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March 12, 2014

Home Alone!

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena

Good food, great books and no one for company makes for a perfect break from routine

As the holiday fever heats up – weeks before the actual trip materialises – I watch with dollops of humour and sometimes exasperation – when friends, family and the world scour the net, exchange notes in search of the best vacation of the year. Every 12 months, the questions are the same: “Where do we go?” “What do we do?” and the like, in their quest to escape boredom and inanity.

I have – for a large part of my life – been a reluctant traveller, dragged to destinations that others in my family wanted to visit, forced to wake up and trek to freezing snow-clad mountains (so what if we took the cable car) or camp in a forest sanctuary in search of a wild-life sighting. Each time we have set out, I have had to get the suitcases down and dusted, clothes washed, ironed and packed and all the suitable gear sorted into different bags. Lest I forget, on our return do all this in reverse order. So, rest and relaxation remain words that existed only in a lexicon!

For me, the few breaks I have had in my home space – some planned…others spontaneous happenings have been the most idyllic ‘getaways’ that I have ever enjoyed. Here is my formula that made them my Kodak-moment, worthy memories.

Ensure your entire brood is away. A fool-proof equation to make ‘my-time’ a success. With a husband on his journeys, kids on their out-of-station jaunts, the stage was set to make my home truly my own.

Give the maid a holiday. Not only does she love me for the rest of the year, but I get my quiet as she does not hover around with her 1000 queries. The constant ‘Didi this’, ‘Didi that’ is a disruption to my serenity, normally tolerated only because it makes my regular routine a seamless phenomenon.

Keep the order-in menus handy. ‘Breaking in’ I refuse to cook more than my morning tea and egg and toast breakfast. So, naturally, I indulge my palate with a variety of cuisines – as good ‘Home deliveries’ are a dime a dozen in my locality. And of course, I have only my palate to please. So what if I have sushi on my platter on two consecutive days or a cheesy pizza to break my fast!

Pile up on must-reads and must watches. Five days of nothing except books, movies and soaps for company. Imagine watching old favourites with the likes of Alan Shore, Neil Caffrey or McDreamy in them…. Then all I need to enhance the happiness quotient are glasses of wine that soothe and niblets that satiate.

Disconnect the doorbell. Except of course, when I have ordered in. And when I want more indulgence, I light my scented candles, call my neighbourhood masseuse at home… and voila, holistic healing, unlimited! And, the icing on the cake? A slow waltz in my black stilletoes with the starlit sky streaming into my hall.

PS: And what when the home is fully peopled? I pack my bags and head off to a distant spa for peace and quiet.

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