Picnics

13 Jul 2020
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Picnics

I came across this picture today of my sister and I at our usual childhood picnic spot and given the picnic weather this weekend thought I’d remisce about our childhood picnics that involved memories of elaborate preparations …

Before the actual event Monglu our cook presided over what almost seemed like a wedding celebration. On the much awaited day, the excitement started with Jeeps with trailers arriving to the house at dawn to be loaded up not only with prepared food but everything from rice to chicken, pots and pans and an army of staff.. The heavily laden jeeps would set off on their two hour journey to the usual picnic spot on the banks of the majestic Bhareli river and the cooking would begin in makeshift open air kitchens ready for us when we arrived in time for breakfast…
Lunch was usually steaming, freshly made Khichuri served on dining tables set up with proper linen and bottles of beer / drinks conveniently chilled in the the crystal clear waters of the river.. The afternoon would wear off with games and music, laughter and lazy cups of tea until my dad made an appearance in the setting sun, sailing down in his rubber boat after a day’s fishing accompanied by his faithful Miris (fishing assistants) Magairam and Mohan.. There would usually be a not insignificant catch of the golden Mahseer tied to his boat which would then be swiftly taken away by the cook as an addition to the evening menu. Dinner was a magical affair usually a clear moonlit night.. the gleaming, sparking waters of the fast flowing waters reflecting the moonlight, the forests on the opposite bank aglow with fireflies and the occasional trumpet of a wild elephant or even a leopard..

Gradually as the night wore on, the kitchens would be cleared, open fires put out and we would pile back into the cars to make the sleepy journey home.. until the next time…

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