If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 14, 2010

Hold hands and don't let go.

Once a year we were taken for a picnic. The venues varied. All within an hours driving distance. So that you could get there and back in the course of a school day.
We were told to bring our water bottles and sandwiches. A cap to keep away the sun and to visit the toilet before boarding the bus. We were assigned partners and told to hang onto our partners when crossing the road.For starters we were taken to the aeroplane park. A concrete aircraft parked at the end of Linking road. Where we took turns at being pilots and making vrrooom vroom noises during imagined take offs and landings. Until we were rounded up and made to sit in a circle. A community lunch. With foil packets being opened. Sandwiches of egg, ham salami cucumber tomato and meatloaf. You knew who to sit next to because if someones mother gave them a good lunch on a daily basis it was a safe bet that they'd have an even better lunch at the picnic. Hot dogs. The Mumbai kind. Bread rolls with mince. A slice of lettuce adding colour and vitamins. Water bottles that had been badly depleted in squirting unsuspecting pedestrians and each other on the bus ride were squeezed to give up their spirit.
With the passing of years our horizons were broadened. To Vihar lake where we were told to keep away from the crocodiles. To chotta Kashmir in the aarey milk colony. Is there a chota mumbai in Kashmir. A place of noise and crowds in that vale of flowers? A visit to the parle biscuit factory which was heralded with stories of largesse. That you were allowed to eat as many biscuits as you wanted to. For free. And drink as manyThums ups as you wanted to when you visited the thumbs up factory. Neither of which held up even though you'd avoided breakfast so that you could eat more biscuits. Glucose D. Which you now knew to stand for Dreams. As in , in your dreams would there be unlimited biscuits. The Old ladies shoe at the hanging gardens. With it's hedges in the shapes of animals. Green elephants and peacocks. Deer chased by tigers that would never catch them. While in the middle of a game of cricket retrieving the ball would cause kissitus interruptus to bodies huddled behind the bushes.
There was a cloud to this silver lining. Which surfaced the next day when you had to write a one page essay on My Class picnic.

3 comments:

krist0ph3r said...

nice post! took me back to my school days...i studied in borivli, so had many more trips to national park, essel world and fantasy land, but i think we did cover most of bombay too, eventually :)

wag said...

For generations the memories will thankfully, joyfully, hilariously be the same despite the different time frame. We used to visit Dr. Writer's - unlimited chocolates and a takeaway box of goodies, which had to be valiantly defended all the way home! Don't hear of them today - the chocolates I mean. Thanks Clem - that certainly blew the cobwebs away.

SwB said...

LOL@kissitus interruptus! Wishing you and the family a wonderful Christmas Clem.