The glamour couple on their glamour holiday
We have to admit, watching Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the newly released advertisements for a popular vacation property rental company made us feel a twinge of envy. We know, we know, most of us don’t live the charmed lives that Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor enjoy. Forget weekend getaways and holiday homes in London, the average Indian couple would consider themselves lucky if, after tending to wailing kids, fulfilling never-ending family obligations, attending to the demands of their careers, and the challenges of daily life, the two seriously exhausted individuals can find the time, energy or inclination for romance! After all, being (and staying) in love is a whole lot easier when the kids are playing quietly in their rooms with their personal nannies, the house is spotless because a battery of invisible maids ensures that the floor is clean enough to eat off, and you have the luxury of working for one month a year (or not at all). But real life, as we all know, is a far cry from the idyllic, airbrushed version presented by Saif and Kareena.
So, what’s the point of writing this piece? To hate on a celebrity couple for having access to luxuries most of us can only wistfully dream about? Not at all. Watching Saif and Kareena in those trio of ads reminded us about the importance of doing nothing and just being with one another for the overworked, stressed out couples — as if there is any other kind! — in today’s India.
The effort of planning a vacation seems enormous
Most of us relegate quality time with our partners to vacations that need to be scheduled months in advance, budgeted for, and planned meticulously. And while 6 days and 7 nights on the Amalfi coast sounds like heaven, admit it, just the thought of the exhausting amount of work involved in planning such a holiday would be enough to make many of us give up on the idea altogether! Don’t feel guilty; we’ve all been there and guiltily done that.
Besides, relationships and the big and small crises that accompany them don’t follow a schedule or a timeline. Ask anyone who has gone through the painful experience and they’ll tell you that most relationships don’t crash and burn in a sudden, spectacular moment. They break down slowly — piece by almost imperceptible piece — until one day you realise they are far too splintered to be put back together. Sometimes, we notice the cracks but put off the emotional labour required to repair them until later. Until the cracks turn into wide, gaping chasms.
You don’t need to go far
Enter, stage right, the staycation. It could be a week, a weekend, a day, or even just a night. It could be at your own home, a hotel, or a short-term home rental. What’s important is to escape from the grind of everyday life by shutting yourself off in a room or a house with your partner. You don’t even have to leave your city; you just have to commit to leaving behind the world and focussing on just the two of you for the duration of it. Staycations are deceptively simple, but brilliantly effective at reconnecting with your partners. They remind you of why you loved spending time with them in the first place, and how much you miss that, even though you didn’t have time to realise it! Whenever you feel work taking over your shared lives, or drifting away from each other, it is time to close the door on the world.
In the grand tradition of Indian families, there will be those who will try to guilt you for “neglecting your duties” towards the family, the kids, and the neighbourhood busybody who relies on you to for her daily fix of gossip. What kind of woman is willing to leave the kids behind and regularly whisk her husband away for some alone time? The kind who wants to stay married, and stay sane while doing it, is what you tell yourself every time you feel the doubts and the guilt creeping in!