28. An Enjoyable Holiday
Holidays are a routine affair in the passage of any school year. It is not all holidays long or short that we are able to enjoy. Sometimes we are burdened with exams coming after holidays, while at other times a problem in the family makes it difficult for us to step out of the house during vacations.
However, at times we have such a memorable time in the holidays that they leave an indelible mark on our minds. One such holiday I still remember enjoying and that was when I was in the third standard, four years back.
These were the long summer vacations of the year 1995 when my mother planned the holidays at the home of my maternal grandparents. At first, when the suggestion had come, I remember I was not too happy about the programme.
I wondered what I would do with and in the company of my old grandparents, and that also for two whole months. With a lot of grieving and objections, I finally gave in and agreed to the proposal. I was however sure that, I was in for a lot of boredom instead of enjoyment and pleasure.
Finally the day came when we had to leave for Bombay where my grandparents live, and much against my hopes of having a good holiday, we boarded the train. The journey was very comfortable but, all the time I was brooding as to what I will do in Bombay. Soon the journey came to an end, and we reached Bombay and once there, I felt that I was in an alien place with no friends, no one to talk to and nowhere to go to.
I was absolutely disgusted with the very thought that, all the time I would only be surrounded with elders with their yeses and nos all the time piercing into my ears. This feeling of boredom persisted for two very long days till at last, I had a surprise of a pleasure on the third day when eight of my cousins also arrived there. Now, my pleasure knew no bounds as, aha! Now here was my peer group to play with. Now I knew there would be a lot of fun with my older cousins who would surely take me out for sight seeing in Bombay.
This was my first ever trip to Bombay and I was now thrilled at the very thought of being able to see the town. Just as I had expected, the fun started the very next day, when all of us children planned to go out together. I being the youngest was to be looked after by the eldest of the group, my maternal cousin Sujit. On the very first day what thrilled me were the sight and the ride on a double decker bus. I asked my elder brother in charge of me to give me a long ride in one of these buses.
Aha, all of us agreed to board a bus, and go upto its terminus and come back, just enjoying the ride. It was such fun as; I sat on the first floor of the bus. From a top there, I could see the entire town, the beelines for the buses, the market, and the crowds walking on the roads. That sea of men from the top of the bus is still clear in my mind.
The people were in crowds but, what I remember about the Bombay crowds is that, they were a crowd apart from fpr instance the crowd of Delhi. There they are so much disciplined; I do not remember any pushing and jostling in any queue, or any bus. This impression about the Bombay crowd still lingers in my mind and I have heard others also accepting the fact that, the Bombay crowd is much more disciplined than the Delhi crowd. This first day of enjoyment still reigns in my memories of childhood days. After this eventful day, every day all of us used to pick and choose a place to go and in this way we saw the town in all its details.
The most impressive place to my mind was the Marine Drive, a location which is just around the sea. At night with the lights simmering around the sea make it look like a fairy land. The next I remember is the beautiful Juhu Beach at the seaside. Till then I had only heard people talking about beaches but now that I had seen the famous Juhu beach I realised how beautiful the spot could be. The Chowpatty is a famous picnic spot near the sea and there are a lot of eat shops there.
I remember how we all ate bhelpuri at this place. This item of food or snacks is typical of Bombay, a very tasty item indeed. With an outing every day the month of holidays passed off as if it never came. It had just flown by and I could not believe that, the place where I had not ever wanted to come had so much of enjoyment in store for me. The event which I was regretting in the beginning had become an unbelievably memorable event. It was an experience of complete enjoyment and relaxation for all of us. I only wish that we could more often repeat such memorable holidays. I was now thankful to my mother and my grandparents for having planned such a wonderful holiday for all of us children.