As children, one thing that stands out most in my memory is the times when we planned to go out for picnics whether from school or with family. A mere mention at home of the thought of an outing spurred us into a fervent activity itself as we all participated in deciding the date, the place, the number of people, music, games and of course the food that’d be a part of this exciting event going to happen. Many a birthdays were celebrated thus and many memories etched along with each outing.
By definition, a picnic is a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors (al fresco or en plein air), ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theater performance, and usually in summer.
An open ground, a park, a riverside, or even a zoo made for an outing we looked forward to. There was a lot of anticipation about the new sights and sounds we would see or hear and of course, papa explaining the whys and the why fors, as ma laid out the goodies for us- something special that we’d not get on a regular basis at home. The chats would be unhurried discussions about school problems, pesky relatives or the boss at office. Everything would be resolved or even if not; it’d be something off one’s chest. Everybody was everybody’s punching bag, the music, games, banter acted as distraction from the daily worries. We learned conversing taking into account the other’s feelings however uneasy that made us in process. Any hard feelings were set right by the elders in the group (and it never used to be a small one mind you. Family had more to it than the alphabets in it). A visit to the cinema hall was the owner’s delight as he would get a whole ‘balcony’ seats sold in one go! But that’s another thing…..
I noticed my daughter chatting, pinging replies, playing games and scouring for information online that takes up so much of her time that she spent most of it inside her room. She has total of 205 friends whom she engages with every alternate day (my curfew :I). But her own relatives she is not very well acquainted with. Some she knows by face and some just names, her cousins form a big exception whom she does know well. And I am scared of the line doing the rounds that this is the age of smart phones and dumb people!
So I am now inclined to rein in the damage by going the traditional route. I have now decided to have at least two family outings if not every week in a month. We’ll decide together on which place to go to (I have a sneaky suspicion that it’ll be a vote for the malls or the cinema hall). But it’ll be a joint exercise that may become a rite in time. 🙂
So hey! Am looking for friends to join the group coming weekend. Game?