“Beta, haven’t you already been to this place, with your friends? Good, so now we don’t need a guide to show us around!” chimes in my Mom. I sigh. Most of the places I’ve been to were not exactly Mom-friendly, you see. In the rear seat, my sister sniggers away gleefully.
Awkward (at times, hilariously) situations have always been a prominent theme of any road trip with my family. All of a sudden, the car becomes a no-swear zone. Nutrition is the new flavour of the day. Wax museums, tonnes of religious places and Udupi restaurants take their contentious places on the itinerary.
Just as I ponder over these factors, dear Mother India whips out homemade methi parathas with haraa chutney from her duffel bag and instantly, aal iz well! Aah, the perks of travelling with your family! Two food stops – the parathas and the Udupi (where we’ll order Chinese, anyway!). A guaranteed front seat for half the ride (the other half belongs to my sister). No responsibilities (except hauling the luggage).
Contrary to what one might surmise, surprisingly enough, road trips with family and those with friends share a lot of attributes. For instance, earphones are a definite no-no for both. Regular stops by the beautiful landscape for the shutterbugs and bladder releases are another common feature. Both are familiar with the periodic and passionate cussing at the “irresponsible” drivers on the road. Deep discussions are in full swing.
The themes of these discussions are strikingly different for both, though. With friends, past flames, embarrassing episodes, great escapes are the dominant topics. The car rings of shrill renditions of Bollywood songs which are currently trending. An animated debate about the choice of restaurant adds some extra spice to the trip.
And despite traversing the same path, the two experiences have a certain individuality and distinctness about them. Neither can be traded for the other. Most importantly, we discover two completely different aspects of the road trip itself – one with our companions, the other with our kin.
A rap on the back of my head snaps me out of my reverie. It’s my sister’s turn to grace the front seat.
Be Well 🙂
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