I went on a camping trip to a farm called Sankalpa. My father’s old school friend (Arthi aunty) and her brother’s family own the farm. I had already once visited this farm when there was a get-together between old school friends of my Dad. The camping trip was for two nights and three days. I didn’t want to go alone so my mom sent a message around the lakeshore homes group and luckily for me my best friend Kushi said that her mom allowed her to go for it. I was so excited I couldn’t sit still for two minutes. At last the day before the camp came . My mom showed me how to close and open the sleeping bag and she helped me pack . I was so excited , I couldn’t sleep that night. My father woke me up the next day . Normally I would have told 5 minutes and would have drifted back to sleep but that day I got up as soon as he woke me up and started running around in excitement. I got ready as soon as I could and then me and my father went up the road and waited there for Kushi and her dad to come in their car. We got into the car. Kushi and me were talking about how excited we were the previous day. My dad and Kushi’s dad were talking about business ( I think) because I wasn’t paying much attention. The people who were running the camp came to pick us up from somewhere near Infosys. There were three different cars. We sat in a car with Anand uncle( His wife Bala Aunty was Arthi aunty’s sister – in – law), our yoga teacher and a girl called Shruti(Shruti was Anand uncle’s daughter). She was one year younger than us but she was a great source of entertainment and told us about what all we were going to do and before we knew it we reached the farm in Tally, Tamil Nadu.
We got down and kept our bags in the Tulusi room(something like the main area) and our yoga mats in the Ashwatha room. We then had a breakfast of idli sambar. Then the elders took all of us for a round around the farm. After we reached the bottommost layer we all sat down on the hill of rocks surrounding the lake and started chatting.
At that time we met Prarthana and she soon became our friend. At about 9:30am, we all gathered in the Ashwattha and sat in a circle. Arthi Aunty told us about what all we could do.
A timetable of our activities was pasted outside the Tulasi. After Arthi Aunty finished her speech she said that there was a surprise awaiting us. She told us to get our towels from our bags. That was really curious for us all at that time. Why would Aunty want us to get towels??? Then we understood why. We were supposed to tie our towels around our eyes and explore the farmland without seeing anything.
It was really creative of the elders to think of such a game. It was like I was in my own world of darkness. Though I bumped into a lot of people and things, I enjoyed it a lot. Then we all thought it would be exciting and fun to climb Pandava betta which was just opposite to the farm. So we asked aunty if we could go climb it. She said ‘OK’, so we went. It was really adventurous and thrilling to explore different parts of the hill and climb up to the top, see the view and give exclamations 😮to each other. We found many different types of rocks (mostly lime stone). After a while, our yoga teacher and two other boys came to look for us and take us back to the camp. We begged him to allow us to play for five more minutes and he said OK, so we went to explore few more parts. While we were exploring, sir and the boys were picking up stones and seeing who could throw them the farthest . After what seemed like ten minutes, sir called us and told us that it was time to go back to the farmland. Prarthana was very responsible and wanted to go back to the farmland long back because she thought we would miss something. So she scurried along hurriedly. Me, Kushi and Shruthi just wandered about for 5 minutes and then set off down the hill. After we reached the foot of the hill we raced down to the Tulasi. There we ate our lunch. After that we went to the tent that me, Kushi, Shruthi and Prarthana were to share for that night. We then went into the tent and started making plans for the night. It was really exciting to do all that. After that the elders called us for the next activity. We had an option of doing three things. :
- Wall painting
- Name plating
- Tree planting
Me and Kushi chose name plating and Prarthana and Shruthi chose tree planting. In name plating we basically had to write names of trees and hang them on trees. We were waiting for Bala Aunty when me and Kushi decided to sit on the wall that surrounded the Ashwattha. Then by mistake I got hurt by an iron string. My hand started bleeding. Bala Aunty took me to the Tulasi, where she applied some antiseptic on my hand. I was better after that. Then we went around the farm observing all the trees and writing their names in a book. After that we went and sat down in the Ashwattha to paint the names of trees on plates. 1 of my friend was writing on the plates with chalk and me, Koushik and Kushi were painting on the writing.
After all of us finished our activities we went to the area with sand. There our yoga teacher made us play three group games and after that we played kabaddi. It was a lot of fun. While we were playing kabaddi Kushi got hurt. So, she said that she won’t be coming for the nature walk. As she was my best friend it was my responsibility to stay with her and give her company. So we stayed back in the tent. While they were gone we played Shadow puppets and did light shows. It was fun doing that. After that the others came back. When they came to our tent we told them about what all we did in their absence. Then we used all the torches to form the universe. Then somehow a really funny conversation started in which Prarthana was the teacher and Shruthi was the student. Shruthi was a really funny type of student which made us laugh till we felt like our stomach was about to burst. Then I took a turn in being the teacher and after that Kushi. We then went to dinner and talked a little in the tent and went to sleep.
