Written by Nandini Sethi
“Oh, no, I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it,” I said, “I will be in Goa!”
It was the last day of office before we closed for the holidays, re-opening only the day after New Year’s. I couldn’t wait to go home and do nothing for the next two weeks, I had had enough of people and their stupidity for one year, and I wanted nothing more than a break. I expected everyone else to feel the same way too, but for some reason they looked for more reasons to get together- please make it to the Christmas party, I hope I’m seeing you on Boxing Day, and let’s get together on New Year’s? No!
Were they lonely? Did they not have anyone to spend the single most overrated night of the year with anyone else? Well neither did I, but I would rather be alone and miserable, ordering takeout and indulging in horribly made TV shows rather than spend another one of my evenings with them!
So, to get out of all their plans, I planned a Goa trip, for 10 whole days. The itinerary was set- sightseeing, clubbing, tanning, swimming, and a meet-cute romance. It was all part of my plan.
When I got home from office, nose-diving straight into my couch, I couldn’t recall a day in the whole year I was as happy as this. The first few days of the vacation passed by in a sloth-like blur. I only got off my couch to heat my food and take an ocassional shower. There was no one to disturb me and I revered every second in the silence.
Come Christmas Eve, I saw all my colleagues getting together at a restaurant nearby, clinking glasses and fake laughing to the bosses’ jokes. It irritated me so much that I contemplated deleting social media for the time being.
I received a text from Riya, my co-worker, Hey how’s Goa?
I panicked. I gave it ten minutes before getting straight to the plan – it’s great! Looks like you guys are having fun. The party didn’t look like fun at all, but they knew that.
The next morning, I woke up to my alarm, reminding me to post my Goa stories. I rubbed the remnants of sleep from my eyes, put on my work glasses, and switched on my laptop – downloading the first image of Goa I found on the internet, I edited it to make it seem a bit more realistic, even adding a pair of feet that bore resemblance to my own. After about 10 minutes of intense editing, I posted it with the caption, new years in Goa!
The next day, I followed the same routine- download an image off the internet, edit it to personalize, and post it with a generic caption. No one had to know. No one would ever find out.
When in the evening I saw more stories of boring parties filled with lonely people, I immediately posted to my social media too, bragging about how much fun I was having and how many new people I was meeting. So when I got another text from Riya, we’re missing you here! I replied to her, you have no idea how much I’m missing you!
I typed out another message, sipping on my powdered iced tea, adding a little umbrella for a beachy effect, feet perched up on my sofa, as I applied some sunscreen on the cloudiest day of the year. A perfect vacation.