We all love a good journey. May it be a casual visit to a relative in neighbouring town, a family vacation to a well-acclaimed destination, a day off at our favourite club or a business trip abroad. Whatever the reason, whatever the destination, as long as the trip is pleasurable, hassle-free, non-disastrous and embarked with the right companion/s (even if it our own self) it is always fun, memorable and refreshing. Few, who are a bit more of the adventurous kind, do love a little hassles and off-the-track experiences, but at the end of the day- all's well that ends well.
But those journeys that we embark on with kids have a different magic and uniqueness to it.
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I still recall the family vacations and school-picnics of my childhood with awe. Even after so many years, their magic is not lost to my own eyes. Those fake treasure-hunts, excavations and explorations arranged by our school staff on our trip to the countryside hamlets near our town when we were in our primary school. My first trip to the family-resort "Silvan Villa" in our home-town, our first visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore when we were in high school, and my visits to Tamilnadu via the meandering-descent of hillocks near Pernambat. All these trips are so special for their once-in-a-blue-moon experiences and the magical turn of events their offered.
I still remember how excited I used to become at the prospects of train-journeys. For me the chuk-buk chuk-buk sound of the engine and the off-the-road trail amidst lush-greenery transported to a world of magic and surprises. I especially used to look forward for night-fall when the tiny fluttering glow-worms would appear to add the finishing touch.
But the travel-experiences involving my little nephew have a different-feel in themself. He is around 4 years old now. I remember the first time we took him outdoor on a little trip to the neighbouring town. He must have been just over 5-6 months old then, but he was so amazed by the entire new experience, to realise that the world was bigger than the confines of our home he was used to till then and so many people rushing about in strange seaters (read, vehicles) and all, he clung tightly to our fingers by his tiny fists and kept startling and looking around at the chaos around and every new sound his mind registered. He fell asleep in an hour or so but his expressions and trust in us are embedded in our hearts forever.
He now goes to a play-school in Bangalore and recently went on a little-trip to the famous Cubbon Park there from school. It was his first school trip without his parents or any family member around and we were all wondering as to how it will all turn out for him. The first he did after returning home that evening was call up my mother and relate the happenings.
You can guess the magic and excitement of the novel experience he had, in the conversation that ensued between them.
He: You know! I went to the park today and came back just now!"
My mother: How wonderful! Did you enjoy, love?
He: Yes! You know, granma! it was VERY good.
(not waiting for any further questions he went on himself).
You know! There was a VERY BIG train also there. (meaning, the famous toy train meant for joy-rides). It even goes round like a 'D'...
My mother: Really! That's amazing, precious.
He: And you know! The bus we went in... of our school! It was also SO BIG!