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How about a picnic?

NEETI SARKAR
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LEISURE Pack that basket of goodies, head to a nearby park and discover the joys of a picnic

Chill OutAway from the madding crowdPhoto: Sampath Kumar g.p.
Chill OutAway from the madding crowdPhoto: Sampath Kumar g.p.

Among my fondest childhood memories are the umpteen picnics I enjoyed during the summer with my sister and two cousins in our large garden. We would carry everything required for a feast — mats to sit on, a spray to keep the creepy crawlies away and the mandatory gingham tablecloth to lay our basket on. As for the basket, it contained everything from mini sandwiches, potato crisps and fresh fruits to cold cuts and lemonade, so much so I felt we were our own version of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five — minus Timmy the dog!

Yesterday was International Picnic Day and it probably made you wonder whether youngsters still pursued this quaint leisure activity. But, here’s what some parents and children have to say…

Natasha Menzies, a mother of two, feels picnics are a fun activity that has slowly faded. “I remember the fun we had as kids but getting my children to go on a picnic has never really happened. They don’t see the point in carrying homemade food to the backyard. They would rather be indoors watching television or playing a video game.”

Another parent, Julian Gomez, says, “The only picnics my children go on are school outings. They invariably visit a resort or an amusement park and I feel the whole point of the open air meal is lost. This summer however, I managed to organise a picnic for them and a couple of their friends in a local park and they had more fun than they expected.”

While parents have their own version of why their kids haven’t taken to the idea of picnics, the children share their side of the story. Eleven-year-old Alexis Pereira says, “Summer, these days, in the metros, is so hot that going for a picnic doesn’t make sense. Also, my friends and I would enjoy a movie rather than a picnic. My idea of a picnic is to go with my best friends to an amusement park because of the thrilling land and water rides.”

Twelfth-grader Sumanth Raju feels, “Picnics in a garden or on the beach are quite uncool. If I were in America, I might have enjoyed picnicking with pals because the parks there are well-kept. Also, nowadays most of us live in multi-storeyed apartments that don’t have gardens. I don’t think it makes sense to drive through crazy traffic just to spend a couple of hours in a park.”

In a time and age when picnics might seem passé, those who’ve been there and done that know nothing beats the luxury of spending an afternoon in a park, beach or on a scenic drive, away from office and gadgets that remind us of work, in the company of good friends and good food!

NEETI SARKAR

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