It's funny how moving away from your immediate habitat puts you in a neutral space almost as you enter your port of take off. I have always been an inveterate traveler and to me, it is the best way to declutter your mind. You are suddenly insulated from all the stuff that gets to you, even though you are the same person and capable of feeling essentially the same things, there is a kind of distillation that happens to your thinking.
Traveling sort of neutralizes you. It’s like sometimes life gets to a point where there is too much acid or too much alkali and then you add the opposite of what it is and render it to pH seven. And strangely, all seems well. People who travel a lot will get this, and will also get the fact that it’s not where you go, or who you go with, but whether you really do.
As mother to a ten-month old, I have been strangely dissuaded from my adventurous spirit by “How will you manage? What about food?”, and other such banal preoccupations, so I figured I will start small. So with baby slung on my shoulder and a suitcase full of adventure, off I went.
So here I am, on a holiday in Dubai and for once, I don’t have any male-bashing to do. The Sheikhs with their clichéd harems actually turned out to be the gentlest men, full of charm and niceties, and having an infant in my arms seemed to have more perks than I had imagined as far as breaking lines and being driven in airport carts went.
The husband is away, and hasn’t done anything to annoy me in the last six days, the parents and siblings are also at bay, thanks to a deactivated roaming facility, so life feels quiet, and sort of contemplative.
As for the cats, their absence is not being felt that much, thanks to a resident feline seductress who goes by the name of Misri and who has a not-so-strange duvet-excavating kink that fluctuates between endearing and exasperating, but she doesn’t really give a damn.
The infant is, to my relief, adaptable, and has been so from the word go, even though he has been breathing a fairly sterile air for the last few days. He of course couldn’t differentiate between the well-manicured porcelain-faced airhostess smiling beatifically at him, and the farsan-eating, bush-shirt wearing passenger next door, who was constantly asking the stewardess for “Cock” and whose shiny watch dial the infant took a shine for. To the child, almost anyone is worthy of a grin, the only prerequisite is that they should grin back.
And before I know it, there ends my jaunt in the mecca of shopping, where, ironically, I have done more food and beach than retail therapy, and where, to my relief, no one gives you the look if you stride up and down the beach in your bikini even though you haven’t exactly been on a size zero regimen for the last few weeks. May be it’s my arm candy.