Whatsa gonna do during the Holidays?..


Yes, the holidays are coming up. 

All your co-workers, friends, family have planned out something -- barbeque on the beach, a drive through the desert, going to the theatres for the last hit movie, exploring the new shopping malls in the neighborhood, etc, or going somewhere out of the country.. a foreign tour!

"What about you..!" I asked my Goan friend.

"Oh, yeah, yeah!" he chuckled, "we have big plans..".

“Like what? Are you gonna do the usual 'weekend' stuff – shopping and cleaning the house?" I asked, "Or try out those disastrous new recipes that your wife invent every now and then? What is it this time?”

“Wife. She wants to spend the holidays in Saudi Arabia,” he said rather sheepishly.

Knowing my friend and his wife, orthodox Catholics that they were by all faith, I was stunned to hear that. Holiday in an all-Islamic world??? 

My friend said he too was in a shock by his wife's decision. Anyway, I was not. His wife was known to get those strange ideas every holiday -- like learning to drive (even though she has a valid license), taking a course in jive dancing although it is 'practically impossible' for her to dance given her sumo-wrestler size, etc. 

But going to Saudi of all beautiful places on the planet..!! Unbelievable!

My friend's initial reaction was to scoff at his wife but we all know wives get what they want, finally. 

After all the initial brouhaha, he said he was quite into the idea of accompanying his wife and visiting Mecca-Medina and finding out what's all there inside the Kabba and all that.

“Infact, she wants to visit every Gulf country including Antarctica,” he said sounding as excited as a kid.

“But Antarctica is not in the GCC....”

“The exciting news is that,” he cut me short, “in a few weeks I can cross out Saudi off my list of places she wants to visit. Hopefully I will get a few cool souvenirs and pictures back home.”

“C-o-o-l..” I said, knowing my friend’s enthusiasm in using the digital lens wherever he went.

“Cool????.. You think so? It is my year’s saving yaar! ...”

“Then, you should know to spend more reasonably..” 

“That's it. I told my wife we are not going..,” he replied, but I knew he would not dare say that to his wife, “You know what? Actually, I am NOT happy about these things... especially about her --taking all our life's decisions... ”

“Well, I suggest you take a pad and write down all those things this holiday... especially the ones that make you unhappy."

"Oh, yeah. I think you are right.."

"What made you happy all these years? Is it your wife? Was it playing football, watching cricket, visiting places? Photography? Movies? Internet? Whatever it is, no matter how silly, write it down.”

“I think I love toy race cars and puzzle books.” he replied.

I was beginning to get mad at his funky answers.

“So, buy those toy cars and puzzle books on the tour and when you get home, play with them.” I said bluntly. 

The guy looked at me and smiled.

“Write a script and buy some puppets as well to act for you," I continued. 

"Yaar, photography. That's what I love. I can load the pics on facebook.."

"Yeah? Keep yourself busy then! And excited! You may start from today. Take pictures of the door mats outside each apartment in your building, and develop your own rating scale. Send your neighbors emails letting them know who got the best door mat. Have a good time.. Bye..”

I heard him chuckling sarcastically. His laughter left me intrigued. I looked up at him.

He winked, "Happy holidays, dude!"

"Have a wonderful holiday meal with your wife..Bye..Don't settle for pav-bhaji or omlette if you want to have those pork sausages for breakfast – all the days of the holidays..Carry a stock to Saudi, doesn't matter if pork is banned there... "

There was silence. I felt pity for the poor chap.

"Hey buddy, listen," I said, "We do so much for others throughout the year, BUT you need to take care of the most important person in your world, that's you silly!"

"Hmm.." he looked at me long-faced.

"You deserve to feel good about what you do all along. Before you leave for Saudi, play some holiday music at home, take off your pants and dance around the living room. Run to the kitchen, dance there for a while and get back to the living room and dance again!"

I saw the smile coming back on my friend's face.

"You don't mean it, do you?" he asked.

"I know it sounds silly! But sometimes it's good, you know?. Put on a Santa Claus outfit, and go to the super market! Doesn't matter if it is not Christmas. Who's going to see you anyway! Have fun! Just have a jolly good time..”

“Is that going to make me happy?” he spoke to himself rather than me.

“Don't allow yourself even one sad thought, and when you find one coming, start singing some mando in Konkani at the top of your lungs...”

“Wish I could watch my favorite movies during the holidays.. all to my heart’s content.. .. Yes..that’s one thing I want to do ..”

“Then, why don't you go where you and your wife can both get all the happiness and inspiration that you deserve and desire..”


"Well...well.. well... go attend the Konkani International Film Festival in Kuwait..."

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