Arré Checklist: How NOT to Plan a Republic Day Getaway


Arré Checklist: How NOT to Plan a Republic Day Getaway

Illustration: Palak Bansal

Republic Day is the first big holiday after New Year’s, and now’s the perfect time to plan quick getaway. You’ve been back at work for three whole weeks, after all.

The planning for the first long weekend of the year starts with uber enthusiasm: Resolutions are made to travel more and WhatsApp groups come into being. The weekend dreams are made up of Bangkok beaches and Lankan lagoon crabs, but invariably you find yourself in overcrowded Goa or worse, Lonavala or Manesar.

So don’t get ahead of yourself. Here’s what you’ll probably be doing on the R-Day weekend.

The Technically-Out-Of-Town

For some reason, this trip takes the longest to plan even though you’re only going to Pune. Who will drive? Who will navigate? Who will DJ? Who gives a fuck? You’re going to end up in a house that’s basically a worse version of the one you left behind, or a generic hotel room with dubious bedsheets. It’s a seven-hour drive in holiday traffic, and the girl in the front seat is playing “Tainu Suit Suit Karda” on loop.

Despite this grim scene, the weekend is pretty good. You meet some people that you can tolerate if you’re drunk enough, and you’ve earned some serious liver damage points by this point. You’re thrown into a swimming pool with your phone in your pocket. You divulge your deepest secrets to relative strangers and alienate your best friends by threatening to sleep with all of them. The afterglow won’t wear off until next Republic Day, and then you can do it all over again.

The Goa Trip

Everyone has that one friend who can’t possibly conceive of any place better than Goa. No matter how crowded and dirty the beaches are or who has been drugged by the Russian mafia this month, Goa is a perpetual paradise in this person’s mind. “Guys, let’s do Goa for Christmas!” “Goa New Year, bro!” “This weekend chalein Goa?”

The gang collectively gives in just to make it stop. Everyone gets their shit together and makes a booking. They pack a couple of bathing suits and some torn pairs of shorts. One guy is in charge of procuring drugs, but on D-Day shows up with three joints for the entire trip, insisting that some Australian tourists will give you acid tabs once you’re there. That, of course, never happens.

Overall, your weekend is mediocre. Yeah, you get to lie on the beach and drink and smoke for 24 hours, but when you decide to go for a swim, a used condom  gets stuck in your hair. You swear never to come to Goa again. But you’ll obviously be back by March.

The Staycation

You keep delaying booking your bus tickets or making reservations. Your designated responsible friend has refused to run logistics for the eightieth time, and just as she predicted, no one else did shit. Everyone was too fucked up from New Year’s to think about Republic Day. The point is, the ball has been dropped and you’re stuck without any plans

Now, it’s all about who will come through with a chill scene. After a few days of intense side-eyeing each other, someone volunteers their place. You end up hanging out with your friends, eating pizza, and watching stupid YouTube videos, trying to ignore the crippling #fomo that washes over you in waves. You can tell when it hits — a brief, uncomfortable silence, followed by someone saying they’ll roll another one with determined cheerfulness.

And so you take another puff, trying not to think about your lofty 2018 resolutions, your wasted youth, or the general direction your life is taking. It’ll all work out, you tell yourself. At least no one made you drive to Lonavala.