Part – 1
It was a lovely February evening several moons ago. Just the right blend of everything that made it an amazing evening for an outing. Mother nature was at her best displaying the right amount of the setting sun, the right temperature, the right traffic (when you live in one of India’s most densely populated metropolitan cities, this is definitely one of the biggest parameters).
I had just come out of the room after a mysterious phone call that the kids were inquisitive about. I shot a glance at the kids and they shot me back a similar glance with raised eyebrows waiting to hear what they wanted to hear. I looked at my wife and winked. She looked at me like a special crime branch officer staring at a proven terrorist who only needed to accept his identity. If only crime branch officers were so pretty, I’d blast Pakistan and surrender. But I didn’t need to do that because this officer was already my wife.
In an ascending volume, I tore the silence in the room, ‘Let’s go campiiiiiing!’, the last syllable of the sentence being the loudest. My kids of course did not understand anything of what I just shouted out but got excited with just the thought that I screamed after a prolonged period of mere expressions. After they finished screaming, they looked at their mom who was visibly inquisitive to know more details of the sudden trip. She was accustomed to my unplanned ideas and was the one who ended up doing a lot of bridging the gaps to ensure that there was sufficient everything for everyone. Her stare grew more intent and I held her in my arms and said, ‘I know someone at Jungle Lodges and Resorts in Bheemeshwari. All I have to do is to call him up and book a log house facing the river. We leave as soon as we can now to reach there for dinner. We spend the night camping at the place and leave tomorrow after lunch.’
She continued to stare at me, her expression unchanged. I did the next usual – puppy face! Generally worked. She looked at the kids. By now both of them also had got used to these situations. Though not knowing what ‘camping’ was, they also had put on their puppy expressions. They just wanted to go. My three and a half year son went the extra mile and joined hands to plead. That was the last nail on the cross. The crime branch officer smiled.
I don’t know if I jumped on the kids or if my kids jumped on me but there was rejoicing, hooting and no-music dancing as my wife began calculation of the things to be packed. It was gonna be a night to remember. We had all of 30 minutes to leave the house.
Little, however, did we have a clue of what was awaited for the night!
– Loyson Paes
(…. to be continued)