Vanita Thakkar is an accomplished singer-composer-poetess-author; a performer since childhood; teaches music; is life-long student of music.
We went for a picnic
To a lovely, calm place,
A charming river flowing
Near by with grace.
Standing in queues
Long, thin trees.
Donor, little flowers
Surrounded by bees.
Cool and calm river water
Moving ahead slowly,
As if saying, “Go ahead !
As I stroll merrily!”
We play and enjoyed
And had snacks and sweets !
Hours passed by
As if they were minutes !
Round and red Sun
Hiding in the horizon.
Now, it was the time
For farewell to be bidden.
- Vanita Thakkar (10.01.1984)
I had written this poem as a little girl, passing my time, while travelling in a train ....
As I wrote this poem, most probably, I was remembering the picnics that we went for during our more than five years of stay in Assam till 1982.
Bhutan was about 65 km from where we stayed. Weekend trips to the beautiful hills and towns in the nearby Galephu / Gelegphu region were very common.
The joys of roaming around in green wilderness, playing, singing and dancing in the shades of huge trees and enjoying the delicious delicacies we used to carry from home were vivid in memories ....
There were some other scenic locations as well, in nearby hills, which were called the Bagheshwari Hills or the Bagha Hills.
Some tea gardens were also there near the BRPL Township in Bongaigaon, Assam where we resided.
There was a well-knit group of neighbour families from different locations all over India - like, those from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh .... staying together in the township. Far away from our home states, we used to often have such fun-filled weekend outings together.
Memories of Acquaintance with an elderly Sindhi Brother-Sister Duo travelling with us during a train journey ....
It was January, 1984. We were travelling by train from Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh to our home town Vadodara, in Gujarat. My brother and I were both school-going kids. We had to go from Vishakhapatnam to Mumbai, which takes about 30 hours and from Mumbai to Vadodara, which takes an overnight journey.
At Secunderabad, we were joined in our compartment by a gentleman and a lady, who we got know were siblings. The gentleman was elder. He must have been in his late fifties and his sister looked a couple of years younger to him. As it sometimes happens during train journeys, we co-passengers got introduced and little chats began. They were Sindhi by birth, residing in Hyderabad and were going to Pune.
Train journeys, for us kids, mainly meant sitting by the window, enjoying the swiftly moving beautiful views, and reading the books that we would get every time we undertook a train journey. We usually had long train journeys, so we got at least two books each per journey to keep ourselves busy and happy. We read in turns and were eager to finish reading them fast so that we could ask for more ....
I loved writing as well and during that journey I had penned this poem - Picnic. I showed it to my father and then to our co-passengers. Both were very happy, appreciating and encouraging me to keep writing ....
My brother has always been jovial and witty and like most brothers, he enjoyed teasing me. I was cute and talkative, as little girls are. The quips and counter-quips between my brother and me kept our little company amused.
We came to know that the elderly siblings were going to Pune to attend the funeral of their another sibling. They were both dressed in an indicative white attire and the lady had a teary, sad look in her bespectacled eyes, even as she lovingly smiled during our conversations - a smile that I still remember.
The more than twelve hours journey from Secunderabad to Pune got filled with fond affection of our co-passengers for us kids and friendly conversations between the elders. The elderly gentleman, as they were about to reach Pune, asked me to give him my notebook. He wrote a verse addressing my brother in it, which I still remember, even though my notebook got misplaced and is probably lost now, after so many years of handling between different places we stayed at. It said -
"Good boys love their sisters
And so good have they grown,
That they love other's sister
And forget their own !!" ....
Fond memories !!
© 2021 Vanita Thakkar