And we’re off… Kolkata. In a little while. For the sum total of two entire days. Our luggage? One suitcase. One huge duffel bag. And one backpack which entirely comprises Beyblades of various persuasions and action figures guaranteed to keep said brat out of my hair for a maximum of half an hour.

I am the queen of overpacking. My biggest regret this packing round is that I could not pack in shoes to match every ensemble I packed in. But given that I have packed everything in black, it didnt take much to match shoes with that. But still, a girl likes to have some choice. Its a mood thing. Shoes and bags. Some choice is always welcome. I can well understand Einstein’s predicament and his genius solution of having a gadzillion suits all stitched in the same style and colour. Hmm. Should I wear the black suit today or should I wear the black suit today. Voila! Decision made. Time saved. More time on hand to revolutionise quantum physics. On the flip, I’ve spent more time agonising about shoe and bag and outfit coordination and havent been able to revolutionise even a gossip column. I’m not even getting into the very legitimate point of IQ levels.

One has packed. I am a panic packer. As in, I always panic that when I land wherever it is I have to land, I will discover that I have not carried along something absolutely essential and run around like a headless chicken trying to locate it. Like the time I landed in a resort in South Goa and discovered that the little plastic bag with the, err, essential support and foundation garments was snarkily marking time in the interior of my wardrobe back home. And had to then hire vehicle and take myself to the nearest marketplace where, er, foundation garments could be acquired. Only to discover that Goa sleeps in the afternoon. And so do the shops. So one stayed put until siesta time was done with and shopkeepers emerged stretching and yawning from the recesses of their stores to pull the shutters up, and decide whether it was worth selling anything to the troubled soul sitting on the stoop of the store. What? Stores in Goa have stoops. In small town marketplaces.

Ergo, the packing. And the panic. And the lists. And the packing and the unpacking. And the over packing to be sure that I am not, er, caught short. And the added panic if the child accompanies me because, as is obvious, with the child along, one has to multiply number of garments needed per day of stay with number of days into five. Because I can guarantee you that whatever he does wear, he will manage to stain/wet/dirty/tear it within a couple of hours and ergo, need to be changed.

I have now reached a stage when I can be brave enough to travel without carrying edibles in my handbag, because I know that the Pepsico company has ensured that Lays are available in every remote corner of India and the child will never starve no matter where we are. At four thousand feet above sea level in the small temple town of Jaageshwar I found more Lays/Kurkure/Pepsi/Frooti/Appy/Hippo than my eye could take in a single glance. The child can get his nutritive veggies when he returns. For trips he can OD on whatever junk catches his fancy. One trip to Alibag saw him subsist on Lays plain salted and bread and butter. I wish I had that kind of commitment to stick to similar diets when I decide to curtail the intake to be able to get button and buttonhole of them jeans together without needing to do the hop and suck in stomach and wriggle on the floor dance, which the child probably thinks he can sell tickets to.

So we are off. Packed and ready. And pleading with the child to junk the backpack. If you spot harried woman with excess luggage pleading at the airport between chasing bouncing child around the check in queues, stop by and say hi. And please share some of your luggage allowance if you are on the same flight.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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3 Responses to And we’re off…

  1. R's Mom says:

    Wow…Am so jealous..will make my annual trip in April! Do enjoy the Sandesh (you will get fresh new gur ones), puchka, egg roll, chicken roll, fish, jhal muri, chow (I do have a LONG list :):))
    on the streets…! and buy a lovely nice *black* cotton saree 🙂


  2. Ruchira says:

    So you think you are the queen of over packing ! Wait till you meet my sis in law. When she and my brother visit with their two kids we have to bring a truck to the airport to haul their stuff home !


  3. Anu says:

    Hi Kiran

    Have a great trip. Funny post.As always a pleasurable read.



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