As a kid, Namz (my sister) and I have traveled a lot with our Koka and Aita (our maternal grandparents). Deta and Koka served in the same university and so we got ample time to spend with them. Whenever Koka had to go any official tour and if we had our holidays then, we would hop into his official white ambassador car. Of course Aita and Maa would also be there.
The journey was mostly to and fro between Jorhat and Guwahati (in the State of Assam) which was a distance of around 300 km. Most of the time Namz would be on Koka’s lap. Koka used to be Namz’s best buddy and prized possession. The whole way we two would quiz Koka–which place were we passing by, what is the name of the river we just crossed, what is the next town/village we were about to reach, what was the meaning of the traffic signboards with zig-zag lines/ a running boy with a school bag/curves with arrow marks, a railway track, etc. And the best part was Koka never told us to shut up. He would go on patiently, answering all our queries. And that is how I learned about traffic sign boars, rivers and hills in Assam, distance in time between different towns and so on.
We had fixed places to stop for our tea, snacks and other meals. Also we had relatives in the different places along the way and so we visited them also. Koka would also buy us chips (Uncle Chips was the only brand available then), Cadbury gems, tangy candies and dry fruits. Everything was divided between Namz and I equally, down to the last potato chips or gems.
For stretches of the journey, Namz and I would turn around in our seats and watch the road we just covered through the backside window. Another stretch I would just gaze out of the window and follow the moon (if the sun had set) or the electric wires pole to pole by the side of the highway. Of course napping was also on the menu.
May be because of this traveling routine, I don’t mind traveling long distances. I don’t get bored or sick. In fact, I learned to enjoy it. And all thanks to Koka for that.