by Aditi Mittal
I have a charming habit of being late for every flight I take. This leads to charming things such as my father tearing his hair out trying to push me out the door (he’s bald now-a testament to my talents) in the hope I reach the airport on time. I manage to get my suitcase (which will OBVIOUSLY be over the weight limit permissible) down the stairs while stuffing that last shirt that I have to carry with me for this 10 day trip.
So while I sit in traffic and pray that I somehow make it to the airport in time to be lovingly molested at security check, it is not strange that I realize, I hate travelling.
These days it is difficult to admit that you don’t like to travel. People look down at you like you’re a pathetic human being with no desire to grow and become a butterfly or whatever animal we are all analogically aspiring to these days.
There is much romance in it, that one cannot deny. The trillion-plus-dollar travel industry is proof of that. Somehow people love the idea of placing 10 days of clothing into a bulky suitcase, tripping on escalators and being spoken to like you have the IQ of a 4 year old (which may or may not be true) by air hostesses. All this is supposed to somehow make you stronger and wiser.
The pain of travelling is not confined to reaching the destination. Once I’m there, I’m ok. I’ll wake up 4 in the morning to bike ride up a mountain or go see temples no problem. But even then, at the back of my mind I know that in 10 days I’ll have to do the same thing in order to get back home. As I have demonstrated, I am not a savvy packer. Nor am I savvy lugger of suitcases, nor savvy jet lag getter over.
Walking through an airplane, past the business class who are going to stretch out in the next 10 minutes and be hand fed oysters while they bathe in wine, is depressing. Especially when you get to your seat and realize you’ve worn bigger band aids on the wounds of your knees in 7th Std than the space in which you are going to spend the next 12 hours.
Sharing oxygen and gaseous body emissions with 400 other people for that duration of time is not the most appealing idea either. Not to mention my other charming characteristic, motion sickness. I am very good at vomiting violently if I go a longer distance than from my fridge to my bed. This means situations like being faced with a long line of disgruntled people who see me emerge, wiping my mouth after having spent 20 minutes in the airplane toilet. Awkward.
Maybe it has to be with the fact that I like being at home. I like sitting in the chair that has a dent in the shape of my bum already imprinted on it. I like knowing what’s in the fridge, knowing the number of the neighborhood baniya by heart so that I can dial it when the milk or bread runs out. I adore the luxury of wearing whatever I want whenever I want because it’s right there in my cupboard, of having the variety of my father’s ceiling to floor bookshelf to browse through when I want to pick up a book.
For me, true romance lies in a commute into Andheri East, the famous armpit of Mumbai, secure in the knowledge that I’m never more than four hours away from the aforementioned dent in my chair. The world might be an oyster, but in order to become a pearl you have to stick in one place with other grains of sand. That is when I feel, sometimes, I can truly shine.
Aditi Mittal is a stand up comedian. She's currently touring America, which might explain this bout of nostalgia for Andheri East. If you follow her on Twitter, @awryaditi, then you'll know she's also having one helluva party out there.
Updated Date: Jun 04, 2013 11:46:36 IST