Time is possibly the most precious commodity that exists today. And the best gift you can possibly give someone is to gift them your time. Now that’s not always possible in the kind of multi faceted lives we lead with work, sports, art and various other activities requiring time and commitment in an already packed schedule.

While growing up, my parents used to take me for a lot of vacations, sometimes to more than one holiday in a year! Now, that would be wishful thinking. But after I started working, about six years ago, I planned my first holiday with them on my own. I went to my then boss, and asked for a 2 day leave. And it was probably the only time in my life that I had to ASK for a leave, and his response was the deciding factor in whether the trip would happen, or not.

But all was well, and my folks visited me in Bangalore, and then we flew to Cochin, and drove to Munnar through the meandering roads of Kerala on the day of a sudden ‘bandh’. It was in November, and Munnar was really quite cold. We stayed up in this beautiful cottage in a resort high up in the hills, with a gurgling waterfall just behind our cottage. The holiday wasn’t long, I had just started working, but I think we had about 3-4 days, and it was actually a very relaxed and happy time. It wasn’t the perfect time though. I remember both my mum and I fell sick towards the end of the trip, as it was really very cold. But I also remember our walks, our meals together after years, the gentle bantering, the picturesque place and just the peace you feel when you’re somewhere with your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be home. Home is just geography. #together

I don’t know if gifting people iPads and cars help. I am sure there are dreams and hopes those fulfill. But after a point, older people like parents probably don’t covet material things. Feels nice, sure! Do they need it? Probably not. With your time though, just doing nothing, or even going to parks, to pick up groceries, sharing laughs, taking holidays together – I haven’t found any replacements of these yet. That was one of my last vacations with them on our own, sort of as their little girl. Now it’s more that I take them out. Which is a great feeling too because I always wanted to be the kind of person who had time for people. And I always look back to that one trip to Munnar, and think of it as the time we took out to spend a holiday together as a family. #together

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