When we say that there’s no gift better than a trip to a traveller, we mean it. Once a traveller, always a traveller. And with Father’s Day just around the corner, you have the perfect reason to take the celebrations a notch higher. You know your father loved to live out of suitcases; and you know it well.
Here’s a helping hand if you’re looking for a great trip for your dad. We just hope that you know your father well enough to remember the reason that made him travel. Food, religion, relaxation, adventure, photography or more. Choose one (or maybe more!) –
Remember that rainy evening when you used to be propped up at the back of the Vespa, clutching your father’s belly? The belly that seemed to be growing every second, right under your tiny fists. Well, that wasn’t a reason to giggle, for you knew it was coming. After all those aloo parathas that he gobbled down, riding that green scooter to city’s outpost, just for those parathas.
Well, if we know it right, your old man (may not be that ‘old’) will still be a foodie traveller, and what better than the City of Joys to satiate. For some time at least. Yes, we are talking of Kolkata. Chowringhee Lane, Gole Market, Princep Ghat or any of the bylanes. This city brims with foodies, and, of course, a lot of rotund bellies. But then, there’s nobody complaining.
For your Dad will be having a ball on Father’s Day, with plates full of, well, food. Let him choose between 6 Ballygunge Place, Oh Calcutta, or the puchkas and sandesh in the streets. Time to have the Vespa soaring again. For special Father’s Day treats in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, click on the city names.
A man in his 30s, athletic in his looks, was lying in the sun, all snuggled, in a hammock that was pinned to the tall coconut trees by the beach. His two little kids were busy making castles out of sand. And suddenly, there was an outcry. For one kid had stomped the castle, and there was a WWF fight (almost) match going on now. 2 minutes in the commotion, the man screams, “Fight somewhere else you young rascals, I’m sleeping. Tell me who got the black eye afterwards. For now, let me sleep.”
If you’ve a classic Hammock Dad like this one, we’ve got a place that is just the perfect shade of laziness for him. It’s Port Blair. The land of balmy sea breeze, scattered islands, picture perfect sunsets and, of course, those tall coconut trees, perfect to get him a hammock. Haul him aboard a boat, and take him to Chidiya Tapu or the Red Skin Island. Just two of the many places at Port Blair that are more than perfect for a lazy dad.
You enter home after a long day at work. Stealthily, you enter your room, check yourself in the mirror, hurrying back downstairs. You crouch, almost crawl, to the other side of the chair that your dad is sitting at. He’s praying, hands folded, eyes closed shut again after throwing a furtive glance at you. Perhaps, he was admonishing you for being late again. He makes sure you never miss the routine; for every evening at 6.30, some TV channel airs ganga arti, live! And you must sit in front of the screen, with the whole family, to say your prayers.
But you know, praying in front of a TV will never give him the high that he’s looking for. He might be waiting from long for that once in a lifetime pilgrimage tour. Make his wish come true by giving him tickets to Haridwar, one of the holiest places in India. Apart from the ganga arti that sees millions of leafed lamps floating down the sacred river, making it look like a moving carpet of fireflies, there’s more to this place. Let him have a fair share of divine at the hilltop temples of Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi, and maybe Vaishno Devi (it’s a great imitation of the one at Jammu!). Plus, there’s the sacred land of Saptrishis. For a change, you might revel in the feeling too.
Late one evening, you’re sitting at the porch, poring over those hundreds of photo albums when you travelled as a family. You smile out of sheer nostalgia, remembering that trek down the flowery hill. The flowers seem so real that you can imagine those swaying to the wind. And yes, there are family photos too. Strangely, in those lakhs of pictures, there’s one person missing. And that’s your dad. Reason, he has always played the photographer. That one time, he even declared that a camera would always be his first love, as your mom sniggered.
Kovalam is just for your father, the man who often ‘forgets’ his tie and is seen wearing a camera belt around his neck. Take him to this wonderland this Father’s Day, and let him click millions of photos of that wonderland that’s all around. Smile proudly as you see him trudging up that lighthouse’s steps at the Lighthouse Beach, to get that perfect sunset shot. One thing assured, he’ll be equally proud of you.
From quite some years, you were wondering why your old man spends hours in that desolate parking place in the backyard. To add to the mystery, he has been guarding it carefully, never forgetting to put that chain lock on the almost crumbling garage door. It was a mystery till that one day, when you woke up before him, and glanced in, over his shoulder into the parking lot. There stood a bike, a cruiser of sort, every part of it shining, with your father trying to fix a clutch wire. It’s the same bike that he rode for you, to drop you off at school. Only difference being that it looks surprisingly revamped, and of course, it doesn’t see that much of roads now. It brings back the memories of those trips when he raced with you, right till the hilltop, only to let you win by a whisker. Or those camping sessions, when he taught how to make a perfect knot. Seemingly, your dad hasn’t lost that rush of adrenaline yet.
For all that we know, your dad has been planning a trip for long. Now you don’t want him to wait for forever right. With the roads to Leh clear of all the snow and slush, it’s just the dream that he has been harbouring for long. Those rugged terrains have always been in his wishlist. And with you grown up now, he doesn’t need to ride alone. Keep switching the drivers’ helmet as you two take this trip of a lifetime, with the bike engine thudding gloriously in that strangely silent land.
Your father has always been a planner. And you know it well, for anything never went haywire on those numerous family trips you took. He picked places that had the ‘perfect’ weather, ‘perfect’ hotels, ‘perfect’ food joints, ‘perfect’ attractions, for moderate is a term too weak for him. While you never understood how he made that happen, you might give it a try. Who knows you might surprise him in the search for that ‘perfect’ destination.
To ease it a bit, there’s Coorg. Perfect in the general meaning of the word, it’s much loved for its perfect landscapes too. Add to it the lure of some of the best hotels, cottages, resorts, spas, restaurants, and yes, the rich cuisine too. After all, there’s a reason that makes it the Scotland of India. Just for a tip, make your bookings well in advance, for that’s how a perfect trip starts.
Don’t forget to tell us how your trip went! We’ll love to hear where you cut this Father’s Day cake. Till then, happy travelling.
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