The Matric result was out on the 25th of June. It was a cloudy day. All my friends had passed with credit. Our joy knew no bounds. We decided to go to the canal on a picnic. We contributed two rupees each. We were a party of ten boys.
We bought ripe juicy mangoes, milk, sugar, sweets and things for lunch at the canal. All the things were placed in a tonga in the charge of Mohan who went ahead of us. We chatted and cracked jokes with one another. We passed through green fields and gardens. We reached the canal in an hour. It was now 10 o'clock.
We spread a carpet under a grove of mango trees. We took rest for some time. Then we took off our clothes and put on our bathing costumes. We were all good swimmers. We plunged into the canal. The water was cool and refreshing.
We dived and swam. We played hide and seek in the water. We splashed one another with water. We had a swimming competition. Romesh came out first. We bathed to our hearts' content. We came out when some of us began to shiver with cold.
We sucked mangoes and had lassi. Then we began to prepare meals. Sham collected dry sticks. Romesh improvised a hearth and Ram kneaded the flour. As soon as the fire was lit, Mohan began to fry potatoes. After the potatoes had been fried, we prepared puries. In about an hour, lunch was ready. It was served on leaves. We sat in a circle and fell to eating. We did full justice to puries and sweets. We ate like gluttons.
Then some of us had a nap. Kapur entertained us with his melodious songs. Chopra amused us with his droll stories full of fun. Sohan regaled us with his tit-bits and nonsensical talk. Khanna played on the harmonium. We laughed and laughed till our sides began to ache. Then we had a game of cards. Some of us had a game or two of caram.
At about 5 p.m. we played Kabaddi and ran races. Then we partook of the remaining sweets and fruits. At 6 p.m. we enjoyed boating in the canal. Evening set in. We again packed our things and started on our return journey. We all felt that we had a beautiful time. We felt tired but cheerful. Such picnics break the monotony of life and add zest to it.
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