Saturday came and we were up long before the sun. Dad took out the car from the garage and we boys started loading our stuff. Swimming trunks and towels, baskets of food, an ice-box duly stuffed with fruit and drinks - all these and our overnight cases found their way into the car. My brother was keen to take his air gun, but I was not inclined. I looked forward to a day in the sun and to an occasional swim in the sea. I also carried a book or two for those leisure moments.
We were used to similar outings but this one was extra special as it was after a very busy period and we felt we had deserved it and moreover it would be a lovely experience to have out parents relax and be at our beck and call. So we excitedly prepared for it. But just as we were about to start, the phone rang and Dad rushed upstairs to attend to it. It was a call from one of his senior colleagues asking him to attend an important meeting that morning. We held our breath. Would the outing be cancelled? Frustration and irritation were beginning to work on us. But no, he persuaded his colleague to manage without him and we left for the beach.
We drove and soon reached the open countryside with trees by the roadside and open areas of land. The sea ran all along the road. Suddenly the car swerved to the right and we had to stop. Before we alighted from the car we knew it was a puncture. The sun was already fairly high now and the delay was most unwelcome but it couldn't be helped. We got down and busied ourselves. When we resumed the journey a few minutes later, we had all begun to show signs of the strain. It wasn't as if we felt free or that we had enough leisure. We felt that we were struggling to get some time for ourselves and this spoilt halt the fun.
At last we were there, our cases in the Rest House and we in our swimming trunks. Mum relaxed with a book and we were enjoying the struggle against the waves. At times their impact was subdued; at other times they came with a great deal of force and carried us before them. We would dive to protect ourselves from their impact. It was great fun! We were soon tired and joined our parents and sat down on the grass mat. We opened the baskets and satisfied our ravenous appetites and disappeared again after lunch.
This time we decided to join the local fishermen and asked them to take us out to the sea. It was a risky job for we were not at all used to their boats and fell out of them a number of times. Though we were fairly good swimmers, the sea, with all its unending vastness, is a frightening prospect. It took us quite sometime to get used to their unsteady movement, but were thrilled when we helped them haul in a good catch.
This pleasure was however short-lived. My brother fell out and lost his nerve and he blindly hit out' towards the nearest object. Before I could count to two, he hit his head hard against the boat. I didn't even see what happened next. I was myself of panic stricken. All I could see was blood Rowing out of the wound just above his right eye. I cried for help. The fishermen put him in the boat and took us to the shore. We joined our parents, I supporting my brother all the way. By this time his face had a bluish, swollen look. My mother luckily had some antiseptic cream and with a handkerchief she dabbed the wound clean. They didn't say a word to scold us and I admire my mother who didn't lose her nerves. But the stay had to he cut short. There was a big gash and his eye seemed to hurt him, so we drove back - subdued foursome - and went straight to the hospital. My brother had to be admitted and the gash required stitches. He was given some injections also. We felt awful and were very quiet and disappointed and worried. What an outing! It was more like a nightmare.
We all love to go for picnics during our holidays, especially in the winter season. A picnic brings about excitement, exhilaration and breaks the monotony in our lives. I also had gone for a picnic with my family and relatives, the memories of which I will always cherish. We decided to go for a picnic on the 1st of January, which also coincided with the New Year celebrations. I remember how excited I was and so was my younger brother and cousins. It was sheer excitement that morning!
I remember I could not sleep the previous night thinking about the fun we would be having the next day. I got my picnic attire ready so that I would not have to waste any time the next day. I was the first to wake up and then called everybody so that we could start moving as soon as possible. Every minute seemed so precious. My mother got busy preparing some delicious breakfast and tasty snacks for the journey. My brother, cousins and myself were busy putting all the games together that we would be playing at our destination. But, where were going. Finally my father decided to take us to Nicco Park. This whole episode was so thrilling. Soon, we our entire family was seen scurrying into the car and 'hurray', we were on our way.
The journey by car was great. I had travelled by the 'Scorpio' many times, but today the drive down the road was different. The air was filled with fun and laughter and we were really enjoying ourselves. Mum's snacks were great and so was the fruit juice that we had while travelling. Along the way we cracked jokes and sand songs. We were soon in front of the gates of 'Nicco Park'. It was around 9:30 am in the morning. We got down from the car and we waited for my father and uncle who went to park the car and arrange for the entry tickets. The hurdle of booking the entry tickets was crossed easily and we were inside Nicco Park.
We managed to find a nice spot and settled down for a while. Then we started going for some of the most interesting rides. We began our endeavour by going on the merry-go-round. It was great fun. Then we hurried towards the counter for a ride named 'striking cars'. This ride was among the best because my father, mother, uncle, aunt and cousins all decided to go for the ride. We had a great time striking each other's car. The next ride we went on was the 'giant wheel'. This ride was scary but the next ride 'the roller coaster' brought my heart into my mouth. We were all sliding down from a great height to land into the water. I was screaming out of excitement when 'splash' I was thrown into water and so were my cousins. What a great feeling! My excitement surpassed my fear. There was no end to the rides. We went on the toy train that took us all around the park; we also went for a boat ride which so nice and enjoyable. Well by now it was lunch time!
My father treated us to a great and sumptuous continental lunch that had some very tasty food on the platter. I enjoyed my lunch. After lunch we had ice-creams, which is my favourite. We rested for a while, and then started to play several games such as badminton, throw ball and frisbee. We also spent a good deal of time playing on slides, see-saws and swings. By then it was time for some nice coffee. My parents and relatives were busy chatting, while we helped ourselves with some great desserts. The desserts were just awesome!
We spent a little more time enjoying the cool breeze in the park and then decided to return home. We got into the car for our return journey back home. I was a bit sad as this beautiful day had come to an end. But, while returning home we could not stop talking about the fun we had. Most of all we were busy browsing through some of the nicest photographs taken by my mother and aunt. Some nice video recordings were also taken. It was a wonderful picnic that we all thoroughly enjoyed, the memories of which will always be cherished from the bottom of my heart..