Hooray, hooray, it’s a holi-holiday/What a world of fun for everyone, holi-holiday, sang that old pop relic band Boney M. Well, not too many Indians have this song on their lips and this is confirmed by a recent survey which puts us in fifth place of vacation-deprived nations, the others being Japan (but, of course), Italy (what a surprise), Korea and Australia.
There are many reasons why we refuse to let our hair down and enjoy our vacations. One is that bosses often disapprove of people taking holidays, affordability is another, lack of planning and the concept that vacations are a luxury ensure that we keep our noses to the grindstone far more than we should. And when Indians do go on holiday, at least 53% check their e-mails and fret about work. This could be because, as the survey shows, most Indians are ridden with guilt at the concept of taking a holiday. This is a depressing state of affairs for us at the end of the year when we are busy thinking up cunning excuses to goof off. We editorial writers are among the minority of Indians who consider holidays our entitlement, which, by the way, they are. It is only the thought that our readers going into the festive season may suffer from withdrawal symptoms on not seeing our dazzling prose every morning that keeps us going.
Our motto, however, it that one must take all the holidays that are permitted and then some. We fail to understand why anyone should feel guilty about taking a holiday when the whole year round we try to shirk our work by coming up with innovative excuses to get unplanned leave ranging from the yarn that the cat has run away with the neighbour’s dog to a cousin ten times removed having surgery for an ingrown toenail. So let’s go back to Boney M. ‘Well, let’s go, time isn’t here for wasting/Life is so full of sweet, sweet things, I’d like to do some tasting.’ Well, what are you waiting for? Go and pack your bags.