Life | Romancing The Holiday Romance

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Romancing The Holiday Romance
Text by Shreya Shah
Published: Volume 22, Issue 3, March, 2014

Far away from home and all that you want is to be swept off your feet, celluloid style

My idea of a holiday romance is a borrowed one. But then, everyone fantasises about meeting the perfect man, with the right mix of wicked humour and a heart of gold who will conquer the world to take us away with respect, on the Eurorail, so that our beautiful love story is conveniently also surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Our books and movies say that true love can be serendipity, and so it must be. Are any of our thoughts and dreams truly unique, or just a re-interpretation of something intriguing that we have heard about? We read and re-read our favourite passages and memorise the setting of the place, the flavour of the tale. We re-work the way we think. Each time that I board a plane, I find myself daydreaming.

The first time that I went to Switzerland, I was sure that I’d look up and down the length and breadth of every station with the Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge tune ringing in my ears, till I spotted my very own Raj. I was enthralled by the lush meadows dotted with bright flowers, plump cows with shiny bells, picturesque chalets half-hidden by the mist, clear blue lakes reflecting bluer mountains and more. If the King of Romance went weak for these charms, could I possibly resist? With a slight shock I realised that I had come to the end of a romantically fruitless but gorgeous sojourn, without having looked away from the scenery. I reassured myself by thinking that ‘he’ had chosen to holiday elsewhere.

Then there was a palace wedding at Jaipur. I excitedly packed my bags, thinking it doesn’t get more romantic than finding my Mr. Right at the function of someone else’s Mr. Right! The high, domed ceiling curved to serve as an elegant archway for my soaring fantasies. We preened this way and that, spending hours getting just the perfect photo. Alas, the stranger in whose hands we had excitedly thrust our camera into gave it back to us in disgust after we had tried his patience for a fair bit. I craned my neck... I could have been certain that his eyes were deep, mysterious pools of molten chocolate… but he was gone!

My weekend in romantic Paris began and ended at sampling the pain du chocolat. Trying impatiently to see through the binoculars atop the Eiffel if I could spot other monuments. I vaguely noticed a young man on a bicycle following us around for all three days, always leaving a faint musical whistling note in the air. But then I would look down at one hand holding a macaron and the other, a steaming cup of minty hot chocolate, and shrug. God didn’t seem to want me to chase the mystery follower.

It’s really a case of putting love on a pedestal. Projecting it in such a manner that we’re left bewildered at the end of it, gushing and crushed by our own mighty expectations. In all this chaos, we forget that the rush of ‘first love’ can’t be a regular occurrence. Do we want that love following us around for the rest of our lives? Or remain as a beautiful, fleeting moment in time? I’m not quite sure. Still, on a holiday where we’re free from the constraints of routine, I dream of meeting that one man whose sole aim in life is to just sweep me off my feet and initiate a furiously passionate romance.

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