Star studded sky, the toy train, the swings and slides, boat rides, good food and the company of friends. When we as adults can enjoy all of this, why wouldn't the kids !
And our kids from the Government Primary - Kannada and Urdu - School, Malleshwaram, who probably do not get to have this kind of fun too often were nothing less than ecstatic today !
We started early in the day and as expected the kids were all in school before we got there with the hot idlis. The kids helped us and themselves to a good breakfast and were all neatly seated in a disciplined assembly, but deep within raring to go. Thanks to Veeresh who brought the BMTC bus on time, ensuring we stuck to our schedule. We had one bus 121 kids and 16 adults... And all of us quite accommodative in a over-crowded bus. Thanks to our fear of one-ways, our excitement and the fact that our bus-driver was quite cautious... We reached our destinations and back, packing ourselves tightly up in the lone bus, very safely.
The Nehru Planetarium was our first stop. All 120 of our kids under one sky, learning about the milky way and the constellations. The parade of planets and the darkening of the dome was applauded and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The show is called "The Solar System" and plays in Kannada at 10:30 am on Saturdays. The rebated ticket for Government school children can be procured at the counter at 10:15 am at a cost of Rs. 15 per person. [Contact No : 22266084 / 22203234]
Balbhavan welcomed us next. While the wait for the toy train was announced to us, we stepped into the aquarium in the neighbouring building. The moment the first few of them stepped into the dark room, there was a sound of awe and amazement that gradually grew into a loud chatter, the kind that one of our volunteers classified as "sounding like a Fish Market". Never-the-less, adding to the dimensions of learning, was this experience, that opens up the young mind to the existence of such a variety of fish, in so many different colours sizes and shapes. The aquarium charges Rs. 2 for a child and Rs. 5 for an adult. They cut down the price by half, in case the school authorities carry a letter of authentication.
The toy train... as exciting as ever took us on one loop of the BalBhavan area. Quite realistic in terms of the Train experience when it runs through the tunnels and over the waterway and through Bamboo shoots...as much as not when you see dinosaurs and other animals along the way. But it's a great experience for the kids. The roar while we passed through the tunnel, still resonates in the memories of today's outing. The Toy train tickets cost Rs. 5 per child and Rs. 10 for adults. The train operates after 11:30 am and has a lunch break between 1:30 and 2:30 pm.
Once off the train, the children rushed to the play area and spent the rest of their time on the swings, slides, boat rides, etc., wanting to be uninterrupted, except for lunch. After lunch, although they would've liked to spend more time at the play area, we decided to call it a day. The drive back was dotted with the undeterred enthusiasm, we started with... the kids singing, in more like a contest of sorts, loud and rocking !
Thanks... is what they said to us...
Thanks... is what we ought to say to DSF and our fellow volunteers - Ameya, Kavitha, Sri, Chilli and Vikram and their super effort, in the trip that we thought would be a big challenge in implementing.
Thanks to Mr. Dey and Mrs. Rajini for helping to sponsor a half of the expenses.
Thanks ... to all our children, who always bring us smiles, by just being themselves - innocent and genuine !