Every mile was a memory

Every mile was a memory

It did not take much to get a picnic going during the ‘60s and ‘70s. A few cycle trips to friends’ homes and the word was passed around as telephones were rare then.

Someone would arrange a bus or truck if we were going beyond 20 km, else we would cycle to nearer destinations. Later, we rode our own scooters.

Each would bring mother’s specially-made goodies to be shared around, that had to last us through the day. This required loads of water and juice, sandwiches and cake to say the least! There were no fast foods on offer those times beyond perhaps potato chips and peanut chikki, and maybe a roadside coffee or tea, biscuits, vadais etc rather suspect for cleanliness.

Our destinations could vary from Hesaraghatta to Nandi, or Pearl Valley or Thippegondenahalli; the latter boasting Bangalore’s Water Supply Works!

At times, we would hop into a train at Banaswadi Station and spend a day under the fruit trees near Whitefield Station, which short of the main road, was mostly just a wilderness then!

Departing around 8 am, as soon as we reached our destination, we’d settle ourselves under some trees offering a shady private space; then break into various age groups each in search of particular pursuits. Young boys would take off with their catapults to shoot at anything from bloodsuckers to squirrels to birds and fruit.

They would climb trees, fall off them, bully one another, come back for a break and tuck into whatever was on offer, devouring sandwiches and chips like they’d never seen food before! The energetic would play games like seven tiles, holly colly and dog ‘n’ the bone. If there happened to be a lake nearby (and those days they were clean!) we’d dip our feet in, while some swam.

After lunch we would relax, exchanging yarns or play some more ‘sit down games’ like dumb charades and coffee potting.

A ‘singsong’ accompanied by a guitar was an absolute must. Flirtations would flourish and many of these couples are celebrating golden decades of married bliss today! Before dark, we would head for home, tired and happy singing ‘Show Me The Way To Go Home’!

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