Published Wed, Aug 25, 21.

“Everyone jump on!” the Mukti staff ordered the 60-plus children encircling us. Soon the train chugged off to the big city where a summer holiday spree to an amusement park awaited. 

Since day trips are infrequent for Mukti children they wriggled with excitement and curiosity. The staff wriggled with nerves at the thought of keeping tabs on nearly six dozen dynamos!

As we entered the passageway to the rides, the children pointed up at the massive trees lining the walkway.  “Ooooooh!  Look at that!” they squealed. The trees were lined with hundreds of dangling bats. It was creepy but everyone stood with open mouths gaping at the eerie sight.

The children had a blast; there was a climbing wall, balancing games, tight rope cycling, crawling through tunnels and rope walls, a train ride around the park, swings, slides, see-saws, and a huge, dangling rope that swung from one section of the park to the opposite end. Cheers, shouts, and laughter rang out for hours as the children delighted in the myriad activities. Not to mention the savoring of the picnic lunch of spicy chicken biriyani (a medley of rice, veggies, chicken, and spices) with salad and fresh, pineapple-flavored kesari for dessert.

The train ride back was filled with happy chatter as events were re-lived … at least by the older children. The younger ones, exhausted and contented, fell soundly asleep for the trip back. At Mukti’s gate, we all paused to pray and thank God for the awesome day.