Today is the last day of the school term . It also signals the longest break in our school system .In keeping with a old tradition , we had a staff lunch yesterday .We have several staff get togeathers  during the year – but the one before the summer break is by far the most anticipated ,boisterous and fun filled . There was dance , there was music and there was good “chatpatta” food – aloo tikkis with “chole”, aam ka panna , chaat papari , kulchaas , icecream and colas !!

For me – the end of the term is reflection of yet another year gone past .I have seen many a summer and I remember nearly all of them .The sun beats down hard during summer months – be it Bhopal ,Rai , Jagdishpur ,Ahmedabad Dubai or Jaipur ! Its so hot that you feel that the earth might melt !!.The air that blows is hot .Its called “loo”  in local parlance .It is laden with dust most times  The fields are dry and look bigger than they are because there is not a soul on them .The school corridors stretch endlessly – empty without the usual noise and laughter of kids .Even the birds seem to have disappeared .A brave teacher or a staff is seen sometimes walk on it , invariably carrying  a copy or a book covering their head !!

What do I do in summers ? I travel. But let me confess ,  each year is getting a wee bit more difficult .The enthusiasm to reach my destination has not diminished – but the journey to it has .The long queues for check ins , the elaborate security frisking ( how I hate to unpack all my hand baggage because it carries some electrical gadgets and after shaves ),the tension of not losing your passport ,boarding pass or credit cards , long wait at the departure lounge and the worst of it all – look for a overhead loft to keep ones hand baggage once inside the aircraft .Invariably , I am a bit slow to reach my seat and by that time the overhead loft has been already occupied .I have to seek help to find space for my essential luggage .

When I travel to Canada or the US – I have stopovers in Europe .( Direct flights are more expensive !). Sometimes the layovers are long – 8 hrs .Sometimes they are very short – 11/2 hrs ! In both cases – it’s a drain on the mind .I find the food in Airlines offensive and normally settle for wine with nuts .I have a croissant and coffee at the coffee shops .I am agrophobic and hate flying .I am frightened and even after travelling so much – I am always tense and have butterflies in my stomach .I seldom use the aircraft loo , because most of the time , I find people lined up .I feel terribly embarrassed to stand in a que to drop my waste !! I am always overjoyed to reach my destination

Travelling is becoming more difficult each year . But I am a compulsive traveler and I travel with a purpose – primary and secondary .The secondary purpose is travel .The primary these days is to meet my son !! I am acutely aware that meeting him for about 45 days in a year is not enough !! Time is going past and I wish I could spend more time with him . At a certain stage in life ,one should not compromise on the time one spends with ones children .Especially if you have only one .

For Sangeeta and  me , home is never complete without the three of us together .Add another 2 – Sneezy and Laila .Anywhere without all of them – is not quite home .

When I head for Canada – I am heading for home .Home is never about a place – its about a feeling . The feeling of being together  even for a moment is euphoric !!

I am looking forward  travelling   to Toronto .In pink trousers and a yellow T Shirt !!!!