A journey may be undertaken in various ways-by a train by a motor car, or by an aeroplane. But it becomes most interesting when undertaken in the company of friends on a moonlit night. Once I had the good luck to enjoy a picnic on a boat in the company of some of my friends. We decided to go by train to Rajghat at a distance of thirty miles from our city, and from there to enjoy a boat trip to Narora water-works at a distance of five miles. We decided to enjoy our picnic or pleasure trip on a moonlit night.
It was during the Dushahra vacations, when the nights were moonlit, that we started for Rajghat by the afternoon train. We took with us a tape recorder, a pack of playing cards, a stove and some utensils for preparing tea and some biscuits, etc., for refreshment. A friend also took his flute with him. We reached Rajghat at about five-thirty P.M. the river Ganges flows at a distance of one mile from the station. We walked straight to the bank of the holy river. There we met many sailors. At last, after much haggling a boat was hired for Rupees thirty.
As we wanted to return home by the 2 A.M. train, we decided to soil at once. It had grown dark, and the moon, nearly full, was already rising in the sky. We asked the boatman to ply their oars slowly, so that we might fully enjoy the different scenes and sights. The sight on both sides of the river was beautiful. Some sadhus, who lived there, were bathing in the river and chanting hymns. Others were washing their clothes or cleaning their utensils. All was perfectly calm and quiet. The river flowing with a soft rippling sound its water was clear. The trees and water-plants on both sides of the river were reflected in the clear water.
By this time the moon had raised high in the sky. It was also reflected in the water of the river. The light was flooding the landscape as far as eyes could see. All was silvery white. It all appeared a white silvery ocean. We now prepared some tea. It was delightful to take tea at such a time. A cool refreshing breeze was also blowing.
We next decided to enjoy some music. The cassettes of songs, we liked most, were played one after another. We had listened to those songs a number of times but now our enjoyment was heightened by the natural beauty, the bright moonlight, and the perfect silence of mid-night. After the records, we enjoyed the flute played by one of us. It was really very sweet.
In this way, laughing, talking and enjoying in various ways we reached Narora water-works. The water-works were a wonder to see at that time. They have been well planned, and constructed with great skill. The bright moonlight heightened their grandeur and majesty.
Then we started on the return journey. This time we sailed more swiftly, for we had to catch the return train at 2 A.M. We reached Rajghat just in time for the train and were back to our homes early in the morning. We enjoyed our picnic on the river to our heart’s content.