One February not so long ago, a head-in-the-cloud daughter, under the influence of a ‘substance’ called Mills and Boons, decided that her parents needed to get away from the daily routine of parenting her and her brothers, just like in the story she had read in an M&B book. So she conspired with her brothers (because her pocket money was only Rs 50 per week) and booked a cottage for her parents in Goa during Valentine's Day week. Her brothers indulged their poor junkie sister though they told her that her plan was doomed for failure. The girl who was an M&B addict and like an addict was constantly under “the influence”, refused to believe them in her substance induced stupor. She was sure her parents would hold hands, run around the trees singing songs to an invisible orchestra and maybe present her with a little brother or sister and remove her from the eternal curse of being the youngest.
When her parents heard about her plans they were scandalized, astonished, shocked and absolutely resistant(in that order)to the idea. Her father thought he would be the laughing stock of his community when they were not too busy sniggering about him. Her mother thought that her daughter had finally lost it as she always suspected she would, as being a daughter she had more of her Dads genes.
After much coaxing and cajoling by the daughter, they finally agreed to their junkie daughter’s plans, more to humor her than any other intentions like enjoying a well deserved break. One fine day after the mother had set the curd, bought fish, made fish curry, cooked rice and umpteen throrans, fried the pappadams, combed her daughters’ hair amidst the usual howls and screeches and did another 456855 things mothers generally do, she and her reluctant husband, finally left for Goa. After reaching Goa, the mom called almost immediately from the airport enquiring if the daughter had her lunch and if her brothers were back home etc. Ditto in the evening.
In the night the Dad called up and filled her up on the details of the fish market that he had visited “without” the mother as she wanted to watch TV. The daughter was really annoyed and called them both and told them that they need to go out together, stop being parents and be a couple.
Dad: err… what did you say? That I should hold your moms hands and walk on the road like those hippies here?
Daughter: I didn’t say hold hands and walk. I said go out together, take in the sights, relax….
Dad: hmmm for that I will need to go alone, your Amma likes to walk without stopping
Daughter: That’s because you stop for everything on the way
Dad: Don’t blame me. That’s the way you have bought me up!!!
Daughter: But that was when I was small!!!!
Dad: I am too used to walking with you and stopping every now and then. (forlornly) Wish you were here. You would have loved the fish market.
Daughter: Dad this vacation is both of you. So enjoy your time together.
Dad: *guffaw*Please don’t mention this to any of the relations in Kerala, if they call up. I won’t be able to show my face in public again.
Next day the mother calls her daughter.
Mom: Your Dad is pigging out on meat. Time you talked to him.
Daughter: *sigh* okay ma.
Daughter calls Dad. He was already two Feni down.
Daughter: Dad, what did you eat today?
Dad: hmm errr well one sausage!
Daughter: One sausage? Really?! Lies!!!
Dad: Okay two sausages, but they were real tiny!
Daughter: (in her most severe tone): How tiny?
Dad: Very tiny…
Daughter: How tiny?!!!
Dad: Very very tiny
Daughter: Dad, I am really annoyed and you know that!!!
Dad (in a sulky voice): You told me to relax and enjoy the vacation and now you are nagging me like your mother!!
Daughter: I said, have a vacation and not pig yourself into a heart attack!
Dad (hopefully): You sure you are not coming over? I am missing you all.
Daughter: Dad, don’t change the subject. And watch your diet as the doctor told you.
Dad (in his best fake woebegone emotional blackmail voice): If you say so….but I wish you all were here…
Evening the mother calls.
Mom: There are some nice old churches here. Wish you were here, we could have gone exploring.
Daughter: Take Dad and go and explore the Churches.
Mom: I can’t take a man stinking of Feni to Church!!! Besides he is found some friends in the bar and they are all singing drunk over there.
Daughter: *giggle* err… that’s bad ma!!
Night the Dad calls.
Dad: You are really missing all this. I found some nice friends and we are all going to Fort Aguada without the wives tomorrow.
Dad( calls back again): You are angry right?!
Daughter: (sarcastically): No, I am ecstatic that both of you are having such fun time!!! I don’t want to talk to you again for the rest of my life!!!
Dad: okay tomorrow I will take your mom out for dinner. Happy?
Dad (calling again): Okay I will take her shopping and then to the beach.
Daughter: mmm ok…
Next the mother calls.
Mom: Your dad took me shopping!
Mom: What wow?! It was so embarrassing. He kept looking at the clothes and exclaiming that they were so immodest in Malayalam.
Daughter: I thought you went Saree shopping.
Mom: Saree? He insisted in going into every shop including the ones selling beachware!!!
Mom: And on the beach he was absolutely scandalized at the bikini clad madamas!!
Mom: Please keep your grand ideas to yourself. I am never gonna step out with him again. I am sure the whole of Goa must be laughing at me.
Night the Dad called up.
Dad: You had dinner?
Daughter: Yes and you?
Dad: hmm I am having a bit of indigestion.
Mom (cutting in): Ask your father why!!!
Daughter: err Dad is mom around?
Daughter: ok then you call me when she is not around.
Dad: I have the cordless so I will go out and we can talk.
Daughter: Dad, you really ought to watch what you eat!!
Dad: What’s the point in coming to Goa, if you can’t have Goa sausage, Prawn Rachedo, Pork Sorpotel and….
Mom (talking from the main phone): See what I told you!!!
Dad: Why are you snooping? This conversation is strictly between my daughter and me…
Daughter (annoyed): Stop it both of you!!! (trying her best not to shout) Please forget about diets and social niceties and for Gods sake enjoy your vacation. You have only two days left!!!
Dad: hmmm ok but you plan another vacation like this again and your mom goes alone!!
Mom: Yes it would have better if you had come with me….
The last two days the parents did forget Bangalore and their offsprings and did enjoy their vacation. But every effort to postpone their stay by the daughter met with resistance.
Mom: Don’t know what junk you people eating in my absence. Pinne… is the house still there or have you all burnt it down???
Dad (for the 4567th time): Wish you all were here :(
The by-now highly stressed daughter realized that it was she who needed a vacation for sending her parents on a vacation. She also realised that Indian parents will be parents no matter what her substance induced mind said. The daughter also got over her addiction immediately as though by a miracle and was completely cured. According to her mother it was because of her prayers at the St Anthony’s Church in Goa. St Anthony was apparently very pleased with her, because she came to the Church ”alone” leaving her tipsy husband in the Resort bar.