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  •  Fun and Relaxation - The DI Annual Picnic

Fun and Relaxation - The DI Annual Picnic Author:Amit Ukil   Posted On:2018-01-17


From getting up with the sun on a Sunday winter morning, reluctantly leaving a warm bed, to returning tired but contented after sundown, lots of things can happen. Like the DI annual picnic, an outing where closeted woolies and woolens vie for outdoor activity along with the persons wearing them. 

Albeit the venue was the same as in previous years – Tapan Desai’s expansive and picturesque baganbari – it always provides newness in the unknown way the day unfurls. Two buses with about 80 members and their guests left our Jhowtala rendezvous point around 8am, traversing the 36-km distance to the garden a little beyond Duttapukur in two hours. Garden tables, chairs and umbrellas had been laid out and the cooking arrangements put in place by an advance team from the Club, its members having gotten up even earlier to be able to do so.

Many among the picnickers had been to the sprawling spot before and settled down under the sun right after alighting from the buses. But the baganbari did evince awe among the newcomers. “What a beautiful place…the lawns, the variety of flowers and trees, the bari and its outhouse, the ponds…it will take half a day to explore the property,” remarked Minakshi, the guest of a member and a teacher at Sushila Birla High School.

Fortified with a breakfast of luchi-alur dum and jalebis soon after arrival, the fun-lovers looked for ways to spend energy. Some had brought along their own footballs and badminton gear, while some started playing cricket on the tennis court. Soon enough, entertainment committee team members, comprising Brinelle, Shaheen, Minu di and later joined by Rajashree, started the organized games. “Attention all, young and old!” beckoned able MC Leslie D’Gama on the PA system. “Come over to the main lawn and stand in three rows if you want to earn your lunch!” Teams with similar number of heads and heights were formed, named after the youngest members in each. Aryan, Mishal and Jeda then appointed their respective vice-captains, papas Faiyaz, Shoeb and Clinton. And then the games got off…

The relay “race” was followed by tunnel ball, where a football had to be passed backwards through the legs of each team member to the last person, who would then run to the front and repeat the process. The team that finished first was awarded 10 points. The next game was newspaper stomping, followed by the familiar three-legged race in which one gentleman had to hop both ways as there was no partner. Harry Potter’s Broom was an innovative competition, where sticks were made ‘brooms’ that had to be ‘ridden’ to the teams’ respective Dumbledores and back. But the main show of strength and the excitement came in the tug of war, and finally, after much pulling and heaving, Team Jeda emerged overall winners of the games, amid much cheering and high-fives as the results were declared!

By this time, several members had arrived in their own transport to join the fun. The bar too had opened shop, quenching the thirsty after the games. Somehow, some daddies seemed to be more parched than the kids!  All the while, popular music was being played through the sound system, and there was a steady supply of good, rocking numbers, thanks to Christabel and her cellphone, where they were stored.

But being the DJ was not her only role, as it turned out. Her penchant for dancing was infectious and a dull moment and empty lawn were converted to a dance floor full of enthusiasts, young and old, following her moves as if she was the Pied Piper of the bagan! Line dancing, jiving and enjoyment ensued, especially by the kids’ brigade of Dylan, Nevaeh, Jeda, Rayd and Mishal. They matched move for move, beat for beat and drew an appreciative audience to the arena. Other than the games, there were prizes too for good dancing. The prizes, which had been safely stored in the fridge, were distributed to all who came back to the club!

Enjoying the proceedings was Md. Ashraf, who though he had become a DI member five years ago, made his way to the picnic with wife and son for the first time. “It’s a lovely way to spend the day, and a good opportunity to get to know the other members of the Club,” he pointed out.

The lunch and preceding snacks, compiled and cooked by Francis and his crew, were varied and tasty, with the mocha-chingri chop providing uniqueness over the fish fry, chicken, paneer, enchor and gurer rosogolla.

“It was a most relaxing outing. I thoroughly enjoyed playing cricket, and the food was good too,” remarked Barry O’Brien, who made it to the picnic after a few years’ gap. “I made some nice, new friends too. I intend coming every year from now. And you don’t have to change the venue – it’s a nice place to be at once a year.”