Summer is right on us and soon May will come tumbling in with its hot hands and bad breath. So where do we go for a holiday?
The north is definitely out, extending from Kashmir to the North-East via Nepal. You do not go on a holiday to be kidnapped or killed, or to sit locked in a hotle in a curfew-bound city. Even Simla and Dalhousie and the other lovely hill-staions of Himachal Pradesh, prettier than anything that Kashmir can offer, are out. Punjab is uncomfortably near, so is Kashmir, across the Dauladhars.
Mahabaleshwar and Matheran are nice and safe and next-door (well, almost next-door). But have you booked at JimmyLord's hotel? No? Then book right away… for next year.
Goa should be excellent, though why and how Goa should be excellent in the month of May I have never understood. And hos do you go to Goa? Not by Indian Airlines, surely? The last time they flew a flight on schedule was on January 12, 1984. And Goa by ship would be lovely. But going by the daily reports in the newspapers, you do not know whether the shipping service has been started or restarted or cancelled or postponed.
And where would you stay in Goa? If you cannot get a hotel booking in Mahableshwar, can you get it in Goa? The Taj Village? Do you know how much it costs for four days and three nights, even with two children under 12 accommodated free?
With North out of bounds, perhaps South would be the place to go to this year. But it would mean that to escape the summer of Bombay, you are going to embrace the summer of the south. And are you familiar with the summer of the South? Do you know that more prickly heat powder is sold in the South than anywhere else in the world?
Ooty, of course, would be cool. But to get to Ooty is a bit of a military exercise. And do not listen to people who say: you start fro Bombay in the morning, fly to Coimbatore, get into a taxi, and by afternoon you are in Ootym drinking tea with tea-planters.
There is always abroad. Not Dubai, no, and not Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong no, no, no. You do not go to these places for a holiday, but to buy thing there and sell them here. But Europe would be nice, Lala's Tour, seven countries, nine capitals, Indian cuisine. But you want to have a holiday, no a tour.
The best place, I think, to be is Bombay. Enclose yourself in an air-conditioned room with chilled beer, books, video (pity Sharjah's not on the air) and relax. And since you are going to remain in Bombay through the summer, you may as well go to work also.