The next day Prarthana woke up first, so she she woke us all up. Kushi complained that she had a stomach ache. She struggled with it for a lot of time and then vomited. I felt really bad for her. The next thing we had to do was yoga. Kushi said that she would try to do but the yoga teacher said that she should take some rest. So she sat outside while we did yoga. At breakfast she did not at all have her usual appetite. In fact she she didn’t eat any thing but a banana. So I just finished the cow bathing and spent the rest of the morning with her. She felt really tired and couldn’t do a thing. She was really glad of my company and I felt happy to help her. Just before they started making lunch, me, Kushi, Prarthana and Shruthi took a well bathe with Bala Aunty.
That was the first time I took a well bathe and I enjoyed it a lot. When we came to the Tulasi we saw everyone making lunch over there. The aunties were rolling the pindi, the elder girls were frying the chapattis so we decided to help too. We put the masala into the chapatti and rolled it. We made about 60 rolls for everybody. After lunch Kushi was all ok again. We were a bit tired so we took some rest after the lunch was over. Then we did the wall painting outside the Ashwattha. I was good at drawing , so I did the drawings and the others painted it. That day we all didn’t want to play group games, so we asked our yoga teacher to show us a few yoga asanas. He said OK, so we all trooped into the Ashwattha. He showed us marvellous yoga asanas which we we stared at in the at most astonishment.
Then Aunty called us all out. She said we had to do something called ‘Tune in nature’. Basically we had to spend half an hour anywhere by ourselves. We ate our snacks, drank water and set off to wherever we all wanted to go. I wanted to find a lonely spot where I could sit and enjoy the nature. But I couldn’t, so I ended up roaming around the entire time. Then I spotted a rabbit. It was so cute. I sat under the shade of the tree and looked around. Everything was so beautiful. After about half an hour, I set off to find my friends. I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find them anywhere and then finally I saw Kushi. Kushi also saw me. I ran up to her. We sat and talked for a while. Kushi had written a poem which was really nice. I said that this ought to published somewhere. Kushi was an expert at making up poems. Then we all sat in a circle and all of us told about what we had done during the half an hour, what we had enjoyed and other stuff.
At the end Kushi recited the poem to all of us. Every one said it was very nice. Then we took some rest, ate dinner and went to sleep.
The next day we woke up quite early and I felt really fresh because I had slept like a log the day before. We brushed our teeth, did our yoga and drank some juice. Then we did something which was quite exciting. We had to find our way to a banyan tree. (Alone) Arti Aunty had given us some directions which we had to follow to find the banyan tree Anand uncle would be waiting for us over there. So we all stood near the gate of the farm and one by one went off. It was lovely walking off by myself. After about a 15 minute walk, I reached the banyan tree. I saw everyone waiting there with Anand uncle everyone had reached the banyan tree but Kushi and Shruthi. In a trice, everyone was looking for them. Then the elders took us back to the farm and the elders were looking for them. After a while they found Kushi and Shruthi and bought them back to the farm. They had taken a wrong turn and had gone the wrong way. They had found a treehouse over there. It seemed to me that they had had quite an exciting time. We then went to the mountain to have our breakfast. While we were eating our breakfast we talked of the morning’s happenings. Prarthana went after a while. We decided to go and explore a few more parts. Prarthana didn’t want to come so only me, Kushi and Shruthi went taking a few bananas with us. We went to many parts of the hill and enjoyed it a a lot. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we lost our hang of time and also rules. We went on exploring and actually reached the bottom of the hill. We didn’t even realise it. 2 hours went by. Then suddenly I looked at my watch and it was 12’o clock. I was so shocked. We had left the farm at 9:30. We all agreed that we would be in hot water if anybody found us there. So we were about to make our way back, when we heard anand uncle’s voice in the distance… we were so amazed and shocked. We tried to hide but it was too late. Anand uncle had seen us. It was obvious what was going to happen next. We were taken back to the farm and got a good scolding from everyone. Our yoga teacher said that ‘Normally in movies three boys do such things but in reality three girls are doing such things. That was a really good compliment for me as I always like being adventurous. After that we drank coconut water. Then we took a well bathe again. After that we ate our lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent in our packing, chattering and other stuff. Finally the time came when we had to say goodbye to everyone. Most of us wished that camp was for a few more days. I felt as if I could KISS the walls of the Ashwattha and Tulasi. We all went into the cars and the farm was well behind us.
THIS WAS THE BEST CAMP EVER.
THANKS TO ARTI AUNTY AND HER FAMILY.