At the start of this month, I went on a road trip to Rajasthan with dad as my travel companion.
Most of my travelling in the past has been along with my mom and dad and like most trips with family, it always ended up as a bittersweet experience. You feel good to be able to spend time with them but also a tad claustrophobic (God, give me the strength to not kill anyone on this trip), and exasperated (Why can’t we do the non-touristy things ever!) and even embarrassed at times (Do you have to eat like that?).
Mom, being a force of nature, could never be suppressed. She would giggle, complain, sneer, chat away with everyone…in short be her own pretty self during all our trips. Dad, who was my sole travel companion on my trips to Thailand and Rajasthan, is a different breed. For one, he’s quite accommodating and willing to let me do what I want (most of the times). Plus he lets me be and we enjoy the best heart- to-heart talks on trips.
This one was no different. As we traversed 1,200 km and passed through cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, we got to observe the changing topography, the colour of the soil as it changed from brownish pink to golden yellow to sand and then lush forests and the majestic Aravalli mountains…all in the span of a huge state. It was beautiful and surreal. The palaces and forts filled to the brim with art, architectural marvels, colours, the bustling markets, all very inspiring and breathtaking.
The road journey made it more fun albeit more exhausting. Pretty soon we both fell ill. But perhaps that’s the beauty of travel, it tests you and lets you know who you truly are. We took care of each other and thus, the trip ended on a happy note.
I am glad I went with dad for a road trip; it made me feel like a kid looked over by a protective parent. With mom gone, I miss that a lot, having someone watching your back, taking care of you and even putting up with your whining at times. It’s rare to find someone like that apart from your parents.
We both missed mom. This was the first of the trips where she wasn’t with us and not even waiting for us at home. But then she has gone on a journey of her own, and I hope she is enjoying landscapes that are far more beautiful and stunning than anything we have down here. Happy wanderings, mom.