Holiday – the Oxford dictionary describes the word as "an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling." Mine is a lot simpler, just two words – Holiday = Do nothing.
The thing I cannot understand is why most people in this world don't agree with my definition. Well, at least, not anyone who is a part of "my world".
For everyone I know, holiday is about two of those words from that Oxford dictionary definition – recreation and travelling. And not just any travelling, mind, travelling a long way -- by car, train, bus – they all take that "fun is in the journey" saying a little too literally for my comfort.
Holiday, for me, should be simple – hop on a car, drive to the airport, take a flight, get into another car and go straight to the hotel.
Sit on that soft bed and watch TV, while taking naps, whenever I feel like. That is a holiday for me, the perfect holiday.
If I am at a beach resort, I don't mind popping down to the restaurant and having a nice beer as I watch the ocean (the same thing works for any holiday with a view), but holiday for me should not contain anything remotely resembling the word "work".
Unfortunately, though, such holidays remain that thing we all do when we sleep.
My significant other, and several others as well, do not believe in that holiday. For them it is all about "OK so what can we do and see today" holiday.
Here is a bit of the conversation that my wife and I always have while we're on a "holiday":
Wife: Deepak, let's go out, there is a flea market/shops/jewellery place/museum/fort/Taj Mahal that I want to see.
Me (with eyebrows raised and a bit of trepidation): No.
Wife: We are going, I told you I wanted to see (insert place name) when we decided on this holiday.
Deepak: And I said you are more than welcome to go yourself (or with anybody else that has come on this holiday).
Wife: But it is no fun if you are not there (gives me that look that wives have perfected for centuries).
Me (with hope more than anything, and throwing in a bit of sulk as well): Please, can I not come?
Wife: Gives me that look again
I need hardly say, who wins that argument (btw, how do women do that, how do they always win? Is it in-born? Or do they join a secret society the moment they hit the snuff-out-a man's-happiness age?)
Ah I see, I'm digressing, sorry (If anyone has an answer, though, please do get back to me, because it is one of life's great mysteries).
So, in the end we end up going out and "seeing the sights" – to my wife's credit, she keeps it at a minimum – and my holiday becomes a non(ish)-holiday-let's-see-and-learn-everything-there-is-about-this-place.
Why, people of the world, why can't you keep holiday to what it should be – staying in the hotel, doing nothing and sipping that cold, cold beer.
Maybe one day, it will happen – even though I believe there is more of a chance for world peace than me actually getting to do absolutely nothing on a "holiday" – and in that hope (it springs eternal, after all) I shall live.