Hi, bachche. Making your 158th Goa plan with your friends? You know, that group chat where you always talk about your trips but never actually book anything. Don’t cry, I empathise (hehe big word of the week) with you. Matlab I feel your pain. I know that one of the main obstacles in your Goa plans, apart from the shocking lack of coordination between your friends, is permission from Mummy Papa. After all, there is not a single Mummy or Papa in the world who doesn’t want this mark of honour on their parenting report card—”TOLD OFFSPRING TO CHUP CHAAP GHAR BAITHO WHEN IT DARED TO BRING UP TRIP WITH FRIENDS”. What face will they show to their other parent friends if they let you go so aaraam se? Understand their problems, bachche. Anyway, I am not here to give you a lecture on everything parents do for their kids. I’m not that old. I’m here to tell you how to convince your parents to let you go on a trip with friends so that you have no other excuse to back out at the last minute.
Pay attention, bachche. This is life-changing advice.
1. Clean your room every day
Start this activity a month before you have to ask for permission. The key here is to give it enough time for your parents to remember only this version of you, not the one that was happy stewing in its own filth for days. Start slow and steady and do not grumble. Just make it look like cleaning your room is something that comes to you naturally. Keep improving your level of cleanliness every day. Begin with your desk on day one and put things where they’re supposed to be. On day two, make your bed. On day three, clean out your cupboard and make a neat bundle of clothes to donate. If you’re smart, by day 31, your room will be sparkling clean and full of shopping for Goa. Also, keep your next trip in mind and don’t just stop cleaning once you come back. Don’t self-sabotage, child.
2. Make up scandalous stories about imaginary people
Tell them stuff about made-up acquaintances to make sure they know your moral compass is straight. Pretend to share in your parents’ horror at Ayaana’s tattoo, lead the gasps when you tell them about Karan dating two people at once, and look perplexed when you tell them Riya smokes a “special cigarette”. It’s all about making them feel that you think just like them. You will never do what they wouldn’t do. No one is going to tell them that Ayaana, Karan, and Riya are all basically the same person—you.
3. Initiate conversations about your most controversial relatives
Listen to your parents bitch them out with full concentration. Do not disagree with them. This is not the time to take your favourite cousin’s side. This is the time to offer them up as a sacrificial lamb. Be careful not to cross the line with your own stories or opinions about these relatives though. One can never tell when the conversation will shift from “how dare they” to “how dare you”. Just nod your head and appear appropriately horrified.
4. Plan an economical family holiday before your trip with friends
This holiday cannot be in the same place as your trip with friends. Your parents could see one wonky dog and be convinced that the place is full of drug addicts preying on innocent children like theirs. Don’t look for logic, you won’t find it. Plan a holiday with them to a sanskaari sthaan. And make sure you look like you’re enjoying it. Also, the entire trip needs to be managed on a strict budget to not let your Mummy Papa feel that they’ve lost 20 years of savings in one night. So, no hotels over 5k a night and yes to all group sightseeing tours. Don’t even think of buying anything beyond a fridge magnet.
5. Switch on the radio in the car and lament at how the songs these days don’t have soul
Compare today’s music with the songs of the 70s and 80s. Even if you actually think the opposite, you need to do this. It’s not hard, you’ve heard your parents cry and whine about “aaj kal ke gaane” for years now. You have enough in your arsenal to leave them impressed with their “mature bachcha”. Believe in yourself and take the plunge of nostalgia.
6. Ask about their struggles casually after dinner
Slip it into the conversation and brace yourself for the trauma. Not the trauma of their struggles, but the trauma of having to listen to a clearly exaggerated story of walking miles to school or studying under a street light. If they don’t bite at your first attempt, ask a more specific question like, “What was your first boss like, Mummy/Papa?” Aim at the one that needs to be convinced the most.
7. Buy a few UPSC books and declare that you’re going to attempt the exam next year
Declare the same intentions on behalf of your friends as well. These need to be the friends with whom you are planning this epic trip. Whether or not you actually study is up to you. I will always root for pensionable sarkaari jobs, bachche. But you kids these days want “job satisfaction” and “flexible hours”. Anyway, dangle the IAS carrot in front of them, regardless of what you think of government jobs. This carrot will be enough to hypnotise your parents for about a year.
Follow my advice on how to convince your parents for a trip with friends and I guarantee that Goa will happen for you this year, bachche. I’m rooting for you!
PS: Don’t make big moves like offering to dabao their feet or smiling at your parents for no reason. This will just make them suspicious and ruin everything.
Related: Ladies, Are You Planning A Solo Trip? Here Are 5 Safe Destinations In India To Explore
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