I am a 90’s kid, I grew up not on gadgets all together barring the video games and computer games like Prince, age of empire and the likes which came later on. Oh and those hi tech toys we didn’t have so many of them. Childhood meant, playing naturally in the nature, going for picnics with family, reading the likes of Enid Blyton and the perfect picnics and adventures, improvised games. Fast food whipped up wholesomely from mummas kitchen. Childhood was a bliss. So no wonder I am big on nature and outings -Oh I love picnics, being in the natural elements and just enjoying them, feeling the raw emotions. Unfiltered joy, unfiltered surroundings. Of laying down a picnic mat, getting out the goodies and then just lazying around enjoying the bounty of nature.
So I just did that on one of the weekend, headed to the nearby beach.
This was my first beach picnic to be arranged on my own (batting the resort ones we all experience and set our standards high) now whenever I picture a beach picnic in my mind, it’s the most romantic set up, with beach umbrella, mat, some nibbles and perfect drinks. Taking leisurely dips in the sea and then lounging on the mat, looking at the sky above, hearing the waves crash, smelling the sea. Reading a book and the day just goes by .. sounds perfect, doesn’t it ? Perfect date, perfect picnic (told you high resort standards).
We being in Chennai, couldn’t do the dip or swim in the sea. Didn’t want to go too far after a tiring busy week.
Neither could I take some fancy drinks nor could I be on the beach the entire day in the crazy sun and humid weather.
So well equipped with all this knowledge I prepared myself with a small picnic basket - containing a cute colourful mat, hot thermos of tea (hubby’s drink of choice) some cookies, chips, water and other small paraphernalia and bingo we were ready to roll. A picnic at sun down sounded the best and practical given the weather conditions.
We decided to head to a far off beach, less crowded and less known.
All happy and satisfied with the pre picnic work we reached the sight and our first observation was aren’t the vendors increased in number at the entrance (there were just two stalls on bicycles run by home ladies). Were we right not only had the vendors increased the beach visitors had too, it was really crowded. Too late to turn back or go anywhere else.
We started walking towards a place which was a bit less crowded and settled there with our mat and laid down all the works. There were quite a few couples.
As soon as we settled, a family with a group of kids came and decided they wanted to be our neighbours, their picnic paraphernalia was fancier than ours as it had loads of sand toys and works.
As we sat taking in the sea and the beach activities, the beach was dirtier owing to the crowd (when will people realise ) nevertheless beautiful and so peaceful.
The peace part quickly shattered to pieces as we were still discussing it amongst ourself - a shrill scream which doubled and then went on in a full bout of tantrums on our right.
A little time into their play and half built castles the kids had decided to wreck havoc on the serenity and others calm whilst their parents ignored them and continued with their own little banter happily or should I say calmly to the chagrin of others.
As I was cribbing about the parents and their lack of enthusiasm of minding their kids to my hubby another group of localite gentlemen without any gentle demeanour or clothing sense parked themselves on our left a little distance further away. They ran in the sea as if their whole being was on fire and then crash landed in the massive waves.
Such outrageous behaviour by these aged men who were sloshed and had boys with them fit to be their kids equally sloshed.
I don’t understand how they insult them selves, their upbringing, their culture. Without even giving it a second thought that people who come their as guests or travellers take this behaviour as to be the mannerism and culture of that place. Due to such people who cause inconvenience to others and show lack of etiquette, the entire place gets bad named. This sad state exists in all pockets of our country which we need to be ashamed of and changed. Be it the hooligans or the uncaring parents. Don’t let your manners, lack of them or enjoyment disrupt others joy. We need to take this into consideration while having a good time in public places.
One of the kids out of nowhere landed near this group of men and that was the time when the parents shouted for the girl finally. In her plight to run towards her parents she showered us with all the sand.
Some romantic date - reminded me of a song- jaana tha Japan pahunch gaye Chin (had to visit Japan but we landed in China ) samajh gaye na.
Oh well, didn’t need another cue we got up as fast as we could, collected the neatly laid picnic and ran for our life further away.
Found another spot next to an old couple which we deemed safe in all attributes and settled nicely. Oh, the comfort of the old (pun very much intended ).
Happily we gazed at the sea again and I decided it was time for some tea to relax and lay back after that experience.
I poured in some tea and sat with my feet digging deep in the cool sand.
Took a sip and well the tea was tasteless, yeah I made it, the same way as usual but god knew what went wrong. Alas, Tea - the traitor, it also decided to act funny in the literal words. Well I was not going to give up so easily.
We just took a few sips and enjoyed the sea and each other’s company.
That moment was perfect inspite of all imperfections - just gazing at the setting sunset and waves crashing, a cool wind caressing our face and hands intertwined leaving the tea and everything else aside. It was still a perfect romantic picnic.
There were the crashing waves, the sky with its magical hues, the calming music of the sea, the soothing sand, us hand in hand, there were couples, families with children and elders, friends, there were dogs playing on the beach, few crows flying down to pick up some dead fish, crabs scuttling in their holes, a gentle breeze bringing with it the sea smells.
We just sat there taking it all in and our hearts joined in all this din.
We didn’t get our sea swim but nevertheless how could we let go off playing in the waves and that’s what we did.
I love to run away from the waves and then eventually one naughty wave catches up with me. The water lapping on the feet leaving foot prints behind for the waves again to erase it..
As the sun set and it got dark we packed our picnic with a joyous heart.
Walking in the sand, hand in hand - happy hearts singing to the tune of some young romantic band...
it’s not about perfect moments or romance it’s about finding love in all the moments, it’s about making the most of what you have. It’s all about romanticising the simple life.
And just like that it was a perfect picnic ....
Finding perfection in all the imperfections you have..
one snap does not tell the whole story of what goes behind, that’s what happens on social media these days. So don’t judge a picture on its face value. Don’t have the pressure of living big dreams and perfect bucket lists. Just go with the flow, life happens in the small moments .. Happiness is not a destination it’s this random journey through crazy sloshed gentlemen, tantrum throwing kids and old people ... you just need to hold on to each other, your sanity and find those moments in between and live them - that’s happiness ..