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An Eventful Day
July 11, 2017

Today. Today was one of the most memorable days of my life. Today was the day that I made new friends and new memories to last forever, because what better place to gain wonderful memories, than on a school trip?

I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock beeping, which was weird. It was weird because, as I have mentioned in one of my previous articles, I am a very deep sleeper who doesn’t wake up very easily, and I have certainly never woken up to the sound of an alarm clock. I woke up, got ready,had some biscuits and went down to catch the bus that would be taking us to school, from where we would be going to a plantation garden, in Manori. When we reached the school(very late), everyone was standing around under the shade, as it was raining. The teachers and students were all arriving one by one and we were standing around, discussing our plans for the day.

Finally our bus arrived and as we were one of the first people to get on , me and my friends went to sit at the back. It’s weird, how when you are younger, you scramble onto the bus in hopes of getting the first seat. But soon you realize that sitting at the back is much more fun. We opened the window and let the rain spray on our face. We talked, sang, ate, played games but we were bored. When only two people are singing one song because your other friends don’t know the lyrics, it gets quite boring. A few people were singing a few random songs, and we sang along, even though no one really asked us to. In conclusion, the bus journey was quite boring.

We got off the bus after 3 hours, when we reached the plantation garden. It seemed like a lot of people had decided to come to the plantation garden on this particular day. School kids,college kids and elderly people, there was a great hoard of people of all ages.

We had to wait in a long line before we entered a tent where everyone was having breakfast. Breakfast consisted of upma, tea and biscuits. I only had tea and some biscuits, because a)It looked a bit strange and b) I don’t like upma.

Everyone was wearing raincoats or windcheaters, because monsoons are going on and we can’t really dig and plant trees while holding an umbrella in one hand. All my friends were wearing raincoats with cartoons and various designs on them, while some were wearing plain raincoats. I was wearing a windcheater, and when all of my friend expressed their embarrasment on wearing their childing raincoats, I consoled them by telling them that no one would care about what they are wearing. My friends pointed out that if I had been in their shoes , I would have felt embarrased too. I guess they were right.

After breakfast, we lined up to go to the garden where we would be planting trees. The ground was muddy and the rains had made the soil wet, so we were constantly trying to not get our shoes dirty. Some boys had not worn raincoats or windcheaters and were just walking around in their school uniform. It is a popular opinion that girls care more about their looks more than boys. Well those people have certainly not met the boys in our school, who bring perfumes, combs, are constantly running their hands through their hair, in order to look “fashionable” and who don’t wear raincoats just for the sake of fashion. We walked for some time and reached a slope where everyone was in doubt about what to do. A boy came up from nowhere and said that the teachers had instructed us to climb the slope. All my schoolmates started climbing up on the slope. It was quite fun, by now we had just resigned ourselves to the fact that our clothes and shoes were going to get dirty, no matter how much ever we try to avoid it, so we were able to enjoy our climb. It was quite easy for me as I have quite a lot of experience in climbing mountains. The only trouble I had while climbing, was that I was wearing sandals and trekking in sandals was not a good idea. Then again, I didn’t know that I was going to be climbing a hill.

We reached the top of the hill and saw the whole landscape in front of us. The wind was howling all around us and it was a moment of pure ecstacy. We all screamed, like we had seen everyone in movies do after climbing a mountain. A teacher came and lined us up to go back. That is when we realized that we had climbed all this way up for nothing. But as I was going back, I realized, I didn’t feel angry or annoyed about climbing the hill only to come back. I had enjoyed the climb, and even though everyone considered it to to be a waste of time, I thought it was quite fruitful.

When we reached back down, we realized that all the teachers had been waiting for us at the bottom of the hill. A little while later, a man came towards us and told us to follow him. We reached a clearing and the man who had guided us, told us that there would be small sapling lying around in black bio-degradable bags and that we would have to find an empty space to plant the saplings. We had a small spade and all we had to do was find a sapling. Everyone was worried about getting their hands covered in mud, while I was just thinking that the dirtier my hands looked, the more hard I had worked. Soon one by one, me and my group of friends had planted 5 saplings, and by the end my hands were absolutely filthy!

As we were going back, we saw a person being interviewed by a news reporter. The person being interviewed made a hand signal which could be interpreted as ‘get aside’ or ‘come into the frame’. My friends, Aayushi and Aarya took it to be the latter and got into the frame, and at the end of the interview yelled “RBK SCHOOL!! WE ARE FROM RBK SCHOOL!!!”. I and my other friends stayed out of the frame, because we didn’t want to appear in the background of a TV interview, from a channel that I had never even heard the name of. While going back Aayushi kept on exclaiming that she had become famous, and that we were stupid to not have come into the frame to make our school proud. I wanted to say that I thought she was stupid if she thought that our school was going to be proud of her screaming our school’s name in an interview for an unknown channel, but I kept quiet.

At the bottom of the hill there was a tank full of water with which we could wash our hands. Everyone was crowding around the small tank, making it difficult to get to the water. When I did get to the water, someone had ripped open the top of the tank and everyone was washing their hands with muddy water. Of course the water was finished but our hands were still dirty. We saw water dripping off the roof of the tent and we immediately went to wash our hands with that water. It was probably not very hygeinic but we were desperate. We heard that some people were washing their hands in the small, muddy puddles of water on the ground, which made us feel a bit better about our alternative for cleaning hands.

We had some lunch, which consisted of veg-biryani and chhole-puri. Then we got on the bus to go back to school. We travelled smoothly for a few minutes, with the kids in our bus racing against another bus. The bus came to a sudden halt and we were nearly thrown off our seats. We looked around for the source of the bus’s sudden stop and saw that there was a horrible traffic jam going on. I thought that the traffic jam would clear up soon, but it took almost an hour before we were able to move. In that time we played around, ate food, sang songs, and just talked to each other. It was quite fun. You might be thinking, those are all the things that we did on the way to Manori, so why was it boring back then but fun while coming back? The truth is, I don’t know myself. It might be because while coming to Manori, we didn’t have anything to talk about. While going back, we definitely had a lot to talk about!

We were all getting bored of being stuck in the same place. Everyone was getting very restless. Finally the traffic cleared up and we went ahead on our journey. All of us were getting worried because it was getting late and our parents must be out of their minds with worry. Or maybe, that was just me.

The roads were all filled with water, making the water splash when we drove through it. We saw a man smoking at the side of the road, and all the kids started yelling at him to quit smoking and that it was a bad habit. He just smirked and flicked the ash off his cigarette. You know there is something very wrong, when thirteen-year old kids know the difference between right and wrong better than a grown man. We went on ahead, all the kids just talking laughing and basically having a good time. Some kids started a paper-ball fight which got the whole bus involved, until someone told the teacher, after which everyone sat down calmly.

We were not allowed to bring our phones on this trip. At first I grumbled about it, but now I realize why our school is so strict on the no phones policy. They want us to actually enjoy the trip, instead of just clicking pictures with our friends. They want us to live that moment through our own eyes instead of the eyes of a camera.

At long last, we arrived back to the school. We were one of the first people to arrive. One by one everyone started departing. As I was on my way home, I went over my day. I was very happy with all the work I had done today. I had always wanted to have a garden, but I have never been able to plant one, one of the few disadvantages of living in a city. Today, planting those few plants had been the closest I had ever come to fulfilling my dream. I didn’t know whether the plants would survive or not, but I know that I at least tried to contribute towards saving the environment. And for now, that is all that matters.