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No ping, no zing: what have holidays come to!

Woman is taking a picture on vacation with the smartphone. Photoshop compositing.

Woman is taking a picture on vacation with the smartphone. Photoshop compositing.  

Bonding even in an idyllic beach resort is only as strong as the mobile signal is!

Ah, the holidays! Count yourself lucky if the word conjures up images of exotic landscapes and magical moments. For, that is not always the case with everyone.

My family isn’t really enthusiastic about holidays. I am usually the only one gung-ho about it.

“No leave,” is the first response from my workaholic husband and it takes some pleading, prodding and good food to make him comply. The children are of no help either.

“Why do we have to go on a holiday? Can’t we just stay at home, watch TV, order food and chill,” asks the elder one.

“Everyone needs to take a break from everyday stress,” I try to reason with him, staying clear of my family bonding idea lest it scares the GenerationZ man.

So finally, I set off to a faraway beach resort with a reluctant family in tow. Midway, the husband becomes active and alert. “Did you lock the back door,” he asks. “I did.”

“What about the gas stove? Did you shut it off,” he continues. “Yes.”

But my mind went back to the morning — the hurried cooking, the eating and then the shouting and screaming that the taxi had arrived. Did I forget to switch off the stove?

“Looks like mom is already homesick. This is why I said we should just chill at home,” my son looks up from his phone.

“Put your phones away. We are on a holiday,” I tell him.

At the resort the next morning, I am awakened by highly agitated chatter and find my family sitting huddled together, crestfallen, as though there had been some calamity.

“What happened? Did the stove explode? Is everything okay,” I babble.

“Mom, there’s no Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal here,” my daughter says looking distraught. “How are we supposed to enjoy the holidays now?”

“This is terrible,” my husband adds. “How am I going to make any calls now?”

“That’s it,” I breathe a sigh of relief. No mobiles. No distractions.

But all my hopes for a bonding holiday go for a toss, with the husband constantly worrying about the missed calls and the children complaining about boredom.

After two dreadfully long days, I decide enough is enough and put forward a plan to cut short our holiday and return home. There is a new spirit of camaraderie in the air as we journey home — the kind often felt by people who had been through tough times together.

seethajayan@gmail.com

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:28:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/no-ping-no-zing-what-have-holidays-come-to/article30712623.ece

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