I mentioned about this Picnic in my 100th blog post, on 1st November 2009 (http://srisrilara.blogspot.com/2009/11/november-month-of-many-birthdays-and.html). It took place today; successfully. It was originally planned for 16th November - my birthday and to celebrate “Karthika Masam Vanabhojanalu” – a traditional outing to an orchard, forest or farm in the Telugu month of Karthika Masam (http://srisrilara.blogspot.com/2009/07/karthika-masam-vanabhojanalu-my.html). Later we postponed the Picnic to Sunday, 22nd November as my nephew; Dr. Udhay Bhasker and his wife Dr. Hina were coming home from Saudi Arabia on 19th Nov. 22nd November was chosen as it is a Sunday and convenient for everyone to attend and more so as we can celebrate not only my birthday but that of Hina also which is on 23rd November. But ultimately the get-together turned out to be in celebration of all the seven “November birthdays!” in the family; as you can see in the above pictures of the Picnic-Invitation and the Birthday Cake. You can see all the Birthday Girls! and Boys! ready to cut the Cake – Smt. Vijayalakshmi, Smt. Usha Rani, Dr. Udhay Bhasker, myself, Dr. Hina, and Dr. Sudhir. As Mohan could not come, Ch. Sudhiksha cut the cake on his behalf. It is actually "Eight November birthdays" in the family taking into account my father, Late Sri. N. Bhaskarachary's birthday, which is 14th November 1915.
All family members totaling 24 assembled at our house - Srilekha and we started for the picnic at 9:15 A.M. We proceeded in 5 Cars to the Mango orchard of my friend located 60 Kms. from the city on the outskirts of a village called Masaipet. This is along an excellent highway-NH7 that connects Kanyakumari at the southernmost tip of India to Varanasi and then further north; up to Srinagar. We reached the Mango orchard by 10:30 A.M.
Soon after we reached the place we first cut the birthday cake. After the cake cutting and after having snacks we went round the orchard and then children played games. We had soup and after a short gap a nice lunch followed by dessert and ‘fresh-as you like paans’. Then some had a nap and others just relaxed under the trees. Later we played two rounds of Tambola. We then had tea and started back at 4:45 P.M. It was a warm and bright day and very pleasant under the trees. And towards late afternoon the weather cooled down a great deal and all through the day there was a refreshing breeze.
On 18th Nov. evening there was a setback to the Picnic program as Udhay informed us that he had missed his flight to India. We were disappointed with this development and were anxious that he should somehow come home. His participation looked bleak as he kept informing us that Air tickets at such short notice was extremely difficult. However he and Hina took some alternate flights and surprised us by reaching home on 20th Nov. afternoon.
At the end of the day all were happy and no one including Sudhiksha and Akhil appeared tired. The smiles on the faces of everyone conveyed more than words about the success of today’s celebration.