Updated: Apr 11
“Mumma! Your bag is crossing the weight limit again!” Himanshu said to his mother.
“How is that possible? I haven’t even packed your father’s jackets yet.” His mother replied.
“You don’t need jackets! You are going to Goa!” Himanshu exclaimed.
“Yes, but what if we have to go somewhere nice and your father only has his old polos? No reputable restaurant is going to allow a man in a polo and shorts.” Divya Mehta replied.
“You don’t need so many jackets. Pick one.” Himanshu said, trying to stay calm.
Where even was his father? The man whose wardrobe choices in the future were causing this disagreement. He went downstairs to check and found his father sitting with an old camera. He was surrounded with other paraphernalia from the camera bag that lay tattered in a corner. His father noticed him and said, “Look! I found it! I found my old camera. I used to take so many pictures. There is one of your mother holding the Taj Mahal from the top like so many people do these days. Trust me, I thought of that first. Some tour guide or photographer must have seen me instructing your mother.”
Himanshu said, “That’s very interesting. Too bad you didn’t file a patent in time, we would’ve been extremely affluent if you had.”
Sumit Mehta looked at his son and said, “Make fun of me all you want, anyway, it is a good thing you didn’t grow up in an affluent household. Lord only knows how much more prodigal my already prodigal son would have been.”
Himanshu rolled his eyes and said, “Come upstairs, I have a gift for you and Mumma.”
Sumit narrowed his eyes and looked at his son for a minute, after the pause he said, “What did you spend my money on now?”
Himanshu replied, “I have my own money, Dad. I am an intern at that publishing firm, remember?”
Sumit smiled and said, “Oh! So, is this how it is going to be now? Will you give me metro money too? Buy me new shirts? Is it beginning already?”
Himanshu covered his face with his hands and said, ‘Ugh! Why are you and Mom aging backwards mentally?”
Sumit said, “If I hadn’t been such a pleasant man, I would’ve considered that an insult. Would someone aging backwards book a trip for his wonderful wife to Goa?”
Himanshu said, “Yes, that is exactly what that someone would do.”
The father and son duo stared at each other for a few minutes before Himanshu turned around and began walking up the stairs. He reached his parents’ room to find his mother hanging the many-many jackets she had tried to fit into the suitcase back into the cupboard.
Himanshu said, “Aren’t you taking those jackets?”
Divya said, “No, I talked to my friend Amber, and she said that we don’t need those heavy jackets in Goa. Anyway, there is no more space in the suitcase.”
Himanshu laughed and said, “What about the time I told you exactly that? Five minutes ago?”
His mother said cheekily, “Well, you are just a kid, what do you know?”
His father entered the room waving his newly retrieved camera in one hand. “Look!” he said.
Himanshu chuckled and said, “Mumma, Papa, sit down. I have something for you. It is a ‘Happy Summer Vacation’ present for you.” Himanshu went to his room and fetched the wrapped gift. He handed it to his mother who gingerly unfolded the wrapping paper.
His father mouthed the words silently, “Outer Woods, Carry Happiness” and then he said, “Son, we can’t fit you in this. You are 18 years too old to fit.”
Himanshu faked a laugh and said, “Very funny. Now, I want to tell you two about this bag. It is an insulated bag to carry your wine, it can also comfortably fit two wine glasses for you. Hotel Bars always overcharge for wine, so I want you to enjoy without worrying about those bills. The bottles will be completely safe, and it looks just like a regular bag so you can carry it wherever you want.”
Sumit had been listening intently to every word, and now he said, “Wow, thinking about bills and all, our son has grown up.”
Divya understood the assignment and replied saying, “Yes, maybe we should find a good match for him.”
The two turned to their son and met his bewildered eyes. They burst into laughter saying, “Look at this idiot, giving his parents thoughtful gifts and explaining things to us like we are twelve.” The two pulled him into a bear hug as he struggled to break free.
Finally, Himanshu gave in and said, “Okay, I’ll miss you two. Drink responsibly. Say no to drugs. Make good choices, alright?”
His mother looked at his and said, “Aye-Aye Captain!”
"The greatest legacy we leave our children is happy memories." - Og Mandino
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