhutti. The powers that be are on a holiday, studying something inconsequential which will never be applied in Punjab. The minister, his wife, daughter and son-in-law, the kids, the secretary and the personal assistant have all flown away. Every banker, officer, doctor I know has gone for the lucrative five-nights, six-days package to some other foreign locale. The mango people (aam aadmi) have gone to Manali, Shimla etc. and are causing traffic jams for the commuters there.
Those who live under the stress of what will the mohallawala or society say are taking these holidays to ensure they can proudly say, “oh, we went there”, and the proof is the immediate uploading of pictures on Facebook.
My karigars went on a yatra to Baba Balak Nath’s shrine! The maid took off for some place in the hills. They certainly are enjoying more than me! It was a Catch22 situation as the maid said she needed time off to relax and make herself free from tension. I immediately sent her with my blessing and a bribe so that she may come back, and I earned brownie points in this fashion.
It’s an affliction where one gets one’s henpecked husband to take 18 pictures with the duck pout and hair framing perfectly. It has caught on with everyone: children, mothers, aunties, newly-weds and holiday-goers in foreign locales. In fact, it’s become a trend to first shop for the holiday to wear the latest dresses, mini skirts, minuscule shorts, and the other so-called modern clothing! With flip-flops for one’s feet!
What happened to comfortable clothing? I have friends who take pictures which are then vetted by their wives, who pick the ones that make them look pretty, and these are then uploaded with a check-in. And, heaven forbid you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection; the immediate validation by the check-in is the proof that you have actually gone for a holiday. It starts with the travel from the hometown, from the airport where you post a check-in along with a smart catchy one-liner ensuring the maximum Likes.
My sons think I have the same problem too; the only difference is that it doesn’t bother me whether I look good or not. This year at Manali, a couple fell and hurt themselves badly when trying to take a selfie! When I was travelling in Bhutan, I was guilty of a lot of these, but at one place, when we were climbing to reach the Tiger’s Nest, there were explicit instructions to not take selfies or photographs on the path, as the other side was a sheer drop and a woman tourist from Thailand had lost her life when she was taking a selfie with the panorama in the background.
Sometimes, these fads are dangerous and life-threatening. My brother, a doctor, calls them a serious affliction and also points out young kids, especially girls, who start posturing themselves with a tilt of their neck and injure themselves, requiring medical attention later.
Till then, we as a nation are led by a PM who is an expert in taking selfies and posting them on the social media. Who am I to complain? I always live in the hope of achhe din.