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Perspective - The Myth of Quality time

"You never miss, what you do not know" I sit musing as I see my daughter happy as a chirpy, little bird right after the Monsoon. I am sullen and heart-broken, and I have no one else to blame for the soup that I have landed myself in. 
It was an extended weekend, the last one of the year, the next one is going to be only three months down the line, on the day of Independence. I have missed celebrating this last good weekend of the year because, to put it plainly and mildly, I goofed up. I waited till the last moment to go for the hotel booking and as it turns out, I was not the only wise man wanting to have some good time on the weekend. So, even after exposing my need for some humanly comfort to my work place, by requesting a review scheduled for Monday shifted to Tuesday on account of anticipated travel, I am sitting at home looking at a disappointed weekend. 
Then, I look at two lesson which I learn through the process. One is that while serendipity and recklessness have their charms, it always makes sense to plan ahead and try to work around what is planned, rather than waiting for the world around you to plan and then looking for the gaps to fit your own wishes into it. I had once sometime back decided that whenever I plan to travel, I will book my tickets plenty in advance, and even if I loose some amount for canceling due to some exigencies, it would still be better then the heart break and helplessness of not being able to do what was planned, simply on account of poor planning. It has always calmed the nerves. 
Second lesson which I learn is from my little child. She is as happy as she ought to be, simply because she realizes it is an off day, and she has her parents all to herself. And that is where the true beauty is. I do remember from my past childhood some events and one rare trip to Orissa (Odisha, now),  Konark temple is merely a part of it. Most of the memories are made up of cozy times and undivided attention from my parents whenever I could get it. It is the everyday affair which becomes as beautiful as a vacation, only if we can undertake them with love and togetherness. The marketing myth that is built around the term "quality time" not withstanding. Parents get under the pressure of the word and try to chase it what they can understand of it. How quality is quality when all you could think about the holidays is severe attempts to reign in the kids as they land at a hotel or resort, and hand them over a list of Dos and Don ts the moment the vacation begins. Would it not rather be more quality if you could just let them be, through whatever they want to do. With working parents, it is pretty common to feel apologetic about the less amount of time you are able to give to your kids and try to compensate it with ostentatious holidays, when you land in an awe-inspiring surroundings and render a list to kids in which things not to do is longer than the things to do. Just sit back and relax what constitutes a vacation. My most cherished one being in my ancestral home in Arrah in Bihar, and taking shower in the tubewell in the farms.
 
So the day begins with a shower with her, lazy morning, let us see what else we can pull in the course of next three days. And yes, next vacation, I am going to plan early, Ek Nazm ka vaada thaa, Milegi Tumko.

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