After my parents, my sister & I moved from Kuwait back to India and settled down in our house in Thrikkakara, we went from being just the 4 to a huge extended family. Mostly on my mother’s side – a plethora of uncles, aunts and cousins plus my grandmother. Every vacation time we would get together, usually at my grandmother’s huge house in Mattancherry. Every year school kids get a 2 week vacation during Onam (in September) and Christmas and then ofcourse a 2 month summer vacation once your school year ends. During the first couple of years, 1987-88, we’ve gone on a family trips to different places.
We’d hire a couple of mini-buses, called tempo travelers seating 14 people, and if needed a car or two (to fit all the folks in) and go on these long road trips and see all the places. Riding in the mini-buses which come equipped with a tv and vcr so you can watch a couple of movies during the long hours on the road. Or play songs on the stereo system and sing along – I pity any of my uncles & aunts who would have the misfortune of sitting in the vehicle with a bunch of us at our loudest. We’d stop at places on the way for drinks, tea and food and then get back in to enjoy the trip once again. I remember us going to Palghat, Coimbatore, Mysore, Madurai and I think Mangalore & Bangalore. I can’t remember much as it has been all these years but I do have some photos in a couple of albums, which I will have to hunt and find.
Staying in hotels, 4 to 5 kids in a room, fighting over the pillows, playing board games or quiz contests till late in the night. Those were awesome times. At that age we didn’t care of the sights & sounds in the cities we went to but I do remember a memorable visit to an art museum.